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The Great Mother
Greatmothersymbol
The Mother of All
The Mother Spirit

Alignment:

Neutral

Portfolio:

Life, Birth, Fertility, Healing, Weather, Agriculture, Animals, Plants, Wisdom

Worshippers:

Aateni Barbarians

Servants:

Druidss, Rangers

Clerics Align:

CN, LN, N, NE, NG

Domains:

Animal, Balance, Healing, Plant, Renewal, Weather

Weapon:

Quarterstaff

The Way of the Great Mother is the religion of the Aateni Barbarians. It can best be described as a sort of monotheist Shintoism. That is, the core belief of this faith is that there is a Great Mother Goddess whose body is the land. She gave birth to the spirits which inhabit and protect specific locations (the spirit of a particular garden, lake, river, or mountain, for example), the spirit forms of the great animals (including the Eagle, the Lion, the Bear, the Horse, and so on), as well as the spirits of the sun, the moon, and the sky. Unusually for an animistic faith, only the Great Mother herself is worshipped.

The afterlife is not a primary concern in the worship of the Great Mother (and indeed, to the Aateni there is no real afterlife). Much more emphasis is placed on the individual finding his place in this world and living in harmony with it than preparing for the next. There is no binding set of dogma beyond the belief in the existence of the Great Mother and her children, no holiest place for worshippers to make pilgrimages to, no person deemed holiest, and no defined set of prayers. Instead, the Aateni used a collection of rituals and methods meant to mediate the relations of living humans and the spirits.

According to Aateni belief, when a person dies, the spirit that inhabited the person's body returns to the Great Mother to be reborn. The new form might be an animal, a tree, or even another person. Thus is the cycle of life preserved. The spirits of stillborn children, called the Children of Tears are an exception.

The Great MotherEdit

The Great Mother is the greatest and most powerful spirit venerated by the Aateni Barbarians. They believe that the Great Mother created all life in the world, and gave birth to the first man and woman. As children of the Great Mother, it is thus up to humanity to honor her and follow her teachings.

It is important to note that the Great Mother is not considered a goddess to be worshipped in the same way that the gods and goddesses of the Gods are. Rather, the Aateni see her as a part of the world itself, rather than some lofty divine being who demands that his followers bow and scrape. She is a teacher and a provider, not a ruler. Thus, while the Aateni venerate her, they do not worship her, precisely.

The SpiritsEdit

The most immediately obvious theme in Aateni belief is a great reverence for the world around them. According to their beliefs, every waterfall, tree, road, river, moon, forest grove, or even an oddly shaped rock might be inhabited by a spirit. The spirits (or even the Great Mother herself) are not considered transcendent deities to be worshipped; rather, they are beings to be respected and revered. They inhabit the same world everyone else does, make the same mistakes everyone else does, and feels and thinks the same way everyone else does.

The DruidsEdit

In Aateni society, a Druid is a priest, sage, teacher, and counselor, but is not seen as a religious leader in the same way that a Cleric is. This is only to be expected for members of a religion that lacks any formal structure, temples, or even a central dogma.



Other Faiths

Chayk Ancestor WorshipThe Cult of RevcoraThe Cult of the SharkThe Snake CultThe Way of the Great Mother

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