The Forest Folk Chapter 6

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The Sylvan revered as gods

Chapter 1 (v.1) - From Awakening to God-Form

Submitted: June 30, 2017

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Submitted: June 30, 2017

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THE FOREST FOLK:

 

Chapter 6 - From Awakening to God-Form:

 

In many instances, as with the Tuatha de Danaan, the Sylvan that had undergone the Kuiviess were elevated to the level of Deity. Even amongst their own people, as the clans became tribes and the tribes nations, each would adopt some of the Ya'Araye as their own Patrons. Thus the Ancients began to be revered as more than just those that had gone before. By the time the earliest of nations were born, there was already an intricate pantheon of ascended Sylvan, each with their own identity or portfolio.

 

Some of these have been mentioned before, but this was more than just a single group of distinguished Ancients. Those that were referred to in a previous chapter were but an example from one of the Pantheons. And even then, although they were held in high regard, these beings were still not treated with the same reverence as Deities.

 

This changed when the Sylvan began to come into contact with the other races, during the various Foundings. Each of these had a well-developed belief system. The primitive Uryk had their own form of worship, even though this was centred around the various elemental spirits, those of Water, Air, Fire and Earth. And so, as Sylvan culture began to accommodate certain aspects of the other races around them, they too adopted their own Deities. Even then, it was not all of the Ya'Araye who were elevated to this level, but only those who were perceived to have greater influence over the specific nation as a whole.

 

And so these beings were divided into the Upper and Lower Realms, and although both were held with great esteem, the former were given greater respect than the latter. Later, those in the Upper Realm were given a separate title to the ones in the Lower. They were the ones who were given the name Mellyrnra, meaning 'Gods', while the rest retained their original designation.

 

Aluvatan remained as the Father of All, and Ya'ave was still his beloved, but below them were a number of beings that were said to hold very lofty positions. These are but a few examples: 'The Three aspects of Ya'ave': the Maiden, known as Lilayeth, the Mother - Ysha, and the Crone - Moreq. Asureyan was Lord of Creation (the Natural World), and Nyethu 'the Keeper of the Last Door', which is Death. Vayol was his opposite. It was she who breathed into Creation, and thus ignited the spark of life at birth.

 

Generally these were revered and later worshipped throughout the year, and a number of specific festivals were held in their honour. They held special prominence when certain events either took place, or were about to do so. For example: If someone was dying, or had died, then Nyethu would be called upon to open 'the Door', and thus allow him or her safe passage into the afterlife, known as 'Nuaro-noore' or 'Far Country'. If a drought was threatening, a flood pending, or any form of natural disaster was imminent, then prayers and libations were offered to Asureyan in order to avert it. The first-fruits of the harvest were dedicated to Ya'avanna, 'the Goddess of Fertility'. This particular Deity, along with Kournos were later adopted by the llianari, who called them Alluvanna and Kulgen respectively.

 

One custom in particular that is worth mentioning took place when a she-elf passed from one stage of development to the next. Elf-maidens are prized, seemingly more than their male counterparts. Thus, when a she-elf becomes the equivalent of a teenager, she is dedicated to Lilayeth. When she is old enough to become a mother, then Ysha takes over as her guardian. This continues until her first female child becomes a mother herself, after which she is under Moreq's protection.

 

Traditionally, a male child is placed under the care of Valya, the Great King. When he is old enough, then Kournos takes charge. The dedication to the Hunter-Warrior usually takes place when the child reaches puberty, and lasts until the first of his progeny becomes a youth himself, at which time the father is then placed under the care of Hoyeth. The belief is that, at this point, the father needs all the wisdom he can get in order to effectively foster his offspring.

 

The Lower Realm consisted of a great number of Ancients, many of which were revered as personal, or even household Patrons, by those believed to be their direct descendants. But there were a few that held specific offices in their plane of existence. For example: Hykartye was the Mother of Magic and Healing. Thus any who became physicians or magi would entreat her to aid them in these pursuits. Those who became sailors and mariners swore their allegiance to Mythlann, the Lord of the Deep, a title similar to that of Neptune in ancient times. Success in battle was ascribed to Drokyera, Queen of Vengeance, whereas defeat was either the Curse of Hyekon, 'the Sunderer', or the work of Khyeryn, 'the Blood-Lord'. Whenever famine ravaged the land, it was believed to have been sent by Estrayeth, 'God of Hunger', and when the dew fell in the morning, it was thought to be the tears of Lyderyel, 'Lady of Mists', that fell as she was forced to part with her lover, Loreq, 'Lord of the Shadows' (Referring to night time).

 

Later the Sylvan changed how they perceived their Deities. Instead of them being separate beings, independent of the Eya, they became - in a sense - expressions of certain aspects of this Creative Force. The understanding was that their existence was in order to aid those on the physical plane to perceive the grandeur of the Creator. It was believed, that once one of the Ya'Arye reached a certain level of prominence, he or she would them begin to reflect the Creator's nature more accurately, and thus would become a vessel through which the Eya could communicate with Creation. Somehow this was achieved so that the ascended being would in no way lose his or her individual identity. Therefore, it was not so much a merging of the two, but the one being an extension of the other.

 

The final stage of all existence, therefore, would be when the being is reunited with the Creative Source. But rather than this union causing the former to cease to exist as an entity in its own right, it meant that the Eya would become even greater than before. Thus, instead of the belief that the Creator was static, incapable of growth, every ascended being would cause the Eya's glory and renown to increase. And as this happened, Creation itself would expand into an ever growing number of dimensions and planes of existence. They knew that the time would come when they would have to ascribe the various portfolios to new deities, and in the fullness of time, even those that served them in the physical reality would take their place.

 

Consequently, they believed that physical life was transitional, and that death was not the end, but a new beginning. Those who passed into the great beyond were departing from this reality, only to begin their journey in the next. Thus, there is a saying: 'An sya nidra ta'nayen i'nond, dara nayen nyed fal wundua inen', which means: 'It is good to mourn the dead, but do not mourn without hope'. This means, that while it is acceptable to mourn the passing of a loved one, in the sense that the relationship and fellowship that one enjoyed with that person is over, one should not despair, or lose sight of the fact that the deceased is not lost. Instead one should take heart that he or she has begun a new adventure, far more glorious than that which has gone before.

 

Concerning the nature of the Eya, or Creative Source: In some cultures, it is believed that the Creator was something of a 'First Cause'. In other words, this being merely started the series of events which is evolution, and then allowed it to run its own course. Others hold to the belief that this is not a being at all, but a form of creative energy. Thus creation is not a conscious act, but a process over which its originator has little or no control due to the lack of intelligence. The Sylvan believe that the Eya is indeed the Creator of all things, but this being is intelligent, even beyond any mortal comprehension. Thus Creation is far from a random sequence, one of cause and effect. Although this process is generally allowed to run its own course, at the most pivotal of junctures, the Eya would intervene, so that the change that was about to take place was still in accordance to the overall plan.

 

But it was not only the Sylvan themselves that perceived the Awakened as Deities. Once again there is evidence of this when one looks at the initial opinion as indicated in the Norse Edda. Here the Alfar are said to be '… a little lower than the Gods, but still possessing great power …'. This has a similar underlying message than that of a previous writing that states, concerning humanity, that man has been '… placed a little lower than Yahweh Himself …', however this was later re-interpreted as saying that he was '… created a little lower than the Angels …'.

 

Compare the Norse opinion to that of the Celts, and one will see a familiar pattern. Initially the beings that were later called the Children of Danu, the Tuatha de Danaan, were seen merely as powerful beings. Only later were they elevated to the level of Gods and Goddesses. As was the case with the Mellyrnra, these Deities were associated with specific attributes. Bile was 'the God of Light'; The Dagda - 'the Father of the Gods'; Danu - The Earth Goddess; Boann - 'the River Goddess' … and so on. Thus, when a ship was about to embark on a voyage, the captain and crew would call upon Fand, the Goddess of the Sea, to assure safe passage across her domain, while perhaps asking Banbha for protection against possible calamity or danger.

 

Later, once the Sidhe had either departed or gone into hiding, there began a misconception that all elves are Children of Danu, instead of this title only referring to those who had ascended. But at least they were still held in higher regard than they were in the eyes of the early Christian or Catholic Church. To them, far from being Gods, or even close to the Gods, they were branded as evil, malicious, and even demonic.

 

If one were to take into consideration the manner in which the elves were treated during this time, then perhaps their actions could be perceived as malicious. In the light of the persecution to which they were subjected, it is hardly surprising that many of them would seek reprisal, even revenge, for their suffering at the hands of those they once considered allies. This is why, in the Celtic and Irish folklore, reference is made to what is known as the Unseelie Court. Much has already been said about this, but when one looks at the situation from the perspective of those that sought to destroy the Sidhe, and reduce their legacy, nay their existence, to that of myth and legend, then it is hardly surprising that they would also seek to change the people's view of them from light to darkness, good to evil.

 

The change from Ascended Being to Deity is a pattern that can be seen throughout history. In almost every culture, those that first began as 'Spirits', or 'Guides', soon are elevated to a higher status, and eventually are worshipped as Gods. This is possibly a product of evolution, and the increased awareness of the supernatural. Or perhaps it is merely born from necessity. For the hunter-gatherer, it is enough that the various 'Nature Spirits' are revered in order to garner their blessing over either the hunt, or the gathering of food for the clan. But once the next stage of civilisation is reached, that of tribalism, then a certain patron, or group of patrons, are appointed as those who protect and bless the tribe. And so the progression continues until nations are established, at which time these spirits are given the title of Gods and Goddesses.

 

Each of these Deities should be considered as being of equal stature, but alas - all too often, in the case of humanity - one nation or religion will come to believe that their God is the only being worthy of that name. Hence those who adhere to this belief will begin to suppress, and even seek to annihilate, all who would dare to oppose their 'God'. But the Sylvan do not hold to this belief. To them the human Deities - as well as those of the Drimm, the Firyen … or any other race - are on the same level as their own. Thus there is no differentiation between those that are considered to be lesser 'gods' (with a small 'g'), and a greater, or more dominant Deity (referred to with a capital 'G'). Every perception of God is thus given the same title of 'Mellyrn', the plural of which is Mellyrnra.

 

Even though the Sylvan have evolved, many of them far beyond that of human civilisation, they still revere their pantheon with as much respect as they did in the beginning. Time has not eroded their beliefs, nor has science attempted to deny their validity. Instead their pursuit of knowledge has brought them to a greater understanding of the supernatural. After all, the Kuiviess remains the goal of every Sylvan, and thus their focus is still on that objective.

 

This, together with their continued regard for all of Creation, is what makes the Sylvan unique. Even with the great advances in technology, the goal is to limit the effects that these have on the environment. Thus, before any new development takes place, an assessment is made as to the impact on the world around them, including the natural. If it is deemed harmful, then further research is done into ways of making it less so. They are not so naïve as to believe that these advancements can take place without leaving a 'footprint' on the environment, but every effort is made to ensure that this is sustainable.

 

This attitude also stems from their focus on ascension, as it would be detrimental to this pursuit if one were to seek to benefit from any technological progress, that would prove harmful to any other life form, from the humble insect to the mightiest of creatures on land or in the ocean. This is further reinforced by the belief that - far from being the pinnacle of Creation - they are merely part thereof. To them, Creation itself is likened to a massive organism, in which each of its components has an integral role, and this includes the Sylvan themselves. Thus, any who would seek to harm, or even destroy another, is seen to be as a disease or cancer that endangers the whole. And therefore, if an individual, or group, would seek to continue the path to Awakening, they must do so, to the best of their ability, in harmony with the rest of Creation.

 

The only deities that were generally excluded from Sylvan worship were the Baralyrnnra, or 'Gods of Chaos', and for obvious reasons. According to legend, the likes of Lolyeth, Ellestrae, and Guanadyr had established themselves in opposition to the rest of the Gods. Thus began the Mellyrndareye, the 'God-Wars'. These mythical conflicts often coincided with many of the Sylvan clashes. Although not entirely so, it was thought, that whenever the Sylvan clashed - especially with races other than their own kind - it was believed that this was a result of a 'War in the Heavens'. This belief was even more prevalent in the strife between the Sylvan and the Morq'Fayn. In this case, the common belief was, that their leaders - the Morq'Ur and his or her commanders - had gained their considerable powers by swearing their allegiance to the 'Dark Gods'. This is why these deities were ignored, if not maligned.

 

 


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