Personal Journal, 1st Day-Winter
My attempts to learn the local religion are painfully slow, but I'm collecting everything I've learned so far in this entry. I was approached in my Almshouse a few turnings ago by a member of the "Numin", a group that from their close contact to the Somin I gather to be a sort of priesthood - if such a word is appropriate when no House is in evidence.Tandzin ouHaddi, first missionary to Azul. 16:20
This woman originally came to my Almshouse to force me to leave, or at least lecture me on propriety. But after I began asking her questions relating to her faith, instead of seizing up like all too many have before her, she began talking! I think she may actually have been trying to culture me out of exasperation at my ignorance!
The conversation was enlightening to say the least, and remains my main source of knowledge about local religion. It appears to be a sort of astronomical worship, although these people are unfamiliar with the very idea of astronomy and the word for "star" in their language actually translates to "soul" or perhaps "spirit". Thier central belief seems to be in transcendence or ascendency, as symbolised by the great starpool that dominates the northern skies and forms the basis for their calendar. This is my interpretation of the thing she kept trying to explain to me (synonyms or other meanings for the same word in their language in brackets):
"the stars (spirits) belong to the people, and we move towards Heaven (ascendency) by following our religion (the path). Southran, your lands are far from Heaven, and your religion is perhaps too far away."After repeating a similar response to many of my questions, she turned her back on me in a gesture that seemed oddly formal despite her frustration, and left.
This has left me with a number of questions - first, what are the tenants of their "path" and from where do they derive their morals and scruples? And how can a religion have a physical location - am I translating correctly? I have seen no sign of a holy book, nor any sermons or preaching. Secondly, are the stars spirits of the deceased or do they somehow "belong" to the people? I confess that I find little here of substance, and no easy relationships through which the true faith might be spoken to them clearly. It may well seem as foreign to them as actually seeing the starpool is to me. I must admit though, it's a powerful sight, and it does not surprise me that it motivates faith, no matter how misguided.
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