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Constructed Religions : it's a long one

From:J. Barefoot <lesfraises@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 30, 1998, 17:03
Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...> wrote:

> >There seemed to be a big discussion about religion while I was gone. >But very few (if any, for I was only browsing through the 500 or so >accumulated posts) had to do with conlanging. I began to wonder, why >didn't anyone direct the topic towards constructed religions >pertaining to their respective conlangs instead of arguing over >something completely off-topic? I'm sure many of you guys/gals have >created belief systems to accompany the con-culture speaking your >respective conlangs. So here I am asking, what are your religions >like? Monotheistic, polytheistic, animistic? What are the creations >myths? Are there specific religious institutions, temples, places of >worship associated with your con-religions? How is the world seen >through the religion - cosmology? I can go on but I'm sure you all >get my drift. > >Regards, >-Kristian- 8-) >
You mean you want to hear about it? This is too good to be true! The Yisians were my first conlang and my only developed conculture. And this is their religion: History The Yisians migrated to their "homeland" in three waves, approximately 7 - 10 thousand years ago. The Heta nation made up the first wave, settling on the eastern coast and displacing the native Haewa. The Heta incorporated many elements of Haewa religion (including their national designation "Hetamde" from a Haewa word for the sun "he:ta") creating a sort of henotheism. The Yisian triad - SkyFather, Ch (from che, also means "all", written w/o vowel when it refers to God), EarthMother, Unta, and the Sun, Etesh - still reigned supreme, while numerous minor gods were borrowed from the Haewa. The main myth of this period describes the daily regeneration of the sun. Etesh is born again each morning from the horizon, the mystical union of sky and earth, and each evening he melts back to earth. The "dew of the sun" is collected each evening by the "Old Man of the Stars" and scattered across the sky. After subsequent migrations and the development of a Yisian State, the original religion of the Heta had become more pantheistic; Ch now was the WorldSoul. The religion in this form also became the state relgion. The other gods are still worshipped, but are considered only great or more advanced parts of the WorldSoul, of basically the same nature as the mortal soul. Worship The main forms of worship are solitary or communal chanting and meditation. Blood sacrifices are also performed at speacial occasions. For this the propitiant makes two intersecting incisions in the tip of his or her right index finger and scatters the blood across the altar in 9 strokes. The main festival is the New Year, which comes just before spring planting. In rural areas the festival retains its agricultural orgins. The priest or priestess blesses water by pouring it over the statue or relic of whatever local agricultural deity, then uses it to bless the fields of the village. After the solemn ritual observance, they hold a wild drunken orgy (trying to set a good, fertile example for the earth to follow in the coming months, no doubt). In urbanized areas the festival is more restrained. The drunken orgy comes first, but they spend the rest of the festival repenting and meditating. Afterlife and Burial Believe it or not, the Yisians find it appalling that we bury our dead. They simply cannot comprehend such barbarism inflicted on our loved ones. One of their most treasured cultural myths involves their own civil war. A rebel leader had massacred an entire village in the course of conquering territory (which is a BIG no-no for reasons I'll tell you in a moment). When the loyal leader in the area heard about this, he broke off from his assignment, hunted down the rebel division, massacred all of them, and get this, had his troops bury all the bodies. In Yisian belief the body has to decay before the soul can make a permanent exit, so buring these fresh bodies also interred their souls. (But the point of the story is that they had it coming for massacring an entire village.) Nowadays its sort of a "in-these-very-woods" campfire story, but wherever it is that these bodies are would be the most evil, unlucky, haunted place in Yisia. So what do they do with the bodies? Under cover of darkness, the body is carried out of the village head first (unless that particular individual was born feet first)and interred on his or her ancestral scaffold for 9 cycles of the largest moon, or until the body has decayed. The bones are then interred in the village crypt, usually a cave near the village or a chamber under the temple. Legends say that if one was to climb the scaffold with a decaying corpse on it (but who would want to do that?), one would see the soul have in and half out of the body. The Yisians believe in something like ancestral reincarnation. Souls travel in local groups. The first person to be born after someone was interred in the crypt has that person's soul (which is why killing an entire village at once, effectively scattering thousands of souls to the wind, was such an attrocity). Often the new baby is even named after the last person to die. This works in small villages, but it's next to impossible for an urban dweller to tell whose soul they've got. Saints are an important exception to the rules of reincarnation. A saint is someone who has gained an insight into the fundamental nature of something, someone whose been enlighted. Upon decaying their souls split into however many pieces are necessary to give everyone born on the day that the saint is interred a little piece of the saint's soul, thus furthering the infinite evolution of the WorldSoul. End of the World There is no end of the universe in Yisian thought, though there is an end of this age. The belief is that when there are enough saints that many can die on one day and a new baby's soul can be made entirely of "saint," that will be the beginning of the end. The End is sort of like a rpature, when all souls will simply be lifted out of life and united to Ch. The universe will continue to exist, more fully than it does now, because what is reality but a manifestation of Ch? Mysticism I can really only touch the surface of this. A good example of Yisian mystical symbolism is the horizon (yeshiao). It represents the union of sky and earth, the real union of all things, a state of spiritual knowledge clearly visible but never quite attainable, etc., etc. Volumes have been written on meditations on the horizon, giving a good overview of the character of the religion. I could go on and on, but I'm sure that's more than you ever wanted to know. If you're interested, you can ask me about the grand temple, human sacrifice, and the che'a. The Yisian language is currently in overhaul, but you can take a look at the original (remember, it was my first) at Thanks for listening. Jen ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at