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A Guide to Fairy Culture: Religion and Spirituality

Kayzee

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When it comes to matters of faith everyone has their own beliefs and fairies are no different. What does tend to be different for fairies is the way faith is treated. In general the fairy approach to religion can be summarized as 'that which is worshiped or revered gains power'. It is in someways the opposite of the common human approach, which can be sometimes be thought of as 'that which is powerful is worshiped or revered'. Of course it's not that cut an dry on either side, but it works as a good general starting point for the difference between common fairy and common human beliefs. For a fairy, religious devotion isn't thought of as much as about 'belief' as it is about 'choice'. To choose to hold something sacred or holy is to invest power into that thing, the more of one's own energy one chooses to devote to something the more power it gains in their eyes. The more power and renown something has, the more it can do and therefor the more useful it is to worship, but this is often a secondary concern and many fairies believe that worship for purely pragmatic reasons is less potent then devoting one's self to something just because they genuinely want to. Fairies do often hold that such purely pragmatic belief is done in 'bad faith'.

 

Fairies tend to also similarly look down on the idea of religion being some sort of 'duty' or 'obligation'. To most fairies any religious belief that demands worship or devotion is at best poisonous to the ones who follow it and at worse poisonous to everything around them as well. They also tend to be opposed to organized religious institutions (of significant scale at least) and especially opposed to anything they even suspect to be any kind of religious indoctrination by one. In fact fairies tend to shy away from the idea of having any kind of fixed 'canon' of teachings or beliefs, and instead prefer syncretically following whatever they feel fit. Most religious practices are often thought best carried out in private, and mass public displays of worship are often seen as disruptive or suspicious. This doesn't mean religious gatherings or places of worship don't exist, just that fairies rarely are that overt about prayer or other such rituals and preaching is usually kept to a minimum. Fairies tend to find most common human religions and religious practices to be repugnant, dangerous, or at least very very silly (especially Christianity, on witch there are also many historical reasons to bare a grudge), although most will grudgingly accept a person's choice in following one if they show 'true faith' as a fairy recognizes it.

 

While fairies do often worship many gods and other spirits (as personalized representatives of abstract concepts and as beings in their own right), they aren't necessarily thought of in the general sense as much more then a human might think of famous celebrities. In other words, often awe inspiring and worthy of respect for their power and fame, but not beings beyond understanding or reproach. To a fairy, gods and other spirits are just like any other being, at least in that regard. A fairy might just as well worship another fairy they are a fan of, or even a human in rare cases, living or dead. A fairy wouldn't necessarily see much difference between a fan convention and a temple, a cosplayer or a priest. What matters to a fairy is the devotion and energy put into something, not the exact form that devotion takes. That doesn't mean that that's all fairies worship however. To fairies anything and everything can be a target of worship, from directly worshiping abstract concepts to revering inanimate objects and everything in between. The wonders of nature are a common choice. Fairies often make little shrines of a sort out of things like a refreshing spring or well, a waterfall, a neat cave, a particularly large tree or pleasant grove, a small hill, anywhere that seems like a nice meeting place. Sometimes fairies may put up some altars made from a pile of stones or standing stones marked with runes. There might be entryways marked by Stonehenge-like gates. Sometimes it's just decoration, but sometimes it means a fairy felt the need to protect a place with magic and a barrier will keep out any who don't go through the gate. Sometimes these gates act as portals to other places.

 

Well loved objects are thought to be in some sense holy as well. Objects with sentimental value are prized and said to hold lots of power. Indeed, magically a well loved object can be very powerful, and can hold many blessings or sometimes powerful curses. An object's history and it's connection to the history of others is very important to many fairies. Though they don't truly exist in the fairy world, museums are also places a fairy might think of like a temple of a sort. One not only holding precious objects for display, but also in charge of understanding and explaining their history. Many fairies tend to be hoarders of artifacts that they personally find important, even if no one else does. It is even not that uncommon for fairies to, rather then revering or worshiping any particular thing, devote one's self to a concept or ideal. To a fairy someone who devote themselves to something like 'justice', 'love', 'science', 'power', or 'pleasure' are simply putting their faith into something like any other personal belief. And of course, many fairies choose to put their faith in only in themselves or sometimes in nothing at all.

 

Ritual can also be very important to fairies, both magically and spiritually (in fact magic and spirituality are often seen as deeply connected, but not always truly synonymous). Fairy rituals are often personalized or are part of a large collection of haphazard folk beliefs and practices. The form rituals take often doesn't matter as much as the function they serve and the feeling behind them, and fairies mostly encourage experimentation and improvisation over strict traditionalism or sticking to any one set of rules too strictly. This often extends to 'social rituals' such as manners or protocol, especially for solitary fairies (to a point anyway, there are still basic guidelines to follow if one doesn't want to be seen as rude). The exceptions where traditionalism and/or following a set of strict rules is expected are mostly for those within the Seelie courts and occasionally when fairies need to have a formal meeting, trial, or duel.

 

Since fairies are practically immortal they don't tend to care much about the idea of an afterlife. Many fairies find the idea silly or disdainful, but often acknowledge it's possibility. Most fairies who care to think about such things might say that things can create echos that might linger long after they are gone and leave it at that. Fairies also don't tend to care all that much about the origin or meaning of existence as a whole. There are speculations about it and a few scattered legends, but many fairies would say that how things came to be doesn't really matter, and what things mean is up to every person to decide. If fairies have any generally agreed upon explanation about existence as a whole, it's that existence is about, if anything, existing. That everyone and everything that exists, real or unreal, is fulfilling whatever role it may have for it's own sake and not for the sake of some higher purpose or god. Often fairies believe that happiness is truly found in loving one's own existence for it's own sake. Loving one's own existence doesn't necessarily mean only loving one's self, but also can include the world around them and everything in it. It also doesn't necessarily mean one can never be unsatisfied or upset, just that maybe one shouldn't let negative feelings ruin their passion for existing. And it certainly doesn't necessarily mean one shouldn't ever strive to change themselves or the world around them, just that maybe they should remember and appreciate where they are and what they are doing. Of course most fairies wouldn't say that in so many words, but it's really kind of important to us. After all, when a fairy doesn't care about existing anymore they die for good. 

 

So in the end, to a fairy wonder and passion can be found in all things great and small. All you have to do is look!



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In all due honesty, I care about existing, but here, trapped inside this mortal flesh, there is very little for me here, and that is dwindling more and more as time passes. Of course, I still do find wonder and passion, but it is where and how I find it that alienates me (though that is a fault of society not my own fault).

 

Where I call home, religion/religious practices are a mortal-made concept. Sure, we have temples and such, but these are more like places of sanctuary than anything, guarded by the deity erected in their name. It has little to do with revering the deity than seeking out shelter, or a safe space to consult with someone whose duty is to listen and return alliterative advice.

 

Even Shinryu's Grimoire is not by any means, a sacred text, but much more of a testimonial by a very old deity whom has seen the rise and fall of mortal races many, and has recorded how each one had met their demise, as well as a summary of all events in between rise and fall, among other events, such as astrological events and so on.

 

Who, or what exactly is Shinryu? The Final Fantasy series depicts Shinryu as a dragon, and in truth, to mortal races Shinryu will often appear as such, to drive off potential threats (though to be honest, the mortals of planet Earth would likely not even trigger such red flags because Shinryu has faced far worse than nuclear warfare). However, Shinryu's true form is that of a sokaran.

 

I'll eventually explain what a sokaran is in much deeper detail, but let us just say that there is a video game character already established that fits the nature and semi-shapeless form of a sokaran. FTR, there is NO DIRECT TRANSLATION of this term for the English language.

Which character?

There are several racing game series out there that take on the futuristic type, like F-Zero for one. The one I am speaking of is in the Jet Moto series, particularly in the second game. The character is the unlock for beating a Season on the Master difficulty, Enigma. This character will emulate the voices of the other ten characters, though the RNG seems to favor the female characters, and has the fastest top speed as well as a fairly heavy bike. Enigma is thoroughly transparent, bike and rider, but in a mirror like fashion, in that they reflect their surroundings.

That's a good starting point on what a sokaran looks like, but there's a lot more to it than just that. But if you can imagine what the Jet Moto character looks like, you can gather a sense for what Shinryu looks like.

No, I've never met Shinryu, in fact, nor has my own mother, nor my auntie or brother. The last Great Interdimensional Clash was pretty much the last time Shinryu had been seen by just about anyone, which was not long before my twin brother and I had been conceived.

 

Of course, given the way time passes for us, conception to pregnancy to birth is a great deal longer (or it might actually not be, hard to say because there is no such thing as the 'twenty-four hours in a day' type of established time and in truth, time passes more or less in seasons, but is not really well kept in that regard), so the amount of time that had passed from then until the last time I was conscious on my own two feet was very likely a great deal of time, and perhaps Shinryu is no more, or perhaps is at rest somewhere way off...impossible for me to know at the very least.

 

How do I know what Shinryu's truest form is? Shinryu has inscribed about their truest form at least once per Era in their own scripture. However, catching that self-depiction would be difficult to do, especially if just passively reading the scripture (good luck reading the whole thing-it is incredibly long), because the self-depictions are often inscribed in incredibly cryptic, sometimes difficult to understand ways.

 

But is Shinryu an all-powerful god? Quite not. There is no such thing. What there is, is the power that great masses have in their belief in the individuals that know best, how to govern various aspects of existence. The fact that this is completely ignored by the mortals of this planet, makes me wonder if this is one of those planets designated for the mortals whom have been denied divine rebirth, and have chosen to forsake their origins in retaliation, which Shinryu has also written about, but I never got to read that far (it would of taken me a long time to do so), so I don't know if my screams, my pleas for my own kin to hear me can even be heard, if this is one place where they turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to. But if the Divine Twenty-Four have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to this planet, no being, divine or fiendish, is going to bother with any sort of apocalyptic stasis.

 

Which means for me that, I'm fucked; the Great Betrayal succeeded.

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I know, I know, it isn't always easy. Not even for immortals, let alone mortals. And it gets less and less easy the less you have to care, the less reason there is to engage, The more things don't go the way you want the less you want to try. But, well, thing is, when you are at your last rope and you have nothing to look forward to, no reason to continue, nothing at all... Well, you can really only push yourself to keep existing, or just... stop. I think I rather suffer then stop... Easy for me to say now, I know. But still, heck, I think I could even learn to enjoy suffering in a perverse way. I think lots of people enjoy their own suffering more then they might admit. Anger, sorrow, envy, fear... Don't you... sort of like it? Don't you feel a bit more alive raging at an unfair world? Doesn't it feel make things feel more potent when you cry? Doesn't it lift the burden when you covet others? Don't you feel your heart beating when you are afraid? I don't know, but I understand the feeling of winding myself into knots. Of being assaulted by these negative emotions. But, for me at least, it's cathartic to just have a fit sometimes. It's amazing to be able to feel things. It's amazing that feeling exists. It's amazing that it means something. To be sure, it's probobly best used as a light salt, a flavoring to normal moods. If you have too much salt everything will taste awful, and you can't just eat a meal of pure salt. Maybe it's the same way with emotions? Even still, hold on to them, even your worst ones I say. That's what I mean by loving your own existence. Hate your life all you want. But... Maybe that hatred is worth holding on to if nothing else is.

 

Shinryu is also the Japanese word for Shenlong, which can mean spirit dragon or god dragon and is a being that controls wind, clouds and rain. No idea about a sokaran, but the way you describe it sounds like one of those invisibility fields that wrap light around things, or maybe a blind spot. Did you know there is one spot in human's field of vision that they can't see? It's hard to notice normally but were the optic nerve connects to the eyeball there is a spot human brains just 'fill in' with whatever is neerby. Makes you wonder. What if there are somethings that are so impossible in some ways, people's vision just fills them in or replaces them with something else?

 

Honestly I always had a problem with the idea that any particular set of beings that 'govern aspects of existence'. I think you underestimate just how big existence is sometimes. You could easily say existence includes 'multiple existences', many places were there is a different set of beings govern aspects of existence arising from different beliefs, or ones where no being governs anything, or anything else. Every conceivable idea about every possible reality and unreality. Every person have their own beliefs about what if any beings should be at the top if any, every work of fiction describes a world that might have different rules and ideas. What makes any description of what is behind it all any more right or wrong? Not saying you aren't telling the truth, but it's your truth. Not necessarily mine. The world you find yourself is could just be outside the part of existence where your 'Divine Twenty-Four' hold sway. That they exist, there is is little doubt. Everything you can think of exists somewhere. :3

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I know my auntie tends to savor anger like a boiling hot cup of birch wood tea (this stuff is incredibly bitter). Of course, given she's the governess of Fire, the attitude fits the profile, if one will.

 

Ah, ha. There's not one, but seven. Yes, the very center, as well as six outer areas. However, the area is so small, that it could never be noticed by the eye, which is by design. I'm no optometrist, but even I know that looking at contrast grids will strengthen one's blind zones.

 

A sokaran has those properties, but there is a lot more to it than that. It would be better for me to explain it elsewhere, though.

 

I don't fully understand what it all means myself, but what I do know is that the governance is something of a meritocracy, but it isn't like they can create new life from nothing, or destroy a whole galaxy by flexing their fists; that is pure fantasy. Controlling the masses under a mass hypnosis? Free Will prevents that.

 

It is, from what I understand (and do take to heart that I am a comparative tween twat still attending the academy whose understanding of many things important has not quite reached past self-understanding as of yet), a system of checks and balances, that of which allow for individual life, both mortal and not to persevere without worry if the next cosmic force that threatens life is going to strike. It only will if everything falls into balance to favor it. This is how I understand it. Mortal life has its' own spawning, evolution and such, the non-mortals are the ones who make sure that the mortals never allow themselves to take on power they were never meant to yield. I don't know what a true Armageddon looks like, nor if it really exists, because the end of a mortal race always leaves stragglers; this is something very well versed in Shinryu's Grimoire.

 

What is funny is how there are verses from some very familiar songs we know here, in Shinryu's Grimoire, one of them being from 2112 as written by Rush:

 

"So, we are the priests, the divine people who the rest of civilization worship, in these temples of great meaning.

"Our impeccable machines, line the sacred halls of our sacrament."

 

I find it funny, to be honest.

 

"We are the priests, of the Temples of Syrinx.

"Our great computers...fill the hallowed halls."

Lyrics from the song (Part 2: Temples of Syrinx)

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Seven what? Existences? Oh I promise there are way way more then that. Anyway, still sounds way too neat and orderly to me, far too much like just another pantheon of god-like beings who think they run everything. There are a lot of those ya know. That's the problems with describing the cosmic forces behind stuff though, is we could both pick any system we want and equally be right. I guess I do the same thing huh?

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Seven blind spots on the eye, dear. Center, Up and Left/Right, Down and Left/Right, and the farthest reaches of left and right.

 

Like I said, I don't have a thorough understanding of it all, and I won't inherit my mother's place as the Governing Force of Purity and Balance until I do, as far as I understand it, but I am still just a little twat undergoing academic studies at the academy; I'm not remotely ready for such a heavy burden, nor do I wish to be yet. I still have the dance at the Celestial to attend, a girl I want to dance with, and much more to do before I'll be ready to shoulder that burden.

 

As far as I understand, we run very little ourselves, but there are things we keep in balance. That's the whole point. As much as I hate Free Will, it must never be altered in any way, shape or form, for any animate being, mortal and non-mortal alike.

 

And unlike the pantheons of other cultures far less ancient, we can all be seen, heard, touched, hurt and loved, or hated if one wishes (or even ignored). Damn it, I miss my mother's loving touch, like you don't know how badly I want to scream her name at the best of times. I miss my auntie's undying, if bratty wisdom, and my brother's loving embraces when I'm feeling out of sorts.

 

...

Yeah, this was about fairies, wasn't it? Curse my mood swings. Curse this mortal flesh, I don't want it anymore.

 

I'd trade places with a fairy in an instant, you bet. At least then I could tap into my chi a lot more easily....

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Oh! Blind spots! I see! Hehe, though are the other places places where the eye can't see or just places where vision is blocked by other things?

 

Do you really hate free will or just hate other people's free will? I rather like mine! :3 Then again, nice thing about free will is you can choose to give it up if you want to. <3

 

I think most divine beings are like that in some ways and many are far 'older' then you might think, but since many sort of exist 'outside time' and might exists in multiple dimensions or timelines it's hard to really judge things that way.

 

Hehe, as for us fairies, I think we kinda have part of both mortal and immortal experience. We have semi-mortal flesh, but immortal or near immortal souls. I enjoy it, and I think it might be fun to have you as a fairy friend, but if you can't stand mortal life it might be hard to exist as a fairy. Like I said before, fairies need to love their own existence. Because if a fairy really deep down wants to stop existing, they won't come back. But I would love to have you as one of us if you wanted! We could have so much fun together! :3

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It is both, in the sense that the eye is blocked and cannot clearly see. However, those six outer points will vary upon many factors, one of them being eye shape, as well as eye size. You know how a camera lens is spherical in shape? So are the eyes, and both have their limitations in about the same places, though cameras have ways around them, the eyes, not so much, especially if Astigmatism is involved.

 

Honestly, the concept of Free Will is not the worst part, but the execution of it. After all, how else would I of wound up imprisoned inside this mortal flesh...

 

I guess age is for us, my people, how we appear, but also, in tandem with how we act and how we think. My mother was incredibly immature when she was younger, and through that and her promiscuity, wound up pregnant with my brother and I, without knowledge of who the father might be, if there is one.

 

My auntie herself became a non-mortal through a discovery she made (though she has yet to elaborate even one on one with me on this in great detail), and thus became imbued with the commanding power of flames. Of course, I must assert that she's not my auntie by blood, but by kinship with my mother.

 

Do I hate my existence? Or is it how it is now that I despise? I'm willing to guess that being imprisoned inside this mortal flesh against my own will, if it something I have to embrace, then yeah, I'd have it rough as a fairy. But, then again, the change would remove me from this prison, thus removing about sixty percent of my woes, therefore releasing a lot of that burden.

 

Did I ever have any resentment towards my existence before this had happened? Hell no! I loved life, every part of it, what I knew and knew not, because I was me, and NOT someone else, or labeled as someone else. I was happy, if a bit disgruntled at the idea that luxury would be my whole life, though FTR, there came no resentment from that just simply because of the 'pedestal effect' that I, the only heiress to my mother's power had acquired. I mean, it is just little things, here and there, like 'oh, you're the Princess, no charge' or 'you have business with the Affairs Office? Go ahead in front of me, royalty first' or stuff like this that I never really cared about because how would I learn a damn thing if I got the go ahead from everyone? But really, other than that and occasional little nothings like spats and such, or a fight between myself and some unruly who thought lesser of me for take your pick of any possible damn reasons, life for me was great, and really had just begun. Like I said, I am still just a comparative tween twat in the academy, even if I am an all-star pupil. I still enjoy lying in the tall grass of the surrounding, seemingly endless fields outside my hometown, often less than fully clothed or in the buff, Hell I could sleep in that soft, aromatic grass...

 

If it weren't for the cawing, clucking and the constant chirking of the wild cockatrice that run about, usually chasing something or being chased...so noisy...

And don't even get me started on their mating calls...they're loud, obnoxious and if they're near, they'll usually scare the living shit out of you...

(I've dropped my fair share of flasks because of this very thing-one went flying one time and turned a fellow student into a walking, talking twig, I kid you not...)

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Fairies are sort of somewhere between a true mortal and a true immortal, beings of both base flesh and unbound spirit, both of the world and beyond it. Personally I think we have the best of both worlds in many ways, but that's just my opinion. We can feel and experience sensation as mortals do, but our bodies can be molded to our will. It's not hard to just make ourselves ignore pain if we wish, or even experience pain as pleasure. We can even muck about with our own brains. It can be dangerous, but our strong spirits can keep us at least somewhat safe most of the time. If our bodies die, we can exist as pure spirit and come back as long as we still possess the will to live. The problem is we need new bodies to come back. We can't breed like mortals do, but we can lay eggs to use as spare bodies. Eggs we lay or 'fertilize' ourselves we can enter right away no matter how far away they are. They are already sympathetically 'part of us' as far as magic is concerned. There are also places in fairyland where many fairies will gather a lot of eggs for anyone who comes by. Fairies can sprinkle a bit of fairy dust, which is made up of dead scales that fake off from our wings when we fly and therefore also sympathetically 'part of us', and then we will be able to find them as a spirit. Other eggs we would need to wander as a lost spirit until we stumble on.

 

It's often really hard to describe what being a spirit is like and it doesn't help that it's often hard to remember anything as a spirit, everything we do as one feels kind of like a dream. because a pure spirit is unbound from any particular place and can exist in many places at once (mostly any place we have a strong magical presence in, find personally important, or have parts of our body around) and at the same time nowhere at all. Time is also really wonky as a spirit. It passes, but not in any easily understandable way. Though some fairies have learned to project their spirit into the material world as a wisp, temporarily focusing themselves to one time and place. We can do it sometimes when we are dreaming too, kind of like a form of astral projection. That's one reason why fairies are often depicted as glowing balls. We can even learn to shape our wisp form and often give it wings or even make them look like little glowing people. Of course we could also make ourselves into little glowing people in our physical bodies too.

 

The only downside is that our spirits can't really think that well on their own and the longer we spend as one the more we tend to revert to a more childlike or even animallike mentality. It's not much of a problem if we are just projecting in our sleep, but if we don't have a body it can be much worse. When we have a body again we can recover, but sometimes if we stay dead to long we can forget things for a while and act loopy. We don't tend to talk much as wisps, and when we do it's often random childish nonsense. Some fairies can learn to project themselves really well though, keeping most of their wits about them and can use projections for scouting or exploring or delivering messages.

 

We can actually use any egg to form a new body not just ones laid by a fairy, but using an animal egg (particularly a fertilized one) can sometimes cause a bit of 'blending'. This is usually harmless, causing some easily reversible mutations and a few short lived impulses or urges, and sometimes fairies will even purposefully do it to experiment or gain some kind of power. In fact, this might be how fairies got wings in the first place. I am honestly not too sure about that one. Or even how the whole egg thing got started. Pretty sure fairies weren't always like this. Anyway it's probobly not a good idea to try it with any being's egg that has a strong spirit of their own like a dragon, as it can cause weird effects and even can cause soul fusions. We can also sometimes gain powers when we come back depending on what happened to our body. As we are still connected in part to our bodies for a bit sympathetically even after death, we can sometimes draw on power from where we died when we come back. Usually this is kind of useless, but in theory a fairy who is, say, killed by being thrown into a volcano might be able to come back with more powerful fire magic or as a fire fairy. One who died of freezing to death in the arctic or in the dead of winter might come back with more powerful ice magic or as an ice fairy. It only really works if something in the environment caused the death.

Edited by Kayzee

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Well, most of us lay eggs and have wings, at least the younger ones. It's kinda more like a fashionable trend. Since we can shape shift we can make our bodies look and act most anyway we want. Eggs are just a lot more convenient then finding a womb when making a new body (though some fairies like to do it that way too) and laying your own is much more convenient then using animal eggs. Wings make getting around much easier. As for boots, some fairies do like boots for sure! Many like going barefoot too of course, but for some reason fairies and elves are known for helping out shoemakers. Odd that.

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Likely because cobblers/shoemakers were the brunt of the governor's state, worked to the bone and barely make enough to survive but are forced to pay the most in taxes. A Sick, Sad, World indeed...

 

I couldn't imagine using another animal species' egg for rebirth, even if it were a chicken (gotta be careful of the hens that lay unfertilized eggs though)...

 

Technically, the song is really about a man's experiences on a drug trip, in which reality warps a shit-ton...(likely LSD is the culprit)

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