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Jewish Great Cult for "To The Strongest"

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  • Jewish Great Cult for "To The Strongest"

    Hey guys! This is my first Mage homebrew and fourth overall for Chronicles of Darkness. My first attempt on a Jewish Great Cult and third rewrite. Constructive criticism is welcome. Thanks to Heavy Arms for translating.
    • B’nai HaMerkabah(Great Cult)
      • The state of the Hebrew peoples is fractured. Centuries of occupation under Assyria, Babylon, and Persia have caused a massive amount of cultural and religious changes. As Alexander came into the land of Yehud he was met in the desert by the High Priest Shimon the Just, of the Judeans. This lead to a relationship of respect during the reign of Alexander that would fluctuate in the centuries after his death. Hebrew mages refer to themselves as B’nai HaMerkabah: Children of the Chariots. Over the course of centuries, the people have undergone extreme changes. The Deuteronomic reforms caused a larger shakeup in the national cult of the Sleepers than that of the Awakened. The kicking out of the other G-ds allowed for the Elohists in both societies to gain political and religious power and the banishing of women from daily Temple life outside of those designated as weavers. The male domination of the Sleeper cult forced the Awakened into a tough spot, leading to male Awakened in the priesthoods to marrying, adopting, or bringing female Awakened in as temple weavers so they can receive instruction. Away from the Temple and the centers of Torah learning those who cling to the old ways of henotheism call upon Asherah, Anat, and others far from prying eyes. For centuries the peoples of Yehud have had the choice between assimilation and tradition argued. With the coming of Alexander begins the birth of a new form of sectarianism that will forever change the people. For the first time since Cyrus the Great, they will be faced with a leader whose practices will greatly impact their own from both a theological and cultural point; though they must remain wary, many a gentile with honeyed words have come before.
      • Mythos: In the beginning, there was Elohim and the Earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep… Magic comes from the divine source when practiced properly. The divine rests in the Hekhalot, heavenly palaces, from these places the divine makes its way into the world, fallen because of the sinful nature of its denizens. When El Elyon separated creation from the place of rest the primordial darkness entered. This darkness strikes out at those who reach across it to reach the Hekhalot of the divine. When we supplicate and are given access to the Hekhalot, we are able to tap into the source and ride the Merkabah to the Hekhalot. Those of us able to reach through our supplication must first be taken on a journey to the Hekhalot that corresponds with us most deeply. Upon doing this we are written onto it.
      • Paths:
        • Monotheists: All of those who’ve been uplifted first engage with a specific Hekhalot. Amongst those who serve G-d, those who awake closest to the place where El Elyon’s essence resides are especially touched; the Acanthos are given a home in the Hekhalot of Ophanim. Some are called upon to be righteous zealots and to be holy amongst their fellow Awakened; Obrimos are given a home in the Hekhalot of the Seraphim. Some are touched by the cold, grim hand of El Elyon and are charged with connecting to the ancestors and keeping tradition; the Moros awaken in the Hekhalot of Samael. Others find themselves in the primeval natural glory of what the world should have been, a world devoid of the need of knowledge; the Hekhalot of the Cherubim welcomes the Thyrsos. Reality is multifaceted and El reigns over all parts of creation, including those that were once thought to be His equal; those of the line known as the Mastigos are allowed the Hekhalot of Elohim.
        • Monolatrists/Henotheists and Polytheists: In the old days each was associated with a different master who served alongside El and Asherah in the heavens. The few who still follow them know what and how to call the masters of each of the Hekhlot. Acanthos possess an affinity for prophesying that greatly shocks the Sleepers that they interact with; most of these mages are known to worship El. Mastigoi have an uncanny ability to cut into the psyche of others and themselves; they commonly find themselves giving alms to Melqart. Moroi are struck by morbidity and affection for the dirt; they are seen commonly as spiritual guides between worlds and spend much of their time in contemplation with their masters Kothar wa Khasis and Mot. Obrimoi have an aura about them that is unmistakeably from the very heavens, they possess the zeal of our forebearers and are commonly guided by El Elyon, Shemesh, and YHWH; the Temple in Jerusalem a center for all called to this Hekhalot. The Thyrsoi is an ecstatic group who best embody the fears of the Elohists; they engage in wild acts that connect them most with Nikkal and Astarte.
      • Factions: Bene Shimon(Jnanashakti), Bene Zadok(Mahanizraynai), HaMishmarim(Vajrastra), B’nai HaMelekh(Samashti), and Qedeshah(Jnanashakti) are the Awakened that hail from Yehud. Bene Shimon “Sons of Shimon” are the youngest sect that just sprouted up in response to the Hellenism brought by Alexander. They take their name from the Judaean High Priest Shimon the Just who went to greet Alexander in the desert. These mages strongly support finding a way to both Hellenize the culture and not fall into idolatry; they’re predominately Judaean, male, and relatively young. They’re the most likely to take a Greek name and even work rather closely with their new conquerors. They find it of utmost importance to spend their time recording the knowledge of their ancestors and syncretizing their practices. Bene Zadok “Sons of Zadok” was founded during the days of King David by the Elohists who established themselves as political allies to the king. They take their name from the Israelite High Priest Zadok, who was an ally of King David and strong Elohist himself. This sect places tradition above all and sees potential enemies nearly everywhere; their membership has almost always been pulled from a healthy mix of Judaeans and Samaritans. These mages fashion themselves as the default spiritual leaders of Sleepers and Awakened who are bringing their people to enlightenment through piety. HaMishmarim “The Guards” trace their practices back to the Babylonian Captivity. They were the few left in the land after most were dispersed across the empire and take pride in their forebearers; this group is entirely comprised of Samaritans. These mages can be found mostly around cities in settlements; awaiting the unexpected. B’nai HaMelekh “Children of the King” claim King Solomon as their patron. This group is made up of those who have continued to secretly practice the ancient Israelite ways often times members go as far as naming themselves as children of their deities for great deeds; this small coed group is made up of Judaeans, Samaritans, and even the occasional random member of a related group of people. Mages of this sect are likely to spend their time undermining the structures of the priesthood and trying to make the lives of Sleepers easy by actively hunting those who prey on them. The Qedeshah are the remnants of the old ways. They were there in Egypt and they want back in. This predominately female sect was created after the reforms of King Josiah kicked women out of the national cult; Judaeans and Samaritans alike may join, as long as they’re either those seeking to restore the old ways or give reverence to the divine feminine. These mages spend much of their time collecting artifacts and hidden knowledge from their past glory. All are reigned in by the Knesset HaDerekh that is made up of proportional representatives. The eldest and most accomplished holds final say on all disagreements.
      • Organization: Amongst the Kohanim, it is common that an Awakened pupil will have an assortment of Awakened and Sleeper teachers made of all of those higher up than him in the Temple. Banot HaKohenim, Kohenot, and Weavers are taught nearly exclusively from Awakened members of the priesthood since they’re common abilities allow for an understanding that they don’t share with their Sleeper males. Amongst the Leviim, they take to the road; not caring about the hang-ups of the Kohanim and taking at most two students with them as they spread merriment from city to village. Those not born into any priestly class directly are commonly brought in secret to them, or they may be taught by a wandering sage of an order. Those who don’t count as priests usually become hermits who’ll take a few students into the wilderness to learn.
      • Oblations: Study the Torah of your ancestors, engage in ritual acts of cleanliness, bless others, sacrifice an unblemished beast to El Elyon, do proper Temple rituals, make beautiful music, do good for the larger community.
      • Legacies: Amongst the Judeans and Samaritans some mystical traditions have grown to be rather common. A group similar to what modern mages know as Stygian Heralds appeared in this time. What one day will be known as Stone Scribes took up residence with the all of the factions. Amongst those priestly orders, you can find small groups not unlike what we understand to be the Choir of Hashmallim and another similar to Clavicularius as well.
    • Future Fate: These days see in part the formulation of what will be known as Kabbalah centuries later; a mystic tradition that will revolution Jewish thought and the whole of the occult. As later rulers instituted practices that insulted long-held beliefs and traditions, the Awakened amongst the Jews and Samaritans commonly tried to keep to their faith, cult, and practices even with the rise of the Diamond Orders. Many would still join the Diamond Orders, and others would become high ranking members of the assortment of political and religious groups that will become pivotal in the development of later faiths and politics.
    Last edited by Spectre9924; 12-21-2018, 12:09 PM.

  • #2
    What about non-Kohen and non-Levite Awakened?

    Kedeshah refers to the practice of sacred prostitution, not something practiced in Judaism, even if you intend for them to be the outcasts or pre-monotheistic remnants, it seems odd to cast them as prostitutes.

    You switch from using "Kohanim" to using "Kohens" and then back again, I'd just stick with "Kohanim."


    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______


    As a Jew I really like the writeups, your Vampire one was excellent, and this one is shaping up pretty well so far. Too often fiction presents a pseudo-Hellenistic view and a Christian view, but no Jewish view, and it's nice to see a fleshed out Jewish view that doesn't shy away from the historic schisms that early Judaism dealt with.


    Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology; Priests of the Watchful Eternity - a 2e Silver Ladder Moros Legacy (Life/Death) of Mages that enhance Mortals to fight strange entities

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you very much! I started these Jewish write-ups for a group at my Hillel and it's enjoyable being able to delve into stuff.

      Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
      What about non-Kohen and non-Levite Awakened?

      Very true. I partially overlooked that and just assumed to shoehorn them in with Kohens and Levites and use an excuse like "both are already Proximi" and "they're adopted in". I'm unsure if I wasn't thorough enough, or if there was a place for men to serve. I was going to make them sages, but that wouldn't come up for another century or so. That could work given I allowed the Qedeshah. I'm open to a better term.

      Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
      Kedeshah refers to the practice of sacred prostitution, not something practiced in Judaism, even if you intend for them to be the outcasts or pre-monotheistic remnants, it seems odd to cast them as prostitutes.
      That's definitely intended to be a throwback to pre-Josiah. They're utterly henotheistic/monolatristic and polytheistic. Kedeshah as a form of sacred prostitution was gone by the time of monotheism and the banning of women in the national cult, but I kinda of mean these ones to be pseudo-radicals for the time period. They'd not only rely on the divine feminine but worship the Israelite deities of antiquity. I'm open to a better term though.
      Last edited by Spectre9924; 12-15-2018, 03:20 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting.i didn’t know that Women were not allowed in temple life.

        Does the Yellidim HaDerekh Associated Satan with the Mastigo Path ?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
          Thank you very much! I started these Jewish write-ups for a group at my Hillel and it's enjoyable being able to delve into stuff.


          Very true. I partially overlooked that and just assumed to shoehorn them in with Kohens and Levites and use an excuse like "both are already Proximi" and "they're adopted in". I'm unsure if I wasn't thorough enough, or if there was a place for men to serve. I was going to make them sages, but that wouldn't come up for another century or so. That could work given I allowed the Qedeshah. I'm open to a better term.
          A few ideas:
          • While Awakenings are rare, Awakenings among the Kohanim and Leviim are significantly less rare than among other populations (the reason for which is a Mystery), the few Awakened from the other tribes are such a small portion of the Awakened Jewish community that it's easy to fudge the records and adopt them into the Leviim.
          • Awakenings are evenly distributed throughout the population, but the Awakened Kohanim and Leviim are the ones that are best able to preserve the knowledge, and so occupy an analogous place in Awakened society that non-Awakened Kohanim and Leviim do in Sleeper society. Those that don't like this hierarchy break towards the Kedeshah.
          • The percent of Awakened among the Hebrews is the same as any other area, but 100% carry Levite or Kohen blood.
          • Awakenings proceed normally, but only those that Awaken from the (probably Obrimos based) Kohen or Levite Proximi dynasties are allowed to live, all other Awakened are hunted down and purged for witchcraft.
          Personally I like the second one the best, but 1 and 3 would provide Mysteries as to why the disparity exists. Four seems too much like a Seers of the Throne 'thing.'


          That's definitely intended to be a throwback to pre-Josiah. They're utterly henotheistic/monolatristic and polytheistic. Kedeshah as a form of sacred prostitution was gone by the time of monotheism and the banning of women in the national cult, but I kinda of mean these ones to be pseudo-radicals for the time period. They'd not only rely on the divine feminine but worship the Israelite deities of antiquity. I'm open to a better term though.
          If they're using the name as a rebellious, almost ironic, branding, then it certainly works. They could also name themselves after one of the old Semitic gods.


          Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
          Interesting.i didn’t know that Women were not allowed in temple life.

          Does the Yellidim HaDerekh Associated Satan with the Mastigo Path ?
          Keep in mind that in Judaism, "satan" is a title applied to an angel, it is not necessarily a specific entity,
          Last edited by proindrakenzol; 12-15-2018, 03:51 AM.


          Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology; Priests of the Watchful Eternity - a 2e Silver Ladder Moros Legacy (Life/Death) of Mages that enhance Mortals to fight strange entities

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

            A few ideas:
            • While Awakenings are rare, Awakenings among the Kohanim and Leviim are significantly less rare than among other populations (the reason for which is a Mystery), the few Awakened from the other tribes are such a small portion of the Awakened Jewish community that it's easy to fudge the records and adopt them into the Leviim.
            • Awakenings are evenly distributed throughout the population, but the Awakened Kohanim and Leviim are the ones that are best able to preserve the knowledge, and so occupy an analogous place in Awakened society that non-Awakened Kohanim and Leviim do in Sleeper society. Those that don't like this hierarchy break towards the Kedeshah.
            • The percent of Awakened among the Hebrews is the same as any other area, but 100% carry Levite or Kohen blood.
            • Awakenings proceed normally, but only those that Awaken from the (probably Obrimos based) Kohen or Levite Proximi dynasties are allowed to live, all other Awakened are hunted down and purged for witchcraft.
            Personally I like the second one the best, but 1 and 3 would provide Mysteries as to why the disparity exists. Four seems too much like a Seers of the Throne 'thing.'




            If they're using the name as a rebellious, almost ironic, branding, then it certainly works. They could also name themselves after one of the old Semitic gods.




            Keep in mind that in Judaism, "satan" is a title applied to an angel, it is not necessarily a specific entity,
            Isn’t it kind of Iffy that certain ethnic groups awaken more often then others?

            And yes I was talking about the Jewish conception of Satan

            Comment


            • #7
              Have you given any thought to the Time Before? I mean, there's the obvious flood myth, though I always wondered about using the United Monarchy, kinda like how Camelot would be to British mages.

              Actually, I guess there's been several Times Before so there's no real need to choose.

              Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
              What one day will be known as Stone Scribes take up residence with the all of the factions... and another similar to Clavicularius as well. ​
              I'd be curious what your thoughts are on the relation between these two and their fellow legacy members in the Weret-Hakau and the Karpani? I mean, presumably, they'd see the commonality.


              Comment


              • #8
                OK, one of my first reactions is that while good, this write-up would be really rough on anyone that hasn't taken some serious courses on the academic study of classical Judaism. There's a lot of terminology that's fairly specialized that's not going to make sense to readers not familiar with them. Most people have no idea about Aserah, and her worship, since most people think Jews were monotheists from the moment they left Egypt and were consistently so since. This also tends to not communicate a lot about what it means to play an Awakened Jew in this era. "The monotheists and patriarchy are winning/basically won" gets a lot of attention, which is important, but there's a lot of other issues during this era that could be interesting game hooks and are important to understanding how to approach play. Constraining the social conflict between Hellenic assimilation, and traditionalism to "fluctuate in the centuries after his death," is a pretty big sweeping aside a pretty big deal. The fracturing due to the different ruling empires deserves a lot more attention as well; especially the Persians given the era in question. Discussing Judea and Samaria without the important differences between them seems out of place as well.

                Some point by point stuff (and sorry if I get a bit nitpicking here):

                Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
                Yellidim HaDerekh
                OK this makes no sense. In no period of Hebrew would adults use Y-L-D in this fashion. Yeled denotes someone that is a physical child, not someone that is an heir, successor, or whatever like it can mean in English. B-N has always been used for this sort of meaning. Bene Ha'Derekh would be used if you didn't want to imply everyone in the group is a minor.

                Derekh is also out of place since it's a very vague word, with no inherent connection back to the Mythos you went with (which was a good choice for lining up with the game's Gnostic premise). If this is literal.. it only makes sense for the Levi faction as presented. If it's meant more metaphorically... which one?

                Basically... why would they call themselves this?

                Eretz Israel
                This is... kinda confusing. The terms describing the whole of Judea and Samaria wouldn't be in use because of the division of the Kingdoms. Especially since before Samaria was reduced to a province of under various powers, it was the Kingdom of Israel separated from the Kingdom of Judea. It would be a pretty long time until the idea of a reunified Eretz Israel would be used to describe the actual territory instead of a religious ideal. Alexander went to Yehud, as the Persian autonomous province where the kingdom of Judea was was called.

                Away from the Temple and the centers of Torah learning those who cling to the old ways of henotheism call upon Asherah, Anat, and others far from prying eyes.Those who still practice the cult of the Israelites and the forebearers of what will become the Sleeper sects that would vie for religious and political power.
                This passage paints a somewhat questionable depiction of pre-Second Temple practices. It makes it sound like the Israelites before the conquest of Canaan were much more polytheistic, with a steady move towards monotheism over time, rather than the explosion of schisms that happened post-conquest that the henotheists and monotheists constantly pushed back against until they actually went further than the traditions they claimed to be going back to.

                Factions: The Kohanim, Levites, and Qedeshah are the Awakened that hail from Judea and Samaria.
                Why are the Kohanim and the Leviim different factions? They're part of the same religious system that need to work together.

                It seems like it would be a more reasonable breakdown to have the Samaritan faction (Already strongly monotheist at this point, highly intolerant of schisms via isolationism and lacking in political or economic power, but relatively less patriarchal by why little evidence we have, but run with it for the game), the Judean faction (struggling with the more recent monotheist and patriarchal purges, more schisms despite crackdowns due to that and more exposure to foreign cultures by maintaining political power with the Persian then Hellenistic rulers), and the Kedeshah as an example of one of the more wide-spread/powerful schism factions by virtue of empowering women where even the more tolerant Samaritan traditions aren't close to egalitarian.

                Awakened Kohens took to using the positions of Kohenet, Bat Kohen, and Temple Weavers to teach women who Awakened.
                Kohenet wouldn't be an extant position at this point (and there's no solid evidence it was actually called that earlier), while Bat Kohen isn't a position as much as a religious genealogical marker; a Bat Kohen didn't have any particular status or position to be learning mystic secrets just because of her birth. Also both of these are singular forms, not plurals.

                The Qedeshah are the remnants of what was once the equality of their people.
                Equality is a massive stretch. While this period did represent a massive loss of social status for women in Judaism that Judaism is still recovering from, you're not going to find some period of true equality between genders in Judaic history. Niddah alone ensured systemic inequality (esp. in religious matters).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
                  A few ideas:
                  • While Awakenings are rare, Awakenings among the Kohanim and Leviim are significantly less rare than among other populations (the reason for which is a Mystery), the few Awakened from the other tribes are such a small portion of the Awakened Jewish community that it's easy to fudge the records and adopt them into the Leviim.
                  • Awakenings are evenly distributed throughout the population, but the Awakened Kohanim and Leviim are the ones that are best able to preserve the knowledge, and so occupy an analogous place in Awakened society that non-Awakened Kohanim and Leviim do in Sleeper society. Those that don't like this hierarchy break towards the Kedeshah.
                  I agree with these possible applications and it would be given a disparity between the groups that would play into their rivalries.
                  Last edited by Spectre9924; 12-15-2018, 10:42 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    Have you given any thought to the Time Before? I mean, there's the obvious flood myth, though I always wondered about using the United Monarchy, kinda like how Camelot would be to British mages.
                    Actually, I guess there's been several Times Before so there's no real need to choose.
                    I like the idea of that. Especially the time of Solomon would work.

                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    I'd be curious what your thoughts are on the relation between these two and their fellow legacy members in the Weret-Hakau and the Karpani? I mean, presumably, they'd see the commonality.


                    They would definitely have relatively close relations with Karpani and Weret-Haku. While theological and cultural disagreements will be the norm, when presented by a new threat some amongst the groups join or resist. I should spend more time looking into Kemetic and Zoroastrian relations with Second Temple Judaism. I expect that a fair amount of syncreticism will exist, especially with the Weret-Haku since their was a Temple located on Elephatine.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      This also tends to not communicate a lot about what it means to play an Awakened Jew in this era. "The monotheists and patriarchy are winning/basically won" gets a lot of attention, which is important, but there's a lot of other issues during this era that could be interesting game hooks and are important to understanding how to approach play. Constraining the social conflict between Hellenic assimilation, and traditionalism to "fluctuate in the centuries after his death," is a pretty big sweeping aside a pretty big deal. The fracturing due to the different ruling empires deserves a lot more attention as well; especially the Persians given the era in question. Discussing Judea and Samaria without the important differences between them seems out of place as well.
                      Very true. I'll work on them being more included. I got caught up in the religious reforms and gender statuses.
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      OK, this makes no sense. In no period of Hebrew would adults use Y-L-D in this fashion. Yeled denotes someone that is a physical child, not someone that is an heir, successor, or whatever like it can mean in English. B-N has always been used for this sort of meaning. Bene Ha'Derekh would be used if you didn't want to imply everyone in the group is a minor.
                      Derekh is also out of place since it's a very vague word, with no inherent connection back to the Mythos you went with (which was a good choice for lining up with the game's Gnostic premise). If this is literal.. it only makes sense for the Levi faction as presented. If it's meant more metaphorically... which one?
                      Basically... why would they call themselves this?
                      Thank you! As I wrote it, it kinda felt out of place. I don't have a strong command of Hebrew and that was definitely a mistake. I thought HaDerekh "the road", as a metaphor for the descending of magic from the Hekhalot. Bene will be added!
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      This is... kinda confusing. The terms describing the whole of Judea and Samaria wouldn't be in use because of the division of the Kingdoms. Especially since before Samaria was reduced to a province of under various powers, it was the Kingdom of Israel separated from the Kingdom of Judea. It would be a pretty long time until the idea of a reunified Eretz Israel would be used to describe the actual territory instead of a religious ideal. Alexander went to Yehud, as the Persian autonomous province where the kingdom of Judea was called.
                      Ah! I was using it more in a spiritual sense of the term, though that makes a lot more sense.
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      This passage paints a somewhat questionable depiction of pre-Second Temple practices. It makes it sound like the Israelites before the conquest of Canaan were much more polytheistic, with a steady move towards monotheism over time, rather than the explosion of schisms that happened post-conquest that the henotheists and monotheists constantly pushed back against until they actually went further than the traditions they claimed to be going back to. Why are the Kohanim and the Leviim different factions? They're part of the same religious system that needs to work together. It seems like it would be a more reasonable breakdown to have the Samaritan faction (Already strongly monotheist at this point, highly intolerant of schisms via isolationism and lacking in political or economic power, but relatively less patriarchal by why little evidence we have, but run with it for the game), the Judean faction (struggling with the more recent monotheist and patriarchal purges, more schisms despite crackdowns due to that and more exposure to foreign cultures by maintaining political power with the Persian then Hellenistic rulers), and the Kedeshah as an example of one of the more wide-spread/powerful schism factions by virtue of empowering women where even the more tolerant Samaritan traditions aren't close to egalitarian.
                      That makes a lot more sense. I was really thinking of them being "factions" as in schools of thought than groups that might be antagonistic. Making it based on the nations would be great! The Judean faction may even have relations with the Weret-Haku and Karpani. What should I call the Judean and Samaritan sects? I was originally going to make Qedeshah exclusively female, but would that be wise?
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      Kohenet wouldn't be an extant position at this point (and there's no solid evidence it was actually called that earlier), while Bat Kohen isn't a position as much as a religious genealogical marker; a Bat Kohen didn't have any particular status or position to be learning mystic secrets just because of her birth. Also, both of these are singular forms, not plurals. Equality is a massive stretch. While this period did represent a massive loss of social status for women in Judaism that Judaism is still recovering from, you're not going to find some period of true equality between genders in Judaic history. Niddah alone ensured systemic inequality (esp. in religious matters).
                      Ah! I was ignorant of the term Kohenet not existing at the time. I do know that according to nearby sources that worked with the Israelites centuries earlier that on some documents a similar term appeared. I was thinking the Bat-Kohen being able to learn mostly by virtue of having access to a father/father figure who is able and willing to teach them. Not a spiritual significance per se. Extremely true. I used overly hopeful terminology in the description that does more disservice than anything. What should I use as the plural? I feel like some of my biggest issues are with only knowing a small portion of Hebrew. Where can I find a resource or someone able to help out?





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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
                        I thought HaDerekh "the road", as a metaphor for the descending of magic from the Hekhalot.
                        Ah!

                        I'd suggest you use Ha'Merkabah here then. While To The Strongest is a bit early for this to be widespread in general Jewish culture, chariots were already a cultural metaphor for divine travel of wisdom from Helakhot to man (chariots are associated with visions/prophecy). This would eventually become a central metaphor in proto- and early Kabbalistic mysticism (also a place for things to go with the Future Fates section).

                        I was really thinking of them being "factions" as in schools of thought than groups that might be antagonistic.
                        There's still some room for this, especially in the Judean tradition, since the schisms it keeps facing are born from the lack of philosophic unity present (even if they'd operate as one larger faction in the face of the Samaritans or powerful schisms).

                        What should I call the Judean and Samaritan sects? I was originally going to make Qedeshah exclusively female, but would that be wise?
                        Building off my last point? The problem is that it's hard to name these because while there's a lot of disunity, it existed along multiple ideological spectra rather than in more coherent schools/philosophies to name. In a precursor to Rabbinic Judaism, mentor/student groups tended to be the strongest cohesive elements. The easiest thing would probably be to pick the most prominent religious figures and name the factions in their honor.

                        As for them being exclusively female? I guess it kinds of mean what you mean. Is this only female Awakened, while male sleeper and Proximi would be part of their practice? Or female only down to the lowest level? How do they handle magic making physical sex something very malleable?

                        Ah! I was ignorant of the term Kohenet not existing at the time. I do know that according to nearby sources that worked with the Israelites centuries earlier that on some documents a similar term appeared.
                        It's messy because we have very sparse written records that can't be questioned as being influenced by the reforms going on.

                        Also remember that kohen just means "priest" and even during the classical era would be used to describe state/nation religious priests of other cultures. There seemed to be a definite trend to use more misogynistic terms for priestess of other religions (though this might have just been the patriarchal forces at the time trying to normalize the idea that women in any cultural worship was bad).

                        Part of the issue is that while the Kohenim as a family/political unit within the religion included both sexes, only men could ever serve the specific ritual functions as Aaron's heirs. There was never a need to specify a female member of the Kohenim as a priestess since that wasn't their function.

                        I was thinking the Bat-Kohen being able to learn mostly by virtue of having access to a father/father figure who is able and willing to teach them.
                        She'd certainly have training most people wouldn't, but it would be dominated with "how not to ritually taint yourself and possible be kicked out of the Kohenim," rather than explaining deeper mysteries. It could be a cover... but it would be a very weak one. A Bat Kohen saying, "oh, I know that because my father included it in my lessons," would be highly suspicious. "I overheard some of my father's lessons to my brother(s)" might work for a blurted out statement.

                        What should I use as the plural?
                        Banot is the plural of Bat. How to combine that with Kohen is contextual though. Banot Kohenim would be the most broadly applicable form, but a bit generic for the culture of the time (since it could be said to include daughters of priests of other cults). Banot Ha'Kohenim would probably be the best phrase to use to indicate the specific Kohen family of the Jews.

                        I feel like some of my biggest issues are with only knowing a small portion of Hebrew. Where can I find a resource or someone able to help out?
                        I mean, I'm willing to help put all those years of study to use.

                        I don't want to pry on where you live, but I find local sources better than online ones for this sort of thing... though I'm biased because my brother-in-law is great at this stuff, even if asking him for sources is a pain because he'd just point to a book he has that's only available in Aramaic making it hard to help others for stuff like this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          I'd suggest you use Ha'Merkabah here then. While To The Strongest is a bit early for this to be widespread in general Jewish culture, chariots were already a cultural metaphor for divine travel of wisdom from Helakhot to man (chariots are associated with visions/prophecy). This would eventually become a central metaphor in proto- and early Kabbalistic mysticism (also a place for things to go with the Future Fates section).
                          Thank you very much!!
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          There's still some room for this, especially in the Judean tradition, since the schisms it keeps facing are born from the lack of philosophic unity present (even if they'd operate as one larger faction in the face of the Samaritans or powerful schisms). Building off my last point? The problem is that it's hard to name these because while there's a lot of disunities, it existed along multiple ideological spectra rather than in more coherent schools/philosophies to name. In a precursor to Rabbinic Judaism, mentor/student groups tended to be the strongest cohesive elements. The easiest thing would probably be to pick the most prominent religious figures and name the factions in their honor.

                          I'll work that in. Possibly making the factions be born out of the priestly divisions.
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          As for them being exclusively female? I guess it kinds of mean what you mean. Is this only female Awakened, while male sleeper and Proximi would be part of their practice? Or female only down to the lowest level? How do they handle magic making physical sex something very malleable?

                          Probably all female down to the Sleepers and Proximi who assist in rituals. Their issues with sex come more so from fear of males betraying them to those who'd subjugate them.


                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          I mean, I'm willing to help put all those years of study to use.

                          I don't want to pry on where you live, but I find local sources better than online ones for this sort of thing... though I'm biased because my brother-in-law is great at this stuff, even if asking him for sources is a pain because he'd just point to a book he has that's only available in Aramaic making it hard to help others for stuff like this.
                          Thank you very much! Do you know places in New York or Atlanta? I sent my Google Doc if you might be interested.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
                            Probably all female down to the Sleepers and Proximi who assist in rituals. Their issues with sex come more so from fear of males betraying them to those who'd subjugate them.
                            I think this is probably going too far then. There are theological issues (they're representing a philosophic position of greater egalitarian access to religious practice, not fighting for a divine feminine version of monotheism), and practical issues (lots of women constantly going off on their own without any men is going to raise questions, or be very limiting on when they can meet; as well as the ease a Life mage could disguise themselves as a woman to spy on them since even recognizing the magic would out them as schismatic Awakened).

                            I think it's also worth remembering that these are largely extended family cultures. It's easy to betray someone in the abstract. It's harder when they're your aunt, or cousin, or sister-in-law. Keeping the loyalty of males within the extended family is both easier when you consider it in that light, and practical because it reduces suspicion if, say, the men are outside hanging out (aka keeping watch) while the women are inside studying.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              I think this is probably going too far then. There are theological issues (they're representing a philosophic position of greater egalitarian access to religious practice, not fighting for a divine feminine version of monotheism), and practical issues (lots of women constantly going off on their own without any men is going to raise questions, or be very limited on when they can meet; as well as the ease a Life mage could disguise themselves as a woman to spy on them since even recognizing the magic would out them as schismatic Awakened).
                              That's fair and makes more sense. Possibly make it so that women hold real authority, men are still allowed to join.
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              I think it's also worth remembering that these are largely extended family cultures. It's easy to betray someone in the abstract. It's harder when they're your aunt, or cousin, or sister-in-law. Keeping the loyalty of males within the extended family is both easier when you consider it in that light, and practical because it reduces suspicion if, say, the men are outside hanging out (aka keeping watch) while the women are inside studying.
                              Very true. I was thinking of the Qedeshah being more female-led and introducing another group that is closer to truly egalitarian.

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