Cult of An'hang Organization in Saleh'Alire | World Anvil

Cult of An'hang

The Fire In The Darkness

Saleh'Alire » Religion Genasi / Humans

 
Oh An'hang, our Lord ... Fill our hearts and hearths with your fire so that we may walk your shining path and keep the savage darkness of the world at bay.
Red Priest of An'hang
 
Originating with the Ayeni who first came to Saleh'Alire from the Elemental Plane, the Cult of An'hang's central figure on whom it is focused is an ancient Deity of fire and light; today An'hang's worship is maintained primarily among the Fire Genasi- having survived the Genasan divergence from their ancestors centuries ago. The Cult continues to flourish among isolated pockets of the Ferenian and Sarian ethnicities of Humanity as well, though to a far lesser extent, and can occasionally be found in Tolara and Martova as a result.

Organization

  The hierarchy structure of the Cult of An'hang is loose and has no obvious organization. There are no High Priests; no grand overseers. Instead the religion is led by those who are called the Red Priests: Members of the liturgical clergy who feel a call to a higher purpose, and take the Mantle of Light in service to An'hang. Despite being called Priests, however, their numbers comprise of all genders and social statuses. Additionally they maintain the Burning Heart- a group of Paladins tasked with protecting their temples.  

Tenets of Faith

  The Cult of An'hang abides by three simple tenets derived from the Avesta An'hang. Members who are proven to have broken these tenets may face dire consequences- up to and including ritual death through fire. Archival records, however, suggest that such burnings have only truly happened a handful of times in history. Instead, most transgressors are simply banished from their communities ... Still, these tenets appear to be interpreted in a myriad of ways depending on a congregation's location and background- leading to vastly different methods of implementing and abiding by them.
Type
Organized religion   Subtype
Cult (small)   Related Groups
  • Fire Genasi
  • Fereni
  • Sari
  Deity
An'hang   Texts
Avesta An'hang   Holidays
Lighting of the Bales   Hierarchy
  1. Red Priests
  2. Burning Heart
Live Honorably
Commit thyself to live thy life with integrity and dignity; live thy life with a faithful purpose, and do not darken thy names with dishonor.
 
Speak Truth
Commit thy minds to the truth and never utter a falsehood; let those who lie among you be cast out of the Lord's light, and be without His favor.
 
Banish the Dark
Commit thyselves to the light, and to its spread; illuminate the darkness of the world with His light, so that all may hear His message.
 
 

Worship

 
Oh An'hang, our Lord... Light your flame among us. Look here, and shine your light so that we may be protected in this darkness.
— Red Priest of An'hang
  As a Deity of fire and light, most of An'hang's rituals involve fire in one form or another. This can range from a small Bonfire wherever worship may take place among adherants, to the large balefires of the Temples to An'hang... In all cases, fire is considered sacred to cult members; no fire is started, or even put out, without a prayer- and most Red Priests pray nightly over their flames.
  The most notable practice involving fire is that of Kindling, in which An'hang's Red Priests keep watch over a bonfire homed in the center of every Temple- stoking it as necessary to prevent it from going out at any point.   This practice is taken in shifts of 13 days, to symbolize the number of days the world went without An'hang's light during the first days, and the importance of his followers in maintaining his traditions; all Red Priests are expected to participate in the first 12 days. On the 13th day, however, the fire is left unattended to symbolize An'hang's reappearance, and it's believed that An'hang himself stokes the flame on this day.   Counter to that is the act of Darkening, where these fires are ritualistically put out in honor of a prominent death within their congregation or clergy. This ritual banking of the fire is symbolic of the snuffing out of the individual's own life flame, and the darkness one finds themselves within after death. Any fire banked in such a ritual is quickly relit, however, in order to guide the soul through that darkness and to An'hang.   In a similar vein, keeping a flame lit in the Temples is believed to illuminate the path to An'hang for those souls who seek him. They are also believed to bestow visions from An'hang to those who are true of faith. Red Priests often enter periods of ecstatic prayer around Temple fires in the hopes of receiving such a vision, and are regarded highly among adherents and other Priests if they do.  


Cover image: Manuscript by Sam Moqadam

Comments

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13 Aug, 2023 23:26

T'was a great article Hummingbird, really enjoyed the read. You laid it out wonderfully, and I especially love the tenets. The focus around fire especially in keeping one lit in the temple is powerful!


Psstt... Hey you... Wanna read some of that Ethnisy Summer Camp goodness? Hit up my worldbuilding in the Ethnis Universe!
The Starred articles are my favorites!
14 Aug, 2023 17:08

Thank you <3 The cult's influences are very much a combination of modern Brighidine worship (a pagan revivalist religion), mixed with inspo from the Lord of Light from Game of Thrones, ha.

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