Day of Reflection Tradition / Ritual in Pathfinder: Crusades | World Anvil

Day of Reflection

Written by kalvorp

The Day of Reflection is an annual observance usually practiced among elves native to the Teme-Rasadar region of United Lands of Caelsimil Teme-Rasadar. Its purpose is to remember and honor ancestors, friends, and family who have passed on and recognize the influence they had on their culture and especially on the observer.   It is also serves as an opportunity for the practitioner to reflect on their own role in life, how their own decisions influence those around them, and ponder the legacy they might leave when they, too, one day pass on.

History

Before the widespread establishement of the Teme-Rasadan Pantheon and its religion throughout its homeland, it was not uncommon for native elves to practice a form of ancestor worship (along with any other religious beliefs the elf might hold.) One relic of this ancient belief system was a practice known then as ancestral meditation.   Ancestral meditation was a trance-like, meditative state of conciousness induced through a period of fasting followed by the ritual consumption of a special blend of herbs and spices (often brewed and consumed as a tea.) This brew was capable of invoking hallucinations in some elves, which were then interpreted as visions from their direct ancestors.   These visions were regarded at th time to be a form of communication that imparted wisdom and knowledge upon the receiving elf, and many used it as an early form of divination. Among city elves, this practice eventually developed into the holiday celebrated today.

Execution

While the practice itself varies from elf-to-elf, there are several common elements that are present throughout most observations of the holiday.   It usually consists of a fast that begins anywhere from the evening prior to several days in advance, which is broken on the day of observance with either the consumption of a meal or brew containing some or all of the herbs and spices used historically to induce ancestral meditation. Many choose to forego the psychoactive ingredients, but it is not considered unusual to include them.   Some practitioners observe silence and solitude throughout the day, spending the time meditating as they reflect on their loved ones who have passed on. The religously inclined may offer silent prayers to Temekus, Rasadan, or even their ancestors themselves, while others may record their thoughts and feelings in a journal or through another means of solitary artistic expression.   Those who observe with families or within larger communities may instead spend some of the day gathered to share stories or traditional fables and, in some areas, heirlooms may be passed down from older generations to younger ones.   In the evening, a meal consisting of a combination of traditional dishes, local dishes, and dishes passed down among families are enjoyed and mark the official end of the celebration.

Observance

There is no single date on which the Day of Reflection occurs; instead, instead, it is often celebrated on a day with particular significance to an individual elf, a family, or a community. This may be the anniversary of a first meeting, a significant loss, or a milestone.
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Cover image: by Kal V, derivative work created with the Canva Content License

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