Cassa Geographic Location in Samthô | World Anvil
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General introduction

A cassa (pl.: cassé) is a sacred grove in Tarrabaenian religion. This institution is ancient and dates back the the time when Tarrabaenians were still a migratory people or just transitioned to sedentiariness. Cassa show, that Tarrabaenian religious activities had a strong and intimate connection to nature. Only later, with the urbanisation after the migration to present day Tarrabaenia, religious activities also became more urbanised, temples were erected and religious activities in part shifted into the cities. However, many cults still have cassé and religious activities are necessarily to be conducted there instead of at the temples. So the cassé still play an important role in contemporary Tarrabaenian religion.

Sites and features

Every major Tarrabaenian city has a number of cassé around it, as originally many deities of the Tarrabaenian pantheon were connected to nature, natural phenomena or certain gographical features. Especially the latter aspect is strongly represented in the position of these sacred groves, as they are often located around a spring, on a hill, in a ravine or around a distinguished tree or rock or rock formation.

Cassé are characterised by the presence of at least an altar or a group of altars to make sacrifices and a path leading around the borders of the sacred area belonging to the cassa. The path is important to perform a lústrásió, which is a necessary introductory ritual for every other ritual that follows it. Some cassé also have a shrine dedicated to the diety they are connected to. They also have an entrance, that does not necessarily have to be marked in a specific way, but at least some have a stela or even a small portal leading into them. Outer margins of cassé are marked by stone settings.

Activities connected to a cassa

Cassa may only be entered by religious specialists or by individuals accompanied by religious specialists. The common people learn the sites of the cassé early on and keep a respectful distance. Entering into a cassa without permission is usually followed by a death sentence, marking the highly important role of these cassé in Tarrabaenian religion.

Depending on which deity the cassa belongs to, the rituals performed there vary. Generally speaking these sacred groves are places of sacrifice, which explains the altar present in all of them. What is sacrificed as well as the kind of sacrificial ritual depends not only on the associated deity, but also, what the reason or purpose of the sacrificial ritual has. Notable general differences are offering of female animals to female deities or animals of certain colours to deities somehow associated to those colours. White animals for example are chosen for deities of the sky, the day, stellar bodies or health, cleanliness and chastity.



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