WORSHIP PRACTICES AROUND THE WORLD
In Tam'nýer—a', the 32 Gods and Goddesses are viewed as transcendent truth. They define the world, their stories are eternal, and they touch and resonate with us as only myths can do. Their lessons are profound and multi-layered; they are compelling for the spiritual truth-seeker and the mundane-preoccupied alike. In other words, the perfect guides on our soul journey, allowing us to meditate and discover ourselves in all our beautiful complexity, but also to co-create our paths; make our own tapestry.
As everything, especially when it comes to mythos, they can be left open to interpretation individual to individual, but ultimately there lies a fundamental lesson. And, as in traditional Tarot, the people of Tam'nýer—a' use cards to garner a sense of tangible guidance, a better understanding of the self, outer forces and the universe as a whole.
Throughout Tam’nýer—a’ candles hold much significance. They are not only used to tell time, and for light when the sky turns dark, but to worship as well. With how pervasive spirituality & religion is in Tam’nýer—a’, finding different ways to worship is an honest pursuit.
When it comes to candles, there is an entire understanding of them, as altars in the home are a regular fixture. Candles are used, in this sense, for meditation, offerings or to call something to you by also appealing to a God or Goddess. When it comes to this, the colour of the candles that you burn hold meaning. Below we will break these down for you.
However, do keep in mind that with the candles and their coloured definitions that your character can worship how they see fit. The rundown is how the colours of the candles are viewed and believed to be by the general populace, but if you character chooses to tag on different personal meanings as well, that is fine.
One can also burned a candle for a God or Goddess to receiving healing or for their spirit to be well. The meaning of the colour of the candle remains the same. For example, despite Q'Tam'šmă being symbolized by water, if you wanted to offer her spirit peace, you would burn a green candle. Although, whether your character does this out of selflessness and true compassion or to garner favour from Q'Tam'šmă is up to you.
Health and overall peace, because without health you have nothing.
☉ Can be burned with an offering of flowers, or simple clippings of greenery, and spices.
The more fragrant the better as peace can also symbolize freedom of guilt and obligation,
as well as forgiveness.
☉ Do keep in mind that feeling at peace with everything can be rather energizing.
Free of any and all burdens, one can feel as though they cannot be stopped and can
An overt sense of calm. As if a drugged sense of having no problems. Blue differentiates from Green’s sentiment of overall peace, because the calm that Blue is supposed to induce is the ability to also reflect upon oneself or problems of the heart and mind without emotional harm. Detached, if you will. Hence, a ‘drugged’ sense of calm; as if tranquilized, rather than being at peace with everyone and everything.
☉ A Blue Candle can be burned sticking out of a bowl of water. The water is to help emphasize seeking calm through meditation and self analyzation.
Red symbolizes our vehement emotions. Whether it be anger, sadness, or carnal desire, red is unbridled passion. The level of emotion that moves us in any direction; good or bad is irrelevant.
☉ Burning a red candle can either call forth emotion, and in a way, motivation. Or to quell one, calling your emotions into order so that you may better use them and harness them. Emotions are extremely powerful things that affect our lives and can guide us to greater horizons or destroy us. When burning a red candle it is not uncommon to burn it with a scent we attribute to ourselves or the person/God we are burning it with in mind.
☉ Red candles are commonly used amongst blood magic users as well, as some of their work is to sway a person’s mind or emotions to a favourable extent. If wanting to either manipulate someone this way or gain more control of yourself emotionally, it is a frequent thing to burn an entire red taper candle surrounded by a person’s hair (whomever the candle is burned for) or fingernail clippings and the like. Some even choose to burn the candle standing in a bowl of blood offering.
As in our earthly culture of meaning regality, purple in Tam’nýer—a’, mostly when concerning candles, is augustness; to inspire reverence, admiration, or be diligent, as well as, majestic. Your word is your bond, and no one could doubt you. It is not simply grandeur, but also an undertone of work ethic.
☉ Burning a purple candle can elicit a feeling of empowerment, as well as heightened self-esteem. So, if you are worried about your reputation, puff your own feathers, hold your head high and meditate with a purple candle, or merely burn one.
☉ When using a purple candle and to strengthen its effect, one should meditate with eyes open looking into a mirror. There is no risk of Xérăs when doing this because you are focusing and have a goal. You are not naked or unconscious, giving Xérăs room to infiltrate you.
Unlike our understandings of the colour (shade, rather) of Black, it does not necessarily mean death in
Tam'nýer—a'. Rather, in candle form especially, black represents the unknown. There is no fear connotation while it represents this however and is not linear. The unknown is not simply what lies ahead, but also what we have lost either from memory or otherwise. In this sense, black can also be the unknown, as well as the new. For example, let's say you have lost a friendship. It is now part of the black. No negativity intended, it is merely that your life going forward, your new life and experiences no longer include that person, aka, the unknown & the new.
☉ Burning a black candle can call forth a cleansing, if you will. A way to shed off the unnecessary to make room and way for the new.
☉ If you feel as though you are spinning your wheels, and are endlessly restless, a black candle can invite new happenings, a sense of wonder and anticipation for the next Hour or Day, and fill you with an openness to receive it.
White is closely linked to black, as they are opposites of one another. A certain sense of 'opposites attract' is most definitely a part of this. While black is newness, and the unknown, white tends to represent the now, and what we know. White is comfortable; our candle in the night, so to speak, or our baby blanket.
☉ White candles are generally used for self assurance, or self analyzation. To look at where we currently are in our lives and making certain that we are all we aspire to be. Ultimately, white is about introspection and to check to see if we are satisfied where we are in the now or whether we require a bit of the unknown (black).
Burning Black & White:
✶Burning a Black & White candle at the same time will clear the energy of a home or establishment, equalizing negative and positive energy. It calls forth the new, whilst remaining the same. It is recognized as a healthy business practice to do so, especially after a hectic day, or a bad customer. The same ideology applies to a home in the way that if you have an argument you can dispel it by burning a black candle and a white one at the same time. The stipulation, however, is that you must burn them simultaneously and let them burn all the way down, permitting them to extinguish themselves.
Seizures can naturally occur in childhood, or any time before the end of an individual's first year of life. Seizures are oddly viewed as gods trying to claim people, or trying to communicate by taking over a person's body. This in turn makes seizure sufferers taken in as Oracles or Prophets; they have a spiritual ability to pass messages from their afterlife.
In fact, because of this assumption rather than try and cure seizures, because we actually know what they are, the people who suffer them actually try and induce them more often because of the elevated status it brings. Some even go so far as to take illegal substances to appear in rapture, and try to trigger an episode.
Even if the seizure sufferer were simply farmers or a brothel worker before they started experiencing these episodes, they would be regarded highly from that point on. So much so, that they would be regarded as Oracles or Prophets; people to follow advice from. Local people give them offerings of P'ee K'äh, food, drink and perhaps even offer services, such as making clothing.
For the most part, if an individual develops seizures, accepting this elevated status of oracle/prophet is taken on as a profession, setting up 'shop', so to speak, in the same place every day to accept said aforementioned offerings and hear prayers.
Obviously, seizures are not a common happenstance, otherwise seizures would most likely be viewed entirely different. No sense in being considered a prophet if any joe blow next door could be one.
A little modern day knowledge about seizures:
Seizures presented in Hollywood can look pretty dramatic in comparison to real ones, and depending upon the type of seizure the affects can change. So for now what we'll give you, if you are interested in writing an Oracle character, is a generalization of what symptoms your character may experience:
Repetitive movements, e.g., hand rubbing.
A change or loss of consciousness or awareness, e.g., staring off into nothingness, not responding to outside stimuli.
Involuntary jerking of a body part or parts.
In contrast to involuntary jerking body parts, muscles may tense, stiffening to the point of causing you to fall, or a complete loss of control where the muscles go loose and limp.
Spontaneous sensory symptoms, e.g., tingling, facial numbness, dizziness.
Very rare happenstance, though worth noting nonetheless: incontinence.
Once the episode (seizure) is done, one may experience what is called in modern medicine as an postictal state. A postictal state is a continuation of an altered state of consciousness that begins only after a seizure, as the person returns to 'baseline' function, (normal). Most postictal states present themselves in emotional exaggerations such as fear, paranoia, anxiety or finding everything hilarious, and may seem as though a person is merely intoxicated, with the addition of a headache or migraine, nausea, drowsiness and definite confusion. The postictal state can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes after a seizure.
It should be noted that after a seizure, with a postictal state or not, one would feel immensely exhausted afterwards may sleep for 10+ earth hours.
Blood letting is a Nkhya'jran worshiping practice. What we would interpret as self harm cutting marks here on Earth, on a Nkhya'jra it just means that they participate in active worship. Cutting oneself to give blood to the Gods and show their devotion can be common practice. Though it should be said that this is usually done in the privacy of one’s home or in a temple as this is considered an intimate form of worship despite being commonplace.
*Please note that if your character is Nkhya’jran and takes part in this practice but they are not living in the Heart Continent, they can get looks of skepticism because it is not really known or understood outside of their culture.
Being ‘Stained' or 'Submerged' is a cultural and religious reference to one who participates in the worshiping practice of praying or meditating for multiple candlemarks, or sometimes Hours, and whilst doing so, keep their fingertips submerged in ink (colours may vary upon personal choice of colour or what is available). This is to show not only dedication, as it does stain the skin of one's fingertips and nails, but also to symbolize the Gods' entrance into the body during prayer and meditation.
कभत्रेष · Kabhatreṣa
Kabhatreṣa, also referred to plainly as the Newborn ritual is more or less a protection spell over, well, newborns. As we have come to know them, the Nkhya’jra are a very magical and spiritual race and for some, this begins even at birth. Now it should be noted that this ritual is done solely by the guardians/birth parents of children being raised in upper class families and in higher positions of power. It’s done within the first three Tam'nýer—a''n days of the child’s birth and done only by the guardians/parents of said child.
They’ll cut their finger and drag it across the child’s forehead, smearing the blood there. The child is then held close as the parent or guardian prays to the Gods to protect the child, to keep them free of ill-will and harm, and declare the child's official name. That being said, this is also regarded as a naming ritual because of that factor. The primary reason for this ritual, however, is because babies are viewed as the most vulnerable to magic and its influences, and this is done to protect them from magical harm & ill-will for the first few months of their lives. Upper class families do this to be sure that even if they have enemies, their children won’t fall victim to any ill-will their enemies may have.
धनीसवाद्छ · Dhanīsavādcha
Dhanīsavādcha, literally meaning 'through all things' in ङ्ख्ढॠ · Nkh'dharī, is a secret religious sect of the Nkhya’jran people, though it is secret for very good reasons, and considered a major insult and blemish upon their society as a whole. The reason for this is thanks to the extreme contrast between how normal Nkhya’jra society treat sex and sensual pleasures.
Nkhya’jran societal norm is that breeding, and therefore sex as a whole, as well as pleasure, is more of a 'robotic' tradition. Breeder males and females are vetted and chosen, engaging in orgy like behaviour in order to keep up their populace. It is not about pleasure but rather duty. It is organized this way in order to free the people to pursue the Gods, artifacts of said Gods, religious enlightenment, in addition to focus rising as the prime race of Tam’nýer—a’.
Dhanīsavādcha, however, turns this all on its head. They worship the Gods through sensual pleasure and orgies. To the Dhanīsavādcha pleasure, be it sexual, or not, is the best way to communicate with the Gods. Think of it as being overtaken by rapture, and this rapture is only attainable whilst worshiping the Gods in groups. These clandestine worship sessions are usually done in the nude, as it is ‘without barriers’ to separate them from their makers, the Gods.
Ultimately, Dhanīsavādcha is a secret religious sect that consists of Nkhya’jran people who are either pious or unabashedly corrupt.
Communing with the Goddess
There is a practice that may seem odd to us, but is common practice among the Human women of Tam'nýer—a' and that is to menstruate into a spring, river or ocean in private to commune with the goddess Q'Tam'šmă.
By doing this, they are embracing their womanhood and are telling the Mother Goddess that they are ready to begin their lives as a woman, shedding their girlhood. This does not have to be their first menstruation though. It is when the parents and girl are all in agreement that a sense of maturity has been reached.
This private ceremony can also be done in preparation for motherhood, seen as an offering to aid the woman get with child. Or in other circumstances, such as cleansing and realigning oneself due to feeling that they have lost their way, or as a healing process in the situation of a violation, be it sexual or no, because even though the Goddess may be dead, her waters are still living.
Each time a woman does this, all she must do in exchange is come bearing a lit lantern symbolizing being guided by her own will and inner light, and also bringing the goddess Q'Tam'šmă an offering of warmth and solace in exchange for her healing.
Coming of Age for ZàÞçan Boys
A tradition of ZàÞça that has been around since antiquity with respect to males coming of age is still followed by some older families. That tradition is that young boy must go alone in the desert for one whole Tam'nýer—a’’n day with nothing but what he can himself carry as provisions, as well as defenses. It is said that he would come back changed, a man instead of a boy. This is most definitely the case if said boy gets the chance to fight and kill a beast. If this happens, this is an extremely good omen for his life going forward, as spilling the blood of his kill in the sands of Trótskarr to feed and nourish the land is said to make the Gods take notice and favor him for as long as he may live.
This tradition, though brutal, as aforementioned is still practiced to this day by some families. Some of these families include the 12 Greater Families of Püertagœ since they originally came from ZàÞça. The Zûtran is the most notable.
In Human culture, it is not an unlikely sight to see farmers making love on the recently harvested crops to make certain that the soil is fertile for the next year. While this might be something we perceive as ludicrous, even shameful, to the Humans of Tam'nýer—a' it is a time honoured tradition. In fact, some farmers believe that it is best to have witnesses to this crop-communion to insure that whilst human eyes can see it, so too can the Gods. But this also means that the love making cannot be simply run-of-the-mill. It must be an act of love and genuine feeling.