Soha Oajovoun in The Rosepetal | World Anvil

Soha Oajovoun (Rough transl. 'Birth of the Ajovoun')

Public socioanthropological record
Property of the Royal Atheneum of Hövnís, Eörpe

According to bieggjan beliefs, the deities rarely visits Soha Biegjun anymore. As well, the Soha Oajvolkijiit belief system feature unsually grounded limitations; neither mortal nor deity can peer beyond the realm they're in. Since only the deities and spirits can cross the Soha Hyssna, the bieggjan are more or less cut off from their deities.   The purpose of this ritual is to re-enable respectful communion with their deities by creating an Ajovoun to feed Tijosalomai and bring them good health. If you perform the ritual well, the Ajovoun may also agree to do one of two favors for you: it can either bring a message (such as a prayer, wish, or thanks) with it to the deities, or it can collect an Eesli that’s been given peace and is ready to leave the Soha Biegjun.  

Etmyology & Definition

The name of the ritual is formed from the definite article 'soha' (sing. 'a' or 'the'), plus a compound made from appending the root word 'oa' (translates to ‘birth’ or ‘become’) to the name of the spirit, Ajovoun.The ritual's name is commonly contextually translated as 'Birth of the Ajovoun'.  

History

 

Modern Practice

Similarly to many other traditions still practiced today by the bieggjan, the ritual sees a varying degree of differentiation between tribes. The largest observable differences came from comparing how it's practiced by the still nomadic tribes with how it's practiced by those that's chosen permanent settlements.  
Nomadic Tribes
Nomadic tribes tend to practice the rite more frequently, sometimes even daily, but it tends to be less involved and perfomed whenever there's a perceived individual 'need' to do it. Most commonly tribe members will wait until the tribe makes a temporary stop for rest or when they set down camp.   The Tasuuhji are one of the tribes where most of its members have a daily habit of fulfilling Soha Oajovoun, and also seem to be the most flexible about when it's considered appropriate. Usually the materials collection and the assembly of the effigy is done along the way as the tribe is travelling, or alongside carrying out their duties such as foraging, hunting, or fishing. An individual can, at any time, take a pause from walking or carrying out their tasks in order to finalize the effigy and perform the last half of the ritual. They're expected to just catch up with the rest once they're done. The sides of their oldest migration trails tend to be richy decorated with effigies for this reason.  
Settled Tribes
The tribes that have chosen to permanently settle in a location have seen a gradual move toward more scheduled daily habits, which include when and how they carry out different traditions. All of the observed settled tribes have also an assigned dedicated, communal location their members go to carry out the ritual, though it doesn't appear using it exclusively is in any way enforced.   Among the Ljuuhovii, the most thoroughly studied settled tribe, the members will perform the rite whenever they need/want - similar to nomadic tribes - but are encouraged to do it in their 'spare time' before going to sleep. The Ljuuhovii have also made the ritual a part of two of their seasonal holiday traditions, where they're ended with all adult members concurrently doing Soha Oajovoun.
 

Anthropological Data

Cognate Practices
Vott Liemha
Sadtje Roen Aehkajht
 
Practiced By
Bieggjan

Observance

The ritual is actively practiced in all bieggjan tribes recorded to date, though the frequency and exact method/execution differ between tribes.   A commonality shared by all is that it's viewed as a highly personal rite, and interference from others can 'taint' the process and lead to negative consequences. There's also a common belief that beginning a Soha Ajovoun rite and leaving it unfinished is also dangerous.
The most dire consequence of a badly performed Soha Oajovoun appear to be the effigy birthing an Oniijavat instead, a malevolent spirit that's widely feared in the bieggjan mythos.   The Oniijavat could possess its creator, steal their soul so they can offer it to Seempola, or they might go to be fed to Tijosalomai which will poison the deity.
— Notation by Dr. Tybulus Svilen
 

Tools & Components

Usually the only tool requirement is a knife, but it largely depends on what materials the individual want to use in the making of their effigy.   There's aren't any set rules of what an effigy is supposed to be made out of exept there seems to be a preference for using raw natural materials. The Gjugrenn tribe are the only ones known to regularly incorporate prepared textiles in their effigies.   Sticks, twigs or bones are the most common for making the base or 'body' of the effigy, tied together with animal sinew or twined grass. The top or 'head' is often the skull of a small animal, a large tooth or claw, or a triangluar/wedge-shaped rock.   All effigies also feature at least a pair of wings with supports made of sticks or bone slivers, and hung with decoratives such as wide-bladed grass, feathers, fur tufts, pearled bands, hide strips, etc. Some effigies might also have a tail-like appendage from weaved grass, hide strips, or fur.   Most finished effigies tend to have a vaguely bird- or serpent-like shape.

Execution

Since the exact process can differ between tribes, the description below will be as broad and general as possible.   The ritual involves a three-step process that will 'give birth' to an Ajovoun if performed correctly; the preparation, the effigy crafting, and the birthing. The ritual appears to be considered properly started the moment an individual begins to assemble the effigy - at this point they're considered committed, and being disrupted and/or abandoning the ritual at this point is believed to lead to misfortune.  

Preparation

As Ajovoun are believed to be born from good intentions and self-less acts, the first and most important way to prepare for the ritual is to ensure one is in the right 'state of mind' and are performing the ritual for the 'right reasons'.   An individual need to create a body to house the Ajovoun until it’s reached Soha Hyssna, so the next step in preparing is to collect the materials to do so. This typically entails going out into nature and collecting various objects that speaks to the individual performing the ritual – there’s no rules dictating what needs to be collected or how much. When they feel they’ve found what they need, they’re ready to create an effigy.  

Creating the Effigy

The individual uses the materials they collected to craft an effigy all the while speaking to it. This can involve telling stories of good acts they’ve done, praying for the well-being of others, mentioning their hopes for the future, and other positive things. This will fill the effigy with the necessary essence to birth the Ajovoun that’s to live in it.   Just as with the collecting of materials, there’s no rules saying how involved the craftmanship of the effigy needs to be. How much or little effort is put into it, or how it ends up looking, is entirely up to the individual making it, and they will usually feel when their effigy is finished.  

The Birthing

Once the effigy is assembled it's hopefully received enough essence from the individual making it to birth an Ajovoun. The individual can at this point opt to ask the spirit to humbly carry a message for them or to help an Eesli find its way, before they 'free' the Ajovoun from themselves by telling it where it needs to go and why. Once the spirit has been sent on its way, the ritual is concluded.


Cover image: by RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ

Comments

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Nov 27, 2023 17:16 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love this, especially the differences in how it's carried out between settled and nomadic tribes. Such a great little worldbuilding detail.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 2, 2023 23:15 by Nimin N

Thanks! I hope to be able to showcase differences between the two tribe types, and even individual tribes, some more also in the other traditions eventually. :)