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Naya Color Philosophy - Slicing the Pie

I have come to really love the Philosophies of each of the Shards I have covered, as in doing so I get a better understanding of different ways of thinking, and to me the Philosophies bread through Naya's outlook are really important. Here we have a Shard that brings together such an interesting grouping of colors in a way that creates something quite magical. This Philosophy may or may not line up with your way of seeing things but either way I think its a discussion worth having. So sit down, get comfortable and let's talk Naya, the Shard of balance in all things

Let's begin things like we always do and set up a proper framework for our discussion, that way we may better understand the ideas that are being discussed here. To accomplish this, we will have to go through three steps. Now, don't worry about getting lost if this is your first video in the series, as I will explain each step as we go.

To start things off we must expand on our key color, also known as the bridge color, to understand the route of the philosophies I will cover will be. For those of you not aware, the bridge color is the mana base that is at the center of the three colors that make up the whole of the Shard. In the case of Naya our three colors are Red, Green and White, making our bridge color Green. This bridge color has the task of bringing two enemy colors together, creating a well, bridge that allows the others to find common ground. So what do we know about Green?

Well, Green believes that we are all born with a role in this world and by fulfilling our role we may be in harmony with all things. This is to say that everything has a function and by respecting that function we may all gain what we need from the ecosystems we find ourselves in. This tells us that Naya's focus will always be a matter of the bigger picture and how it fits within the world around it and that nothing is out of place and everything belongs.

Druid looking at Leviathan Naya MTG art

Now that we have established the bridge it's time to apply the bridge's philosophy to its neighbors, as this will begin to expand what Naya can be, as these pairs will have a heavy influence on Naya's mindset. First up we have the combination of Red-Green. Here we have a pair that brings Red's impulses and Green's instincts into a philosophy that is the epitome of Freedom of self and expression of the soul. Red-Green perhaps is the most confident in itself, as it is driven not by the mind but by the heart and gut.

Then on the other side we have the pair White-Green, a combination whose primary focus is the acceptance of what makes us who we are, and through that acceptance we may all coexists in a habitat where our nature may thrive. What these combinations together tell us, is that Naya will be a shard who needs freedom to thrive and that freedom must be extended to all through acceptance and coexistence.

As you can probably see the shard of Naya is beginning to take shape, but we still have not crafted the whole framework. To do that we must look to the final step, which is to extrapolate what we can from the mana that is missing from this Shard, which are the enemies of our bridge, in the case of Naya that is Black and Blue. Let's start with Black, what we know of Black is that it's the color of self and of the drive to do things that bring yourself the power to enact the will of self. So with a lack of Black mana we know that Naya is a Shard of community or at least Harmony. Naya knows its place and isn't about to take on more than it needs. Next we have a lack of Blue mana. Blue is the color of discovery and improvement in all things, both internal and external. So of course with no Blue Mana present, Naya is a Shard that isn't looking to change or discover more about itself, its confident in its actions and who it is.

removing ring mtg art

There we have it! The framework is built and I think we have a good starting point for this, and future discussions. For as I like to say, there is always more to discuss and discover when it comes to Magic the Gathering Color Philosophy, so if you have an idea of Naya in mind, or any tweaks to the ideas I bring up today, then be sure to let me know in the comments. OK, with that, lets get into the first tenet of Naya color Philosophy, one that is at its core and an ideal that should always be in your mind when thinking of Naya and that is …

...simply put, Balance. This concept is one that I only think could be possible with a bridge like Green holding it together. Sure we can see balance in any pairing but, when it comes to Naya there is this undeniable sense of Harmony and Balance only seen as perfectly as it is in Naya. You see no color is more neutral than Green, it does not fight against anything, it doesn't try to change anything, it simply just is. With this in mind we can then look to its neighbors, White and Red or Order and Chaos.

Naya sees how there are two forces pulling against each other, and says instead of allowing one to take over, what if we accept this dichotomy and allow it to govern us. What I mean by this, is that order does not always mean restraint, it can be found in allowing the uncontrollable to happen, all with a mindset that is routed in acceptance instead of resistance. We cannot remove the beast from the man, nor the man from the beast. We are both animal and something more and to fight against the dichotomy within us all we would be rejecting who we really are.

Now this does not in any way equate to chaotic action for its own sake, merely accepting things that are not in our control and by doing this we can live a more balanced life. If we are to concentrate on ourselves and fulfill not just our duties but, fulfill our hearts desires we may live a more full life, and in that we might find balance and structure. White on its own might say our impulses will lead us down the wrong path and red will tell you that order breads out our humanity, but Green says that each are both right and wrong. Yes allowing ourselves to be swept away by our impulses will lead to chaos, and then of course a rigid society goes against our animal nature, but is there no middle ground?

Why can we not recognize that we are animals deep down and there are aspects that we must not deny ourselves, but at the same time we must be conscious of how our actions effect others, for if they are not able to express themselves then we run the risk of creating a world where we either are paralyzed by fear or are driven by selfish action. To Naya it's all a matter of balancing the two sides of us to make something that is more whole and better for it. Imagine a world where we had the space to act out our animal needs and yet felt safe in doing so. A world where structures helped those at the bottom but didn't not stifle harmony.

Now lets move onto the next point and one that sort of piggy backs off of the one we just covered and that is...

Freedom through Coexistence is a concept based in the idea, that the only way for us all to be truly free is to learn to coexist. Naya knows that there are vast differences that separate us, but says its in those differences we may find a new meaning to life. You see we may all look, sound and act different, but in the end we are all human... or Leonin, Elven... well you get the idea. You see Green tells us that we are all made for a reason and our existence has meaning, white says that we must accept those who feel like they are on the outside and finally red holds it all together with the love and passion that only Red could bring.

If we expand this further it becomes more than just accepting what makes us different

dog and cat mtg art

from each other. There is a reason for it, one that may seem obvious but also never really is put into practice. If we can then accept each other for who we are, we may then free up space in our own mind. Space which was once used to house the anxiety of how others perceived us. Naya says that if we all follow this ideal, and accept the eccentricities that make us individuals we then don't need to worry about how others perceive us, if they do the same.

In this way we may then feel a true freedom that I think most never experience. Its that freedom to be the person you really want to be and deep down are. A side of ourselves we fail to express because of preassures from from society and fear of judgment. We know now in our own modern time that there have been people who have been pushed to the shadows because of their sexual orientation, their beliefs or simply just how they wish to dress. Naya says no! No one should ever feel that way, and by pushing others away because of their differences we are then limiting our own freedom to express ourselves and feel accepted. Try to imagine who you really are and how fear judgment has limited you.

Now of course I dont want you to think that Naya is all just peace and acceptance, for of course there is a side of Naya that will not sit idly by. Lets move onto the third concept.

The concept of Nature's retribution is the side of Naya that explains its sense of Justice, when it comes to Nature. I'm sure it isn't much of a surprise to you if you've been with me for a while, but Green isn't just peace and harmony, it wont sit idly by while mother nature is being used and abused. Then take this a step further and think for a moment what sort of effect Red and White have on this already inherent sense of duty to the Natural world. In white we see a color that stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, in Red there is passion, which adds a relentless quality to this ideal. So when we bring these two colors together there is a sense of justice that is unparalleled by any other pairing. Then after we add our bridge to this pair, Green, it gives this sense of Justice a focus.

What we have then, is a Shard that will go to extreme lengths to defend its Plane and its vulnerable inhabitants from over consumption and abuse. In the multiverse this has many forms, but the one I always imagine first, is that of a bestial deity which enacts the rage of the animal kingdom, in order to defend and scare away those who would abuse its kin and its home.

On the Plane of earth this entity would be closer to activists who protest the building of pipelines or interfere with the wailing industry, among other acts of defiance. Its an anger that comes from the realization that there are those who would rather consume until there is nothing left from a world that cannot defend itself, only to sit on their cash while the world burns. To this end Naya has no patience, and will do what it can to help that which cannot help itself, and is more than willing to take the fight to those who would do the Plane harm.

Ikoria mtg art

In the end what we have learned about Naya always comes back to one word, balance. It may fight for the earths means of maintaining balance, or it may come in a way that is direct through accepting what lies at the core of our being. Naya will tell us that by simply placing our animal and human sides in equal measure within us, we can find a balance of soul and mind. We might find balance in the freedom to be who we are and accept who others are as well. For if we all can find something about ourselves to love and in turn love others then maybe we may all experience the balance that freedom and true acceptance can offer.

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