Religion in Albion | World Anvil


In short, Albion is a religiously diverse community. While Christianity still is a reasonably common option, it is not the central one.   People's personal religious preferences tend to be moderately private unless they become directly relevant to others. This is more because there's usually a quick explanation of a couple of sentences, and a longer explanation takes time, so people tend not to get into the details in more superficial conversations.  

The history

The Tudor period (especially the Dissolution of the Monastaries, under Henry VIII) and then later religious dissent under Oliver Cromwell meant that many of the more powerful families (the First and Third Families in particular, those proud of their Roman and Continental European roots) began expanding their famililal magic traditions, leaning on threads of reconstructionist polytheistic religion to bridge the gaps.  


Chances are good, in other words, that most of the First and Third Families have some sort of family temple space where they honour their ancestors, a moderate number of particular deities (most commonly Greek or Roman, but with some Gallic, Britanno-Roman, or Celtic deities mixed in). The Second Families have often continued magical traditions from Northern Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East.   While there are still a number of other religions represented in Albion, Chrisitianity, especially in its more structured establishment forms, became one among many rather than the dominant religion. Some religious communities make relatively little distinction between magical and non-magical, except as required by the Pact. Many Jewish communities, for example, expect their rituals and practices to be much the same either way, quite explicitly.   This means that the common religious spaces in the magical community like the Temple of Healing tend to first have a particular focus (healing, justice, community support), and have priests or priestesses of particular religions supporting that.   Many families have personal lines of magic and religious practice that twine together, along with various seasonal customs. These can include:
  • An ancestor shrine or altar where offerings are made regularly.
  • Familial gods who are honoured regulary (and for specific holy days).
  • Seasonal rites and rituals (often connected to the local land magic).
  • Blessing, purification, and protection rituals and magics anchored in the family.
  • Particular customs around birth, adulthood, marriage, or death. (Golshan Soltani refers briefly to some of his family customs for a new baby in Casting Nasturtiums)
People may also make particular religious commitments based on profession. Check out the Books in context for specific characters here.  

Oaths and commitments

Some professions - notably the Healers and nurses - make oaths to a particular deity as part of their commitment to the profession. (Carry On looks at this in more detail.)   People in other professions may do so as well, but they are less commonly required in other fields. A small number of people focus on being sworn priests or priestesses of a particular deity, and more commonly take on that role within their particular religion as well as other professions or ways they spend their time.   There is a sizeable Jewish community (some magical, some not) in Spitalfields in London (The Fossil Door touches on this, since Avigail Levy is deeply part of that community), and London is home to an active Hindu community in the 1920s.   The Five Schools all make accomodations for personal religious celebrations, dietary limitations, and other aspects. (At Schola, Dipti Acharya is Hindu, Zimri Hallerton and Camellia Levy in the infirmary are observant Jewish, and Shiva Armadi is Zoroastrian, for example.)  

Seasonal rituals

A lot of the communal rituals are based around the land magic obligations. These vary from location to location - there isn't one fixed calendar of events that everyone celebrates. Nor do they celebrate them all the same way! However, it's common to have some sort of festival or event at:   • Spring equinox
• May Day (May 1st)
• Summer solstice
• Harvest
• Winter solstice
  But of course, some places have two or three or five separate harvest events, some may celebrate the return of the sun in February as well as at winter solstice, some places may honour a particular saint or magical event. The Five Schools do plan their terms to allow holidays over winter solstice, spring equinox, and summer, and will make arrangements for students to return to their families briefly for harvest festivals or May Day as needed.   Customarily, these are community-centred events, anchored in the local land. Religious observances may also be a part of them for some or many people in the area, but they are generally conducted in a way that allows people not of that religion to avoid the religious portions if they wish. (Similarly, they're most often conducted in a way that means guests of good will are welcome, with more private rituals held away from others.)