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Nexus Supplement Idea: A Book of Ceremonies

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  • Nexus Supplement Idea: A Book of Ceremonies

    So, I'm currently working on an idea that I thought for a Nexus supplement, but it will demand yet lots of effort, time and research. Scion: Hero mentions that any Scion can regain 1 Legend by realizing a Sacrifice (pages 188-189). But what if do you want to describe it better? How are the religions of the World in lithurgic terms? How are their ceremonies, holidays, rituals and main celebrations? That's what I'm working on.

    At this point, I've no more than 2 pages written, and I'm trying to describe everything wih utmost respect and maximum atention to detail possible. My goal is to explain even the most obvious as if I'm talking to a complete alien to that culture. My idea is also to describe how the most typical rituals of these cultures/religions are realized. Weddings, funerals, birthing/baptisms rituals (when they exist), main holidays, etc. All these things are potential plot hooks, icons that can represent many things in a narrative, omens that mean many different signs. This relates greatly to superstitions, but I'm still not sure if that will be considered.

    So, at this point, any help helps. If you have this contact or experience with these religions or cultures and wanna share it, I'll thank you a lot.

    I believe that, for instance, for the Netjer, Teotl and even the Orisha, many things will have to be "created" or taken from historical background to projections about they would be in a contemporaneous World. But, anyway, feel free to share anything.

  • #2
    The first thing that comes to mind is Ibn Fadlan's account of a Viking Funeral. https://youtu.be/RSURd15qfWQ
    As I recall, it involves both human sacrifice and sexual assault(?), so you may want to soften the edges a bit.

    It might also be interesting to use some more "modern" ceremonies--for example, the rituals surrounding Christmas or Thanksgiving.

    That's about all I can think of off the top of my head,but I'm sure there's more.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by brokenimage321 View Post
      The first thing that comes to mind is Ibn Fadlan's account of a Viking Funeral. https://youtu.be/RSURd15qfWQ
      As I recall, it involves both human sacrifice and sexual assault(?), so you may want to soften the edges a bit.

      It might also be interesting to use some more "modern" ceremonies--for example, the rituals surrounding Christmas or Thanksgiving.

      That's about all I can think of off the top of my head,but I'm sure there's more.

      Just watched it, and that perspective is a thing I appreciate. I mean, as a non-North-American, I never participated of a Thanksgiving celebration, for instance. So how would you describe it to an absolutelly alien person to that culture? I really liked the Rus-Viking in the end saying something in the lines of: "You Muslims are stupid. Our funeral rites are much more efficient and stuff". And Ibn Fadlan not just remembering it, but also noting, but still keeping himself as Muslim after that. I'm seriously thinking about quote something from there in this book.

      My take is more like: How are Belthaines celebrated today in the World? Or the matsuri from Shinto, and the "almost universal rites" like birthing, funeral, weddings and adulthood in the present religions of the World. 'Cause... well, even when Scion: Hero saying that Blóts are realized sprinkling animal blood on the faithfull, I believe it may cause serious complications with policemen by the road on your way home. "Oh! This? I was at... church, officer...". So, so far, not all Blót is made with sacrificial animals (not everyone has a herd these days), and it's not universal sprinkle blood. Most of the times are sacrificial drinks or even water.

      At this moment, writing about the Aesir. And thinking unlikely paralels between their sacrificial rites with African-Brazilian religions. It's not everything alike, obvisously, but Orishás have almost exclusive taste. For what I saw, Aesir have "prefered dishes".

      Still much work to do, but today went fine...

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      • #4
        I'll try to post here regularly to tell people about the relative progress and also to be more open if I just write something wrong, since all my sources of research about these cultures are all online.

        So far, I "finished" the Aesir chapter. Going to the Déva because of alphabetical order.

        As this is a work in progress, we have the "ipsum lor" pages of the Word version, you need to pass a few pages to get to the actual "project of book".

        Hope you all like it, and please, send feeback. Even something like: "It's ok". It helps me to handle my impostor syndrome.

        Here goes the link (Version 001 - Aesir finished): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L2X...ew?usp=sharing
        Last edited by Hayashi; 12-11-2021, 09:41 PM.

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        • #5
          What changed so far:

          - We have now a textbox about "ritual drinking" in Aesir ceremonies.
          - Included examples of probable Blóts, by request of a revisor.

          Right now, I'm writing about Devá/Hindu (but that word fits a little weird) ceremonies. And, maybe the part about weddings had got a little too big (passing one column of text). But really, it's an intrincate and rich ceremony, and maybe cut something from it really harms the chapter.

          So far, about the Devá we already wrote about Puja (cult or sacrifice), Seva (voluntary service to a god), and Vrata. And now, writing about weddings.

          What made think "Hindu" is weird: I was very excited to quote the philantropy paid by the Sikh as a Seva, but happens that... they seem not to consider themselves as Hindu. So it would be weird to put them in the same box. So, yes, the Sikh a very nice people, but if this would offend them even remotelly, I would prefer not to quote tem at all.
          Last edited by Hayashi; 12-13-2021, 05:11 PM.

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          • #6
            Deva chapter finished. But I probably will not preview this one. My idea is, when this is ready and on Nexus, show the entire Aesir chapter as a preview.

            But I can say the deva have many different rituals. That vary a lot depending of place and branch of Hinduism is celebrating. Also, many "sub rituals" associated to larger rituals and festivals.

            Wedding received a lot of space and many rules of etiquette for you to know what to wear or not in one.

            Now, to the Kami. What I expect: very sinceretic and I'll put a note abou how Daoism and even Buddhism influenced Shintoism.

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            • #7
              Looks fun so far!
              I'm not sure that Thanksgiving, etc., would fit the kind of product you're going for, that was just my first thought.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by brokenimage321 View Post
                I'm not sure that Thanksgiving, etc., would fit the kind of product you're going for, that was just my first thought.
                Maybe as Appendix, for 'American Pantheon'? With Thanksgiving and Halloween as extra holidays in there?


                My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
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                • #9
                  I honestly believe all the Americans know what Thanksgiving means and how they are celebrated, right? I believe that is so important for them as July 4th. But, again, I'm no American and am shooting in the dark... but yes, it's a nice idea for an appendix, talking about how the Gods of USA feel and think about their rituals. Just like "Superstitions from the pantheons" if I find material enough.

                  So, anyway, "today" (actually, yesterday, but today I inserted a final note about the Bon Festival) I ended the Kami pantheon rituals. Personally, I thought this was what I thought I would write the most, since it would be maybe the pantheon I know more about. It wasn't. It's hard to sepparate what is "Japanese culture" from "Shinto religion". Adding the fact much of it was imported from China, India and sometimes even Europe, it really complicates things. But I think it is still good.

                  In the Kami chapter we are talking about:

                  - General Offerings
                  - Harae Rituals (Purification rituals)
                  - Hyakki Yagyo (mentioned in Scion: Titanomachy as Hyakki Yakou. But here detailed as a "seasonal extra dimensional invasion that is foreseeable")
                  - Matsuri (general festivals, that are SOOOOO many of them that it was a little hard to put an umbrella over them all)
                  - Kuyo (funerals. But for things)
                  - Weddings
                  - Funerals

                  And the points I got about Festivals and Holidays were:
                  - Oshogatsu (New Year)
                  - Shichi-Go-San ("Children's Day", but not exactly)
                  - Hari Kuyo (an example of kuyo. In this case, for needles)
                  - Hina Matsuri (the "girls' day")
                  - Bon Festival (the festival for the "day of the dead")

                  And in time, as I didn't talk about them so far, about the Déva, we have:

                  - Puja (Offerings and sacrifices)
                  - Vrata (voluntary vows)
                  - Seva (services offered to a god)
                  - Samskaras (rites of passage of life)
                  - Wedding (that is also a Samskara, but a very special one)
                  - Funeral (depending of the point of view, the last Samskara)

                  And their holidays, special celebrations. That follow the lunar calendar, what causes them not having a precise equivalent in our gregorian calendar.

                  - Diwali (the festival of lights)
                  - Makar Sankrati (the sun festival)
                  - Maha Shivatri (the five nights of Shiva)
                  - Holi (the colorful celebration. That MANY spiritual and religious meanings, but has been culturally apropriated by the West, and that is there too)
                  - Ram Navami (Rama's Festival)
                  - Raksha Bandham (the friendship's festival)
                  - Krishna Janmashtami (the birth of Krishna festival)
                  - Navaratri (the nine nights and ten days festival to Durga)

                  Yes, it looks huge. Anyway, to the Manitou... And I'm already having hard moments in this. Mainly because there SOOO little material online about them. And I'm seriously worried about other pantheons too. I immagine Netjer and Teótl suffer the same problem. And Shén, the inverse.
                  Last edited by Hayashi; 12-16-2021, 11:43 PM.

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                  • #10
                    This is super helpful! Shared the very early draft with my player who's playing an Incarnation of Heimdall and is always hungry for Legend.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by literatzi View Post
                      This is super helpful! Shared the very early draft with my player who's playing an Incarnation of Heimdall and is always hungry for Legend.
                      Thanks a lot! I right now am quite in doubt if continue this project worths, since to find materials about the Manitou and Anishaabek religions is pretty hard, but these words were nice.

                      I can just immagine how it can be useful for players of other pantheons. So, let's keep working...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hayashi View Post

                        Thanks a lot! I right now am quite in doubt if continue this project worths, since to find materials about the Manitou and Anishaabek religions is pretty hard, but these words were nice.
                        If you see large setbacks, you can simply split product in to two books - Do 'easier' Pantheons as Book 1 ( Probably Aesir, Deva, Kami, Shen & Theoi) - and all the rest on Book 2, where you will get more materials, and people will see what exactly you need?


                        My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
                        LGBT+ through Ages
                        LGBT+ in CoD games

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                          If you see large setbacks, you can simply split product in to two books - Do 'easier' Pantheons as Book 1 ( Probably Aesir, Deva, Kami, Shen & Theoi) - and all the rest on Book 2, where you will get more materials, and people will see what exactly you need?

                          After some struggles, I got 2 pages of material about the Manitou. It's little compared to the other pantheons so far, but I mentioned the main dificulties about them. Oral tradition, some rituals are private so we probably don't even know they exist, privacy of the reserves to strangers...

                          I would really appreciate detailed descriptions of their liturgy (that is the main point of the book). Like, what is happening during each of the ceremonies? What each thing symbolizes? Everything I can find is vague descriptions, or testemunies of Europeans full of biases.

                          So far, about the Manitou, I got:

                          - Storytelling (that is literally that, almost a social ritual, but also a way to pay homage to the Manitou, so, it's there)
                          - Shaking Tent (a divinatory, communal ritual)
                          - Spirit Animal (a rite of passage, VERY distorted by modern imagery, and I talk about that too)
                          and the habitual:
                          - Wedding (that is very... unclear. Many sources I got were unconsistent, many were talking about "Native North Americans" in general, so I filtered lots of things)
                          - Funeral

                          I'm probably wrong about many things in this part. But every indication of an error is an improvement at this point.

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                          • #14
                            At this point, the rituals for the Orisha are also "finished". They have just 2 pages, that cover:

                            - Axexê (funeral rites for an at least initiate)
                            - Ebó (offerings)
                            - Ifá Divinations (that is exactly that. Divinations, given by the goddess Ifá/Olumirá)
                            - Dyeing of Clothes (that is done in the Osogbo city. More about the city ahead)

                            And the festivals/holidays:

                            - Bonfim's Party (a celebratory washing of the stairs that go to the curch of Bonfim, a catholic churc. Very syncretic)
                            - Odoyá (the day of Yemojá, much celebrated in Brazil, in its shores/rivers regions)
                            - Osun Osogbo (the festival to Oshun, in her city of Osobgo, Nigeria)

                            I feel that are much things lacking. But I'll try to come back to this later.

                            For now, my worries are at the Shén. Reason: It's a history hard to even measure. So... Daoism rises as, initially, a philosofical system, that later becomes a religious system. Many changes of paths happen, because of dinasties change, because of regional influences, religious revolutions and wars. Then, Buddhism arrives. Much of its is incorporated in traditional religions in China (that is why, probably, we have Sun Wukong and his friends travelling to India to recover the sacred texts, to reawaken spirituality in China, at the time, with a corrupt system of Daoism), not exactly causing conflict, since Buddhism also lives in harmony by the side of Shinto in Japan. But... I'll need time to actually study and understand all of this. It wil take time, but I'm on it.

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                            • #15
                              Could you provide an excerpt of what you're doing? Say, one Ceremony from one Pantheon?


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