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Author Topic: Creating Your Own Religion  (Read 5768 times)

Demophon

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Creating Your Own Religion
« on: August 27, 2016, 04:29:00 pm »
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 05:04:39 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?
Question one: yes.

Question two is... really hard to answer in a snappy paragraph on my phone.

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 11:47:26 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?


Yes, in the sense that my gods are my own. As to whether a pantheon alone constitutes a religion (since there are no practices specifically developed to go with these gods) is an interesting question.
 
The religion, or rather the pantheon, revolves around 11 gods in three interconnected families, along with some associated divine entities; the nature of these gods as explored in the myth cycle is the essence of the religion. My inspirations were equal parts 1) ancient pantheons of both East and West, and 2) our current understanding of science and math.

You may find this thread, about creating your own pantheon, interesting.

Also, one of the longest running groups in this forum is that of FlameKeeping, which in creating religion goes in the opposite direction from my efforts; they're all about establishing a philosophy and (I believe) practices, as opposed to exploring gods through mythmaking. You can find out more about FlameKeeping here.
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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 11:02:47 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

 
"It's more complicated than that." ;)

Okay, first of all, and this is the step to start everything else with: I'm a reconstructionist.  Further, I'm the sort of reconstructionist who is fully aware that "reconstruction" is basically about creating something.  So I would actually make an argument that any reconstructionist doing primarily original research rather than joining a denomination (kindred, temple, organisation, whatever) already established is making up their own religious system.  It will be based (to some extent or another) on old data, but we're still building that fucking thing from not quite scratch in a lot of ways.

This is probably not what you meant, so let's just take that framework as given and go on to the next thing. ;)

I am undergoing training in a Craft tradition.  This is actual structured learn the thing from the teacher stuff, though the actual results are, well.  The saying is "Every initiate founds a new tradition".  Still, I feel that this doesn't count, and wouldn't count even should I attain initiation.  But it's a piece.

The thing about these two things is that they synergise in interesting ways.  Among other things, my Craft training informs the decisions that I make in my reconstruction, fairly heavily, though I make sure that the actual structure I put forth on the research end of things is pointing at the ancient reference stuff.  (But which references I pick, and how I select from them, and how I interpret, that's a thing that the Craft feeds into.)

The other thing about that is that I'm building something out of the combination of them, in bits.  Which has some fascinating bits and pieces and I don't know if I'm doing multiple things yet and that's all a giant pain in the ass but there is work to be done and I guess I'm doing it, slowly, over years.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, I'm slowly (and with the assistance of others) building an entirely exoteric wheel of the year celebration cycle that's basically pagan stone soup, with whatever people throw in, and building up a reliable set of traditions over time that can be household religion and stuff that's accessible to the kids.  And a lot of it is Not My Personal Thing but that doesn't matter, it's the village's thing.
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Sobekemiti

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 08:54:37 am »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

 
I accidentally'd a whole pantheon writing a novel to the point where it became more than just 'bunch of gods I made up because ~fiction~'. There is a half-finished book of mythology (which I'm half-convinced was Divinely Inspired somewhere down the line), a structured sequence for ritual purifications, I'm working on actualfax rituals, and there's a litany for the chief goddess of the pantheon, Masrai (the Litany of Masrai, Protector of Millions; it's in the same sort of style as the Litany of Ra). The calendar is less developed, but it'll come when I turn my attention to desert seasons and festivals and gods and whatnot.

I alsomaybeonly bought a Sekhmet statue purely so I could hack it into Masrai, who once-was-Sekhmet-maybe-once-upon-a-million-years-ago because the evolution of Kemetic gods in diaspora is a really interesting thing to think about as a modern Kemetic polytheist who does not live in Egypt. Which was the major source of 'what if?' inspiration for this pantheon. I had a desert tribe who needed gods and for whatever reason, I decided they had once come from Egypt, a very long time ago, and because time and people shape these things, they became gods of the desert, and not gods of Egypt. They had different needs, and so their gods adapted to fit that need.

And yes, I built a shrine for Masrai. Because I felt I needed to. I plan to try out the rituals for realz once I have them finalised. So I can add them into the ritual book that seems to want to be included as well as the book of mythology idek. This is becoming bigger than I ever imagined it would be I was just writing a novel, u guise whyyyyy. I mean, I've made up gods for fiction before, as well as a few magic systems, but they've never taken on a life of their own like this before.
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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 12:25:06 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

 
In short: yes, I'm working on it. But it's taking quite a bit of time and energy to put together.


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Demophon

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2016, 11:45:34 pm »
Quote from: Altair;195543
The religion, or rather the pantheon, revolves around 11 gods in three interconnected families, along with some associated divine entities; the nature of these gods as explored in the myth cycle is the essence of the religion. My inspirations were equal parts 1) ancient pantheons of both East and West, and 2) our current understanding of science and math.

You may find this thread, about creating your own pantheon, interesting.

Also, one of the longest running groups in this forum is that of FlameKeeping, which in creating religion goes in the opposite direction from my efforts; they're all about establishing a philosophy and (I believe) practices, as opposed to exploring gods through mythmaking. You can find out more about FlameKeeping here.

Cool, thanks for the links.

That's interesting about your own pantheon. If you don't mind elaborating, I'd be interested to know more about the three families of deities and their myth cycles.
 
Quote from: Darkhawk;195591
"It's more complicated than that." ;)

Okay, first of all, and this is the step to start everything else with: I'm a reconstructionist.  Further, I'm the sort of reconstructionist who is fully aware that "reconstruction" is basically about creating something.  So I would actually make an argument that any reconstructionist doing primarily original research rather than joining a denomination (kindred, temple, organisation, whatever) already established is making up their own religious system.  It will be based (to some extent or another) on old data, but we're still building that fucking thing from not quite scratch in a lot of ways.

This is probably not what you meant, so let's just take that framework as given and go on to the next thing. ;)

True. Good point.

Quote from: Darkhawk;195591
I am undergoing training in a Craft tradition.  This is actual structured learn the thing from the teacher stuff, though the actual results are, well.  The saying is "Every initiate founds a new tradition".  Still, I feel that this doesn't count, and wouldn't count even should I attain initiation.  But it's a piece.

The thing about these two things is that they synergise in interesting ways.  Among other things, my Craft training informs the decisions that I make in my reconstruction, fairly heavily, though I make sure that the actual structure I put forth on the research end of things is pointing at the ancient reference stuff.  (But which references I pick, and how I select from them, and how I interpret, that's a thing that the Craft feeds into.)

The other thing about that is that I'm building something out of the combination of them, in bits.  Which has some fascinating bits and pieces and I don't know if I'm doing multiple things yet and that's all a giant pain in the ass but there is work to be done and I guess I'm doing it, slowly, over years.

Hmm that's true. As someone who is also influenced by multiple paths, I can relate to how they influence each other. While my "pagan" practice has fallen to the wayside in favour of a fairly traditional Christian prayer discipline, I still consider myself to be pretty theologically open-minded, and I'm probably drawn to the style of Christian worship that would be familiar to certain kinds of pagans. Even when I did maintain a regular pagan practice, it was heavily influenced by traditional Catholic liturgy in the way I would cense the altar and the statues, acknowledge the presence of divinity by bowing or genuflecting, etc.

Quote from: Darkhawk;195591
Meanwhile, back at the homestead, I'm slowly (and with the assistance of others) building an entirely exoteric wheel of the year celebration cycle that's basically pagan stone soup, with whatever people throw in, and building up a reliable set of traditions over time that can be household religion and stuff that's accessible to the kids.  And a lot of it is Not My Personal Thing but that doesn't matter, it's the village's thing.

Yes, community is a big part of religious practice, even if it's just the community at home.
 
Quote from: Sobekemiti;195616
I accidentally'd a whole pantheon writing a novel to the point where it became more than just 'bunch of gods I made up because ~fiction~'. There is a half-finished book of mythology (which I'm half-convinced was Divinely Inspired somewhere down the line), a structured sequence for ritual purifications, I'm working on actualfax rituals, and there's a litany for the chief goddess of the pantheon, Masrai (the Litany of Masrai, Protector of Millions; it's in the same sort of style as the Litany of Ra). The calendar is less developed, but it'll come when I turn my attention to desert seasons and festivals and gods and whatnot.

I alsomaybeonly bought a Sekhmet statue purely so I could hack it into Masrai, who once-was-Sekhmet-maybe-once-upon-a-million-years-ago because the evolution of Kemetic gods in diaspora is a really interesting thing to think about as a modern Kemetic polytheist who does not live in Egypt. Which was the major source of 'what if?' inspiration for this pantheon. I had a desert tribe who needed gods and for whatever reason, I decided they had once come from Egypt, a very long time ago, and because time and people shape these things, they became gods of the desert, and not gods of Egypt. They had different needs, and so their gods adapted to fit that need.

And yes, I built a shrine for Masrai. Because I felt I needed to. I plan to try out the rituals for realz once I have them finalised. So I can add them into the ritual book that seems to want to be included as well as the book of mythology idek. This is becoming bigger than I ever imagined it would be I was just writing a novel, u guise whyyyyy. I mean, I've made up gods for fiction before, as well as a few magic systems, but they've never taken on a life of their own like this before.

That's interesting. I don't know if I've mentioned this before on the forum, but I had a similar experience being influenced by fiction (though not which I had written myself) and the Greek pantheon. I found the religion of the Seven from A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones to be very intriguing, but not completely satisfying, so a few years ago when I was first reading the books, I started thinking about what ancient polytheistic religions would be like if they were neatly condensed into seven major deities. The Greek pantheon was my main inspiration, as it was the one I was most familiar with, but I wanted to make a system in which the pantheon of any polytheistic culture could loosely fit into.

The Seven from the book series are understood more to be archetypal faces of one monistic deity, and these "faces" include three female (Maiden, Mother, Crone), and three male (Smith, Father, Warrior), as well as the seventh god, "the Stranger". In my version of the Seven, the gods weren't so much archetypes as they were distinct divine generations which embodied different aspects of existence.

I came up with dividing the deities into three distinct generations, with a pair of a male and female deity representing each generation. The eldest generation were the fertility gods, who were the primordial creators, but also ruled death as well as sex and procreation. There are a variety of deity names that could be applied to the functions of this generation, but generally I thought of the goddess role as being a Gaia-Demeter-Aphrodite type, and the god role as Ouranos-Dionysus-Adonis. The second generation were the gods of sovereignty, who ruled over things like political power and justice yet still contained a bit of the essence of the fertility deities. Zeus and Hera or Kronos and Rhea were the deities that fit this role the best. The final generation of the youngest deities furthest removed from the elder generation fertility deities, but closest to human life, were the gods of civilization, and Athena and Hephaisos came to mind as the pair that best embodied this function, as gods of smithwork, craft, technology, and intellect over physical desire in the case of Athena.

The seventh god in George R R Martin's series is the Stranger, who is the god of death and the unknown, but in my system, I thought of the seventh deity as the point of unity between the other deities, the pure essence of divinity that contains the other gods, and I gave this role to Hestia, virgin goddess of the sacred flame. Basically, this function is pure divinity, which then experiences creation by dividing into the primordial male-female pair in which the goddess is both the mother and lover of the male deity. The next generation of this male-female pair is halfway between nature and civilization, so there is still a sexual element to them, but they are a brother-sister/co-equal pair. The final, youngest pair is more asexual and furthest from nature, focused only on pursuits of civilization.

It's kind of my own interpretation of both Greek pantheon and its mythology, with some neo-pagan influence as well. In practice I didn't think it through too far, but I imagine it would involve prayers, offerings, temples, and so on.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 11:48:45 pm by Demophon »

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 09:19:56 am »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself


No. Those I follow are received from our predecessors, since I appreciate spiritual exercises based on tested former experience: Neo-Platonism from the 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th century Neo-Platonists, Druidry from the 18th, 19th and 20th century Druid revival, heretic Christianity from Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno and Jakob Böhme (Boehme), and Buddhism from the history of Dharma (in the latter case especially northwestern India, in Bactria-Sogdia, in China and Taiwan, and in Korea and Japan: For me, Sri Lanka-Burma and Tibet-Mongolia are less alluring).

Quote from: Demophon;195521
(...) or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it?


Fictional religion part 1

I have, as an exercise in fiction. I began writing a fantasy novel, and was disturbed of how religion often is treated in fantasy fiction and RPG. I find three commonly made reductions: To treat religion as technology, to treat religion as exclusively a tool of oppression or to treat it like something undefined wishy-washy.

1. The technological level in many fantasy novels is vaguely inspired by late Antiquity, Dark Ages, high Middle Ages or the Renaissance. Friends of mine, who play RPG, told me about a role-playing world (I'm not sure which one) that underwhelmed me: By praying to a fire-god these faux-mediaeval NPCs where practically having microwave ovens by another name, and by praying to an ice-god they had refrigerators, but I don't observe any mysticism or bhakti in these imaginary religions.

2. In other imaginary worlds, religion is nothing else than a tool of oppression. All or most real religions have usually well-known skeletons in their closets, but none of them can be reduced to an exclusively oppressive characteristic. One wonders why these fantasy religions attracted adherents to begin with, if they lacked any redeeming qualities at all.

3. A lazy fantasy author (or RPG constructor) avoid defining their imaginary religion at all, but often expect it to be focused on belief rather than practice, and imagine too simple social structures - the latter a mistake often also made by the authors/constructors who go for the totalitarian form of religions in type 2. In reality, there usually is more than one social structure of religious practice: Itinerant gurus and ashrams coexisting with temples; orders, guilds and devotional sodalities coexisting with parishes and dioceses, sufi tekkes coexisting with mosques; lay-focused meditation centres coexisting with monasteries, and so on. This complexity is often overlooked, when people try to invent fictional religions.

When I began sketching a more realistic fictional religion, I decided to avoid these three extremes, since they doesn't give the impression of being psychologically, sociologically or culturally realistic.

To be continued

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 10:28:30 am »
Quote from: RecycledBenedict;195677
I have, as an exercise in fiction. I began writing a fantasy novel


Fictional religion part 2

So I went along, and invented three independent grand duchies, formerly belonging to one (now dissolved) sovereign nation, and surrounded by two other nations and a region of city-states.

At the point of time, assigned to be present time in the novel, the predominant religion in the three grand duchies is The Way of The Chosen One, but it co-exists with related and non-related religions, and it is divided in doctrinal and ritual schools.

An ordinary inhabitant of any of the grand duchies might be practicing in a low-frequent, mid-frequent or high-frequent (observant) way.

A low-frequent adherent participate in family gatherings at annual greater festivals, at births, at teenage rites-de-passage, at weddings and at funerals, but otherwise doesn't give much thought to their religion.

A mid-frequent adherent participate in all of the above, and attend either a temple, a guildhall or a monastery several times a year or month, either for communal recitation or for private prayer.

A high-frequent adherent participate in all of the above, but attend both communal recitation often and visit any of the buildings daily for private prayer. Prayer before meal is observed in their families or individually. It is likely that observant individuals are both members of a guild and donate to their temple of choice. Some devote individuals join a monastery or become a forest monastic.

Monasteries are the basic unit of The Way of The Chosen One: Licensed (married) temple officiants and licensed (unmarried) forest monastics are educated in a monastery before given their license. Guilds, on the other hand, are organised on the grassroot initiative of laypeople, and sometimes may come in conflict with monasteries, although most exist harmoniously with the monastic establishment most of the time. Outside the structure exist unlicensed forest monastics - some adherents of The Way of The Chosen One, others remaining forest monastics of the pre-Chosen type.

According to most adherents of The Way of the Chosen One, The Chosen One didn't abolish existing traditions: Some scriptures from the past are given the status as classics deserving to be read: A collection of hymns (still recited at monasteries and in temples), a collection of proverbs and a collection of ascetic sayings ascribed to forest monastics before the time of The Chosen One. There exist two exceptions from this rule: Two different types of guilds went independent 200 years ago, and refuse to recite anything else than the sayings of The Chosen One, and their collections of sayings differ somewhat from the majority line. These dissenters refuse to recite hymns to the deities, refuse to use figurative art and refuse to take part in sports, theatre and concerts. They dress in the type of garb that was usual at the time their guilds became independent from the mainline establishment, and they refuse to drink alcohol or eat meat. One of these groups is famous for being pacifist, and famous for their charity organisations, but the other group is ready to use violent means to replace the establishment with their own particular version of The Way of the Chosen One.

The Chosen One is usually ascribed the teaching that all gods and goddesses are one faceless and nameless deity. The reform of adding coenobite monasticism to the older forest tradition was likely instigated by The Chosen One. All adherents more or less agree, that The Chosen One claimed to add new sayings to the old monastic sayings about the way to a state called Illumination. Lots of debate has been going on about the exact nature of Illumination, and some of these debates have been gathered in commentary works of some level of moral authority. Similarly, in the centuries immediately following the lifetime of The Chosen One, the topic of divine omnipotence and human free will preoccupied generations of monastics.

Temples usually contain statues depicting the deities mentioned in the old hymns and revered saints. In the borderlands are sometimes deities from neighbouring countries included, either in original or syncretised form. Astrological deities from the city states form a sub-stratum in the pantheon, which is important for calendarical reasons, but not very much for grassroot devotion.

One hundred years ago, monasteries and temples split over the topic of modernisation: There now exist Traditionalist monasteries and temples, Conservative monasteries and temples, and Reform-orientated monasteries and temples. This divide doesn't necessarily follow doctrinal and ritual lines, which makes the pattern of affiliation multi-dimensional instead of binary.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 12:20:05 pm »
Quote from: RecycledBenedict;195677
I have, as an exercise in fiction. I began writing a fantasy novel


Fictional religion part 3

The choice of main statue and secondary statues in temples very much depend on the surroundings: Sea goddesses, sea gods and patron saints of fishers and merchants are more likely to be found in coastal cities and villages. Smith-gods, weaver-goddesses, pottery-deities and patron saints of carpenters are more likely to be found in city blocks with a high level of craftspeople. The hunting-god and the Queen of the animals are more popular at the countryside than in urban centres.

Due to cultural interaction with surrounding nations, there now may exist statues of several different sun-gods, sun-goddesses, moon-goddesses, moon-gods, earth-goddesses, earth-gods, sky-gods and sky-goddesses.

The aristocracy often perform weddings and funerals according to pre-Chosen ceremonial, out of conservative instinct, but a growing number is now opting for the latest, most fashionable and hip trends of Reform Chosen Way. In their segment of society, Conservative Chosen Way doesn't have much of an allure, since it is neither ultra-traditional nor ultra-modern: It is so middle-class, darling.

Traditionalist Chosen Way is most widespread on the countryside.

Temples and guilds fill quite different purposes: While temples are places for communal recitation and private prayer, birth ceremonies, rites-de passages, weddings and memorial services (for anyone), guilds serve (for members) the purpose of lay meditation groups, communal meals and insurance companies. Guilds also collect financial means for charitable purposes. While guilds do exist in rural villages and in urban areas of affluent bureaucrats, the typical guild member is a craftsperson, artisan or merchant.

Since The Chosen One spoke a language from the north-east, it had to be translated when The Way of The Chosen One spread to other parts of the grand duchies. Translation occurred in several waves. The purist breakaway-guilds regard the oldest translation-alternatives as the only way, despite their non-idiomatic prose, while those Traditionalist monasteries who use the old translation, are less fanatic about it.

Observant adherents of The Way of The Chosen One are expected to recite a few of the olden time hymns to the polytheistic pantheon, and add four scriptures authored by The Chosen One: a hymn to The One Deity, a prayer to The One Deity, a list of virtues and vices, and a Mindfulness of Illumination. Adherents of The Way of the Chosen One share three gratitudes with the adherents of the pre-Chosen observance: At dawn gratitude for the Sun, at noon gratitude for drinking-water, and in the evening gratitude for fire.

At least one of the daily meals is expected to be taken before a symbolic plate of a flame, a glass of drinking water, a coin of copper, bronze or gold, some salt, a flower or branch, an egg and some sort of perfume, spices or incense. Among families this is done swiftly and rutinised, but in the monastery the meditation over the plate might take quite some time.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2016, 02:39:50 pm »
Quote from: RecycledBenedict;195677
I have, as an exercise in fiction. I began writing a fantasy novel

Fictional religion part 4

Only four annual festivals are observed in the entire realm: Winter solstice, the Illumination of The Chosen One, Summer solstice and the death of The Chosen One. The choice of hymns on these occasions is not uniform in the entire realm.

Plowing festival, Spring cleaning of ancestral graves, Sowing festival, Harvest festival and Preparing ancestral graves for winter are usually observed, but the choice of dates depend on regional climate conditions.

The festival of beginning of maritime trade and the festival of the beginning of hunting season may be mentioned briefly in areas not immediately preoccupied with these activities, but in locations that are, these festivals are important.

Certain deities, certain legends about pre-Chosen forest monastics, certain events in the life of The Chosen One and certain saints are associated with particular temples, forest shrines or monasteries, and the festivals of these might have a high level of festivity in their own location, although they are not observed at the same level (or at all) outside these locations. Every temple celebrate the day of its dedication and the particular memorial days of the deities and saints enshrined within them.

Each monastery is independent, in principle, but there is an expectation, that monasteries which were founded by an older monastery ought to treat its parent-monastery with some level of respect. With the emergence of the Federation of Traditionalist Monasteries, the Federation of Conservative Monasteries and the Federation of Reform Monasteries about one hundred years ago, the level of independence is now lower than it was in the past, but lip-service is still payed to the principle of independence.

A new monastery is founded by branching off from an existing monastery. The minimum number of monastics is five: An abbot/abbess, a prior/prioress, a novice master/novice mistress, a meditation teacher and a choir master/choir mistress.

The abbot/abbess is the chairperson of the monastic council. Each monastic under full vows have a vote. The abbot/abbess is also expected to guard against power abuse from the prior(ess)' and novice master/mistress part, and to be the face of the monastery towards the mundane world.

The prior(ess) manage the finances and maintenance of the monastery buildings. There exist lots of tales and folk songs about worldly wise priors.

The monastic year is divided in two months of interior retreat when the monastery is closed for guests and pilgrims, the first pilgrimage season of several months, when the monastery open up again, the season of travel, when monastics are permitted to visit their relatives, but also expected to inspect temples affiliated with the monastery, and then the second pilgrimage season. During the two pilgrimage seasons, each monastery gives retreats for guests and pilgrims. The interior retreat and the season of travel are scheduled as to not coincide with the main pilgrimage festivals of the monastery.

The old gods and goddesses, who are supposed to be the avatars of the faceless and nameless One, do not form an entirely coherent pantheon in the old hymns. The old hymns were written long before the time of The Chosen One, and (in most cases) before the time of the rise of forest monasticism. The internally consistent mythology in each hymn is dependent on the prevalent thought in the city where the hymn was invented. Each city had its own mythology, though most of them were related in higher or lower degree.

The two non-mainline puritan guilds (and some - but not all - Traditionalist monasteries) refuse to differentiate the age of hymns: They are all conventionally supposed to be created by an ancient singer known as The Hymnode. Some Traditionalist monasteries and all Conservative and Reform monasteries acknowledge and encourage evaluation of the age of each hymn, and the title The Hymnode is treated as a figure of speech referring to a large number of Bronze Age poets.

The oldest hymns mentions the Sun goddess, the Moon god, the Queen of Animals, the hunting god, the Fire god, the Water maids, Father Sky and Mother Earth, but several of them contain younger inserts.

Another level of hymns mention the children of Sky and Earth:
  • The Star goddess
  • The Sea goddess
  • The goddess of Death
  • The goddess who travels between Underworld and Divine Realm
  • The High Priest of the gods (who is the ancestor of humankind, and at a later stage identified with the god of Sacrificial fire, but also god of plowing)
  • The Primordial Man (who is slain by his twin brother in the primaeval sacrifice in order to build the world, and becomes the Judge in the Underworld)
  • The Rock Giant
  • The god of Ground Water

These are siblings children to one or another of the former ones:

  • The Thunder King (Slayer of Reptiles and Rock Giants)
  • Goddess of Agriculture
  • Goddess of Sun, Hearth Fire and Dawn
  • Goddess of rivers and springs

The hymns does not agree about the exact family relations between the following ones, but they are sometimes siblings or cousins, and descendants of the former group of deities:
  • The Monster Slayer, protector of humankind
  • The Winter Sun god (god of snakes, projectiles, disease, health, celibacy and sex)
  • The Summer Sun god
  • The Moon god
  • The god of singing, writing, magic, herds and surveying
These are usually cousins or siblings:
  • The Moon goddess
  • The god of cereals and vegetation
A younger set of hymns are neglected by lay adherents in general, but popular among monastics and lay intellectuals - the hymns to:

  • Formlessness
  • Sameness
  • Differentiation
  • Non-Being
  • Being
  • Order
  • Eternity
  • Cause
  • Effect
  • Contingence
  • Fate
  • Choice
  • Providence
  • Luck
  • Unluck
  • Time
  • Space
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 02:41:39 pm by RecycledBenedict »

YungMeatRabbit

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2016, 08:55:35 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

 
You can absolutely create your own religion.  Although whether or not it's considered a religion if you're the only one following depends on how you'd define "religion".  I personally don't follow a self-created path.  However, I would say that my actual theological views are fairly self-created in that I stress agnosticism and view the "gods" more as spirits than gods, both of which were not neccesarily part of the ancient Egyptian religion.  Paganism is flexible and so you're allowed to have your own path/views/whatever.  Hope this helps.

Ryu

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2016, 05:40:13 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it? All religious traditions start somewhere, so there's no reason why a person can't create their own valid system, whether or not it's based on earlier ideas. If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

 
Hmm..I haven't so much created my own religion as I have taken bits and pieces that speak to me and put aside that which acts as an impediment to my own personal journey.

For example, I have read books on Buddhism and a tad on Shintoism, have some altars with Japanese/Chinese Mythology characters and just do what seems agreeable to my own nature. For me, following a religion was just too restrictive for me especially when you had systems that talk about freedom yet dictate to you how to do this or that as if it actually mattered to the universe what tools or lack thereof you use.

It is your journey and no one can tell you what one or what way, if any, is best for you or anyone.

Morag

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 11:07:02 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;195521
Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it?

 
Yes. Several, actually.

Quote from: Demophon;195521
If so, what does it entail, and what were your inspirations?

 
So, 2 of my 3 faiths are in the process of being created by me. (The third, Otherfaith, I only joined a year ago, but it's also constantly being added to by practitioners.) Aside from those, I'm always coming up with religions for my books as part of the worldbuilding process/character development.

In this post I'm just going to talk about the 2 I practice.

The first one doesn't have a name of any sort at the moment (it's the Something-or-other I'm building in my religion field in my profile). It's based on 3 gods, the Three or Sacred Triad or Big Three, ie the three gods who thwapped me first, Brighid, the Morrigan, and Manannan.

I have no idea if they thwapped me because they wanted me to build something upon them, or if this is just something I need, but at any rate they seem...pleased? Neutral? Somewhere between those two emotions -- to be part of my clumsy attempts to build something real from the ground up.

Well, not totally from the ground up; obviously I have gods to start with, which is a big one. I take a lot of inspiration from various Celtic recon sources, and have adapted the NeoPagan Wheel of the Year to be the set of main holidays for them. It started with the 4 fire festivals, with each of them claiming one, and the 4th being for all three. Recently I found a way to assign the solstices and equinoxes to them, too. There are other holidays in the year, too, some of which are more personal than anything else, but the 8 are the big ones.

There's also some pop-culture paganism mixed in there; currently I'm using a variation of the Mother Tree Prayer from the TV show Killjoys in my rituals and prayers to the Three. This fits into the cosmology somecrazyhow that I don't have words for yet.

The cosmology is growing more everyday. Mainly instead of seeing things as dualities, I see them as triads. So I have the triads of birth, life, death; land, sea, sky; male, female, nonbinary. Etc.

I'm working on this with the goal of not only having a working religious practice in my own life that I can pass on to my eventual children, but also as something I can share with other people that they can take and adapt as they see fit. I may even put out a book someday.

It's slow going, though.

The second faith I'm working on creating I call D'Angeline Recon, as I'm trying to reconstruct/construct it from a faith and pantheon found in a set of fiction books by Jacqueline Carey. In the Kushiel series there are certain gods who started calling to me at some point, so now I'm in the process of trying to find a way to build a faith around them that is usable in this world.

That is even slower going, and I need to reread the books at some point soon so I can make a real attempt at it. But the first priority is the first religion I mentioned. The one thing I'm working on right now with the D'Angeline gods is saying prayers at their shrine in the mornings and evenings, two days a week. More will come later.
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hraefngar

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Re: Creating Your Own Religion
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2017, 02:31:12 pm »
Quote
]Does anyone either follow a religion that you have created yourself, or made up your own religious system, even if you do not practice it?

There seem to be a huge number "Black Metal" types out there who have one foot in Heathenry and another in Satanism.  

I think anyone who could successfully blend the two into some kind of easily manageable modern system, and market it in a Paganism 101 style book, could rake in a lot of money.  

Not that I have ever given it any thought. :ange:
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 02:31:42 pm by hraefngar »

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