An Oddly Outgoing Introvert (neeuqdrazil) wrote in amber_by_mail,
An Oddly Outgoing Introvert

Aub: The World, The People, and the Religion

Aub is a small world. There are some cities, but the population is primarily rural. Farmers and shepherds dominate rural society, while in the cities wealth and prestige reign. Trade flourishes, and technology is very primitive. (OOC: Think ancient Greece/Rome.) The patriarchs rule in the cities, in a sort of democracy, although highly limited.

Religion is practiced differently in the city and country as well. In the country, people primarily practice personal or familial devotions - each family would have a shrine or altar, upon which they would sacrifice to the family's patron god or goddess (usually Sobek or Loclainna, who are primarily worshipped by those who make their living from the earth.) These ceremonies follow the shape of the year, with major festivals at midsummer and midwinter, at first planting and at the end of the harvest, and minor festivals in between these. There is usually a sacrifice of grain or fruit, occasionally a symbolic sacrifice of a lamb or chicken, depending on what the family grow and herd. There is also a thanksgiving, with dance and music, singing praises and thanks. There are few priests or priestesses, and they are not required for any save a few, infrequent, rituals.

In the city, religion has become more centralized - there are temples to each of the major dieties, (except me, and I like it that way) with priests and priestesses, and a set cycle of ritual and worship. Tithes are paid, and fewer people see the gods as part of their everyday lives - the rituals, supporting the temples, are something they do, not who they are.

I, however, have been removed from this circle. My devotees practice in secret, and I do not begrudge them their attentions to the others. Those who worship me do so at night, particularly at the dark of the moon, and my worshippers are primarily women. They offer their own blood, especially their moon-blood, and call upon me to join them in their circles. Older women, those who have become barren, are under my special protection as well, as they grow into the wisdom of their years.

Many of my followers have been wronged by men, and I have a special fondness in helping these women make right the wrongs done them. They have found their power restricted by a highly patriarchal society, and the only way that they can exercise their power is through the hidden magic of women.

I am brought into the major rituals twice per year, however, when the triple goddess is invoked. I am called upon at the midwinter festival, as the crone gives way to the maiden, and Deanetra and I perform our annual ritual of change. She then, in the fullness of the spring, yields to Loclainna, the mother, with her fertility and life-gifts. Loclainna and I dance in the fall, after the harvest, when the earth again becomes barren, having given up the yield of the summer, to rest for another time before Deanetra takes the earth from barren rest to burgeoning growth.

These rituals, however, take into account only the barren crone of my nature, the old woman, waiting for death. They ignore (or perhaps are not comfortable with acknowledging) the power of the old woman, her wisdom, her aid in childbirth, having given birth so many times herself, the strength of her Self, having gone beyond the need for acknowledgement from others.

And so, we go on, year after year. The rituals change as the people change, but they have remained mostly similar for centuries, as our culture has remained similar. Since Sobek retreated from humanity, there have been very few advances technologically.
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