Seiran

The Goddess of Secrets and Stars

And so the goddess Seiran turned her back on Fen and walked away, her night-black hair trailing behind her like a veil of stars.
— Excerpt from The Wolfborn, a Koushan Mai myth
  Seiran is a deity of the Gen Mai pantheon, worshipped by both the Koushan Mai and several clans of dragons. She is the Goddess of Secrets and Stars, of lost items and hidden places, of constellations and the night sky. She is present in the spaces in between breaths, and in the moments between sleeping and waking.   Some know her as the Goddess of Lies, though it is said that she smiles only upon those falsehoods told with a selfless heart - an untruth to keep something concealed, or a whisper of comfort to a child about to die.  

Appearance

  Seiran is usually depicted as a young woman in her early twenties. She is slender-framed, almost ethereal in her appearance, and some have described her as fragile. Her skin is pale, almost white, and appears to faintly shine in certain lights. Her long, dark hair flows down to her waist, and within it glows a myriad of stars, shimmering like the night sky. Her eyes are solid black, including the sclera; like her hair, stars glitter inside them.   She is often said to wear dresses formed of woven starlight, bright and insubstantial. In other tales, she wears gowns cut from the darkest night, that wreathe her form and swallow all light. It is taboo to depict Seiran naked; legend tells that the one mortal to see her unclothed was devoured by a pool of shadow.  

Origin

  Seiran is one of the younger gods in the Gen Mai pantheon. She does not appear in many of the oldest myths of the Koushan Mai people, though she was clearly part of the mythology before the end of the Renewal.   The myths are unclear and contradictory on the matter of Seiran's parentage. Most legends tell that Seiran's mother is Kore, the Goddess of the Moon, which is reflected in the fact that they are both considered goddesses of the night sky. Unlike Kore's other children - Rhod and Eodin, the Gods of Dawn and Dusk respectively - it is generally accepted that Seiran's father is not Hakan, God of the Sun.   Some stories hint that Seiran's father is Lel, the God of Fate, whilst others point towards a mortal man. Though this man often remains without an identity, some candidates include the mythological heroes Deren, Soren, and Vesar, as well as an unnamed, crippled blacksmith that Kore took pity upon.   One myth, only told within one isolated clan of Koushan Mai, tells of a different parentage for Seiran. This myth tells that Seiran is the result of a union between Lel and a mortal man; in this myth, Lel is Seiran's mother rather than her potential father.   The mystery surrounding Seiran's parentage is one of the reasons she is worshipped as the goddess of secrets. Most of her worshippers agree that the truth is not meant to be known.   The story of Seiran's birth, however, is largely agreed upon. She was born on a black, bleak night in the middle of winter. It was a long, difficult labour that had lasted much of the previous day. Her mother's tears of joy at her eventual safe birth became the stars that now glimmer in the night sky.    

Worship

  Worship of the goddess Seiran tends to be quieter and more personal than the worship of some of the other gods in the Gen Mai pantheon. Prayers are usually offered to her in the silent moments of night time.  

Temples

Before Vasethal became Caillah and Serukis, there were three temples dedicated to Seiran. Two were in the open grasslands of the Great Plains, where the skies were endless; one was called the Tower of Stars, and the other was called the Sanctum of the Lost. The other was located in the mountains of The Teeth, and was known as the House of Silence. In the current year, only the House of Silence remains, the others having been pillaged for their stone a long time ago.   Each of these temples had a large chamber at their centre that was open to the sky, where priests could go to observe the movements of the stars. The temples themselves are shaped like six-pointed stars.  

Festivals

There are two festivals associated with the worship of Seiran in Gen Mai religion. One festival is held on the night of the summer solstice, and one on the night of the winter solstice. If the night of the solstice is overcast, the festival is held on the first clear night after.   On both nights, followers of Gen Mai stay up late and look up at the stars. They try to find patterns in the sky by tracing from one star to the next. The pattern someone sees first is seen as an omen for the next few months to come.   After that, fires are lit and people huddle around them, drink alcohol, and tell stories of the months that have passed. It is a time to share news and ensure that no unintentional secrets are kept between loved ones. People often choose these nights to announce good news, such as pregnancies or a new relationship.

Symbology

The most well known symbol of Seiran is a six-pointed star with an eye at its centre. This is most often the symbol that worshippers of Seiran get tattooed as part of their fate markings.   Another symbol associated with Seiran is the spider. Specifically, wisp spiders are considered to be sacred creatures to the goddess and it is taboo to harm them.   Other symbols used to denote worship of Seiran are open eyes, stars in any form, and a gesture where the middle finger is placed on the lips. Shooting stars, when they are spotted, are said to be a good omen from Seiran herself.
Names
Seiran, The Goddess of Secrets and Stars, The Goddess of Lies, The Spider Queen
 
Pantheon
Gen Mai
 
Sex
Female
 
Gender Identity
Female
 
Children
Akor, Esris

The Spider Queen

 
Always check the walls for spiders, else they will spin your words into their webs.
— Koushan Mai proverb
  One of the most famous myths about Seiran is the tale of her relationship with the Lord of Spiders.   One day, Seiran was wandering in the dark, ancient forests of the land, where most dare not tread. These forests were home to monstrous beings, many immortal and just as powerful as the gods. One of these was Isor, the Lord of Spiders, a creature with the upper body of a man and the abdomen and legs of a spider. Without realising, the young goddess trespassed in his domain, deep in the forest where the sky was completely choked by trees, and found herself hopelessly trapped in his web.     Usually, Isor and his children devoured anything unlucky enough to get caught in his web, but Seiran was different from his usual prey. She did not scream when he approached, but talked to him. Amused and intrigued, Isor let the young goddess live, but he did not let her leave.   Over the next few months, Seiran continued to talk, and the two grew fond of each other. When she told Isor how much she missed the stars, he created wisp spiders for her, pale spiders that glowed and created a false sky in the canopy.   Time passed differently in the forest. Seiran bore Isor two sons, Akor and Esris, but it soon became clear that she was withering away in his starless realm. Isor loved her, so he let her leave, and she took with her Esris, who was still nursing. Akor remained with his father.   Seiran never returned to Isor's forest, but from that moment on, spiders became a part of her domain.  


Cover image: by Free-Photos
Character Portrait image: by Artbreeder

Comments

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20 Dec, 2020 17:39

Always check the walls for spiders, else they will spin your words into their webs.
  That is such an amazing quote for a fantastic article. A real wonderful piece of superstition :D  
She is present in the spaces in between breaths, and in the moments between sleeping and waking.
  That is another beautiful, excellent line, and I just love it. Really great work Emy <3

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
20 Dec, 2020 17:45

Aw, thanks so much, Q. That means a lot! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
20 Dec, 2020 17:47

Love it! Q preceded me on quoting back at you those two passages <3 The little snippet that caught my immaginario is the fact that the two temples in the plains were pillaged for stones, the image of the piles of stones in the areas were prehistorical villages used to be in Sardinia, flashed in my eyes. Beautiful as usual <3

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
20 Dec, 2020 17:57

Thank you so much! Yeah, I always think about the monastaries in England that got torn down when I think about that. It's sad.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
20 Dec, 2020 18:07

Absolutely blown it out the park on this one Emy, the two quotes as Q has already pointed out are genuinely beautiful. A fantastic tale full of myth and emotion to which I cannot find a single fault with! In anxiously wait for whenever the rest of the gods mentioned and not appear in my notification feed in the future.

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides - Welcome to Destiny!
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
20 Dec, 2020 18:09

Aw, thank you so much! <3 Every article seems to breed more articles for me to write, haha. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
20 Dec, 2020 18:26

Amazing article! I really loved reading about her, I feel like she'd get on really well with Kirïal ^^. I really loved the myth about how she met Isor, but I am a little sad to hear she never got to see him again. Also this makes me feel I should really update my god articles with more informations..   Awesome work as always!!

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
20 Dec, 2020 18:29

Thank you so much! I think she would get on with Kirïal too. Isor never seeing her again made me sad too. :( <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
20 Dec, 2020 18:42

I absolutely love the tale of the myth of the relationship between Seiran and Isor <3

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
20 Dec, 2020 18:51

Thank you! That was something that surprised me whilst I was writing but it's my favourite bit too. :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
20 Dec, 2020 19:07

Holy cow. This article is incredible! There are so many great lines, like others have pointed out. Your language here is especially amazing. Everything in this article is son intricately designed it practically comes to life and leaps off of the page. Though it's not over, I've got to say, following your world for World Ember was a great decision. Your writing is incredible and I can't believe I hadn't already followed your world! Great work!

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
20 Dec, 2020 19:34

Aww thank you so much, that means a lot to hear! <3 I really appreciate it! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
20 Dec, 2020 21:01

"She is present in the spaces in between breaths..." Great line.. Also "Always check the walls for spiders, else they will spin your words into their webs." They inspire what makes this a wonderful article.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 11:18

Thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
20 Dec, 2020 22:04

As always, amazing work. Chilling, immersive, wonderfully written.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 11:18

Aw, thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
20 Dec, 2020 22:14

Ooooo lovely quote. Expected nothing less. That opening is beautifully written and goes right for the heart. I love the unique purview of selfless lies as well. That's a new one. Her description is beautifully written and it's awesome to see such a rich history behind her as she developed. The spider queen is my favorite bit here. That's a cool myth and it reminds me of hades and Persephone in many ways. Well done.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 11:22

Thanks so much, Dylon! Hades and Persephone was definitely an unconscious inspiration - very much into Greek mythology here. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Journeyman Sloqush
Sloqush the Sloqush
20 Dec, 2020 22:20

That such an awesome article, I had a great time reading it :D   I especially liked the fact that in spite of being associated with various dark and mysterious concepts such as secrets, lies, and SPIDERS Seiran -and also Isor - turned out to be rather friendly entities.

Explore Sloqush's bleakdark sandox: Cenorad
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 11:23

Thank you! I'm glad that came across! :D Isor is very interesting - I'm looking forward to exploring him some more.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
21 Dec, 2020 02:39

I don't even know where to start. I would like this article ten times if I could. What a beautiful job bringing her to life, and you have added so much depth to both her and her followers. I love this article.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 11:24

Awww, thank you so much <3 <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
21 Dec, 2020 13:17

What an intriguing goddess. The festivals during summer and winter solstices sound like they would be a great experience... looking at the stars and sharing news around the campfire.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 14:50

Yeah, I want to take part in those festivals, for sure! Thank you <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
21 Dec, 2020 14:45

Everything about this is so well done, but the construction of those first two paragraphs is really something else. You certainly know how to draw a reader in. I especially love the bit there about "those falsehoods told with a selfless heart."   Saving this to read again later, because there's so much depth here. Nicely done!

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 14:51

Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun with this article, and I was actually pleased with the writing too! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
21 Dec, 2020 21:29

This is such a beautiful piece. It somehow fills me with warmth and calmness, so much that I think for these past minutes I was actually there, looking at the stars, visiting the forest thick with webs... The mystery surrounding her origin... I;m melting... XD

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
21 Dec, 2020 22:35

Aww, thank you so much! <3 I think this is my favourite article I've written for WorldEmber, so I'm glad you like it! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
22 Dec, 2020 14:13

"She is present in the spaces in between breaths, and in the moments between sleeping and waking." CHILLS literally CHILLS. This has to be your best article yet!

Cait x
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
22 Dec, 2020 14:24

Thank you! It's my favourite one I've done so far! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
23 Dec, 2020 21:49

I love this article - how you've woven in a bunch of different aspects to the goddess, some of which seem out of place until you have the relevant bit if mythology - referring to the title of Spider Queen, which of course is explained by the tale about her and the Lord of Spiders.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
23 Dec, 2020 22:11

Aw thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
24 Dec, 2020 07:53

I'm not crying. I wouldn't die for her. (I definitely am and I definitely would.) This was beautiful. Thank you.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
24 Dec, 2020 13:26

Aww, thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!