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Seûln the Mother

She Who Cries


The stars about the lovely moon
Fade back and vanish very soon,
When, round and full, her silver face
Swims into sight, and lights all space.
Sappho, Fragment on the Moon
Two moons shine in the Danatelian sky, chasing one another through the endless dark. The Mother and the Child, forever united. And just as she watches over her kin, so does she watch over the mortals down below. From the shadows of the night she listens to the sorrows and secrets of the people when society will not. She is the ever faithful companion, who promises to love and care for all like a mother.

Origin and Stories

The Danatelians have a few iterations of their cosmogony, which detail the creation of the world and of the natural order. In most versions, Seûln was created at the dawn of time by Matazel the Lonely like all of the other major gods of the Saohri pantheon. From one of his eyes Matazel made the moon, and from the other he made the sun, and placed them both up in the sky.

From high up Seûln watched as Matazel shaped the earth from his limbs, turned his bones intro trees, and breathed life into the world. She watched as Aher the Free created all living things, and as Deïmon the Bright taught the mortals how to use fire to create. For most of her life Seûln was content to simply watch the world below, until she grew lonely in the night sky. She longed for the love she saw amongst families down below, and the desire for a child of her own grew day after day.

And so the Moon went to see Love, and asked her for a child. Love could not give her one, but she told the Moon where she could find what she most desired.
— Extract from Tales of the Moon

Under a weeping willow Seûln found a child, abandonned by their mother. She took them to the sky and named them Laykan. They grew among the gods like one of their own, until one fateful day as they came to pass as they explored the realm of mortals. Many iterations of stories and myths exist regarding death of Laykan, but most see them killed by some monster or fearful mortal. Heart-broken, Seûln goes to fetch their child from the hellish depths of Almayot itself, and thus Laykan returned from the dead, forever to live among the sky.

Names: Seûln the Mother, the Silver Eye, the Neverseen

Appearance: Seûln is typically depicted as a woman, wearing a large lunar headpiece. Her skin is deep blue and covered with stars, and she wears layered and flowing robes.

Domains: Grave, Life (the Mother), Death, Twilight (the Neverseen), Knowledge (the Silver Eye)
Children
symbol of Seûln
Symbol of Seûln

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Cult of the Moon

Seuln_SeeT.png
Seûln the Mother by Aijxjx
Seûln's qualities are threefold: first, she is a mother, second, she is a confidant, and third, she is vengeful. This mutlifaceted personality has established itself through centuries of worship, and the various qualities of the goddess are exibited throughout various myths, legends and sacred texts. These various aspects of the goddess are typically distinguished through an array of titles and denominations, the most common being the following: the Mother, the Silver Eye, and the Neverseen.

The worship of Seûln the Mother predates the Danatelian Conquest. Her cult is one of the oldest of the Saohri Temple, though it has known many changes throughout history. Historically, the figure of the moon as always been considered a motherly one, as Danatelians have always considered the two moons to be child and parent. It is interesting to note that while the figure of Seûln is designated as a mother, she, like all of the Saohri gods, escapes the concept of gender as it traditionally exists within Danatelian society.

Seûln is often romantically paired with Deïmon the Bright, the Saohri solar goddess, and as a result it isn't unusual for the moon to be considered the divinity in charge of weddings and lasting relationships. During weddings, it is common to invoke her name, in addition to Samara the Lover, to send blessings to the newly married couple and wish them luck in their future life together.

I feel this emptiness, this gaping hole in my chest, a pitch black void that nothing seems to fill. It drains me of all happiness, of all love for the world, and I fear I too will soon fall to the dark.
— A lonely person talking to the Moon

Seûln is also known as the keeper of secrets, patron saints of the lonely and thiefs. The Silver Eye sees all, it pierces through the lies of men like lightning. Yet no matter what she sees, she remains quiet, though one must not forget they are never alone. The origins of this particular aspect of Seûln have been hard to date- it is generally admitted this side appeared around the Danatelian conquest, likely due to the absorption of another culture's belief, but due to a lack of proper chronicling the origins of this aspect seems to have been lost.

The Aspect of the Neverseen finds its theological origins in the story of the death of Laykan the Child. Following the tragic killing of their child, and the subsequent events in which she had to free them from Almayot, the Goddess developped a resentment of mortals, antagonistic to the love she held for them. This dualist hatred manifested itself through the new moon, where the Goddess would turn her back on those she swore to watch over.

Worship

Seûln is one of the seven major deities of the Saohri Pantheon. Her largest temple is in the city of Nissain, though places of worship and shrines can be found throughout the Danatelian Lands. She is worshipped primarily in times of need and mourning, or in times of isolation. Occasionally, Seûln also acts as the patron goddess of thiefs and spies, and all things generally associated to the night.

Under the Open Sky

Temples of Seûln will usually comprise of three major elements. The main place of worship, present in all religious buildings, will be built under an open roof, so that followers of the goddess may gaze up to her on a clear night. Then, they will comprise of an underground area, where priests conduct monthly rituals to appease the anger of She Who Resents Us. Finally, almost all temples of Seûln contain a small shrine dedicated to Laykan the Child. As with most Saohri temples, the insides are decorated with an abundance of fresques and geometrics paintings depicting myths and legends. The ceillings are painted a deep blue and covered in painted stars.


Cover image: by Luca Bravo

Comments

Author's Notes

Im gonna call it a day with this! I might revist this article to add more information on festivals and prayers celebrating the goddess, but for now I'm not feeling it so I wont push it. Hope you enjoyed the read!


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14 Aug, 2020 00:24

I think this is one of my favourite articles from you, Changeling! I remember something about the myth of Seûln from Summer Camp, but I love how you've taken that and expanded on it here.   I really like how the clerics and priests adapted to the schism in their goddess, building mirror temples underground.   The last paragraph is rather ominous. D: I want to know more about all that in the future!

15 Aug, 2020 21:01

Aaah, thank you! Yeah, I'm pretty proud of that one so I'm glad it stands out to you! Spent a good deal of time playing around with the idea so I'm happy you like the details :)   And yeah, probably gonna have an article about some of these cults some time soon (well probably not, but one can hope). Thank you for taking the time to comment!!

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
16 Aug, 2021 18:06

As always, my friend, your work is amazing! I like being able to learn more about the mother. There are so many things bbn I wanna touch on. I love how unique and complex her domains are. I love how varied beliefs surrounding her are as well. These definitely add some depth. Then you just double down in describing her followers and places of worship. I think having the main place of worship under an open sky is a an amazing touch. Well done.

16 Aug, 2021 21:24

Thank you so much Dylon <3 it always means so much to hear such words from you! I'm glad to hear what you enjoyed about this goddess, hopefully the rest of the rewrites will be just as good :D

Author of Interarcanum.
20 Aug, 2021 23:30

What an absolutely beautiful and well detailed article on this lovely moon goddess <3 I love the origin stories, and feel heartbroken for her child. The different aspects are really interesting too, particularly the way they tie into the origin stories!


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
21 Aug, 2021 11:34

Thank you so much for the kind words Storm <3 I'm glad to hear you've liked her!

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
26 Aug, 2021 06:09

Beautiful article, wonderful read. I always enjoy reading more about Seûln and Laykan. :)

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
27 Aug, 2021 22:07

Thank you! After my exams are done I’m hoping to give the same love to the rest of my pantheon, which I’m very excited about!

Author of Interarcanum.
27 Aug, 2021 17:39

The idea that she is patron of both life and death is intriguing to me, but oh so very fitting. And the writing is impeccable with the way it all flows together in a cohesive and beautiful way. Wonderful article :)

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
27 Aug, 2021 22:08

Thank you!! I’m so glad you find the two aspects mix well. I’m realising that gods who both rule over some aspect of life and some aspect of death is pretty recurrent in my world, but each have their own approach to it. Might be interesting to write about that in the future..

Author of Interarcanum.
11 Oct, 2021 09:11

Design & Structure

  Sleek as ever. This layout just works. The art is Seûln is amazing (all of Aijxjx's drawings are). I especially like the symbol. There's something about capturing the essence of an idea with a simplistic logo that just does it for me - she Who Cries indeed.  

Content

  Introduction: I like how you incorporated Sappho into your world. This quote perfectly fits into this article and as a part of the world's philosophy. The introduction itself is also good. Very concise, though omitting the part of her disdain for mortals.
  Origin & Stories: I was always a fan of Greek mythology, so I definitely liked the idea of a god taking out body parts to create the world. It's actually not exclusive to the Greek, but it's much more specific there. It's also impressive how you tie in her (them?) lore with other gods. It's all very immersive. It's not the first time I read about the murder of Lankan, and I think it's one of your better put-together myths. I love a good tragedy.
  Cult of the Moon: Ok, I love how the multifaced theme explains the opposite phases of the moon! These are really 'human' details. You can definitely imagine how people thought this up. It also fits with the mortals' need to explain why their prayers are sometimes not answered. It's fascinating how you also made her take part in weddings and bonds. It makes sense, so it's a clever choice, in my opinion. By the way, I instantly liked her more when I found out she is the patron of thieves. I love when thieves pray (lol), though now that I think about it, they might prefer her Neverseen face, right?. Oh, and am I imagining it, or is the Danatelian Conquest taking inspiration from Christian conquests of pagans and integrating those religions? If so, great! I also love the new moon being her 'turning her back on the world. One thing I found a bit off is the quote here. There's nothing terrible about it, but I don't think it adds anything in particular to the article. Maybe make it more about Seûln? Just a suggestion.
  Worship:Thieves and spies, spies and thieves - yes, please. The open roof is a genius detail to make her temples stand out among the other gods'. And then it makes sense for an underground level to exist (rain and unsavory weather).  

Final Thoughts

  If I were in your world, I'm pretty sure I'd be worshiping Seûln. It's an interesting concept that takes a lot of inspiration from Greek mythology (and some Judeo-Christian) in all the best ways! There's maybe room to add a bit more details about how humans interact with each of her faces, but what is there is already plenty.   Keep up the excellent work!


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