The Spires resemble upreaching structures, most often steep mountains, but towers or spires made out of pure glass have also been observed. Sometimes, glaciers representing texts and other supporting literature surround the Spire and must be traversed to reach it. Umbral travelers that wish to reach higher realms of the Astral Reaches must climb them in order to reach their destination. The effort to climb the Spires is metaphysical, relying more on imagination and reaching a higher state of consciousness than physical prowess. Umbral storms tear at the climber, representing the dangers of the ascent.
Cosmologists believe that the Spires are the result many minds concentrating on the same idea, causing it to be elevated from the Vulgate into a higher realm. Along the Spires, the traveler can reach the Courts, which represent astral embodiments of similar ideas, like the Court of Muses or the Elemental Court.
Most often associated with ascent are colors, going from red to violet. This hierarchical scheme is embodied in several cultural norms and magickal paradigms. But there is also a holarchic way to ascend the Spires, which means passing through several realms, from high to low, to eventual reach the Vulgate again.
- , p.24-25
- , p.62-63