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Religion concepts and spiritual questions

Discussion in 'World Building' started by trentonian7, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

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    Lacking a particular name, this religion is found almost exclusively on an archipelago of small islands equal in total size to maybe continental Italy.

    They believe in a creator God who for now will be referred to as the Celestial One. It was the Celestial One who, with his great power, created the sun the stars and the earth and the moons and everything that populates it. He rose the first plants and animals on the earth and then created a multitude of spirits comparable to lesser gods to watch over his works and guide his next children: man. While very powerful, the creation of the world and everything within greatly weakened the Celestial One and he entered a slumber, in which he remains.

    Though these islanders do worship the Celestial One, prayers and worship is more frequently extended to the many spirits that populate their immediate surroundings. They believe in a patron spirit, who protects their culture. They believe in fertility spirits, in spirits of the forests and seas and skies and mountains. They believe in occupational spirits, who revel in war and metalworking and hunting. While most spirits are neutral towards man, some spirits are actually malevolent towards him. Even neutral spirits can be quite deadly if their domains are violated or if they do not feel properly honored. Very much polytheistic, this religion believe and may even worship the gods of other cultures, but they believe them to be only spirits misrepresented as higher powers.

    There is no heaven or hell, but a form of reincarnation. With every death, the great Judge spirits will measure the worth of your soul and determine the next life you deserve. That being said, the worst souls may be judged irreparable and ripped asunder, never to be reborn again. Blank slates are a heavy emphasis- every rebirth is a fresh start and one should not be held accountable for past lives.

    Eventually, it is believed the Celestial One will awaken and survey the state of the earth. If the world is not in balance, he will grow angry and the apocalypse will begin.

    Thoughts? Questions? Holes?
     
  2. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Works fine for me. I would have no problem reading about a culture with that worldview.
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Did the Celestial One create evil?
    Is there a difference between belief, reverence, and worship?
    Is there any call to evangelize, and if not what happens to those who have not heard about the Celestial One?
    Is there a sacred text? If not, how is the cult maintained?
    Is there a priesthood?

    I don't suggest that leaving these unanswered means an incomplete system. They're just stuff than sprang to mind.
     
  4. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    For me, what I ask is "why"?

    In many cultures and many religions there is usually a "why"?

    Why did the Celestial being create everything? Various factions of religious groups can often be formed just based on having different answers to this one question.

    - He was lonely and wanted someone to share his creations with
    - he wanted to be worshipped
    - Like a lonely man looking after a dog, he just wanted something to love.
    - He wanted something to love him.
     
  5. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    The main god in the universe of my story is basically a presence or force that set the universe in motion from nothing. Not the typical sentient being, but a super-consciousness that has no real shape or form. It knows what it has to create on an instinctual level but it's not doing it for any particular reason, so you can say existence has no inherent meaning or purpose at the beginning of creation.
     
  6. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

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    Every person and spirit has the ability to make choices, for good or for evil. Evil actions, however, are not in balance with the Celestial One's plan and the Judges act on his original instructions.

    Worship include a number of musical rituals consisting of holy songs and sacred dances, often performed around bonfires at night. In private worship, hymns are sung before small statues or at altars. Offerings are made at shrines to earn the good favor of more powerful spirits. A common practice, offerings at small shrines are of little value but monetary offerings in temples are used to feed the monks and fund the Order.

    There are several sacred holidays, the most important of which honors the Celestial One. Observance of these holy days is of upmost importance and they coincide with the annual solstices and equinoxes, though the most important days are on the those of an eclipse.

    There is not any strong call to evangelize, but traveling monks establish enclaves of the faith in neighboring islands. Conquered and vassal states see the most of these teachers. The flexible nature of this religion allows it to blend quite well with other faiths- new worshippers are able to continue to worship their old deities, now as only lesser powers.

    There are several sacred texts, one detailing the Creation and the Celestial One's plan, another a collection of stories about spirits, and another from the perspective of several enlightened shamans. A number of lesser texts also exist, though they are not nearly as revered.

    The priestly class consists mostly of monks, male and female, who embrace asceticism and the spirits in pursuit of their own betterment. They reside in rural monasteries and to a lesser extent in urban temples or in solitude near a shrine, where they might help to mantain it. The holiest of these monks are the shamans, those devouts with the ability to see or communicate with spirits and utilize their power. (Of course, spirits aren't real and they can't really communicate with them.) Recieving visions in their dreams and during drug- induced hallucinations, they believe the spirits send them messages. Because shamans must be able to channel the power of the spirits, they are magically adept, utilizing ancient magic but claiming it to be divine. The shamans are often antagonized by the royal mages, who feel threatened by their power and envy their potent spells. The greatest shamans sit on The Holy Council and conduct business in the Great Temple, which is located in the archipelago's capital city. The Holy Council oversees all other temples, monasteries, and monks in the order, also offering revelation to the kingdom. Upon the coronation of a new ruler, the Holy Council's blessing is expected.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
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