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The Followers of the Book of Raervan, traditions of the Dreaming Tree

Each life is a dream, a fragment of the greater whole. We pass from dream to dream.

History

The Centaur religion of the Dreaming Tree says that everyone has their soul in parts in multiple other worlds - some similar and some strange. In Dream the soul travels and sees other parts of itself. Each is a leaf on a branch. In Dreams we pass from branch to branch with new perspectives and insights. In death the fragment moves to a new dream.  You are immortal and born across infinite worlds. The followers strive to unite the parts, gaining wisdom and moving to  higher  or deeper planes of being. Or it should.  The Gods are imperfect steps - manifestation of temptations and sins. Aspects of the people when they  parted from the Dreamtimes.  Beside them and all around are Devas - saints and lesser deities or aspects that help, hinder or mislead.

The traditions formed in the early tribal stone and copper ages, before being unified at the  dawn of the Bronze age around the year 1850.  The older traditions were dominated by Shamen priests and varied from  tribe to tribe.

Execution

The Mysteries involve meditation and seeking to reduce the grip of the Gods.  Prayer and mantras to remind. To center. To guide the focus to connecting to one's other selves and to understand themselves and the universe better in doing so. Practice recognizes the individual is many - a myriad of alternate  selves across infinite worlds that are all "You" and connected in dreaming.  The dead are not gone but exist in all the possibilities and may even be reborn into this world.  One may become more united and clear or become an avatar of a God, or a Deva that helps or hinders others or guides them into the realms of the Gods.  The highest goal is to unite soul fragments and attain an enlightened state in the Dreaming. This may be drawn from the Centaur life cycle where the young grow from the marsupial pouch and merge with the flesh of the parent until they split off  (Calving) as an independent individual after nearly 2 years  incubation. The young have a time imprinted with the life, thoughts and being of the parent.

Death is attended with funeral and memorial.  The body is buried, cremated or entombed. It is an empty vessel. The abandoned home of a family member or friend.  Mourners wear white, the color of ash and bone when telling stories, recalling events and achievements and toasting the passed.

Components and tools

Chants, music and meditations are typical core practices. Mandalla drawings depicting the infinite ways and radiant choices may be meditative focuses to understand the mystery of the fragmented soul. The worshiper consults with priests to understand visions from dreams. Connections to other selves and other persons in the many realms is confusing.  They appeared in your dream, they are the person -yet also not the person of this world.  Taking comfort of visits from lost loved ones or to understand sights of other lives fantastical and strange.

Observance

Worship is in sacred groves, tended by priests for generation or temples carved and shaped into the grove image. Images of the Gods may be individual or around the Dreaming Tree at the heart of the grove or temple.  The ways are many: a wick transfers the flame and light of the candle from one too many without lessening the first.  The leaves are all connected to the tree. Drawings, embroidery or weaving, sculpture or even sand, a pool or a mirror may be the center of focus and meditation.
The community comes together to recall the lives they have known at times of death, and times of memorial. Ancestors, mentors and friends are never truely gone because they exist in every other possible world and may appear in the Dreaming, as can trickster spirits and Devas who may pretend to be familiar persons. Anniversaries, birthdays and death days or other dates may hold special significance to any one follower and be times for special rituals or consultation with priests.  The same for consecrating new structures, changing or taking over old ones or clearing away ruined or destroyed ones. Monthly there are special rituals of cleansing to help shed sins and weights.
The Gods and their Domains are traps. Souls become caught in the realms of the Gods when we focus too much on some aspects. Followers should try to break the grips of the Gods on them so that they may join their full souls across the many  worlds of the Dreaming Tree which is called Rifflian.
Mermalin.  All are beautiful and none should ever pass away lost and forgotten. Mermalin is a God of Undead, perversion and compassion. The God is Pride and a persistence of the ego self that would keep everything the same, frozen forever and denies the merging with the greater parts of the soul. It is yearning and hungering - a ravenous undead or hungry ghost that is never able to fill itself with the missing parts.
Skerrit is a hermit, God of the wilds and the natural world.  All is give and take, balance of predator and prey.  Grazing, fruiting, flowering and cycles. It is the sin of sloth, bestial mindlessness, intemperance, renunciation and surrender.
Bacca is God of Harvests and Nature harnessed, patron of agriculture and sensualism.  This is the trap of greed, gluttony, indulgence and living only for pleasures.
Corellion is the God of Art and culture and products of hand and mind.  Corellion says that we are the truth and fullfilled in self expression and the making of arts and crafts. The priests teach that Corellion is the trap of envy, lust, desire, deciet and wrath. The lust of recognition, the envy over others having greater skills or recognition, desire and want and wrath when the envy is not fed.
Rifflian is the Lord of Trees and Mistress of Dreams. All flesh is the fruit of The Tree. It's branches are the infinite worlds of every choice and it's body is the Dream realm that reaches every world and touches every leaf.  The Dreaming is peace, magic, plenty and passion without want or care.

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Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf

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