Geom Ateria Organization in Odezia | World Anvil
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Geom Ateria

Geom Ateria is the religion of the Alreian people. However, in contrast to other religions around the world, it can be argued Geom Ateria is more a way of life than an actual religion. Where exactly religion ends and culture begins, and where culture ends and religion begins, is rather obscure.

Believes

Ethics

Geom Ateria focuses on the individual as part of the whole. Born into a world already there, each individual is overshadowed by a past and a future of which they are and will never be a part. However, each individual plays an important role in the here and now. Each individual is like a cog in a machine. Without it, the machine doesn’t function, but the individual's actions are only important because there is a machine. Most importantly, the individual’s actions should aid the machine and not work against it. People are part of a bigger system. Part of community, part of the living, part of nature.
Nature takes centre stage in Geom Ateria. Preservation, guardianship, and maintaining balance is a daily effort. It is the reason why Alreian settlements and signs of civilization in Alreia in general are hard to find. And why cities are gorgeously integrated and merged with the natural environment of the location they are settled.
Maintaining balance is a recurring theme in both guardianship of nature and personal spiritual enlightenment. Every decision in life must be considered carefully, for even the smallest butterfly flapping their wings can cause a tornado several weeks later.

Religious texts

Several ancient scriptures exist and form the basis of worship. The oldest text is the Aval Serena, which covers a variety of topics such as the creation myth, the afterlife, several rites of passage, prayers, and the concept of Shaevina, or balance. The Aval Lemnela elaborates on many rites of passage, prayers and covers ethics and duties in relation to Shaevina. Five additional texts explain yet more rites of passage and prayers, but these are often subjected to regional variation. Nonetheless, few people own these texts, and like it has always been throughout Alreian history, most practices and rituals are passed on verbally.

Creation myth

It is said all started with the Eclosion. In the centre of the Celestial Blue, a pearly shimmering chrysalis floated. Outside the chrysalis there was nothing but stillness, but within the chrysalis there was everything. A jumble of patterns and pigments and shapes and silhouettes, swirling around and around. Until finally, this beautiful tangle that was everything, took an ultimate form. And from the chrysalis, Geom Aurea eclosed. As she fluttered with her wings and took her flight, the now empty chrysalis closed up again and hardened and restored itself to its former form.
During her journey around the Azurian Sky, with every flutter of her wings, Aurea left a little bit of herself behind, and trailing behind her were the sun and the stars and the moons. Aurea fluttered and fluttered, until finally, she grew tired and returned home. Her home, now a ball of verdant brilliance, welcomed her, and where Aurea first touched the world and fluttered her wings for the last time, a ripple spread, a ripple of life. And as she lay down her head, she looked around and tears flowed down her face and she smiled at her creation.

Afterlife

The afterlife Alreians believe in is not as much a place but a state of being. They believe that upon death, their soul will return to the centre of the world, whence it came from originally. Here, they will not be a cog, just a part of the machine, but once more be the machine. They will return to be part of all, of nature. And death surely is not really death when your soul becomes such a whole.

Worship

Nature festivals

In contrast to many other cultures, where festivals are tied to a specific day on the calendar, in Geom Ateria the festivals are more lenient in date and extremely tied to the day of the natural occurrence itself. For instance the harvest festival is celebrated the day after harvest, and the day of harvest greatly depends on many natural factors and thus might be a different day each year. The frost festival is celebrated the day after the first frost can be seen at sunrise, and the snow festival is celebrated on the day the first snow falls. These two festivals can be very close together, but also very far apart depending on the year.

Rites of passage

Many life stage milestones are celebrated in Geom Ateria. To name a few: birth, naming day, first steps, first day of school, menarche in young women, transition to adulthood (Metamorphises), graduation, marriage, burial, and crossing to the afterlife. When an individual reaches the magnificent age of 73, transition to wise elder is also celebrated.

The Painted Lady

Believed to be the reincarnation of Geom Aurea, the Painted Lady is the most important individual in Alreian culture, and often seen as the head of religion. Upon the death of the Painted lady, the title is bestowed upon a maiden of Aurea’s flutter after the trial of the second metamorphosis.
While most religious practices are daily, personal rituals and prayers, bigger festivities are led by the Painted Lady. One of these is the ritual of crossing, in which the Painted Lady has an important role in guiding the souls of the diseased to the afterlife. Additionally, her clairvoyant abilities grant her the powers to predict the country's welfare, and thus she performs an advisory role to the country's monarch.


Symbology

The most important symbol Geom Ateria knows is the butterfly, for it is believed that while people are indirect descendants of Geom Aurea, butterflies are directly descended from her. Moreover, it is believed butterflies still carry the faintest power Geom Aurea possessed, and that their type of power depends on the species.
Butterflies, and actually all things natural, can often be found depicted in the Alreian art. Plant reliefs in architecture, and  flowers and butterflies in sculptures, paintings and clothing. Alreian art is highly sought after outside of Alreia, especially  Alreian silk.

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