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Nexus Supplement Idea: A Book of Ceremonies

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Could you provide an excerpt of what you're doing? Say, one Ceremony from one Pantheon?

    My bad. I really thought I had a link for a sample I prepared at 1st post. I don't. Correcting this right now. I made a few modifications, and had a few problems with page format (that will not happen in final version), but this is what is already done for the Aesir. Not all pantheon has the same volume of information, though, and I also let a disclaimer about it. Anyone should feel free to suggest content to this project.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1raU...ew?usp=sharing

    One Ceremony/Ritual from Eeach Pantheon:

    Aesir: Blots

    Blóts are, in a quite literal sense, sacrifices offered to specifics gods and goddesses of the Æsir. They are mentioned in Scion: Hero, p. 56, and following what is said also about Laukr and Norse religions in general, there is not a one and only way to do it, with many minor variations. But, in general, a person can dedicate a Blót not necessarily to a specific god or goddess, but also to a spirit or even to one of their ancestors.

    Before anything properly related to the sacrifice itself be made, it’s common to purify the place where it will be realized. If you have a friend nearby, it’s good to talk to them to not interrupt. So, maybe it’s nice to turn off your phone for a while too. Some people do the purifying with torches, or spilling drinks in a circle. After that, the person sacrificing usually recites something written specifically to bring the attention of the entity to the sacrifice. Sometimes, also created spontaneously by her. A prayer, a poem, or even a passage from the Eddas related to the wanted god.

    Meals and drinks are common offerings these days, but many Æsir gods and goddesses may have preferences. In any case, it’s very important that the Blót is prepared by the person who is offering it. It expresses genuine desire to offer the sacrifice. Some people (again, Laukr and Norse religions in general value individuality a lot, so there are no collectively general or dogmatic rules about this) then take the portion of the meal reserved for the sacrifice to a place where the animals will consume it (considering it will not harm the animals, of course) or simply leave it there if it’s solid food, or spill it if it’s liquid.
    One important part of Blót is that it’s so genuinely personal that there is almost no external suggestion to “which god likes what”. So, if you think Tyr would appreciate a roast beef, or that Thor would like some pork, so be it. Or if Freyr would prefer something lighter like a soy salad, so be it too. The more important thing is that it has to made by the hands of the offering person and by her heart.
    Before you eat your portion of the Blót, some people make a toast to the praised entity, dedicating it, and then behave like she/he/they is there with them as a very special and honored guest. So, it makes sense to have a portion of your Blót separated for this person. One may even sprinkle part of the ritual drink over the participants (if any), the same way blood of the sacrificed animal was sprinkled over the faithful in old times.
    Blóts are a kind of ritual that is commonly made with a specific reason, like in celebration of a special date, a solstice, or in thanks or even celebration. So, there is not a specific regularity for it.

    Following this same principle of individuality, it’s vital that the person who is offering it gives internal and authentic value to it. A casual “I’ll sacrifice this whatever-fast-food-burger I just bought to Odin just in case” will not be received the same way as something that someone did with heart and soul just for this special occasion.

    Déva
    Samskara

    Rites of preparation and passage. The ideal of these rites are to manifest the union of a truly altruistic and humanitarian soul to Brahma, and not the inverse. A truly enlightened soul would fulfil the rites as a self-expression. The fulfilment of the rites without true inner light is vain.

    The number of samskaras an individual varies among the different faiths inside the larger group that is Hinduism between 12 and 40. They pass through every important step of a person’s life, since her intent of conception (Garbhadhana), birth (Jatakarman), naming (Namaka-rana), first hair cut (Chudakarana), and go to the wedding (Vivaha), and even her cremation may be considered a samskara (Antyeshti).

    Each of these rites have their specificities and traditions, including the approximate age a person most likely will pass through these rites. Some of them are more flexible, for instance, like the Upanayana (the rite of passage of start to go to a school). Originally designed for when a child begins her scholar life, the rite can be used today for anyone who is starting to study anything with dedication, regardless of age.

    Kami
    Harae

    There are many kinds of harae rituals, but in all of them, the idea is the same: purification (needless to say, that is what the word means), normally using water or salt. When you wash your hands at the entrance of a Shinto shrine, that’s a harae.

    Haraigushi are a kind of purification ritual where the Shinto priest uses a wand, formed by a stick of wood and strings of paper attached to it, to purify a person, object or place.

    Oharae are collective purifications, realized twice in each year by the imperial family and followed by a huge number of people that crowds the shrines by the end of June and December. To announce the Oharae, the shrines put a rope under the torii gate that purifies everyone that pass under it from all the bad things they did in the past or the bad luck they are suffering, giving preference to older people to pass first.

    If you are unable to go to an Oharae, the shrines provide hitogata, specially made paper dolls that absorbs sins and impurity once a person write her name on it and rub it on the body. After this, you breath on the paper doll, and depending the shrine, you put it in a box carried by the priests, or, if available, you can purify the doll making it float on a river or lake.

    Oharae can also be made to a group of people that, for instance, survived a disaster or tragedy, or in a haunted or by any other supernatural way disturbed
    place.

    Shubatsu is when salt is used to purify people, or a place. It’s more commonly used before a sumo match, to purify the ring.

    Manitou
    Shaking Tent

    The ritual of the shaking tent is a divinatory and communication ritual, where the shaman puts himself in a narrow cylindrical tent sustained by a few poles, and then covered by cloth or blankets, leaving an opening at the top. Away from any sight inside it, the shaman summons the spirits through chanting and smoking sacred herbs. The structure of the tent starts to shake violently, as if hit by a powerful wind, almost to the point of break it. This means the spirits have arrived. Sometimes these spirits fear fire or light, so presence of both are avoided nearby. Besides the apparent darkness, since the ritual is always made at night, a light like that of a bonfire rises at the top of the tent, also confirming the presence of the spirits.

    Then, anyone around, or the shaman himself may ask questions to the spirits about their near future, about the weather, where they can find good hunts, where they can find enemies or allies.

    The ritual may last for hours, time everyone around may ask questions. It demands great physical and spiritual effort from the shaman, that usually gets to its end covered in sweat and fatigued.

    If a specific spirit has to be contacted, the shaman may reach him, depending of his power and the offerings available. Spirits may have preferred offerings, but tobacco is a general safe option.

    Netjer
    Senut

    Senut is a ritual that can be done by just one person or a thousand. It’s a prayer and a purification ritual, that is advised to be done daily, specially for people new in Kemetism, at a specific hour of the day. That specific hour is left to the subject to choose, but is advised to keep this time of the day reserved for this ritual daily.
    During Senut, it’s unpolite to wear too much colors, so temples use to offer tunics of raw colors for people to use if they want.
    In simple words, Senut is a prayer in the presence of the gods, and for being in their presence, it’s expected that one is purified and clean. The purification process uses a ritualistic bath with water and grains of natron. Verses of prayers are said during the ritual bath, evoking the names of Hapi, god of the Nile river; Heru; Set and Nit for blessing the waters. Heru, Geb and Djehuty are thanked for blessing the natron.
    Incense is lit at the altar, and the devotees take a praying position, with both hands raised at the front, or with one fist closed at the chest, and another raised over and behind the head. At this point, each person can say what comes to their hearts to the gods, and express in low voices their thanks, wishes, sadness, worries, etc.
    When finished, the devotee bows, and without deviating the eyes or the front of the body from the altar, takes four steps behind. This finishes the ritual for her, that is now free to do whatever she wants.

    Òrìshá
    Ebó

    In simple terms, ebó is an offering, but also a purification ritual. The word can be easily confused with ebô, a kind of sacred food made mainly with roots, also customarily offered to the Òrìshà in certain ceremonies. The goal is to cleanse a person, family, environment, office, building, house, etc. of a bad energy and transfer it to a food offering. That must be then offered at a crossroad, at a terreiro, or sometimes at the sea or a river, depending of the intention and the Òrìshà that must be pleased. This is maybe the most common ritual practiced in Candomblé.
    Each Òrìshà has preferences to their favorites dishes and they must be carefully observed when dedicating the offering.
    Not all of them use animal sacrifice. A priest must be consulted and his or her advice must be followed with extreme care in any case. An ebó might be offered voluntarily by an experienced devotee, for a future cause or for simple gratitude. In this case, it’s presumed this person already know how to please the Òrìshà she is dealing with.

    Shén
    Exorcism

    By “exorcism”, we mean any type of ritual used to repel or expel a harmful spirit from a place or person.
    These rituals were usually during a thunderstorm, and hence the name “thunder exorcism”, but they can be done perfectly fine in a calm weather too. The main idea here is to apply the principles of order and harmony to fight against the chaos provoked by the presence or influence of demons, ghosts, or any other kind of supernatural threat to human normal life.
    This kind of exorcism requires a meditation that will transport the exorcist’s conscience to another realm, where he will consult with the correct deity to this specific case. The deity then will tell the exorcist how he or she should proceed. An amulet needs to be inscribed, blessed and magically linked to the will of the deity. Meanwhile, the deity is gathering a legion of thunder soldiers to fight the supernatural threat in spirit.
    Some exorcists also use a more physical approach, literally fighting monsters and ghosts with a sword made of peach’s wood. A specially blessed weapon like that can hurt even the sneakier wraith or impervious heretic beast.
    In both cases, a Daoist exorcism is a ritual of order. So, there is great emphasis in how things must be done and precision of the steps of each ritual.
    In some more local cases, there are exorcisms rituals where customized dancers visit houses at night, accompanied by an expecting crowd, fireworks, dances and music. They should jump three times before enter a house, where their dances will keep away evil spirits.


    And I'm yet begining to write about the Teotl, so, I'm lacking them, Theoi, and Tuatha at the moment.
    Last edited by Hayashi; 12-21-2021, 09:04 PM.

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    • #17
      Hayashi Great stuff above!

      Originally posted by Hayashi View Post
      I made a few modifications, and had a few problems with page format (that will not happen in final version), but this is what is already done for the Aesir.
      Are you adding those 2-3 example rites per Pantheon, as I pointed? Or (common ) worship virtues for Aesir?
      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-22-2021, 04:00 AM.


      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
        Hayashi Great stuff above!



        Are you adding those 2-3 example rites per Pantheon, as I pointed? Or (common ) worship virtues for Aesir?

        Each pantheon has between 4-7 rites/ceremonies described. Plus a list of "holidays" that are with the most precise time descriptions possible (many of these cultures use no-Gregorian calendars). I really think 4 ceremonies is too low, but it's what I can do at the moment.

        What I noticed is that Funeral and Wedding rights are something that almost every pantheon/religion has, so it repeats a lot. Makes sense, with exception of the Shén. Yes, there is a "traditional Chinese wedding ceremony", that is just not religious. So, there is a textbox to talk about that.

        The religious virtues of the Aesir, if I understand correctly, are listed in the Sumbel part (Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Perseverance).

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        • #19
          It's my pleasure to announce that finally, the work is done! (for now)

          Rites & Ceremonies is already available at DT: https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...es--Ceremonies

          Hope you all like it, and this book inspire all of you greatly. Be it for giving a character more cultural background, or for creating an episode based in one festival or rite here mentioned.

          As I said and can not repeat enough, if you would like to see something added (since really, many pantheons got really short on items), please, let me know. I'll gladly add this content to the book.

          Merry Christmas/Yule/Saturnalia to us all!

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          • #20
            Buying as fast I get some free money!


            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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            • #21
              Got it! I'm liking it so far; my only gripe (and it's a small one) is that I wish the table of contents in the PDF navigation was set up as a hierarchy, not just a flat list.


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