The Old Religion

The Path of God

The New Order
The New Order

According to the witches, it was the pleas and plight of humanity that gave birth to God, or at least to their god, the Great Spirit. A higher power that is neither male nor female, but given the strong matriarchal influences it was consider a female. Born into a world where people only knew pain and suffering, their hearts grew desperate as mankind fell to the poison filled of hatred. The world was lost and enshrouded with the darkness of endless wars; a force that gave no hope for peace. Seeking salvation from the world they lived in, a community was formed under the same ideology and a belief grew from it. On the day of a strong-rare celestial event, which became known as Harmonic Convergence, a man offered blood and serpent as sacrifice to the sun, while a woman later offered a prayer and a reed to the moon, both requesting a means to salvation. Taking pity on a world consumed by sadness, the pleas of these two people breathed life into God, giving passage into their world and from them, she was born, the first witch, The Supreme/Regent. From there, they initiated the first Grand Rite, successfully consecrating their land and thus it was beginning of the new world for them.

The Divine Ascension
The Divine Ascension

Through the voice of God, The Supreme shared the rules and balance from nature to help mankind. The world, as it was then, had no understanding of linear time. One of the many acts God did was established a linear and measurable time, bound by the elements of nature and four seasons. Separating both day and night. The laws of magic was established and so was the outlined of their mission for humanity’s road to salvation.

In order to keep and maintain the natural order, the scales between life and death and all things in-between, God blessed her followers with power. But her angels as she would call them had no power with the exception of the Supreme. This was done as a test, following her path with obedience would reward them with salvation. As each of her follower’s met their demise, her final gift to them would be paradise. Her angels were acolytes and extension of her will and in death these spirits were given power to bridge the link between nature and the living, they monitored the living under her command. The spirits of these dead became known as the Ancestors, existing apart of the Earth known as the Other World within a consecrated land.

With her creation of the new world completed, God’s strength was depleted and the Supreme collapsed. With her last dying breathe she informed all of her followers for the future to come, those who believed in God will know peace and for as long as they held onto the faith, she would be reborn. Reborn through her followers and her blood would continue to flow through the veins of future generations.

Beliefs

"To be reborn, you must sacrifice."

God/the Great Spirit remains to be a mystery to the witches all whom consider this being or entity as a myth or something else entirely, but due to their unshaken faith in their people and power, the witches revere this powerful force as they do the Ancestors. Living witches know that Ancestors act in God’s stead, following what they consider to be her commands. Through their actions, God is a strict being, demanding complete faith and devotion from her subjects, as well as various sacrifices. In exchange, God grants the witches gifts, the ability to tap into the earth for power through the Ancestors and practice witchcraft. God, is theorized not as only being strict but vengeful; promising bitter wrath and vengeance, presumably on those who fail to heed her call onto the living witches, and through the Ancestors she is able to deliver these punishments.

The witches have a strong belief and the basis for their religion revolves around the cycles of life and death and all things in-between. In order to be reborn, one must sacrifice, in other words: you reap what you sow. Their gift follows the same concept, sacrifice(s) must be made and the witches must abide to the rules of their gifts known as the Equivalent Exchange. The Equivalent Exchange is the balance between life and death, when a witch uses nature’s power, the witch in question must accept that a spell is tethered to something to create a balance. There is always a loophole to a spell, one if not many, as there are many variations of the same spell, depending on how powerful the spell is, it may require the knowledge of the witch who cast it, to undo it. The longevity of spells, especially powerful spells must be bound to something that exist just as long, even if it surpasses the witch’s life- powerful spells are bound to something even more powerful such as the moon or a comet, etc.

Due to the cyclicstic ritual taking place every three century, some witches mark the possibility that God is in fact a construct of combined beliefs and perceptions of the Ancestors. But regardless of these facts or not, the witches hold their God and ancestral spirits to high esteem, worshiping them regardless.

The Ancestors

Ancestral Spirits
Ancestral Spirits

The Ancestors are the power source and spiritual authority for the witches, acting under the will of the Great Spirit. The witches are known to revere the dead of their bloodline and others within their community as it is from them they draw strength. The Ancestors are the spiritual bridge that connects the living witches to their power, acting as patrons for their descendants. They are worshiped to be a near divine pantheon to the living witches and are considered nature’s servant. The orders of the Ancestors are treated as divine edicts that must be obeyed or else they face the wrath of the Great Spirit through them. Their beliefs in their cause is absolute and they teach this form of fundamentalist nature onto the Cardinal Witches, who serve as acolytes for the Ancestors. But because of their pact with the Great Spirit, to continue accessing their divine power, the Ancestors demand the witches to perform a powerful spell known as the Harvest where they teach the sacrificed girls in death and bless the community of with renewed strength. They also control and monitor the witches and the gifts used by them, and in extreme cases may also cut a witch off from their power.

If a witch strays from the faith, the Ancestors demand that the said witch either pays with their life and suffer the consequences in the land of the dead or shunned by the community. Once shunned, a witch will be revoked of his/or her status as a member of the community and lose their connection to the power granted to them

The Regent

 Contessa, The Immortal Witch; Self-claimed Regent from an outside hive. Who will come to undermine others authority and control, even the current Regent.
Contessa, The Immortal Witch; Self-claimed Regent from an outside hive. Who will come to undermine others authority and control, even the current Regent.

Also known as The Supreme or Regent of Nine Covens. The Regent is considered to be the Queen/King of The Witches, acting as the chosen emissary for all consecrated dead in their community, therefore the Regent is the voice and will of the Ancestors. Being the true physical embodiment and conduit for the Ancestors, the Regent is given incredible amount of power to such a high extent with total access to any of the witch ancestors, therefore they possess immense knowledge in witchcraft and can perform spells, rituals, and crafts potions found in each of the nine covens and can even use their nature's gifts outside of consecrated land. Being the central figurehead within the community, the Regent plays an important role in society and as such can command such power to end or even begin war, with no opposing voice from the other witches having a say in her choice, aside from the Ancestors. Through the decree of the ancestors and voted by Elders, the election of the Regent is given to a witch and can be passed on.

The Cardinal Witches

The Chosen Ones
The Chosen Ones

Also known as Harvest Witches/Girls are renowned as saviors of their community, due to their importance in the Harvest ritual that renews the witches’ connection to their power and are extremely powerful, second only to the Regent. The Harvest Girls are revere as holy figures and highly favored by the Ancestors, giving them the same if not superior social and political power as the Elders. The Harvest Girls are also unique and special to the community because of their close connection to the Ancestors while they rested in limbo, therefore are the living conduct for the Ancestors and groomed to be next in line leaders of the community. Due to their time with the Ancestors, the sacrificed girls are noted to be shaped and molded as living weapons for the witches made flesh, granted higher aptitude of magical knowledge and power.

The Elders

The Wise Ones
The Wise Ones

The elders are leaders within their coven who act as the high priest and/or priestess for the Great Spirit and the Ancestors. These witches are highly skilled and powerful, coming after the Harvest Girls in power if not matched. They are essential to the community because they are the only one who can do important spells such as the initiating the Grand Rite and completing the Harvest as well as electing future Regents. Should an Elder come close to death or is wiped off entirely or dead, they can bestow their power onto another witch or have their bones consecrated by a singular witch in their coven therefore making that witch an Elder, thus ensures the Elder’s status remains active and passed on.

Practices

From those who came before us.
From those who came before us.

The form of witchcraft practiced by these witches are considered more gruesome and morbid but also powerful and dangerously wild. A witch's powers comes from two things: lust (arousal) and death (sacrifices). This variation of practice involves the collaboration of a witch and a higher power (the Ancestors) to perform very exotic spells and rituals. Witches, thanks to their dead are able to channel and use the wild energies of nature as a source of power to influence the natural world and those beyond. The mechanics behind such process involves a living witch channeling their bloodline. Once the connection is made, the witch spirits are able to channel the energies of nature and provide a link to allow the living access to that power. Nature allows witches to magnify their own power reserve through channeling various power sources that it is affiliated with, such as power drawn from celestial events or rare events such as Harmonic Convergence, with the latter occurring every 500 years, even to certain ones such as channeling another witch for power. All witches are blessed with telekinesis that are rudimentary at best, each varying in strength to moving about the weight of three grown men in size and can be amplified with spells. Certain witches can also develop other personal extrasensory skills that are unique to them such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychometry, empathy, or even divination, without the use of spells but to a certain degree that is simple in nature.

It is through death they are empowered
It is through death they are empowered

A sacrifice without love is mere slaughter and should not be taken kindly- blood offerings sacrifices and the many virtues related to blood, whether the methods of spreading it or the quality and origin of the blood itself is important. Power gained through ritualized sacrifices, a voluntary process of offering the witch's own blood, but more often it is the shedding of blood of a victim chosen specifically because it meets certain prerequisites. All spells require a calibrated amount of blood depending on the spell and power needed, the stronger the spell, then the greater the sacrifice.

Usually, the victims are animals with particular qualities or simply readily available as hares, cockerels, and mice. Human beings, especially are powerful catalyst for spells. Lesser spells and rituals can also be empowered with the blood of the witch themselves, obtained from an incision on the palm or even a few drops of blood from a fingertip. However, a sacrifice must never be done lightly and the greater the spell the more blood is needed.

A witch’s spell is very lethal but also sensitive in its formula. A spell or ritual contain numerous ingredients that depends on the effect and intentions involved and not just nature’s power alone, ranging from simple to intricate components. As such, utilization of colors, herbs, images (symbols, sigils, runes, etc.), gestures/postures, as well as the study of alchemy, astrology, hypnosis and employment of natural elements, objects, oils, minerals, stones, an individual’s possession and bodily fluids (mainly blood) and other practical ingredients (candles, incenses, effigies, etc.) are needed to help in its performance. These seem to be the key ingredients, aside from nature, in a witch’s spell. All form of spell craft revolves around influencing the Three Essentials of Magic (mind, body, and soul) that stems from life and death. The witches are tag-lock that either corresponds negatively or positively with a spell. Meaning it is sympathetic, conforming to the laws of contagion and similarity.

There are several limitations to a witch’s power. The most important is that every spell contains a loophole, for every door that a witch opens there is another spell to close it. Nature will always find a balance to ensure that the scales between life and death does not shift. This allows witches to counter another witch’s spell and undo them. But in certain case it may be impossible if the witch who cast for example a hex, is stronger than the witch who wishes to undo it, only then can the caster be the only one to remove it or another equally if not more powerful witch can undo it. Another is overexertion, witches are simply mortal beings blessed with nature’s gift. Channeling too much power from nature via the Ancestors and excessive use will result in the witch developing several symptoms due to energy disintegrating them from the inside. If they push their limits they will develop bleeding and pain (either/or all nose, eyes, ears, even mouth or pores of their body), disorientation, unconsciousness, or even death should they persist and take to the extreme. The more powerful or difficult a spell is the more time consuming it is to perform and take effect.

But this power can only be harnessed within the boundaries of the nemeton. Therefore, should a witch abandon the area, their power will diminish and be forced into using the practical and weaker form of their practice: bloodletting. This is greatly pales in comparison by itself as the witch will be without the support of the Ancestors who are a major power supply.

The Grand Rite

The Breed of Pure Malice
The Breed of Pure Malice

The Grand Rite is the most important ritual to the witches, it is from this ritual that the witches gain power through consecrating the land. It is composed of three very important steps:

1. First is the Awakening, in which the witches must sacrifice 13 lives known as the Black Zodiacs. All their sacrifice must be born in the same year but in different months. The Awakening activates the ritual and open the gates for their blessings and ancestors. Once done, the consecration of power marks the land through the oldest tree (nemeton) in the area as a nexus of power and hotspot from which will then serve as a spring of energy for the witches to channel. Once completed this ritual is no longer needed to be performed unlike the Harvest. The Awakening opens the gate to power, while the Harvest maintains it.

2. The next step is the Harvest, a very important and annual ritual that is to be performed every three centuries to ensure that the bonds to their ancestral power continues flowing. The Harvest involves four young witches within the coven being sacrificed in a sequential manner determined by their elemental representation. The girls represent the four cardinal elements that is the cornerstone creation of nature from where they draw magic from and thus the sacrifice is staged in the order of: earth (to bind past and future magic), water (to heal the community), wind (to carry to and from the Ancestors), and fire (to purify), all coming together to form the final element of unity and wholeness that is spirit (magic). With each death, their power passes onto the next and the final death from the fourth girl ensure that the magic is bled back into the earth as an offering to their god.

3. Once the sacrifice is complete, the witches are then rewarded through the Reaping (approximately taking a week into effect), where the four sacrificed witches are resurrected and reborn stronger than before and the link between both living and dead is strengthened and renewed. During the countdown to in which the Harvest must be performed again, the witches will be signaled through noticing and feeling a shifting wane in their magic and severe decrease in power, thus marking the death of their magic. As each day draws near for renewing the contract of the Harvest, the witches will be left nigh-powerless unless they rebuild the connection. If not, then the witches’ power will fade entirely and they will cease to be witches altogether. The first century will mark the witches at their strongest, the next century their strength is halved, and last century will slowly drain the witches half strength until the final year will bestow the witches 1/3 of the magic given to them from the Harvest as the nemeton will be cut off from the springs of the Ancestors and be left with only a limited supply of power before it "dries out".

Consecration

Honoring The Dead
Honoring The Dead

Consecration is a vital practice for the witches. This ritual is used whenever a member of their community has fallen. When a witch is consecrated, their magic is sent back into the Earth, replenishing the nemeton, thus fueling the living witches and their bloodline and the spirit of the decease becomes one of the many collective force that is the Ancestors. Consecrating a witch involves an intricate approach, in that the body or the remains (bones) of the decease witch must be dressed and blessed with an assortments of incenses, oils, herbs, and offerings (prayers). Once performed, only then can the dead witch “find peace”. Should a witch be left unconsecrated, the witch in question is said to become a wandering spirit, never knowing peace until a witch in her community can find the remains and send the spirit to "salvation".

Dark Objects

The Rota Fortunae, used by Chanel
The Rota Fortunae, used by Chanel

Also known as cursed objects, are enchanted tools used by the witches that can possess and produce a variety of effects. Dark objects were created by witches to avoid persecution due to fears from their hunters. Due to the unique formulation and structure of the enchantments given to the object, acts such dispelling and undoing the magic imbued in the object is possible, but only given the right direction in doing so. Some creations are just too powerful to be destroyed or reverse due to the strong amount of power involved in its creation, unless the witch in question of whom spelled the object can only undo. Dark Objects may come in all forms of shape and size, as well as appearance, each varying to a witch’s preference but the dark object must also correspond with such said items physical structure and its connotation to such device, such as a cursed rosary used to drive one towards total madness through physical contact, due to the strong connection it has with prayers and it would be as if the witch "prayed" for madness onto another. Ex. The Rota Fortunae, similar in appearance to a dream-catcher but adorn in various animal components. Has the ability to spy on other individuals from a distance in form of clairvoyance.

Aside from its negative connotations, dark objects can also be served a channeling tool for witches to draw extra strength due to the power that is infused with the object, helping to magnify and strengthen a witch's spell.

The Heretics

Contessa Devereux, Chanel de la Fontaine, Angela Lee, Anastasia Yukovia (Madame Orchid), among others

(Disclaimer: This will serve a make-shift of a religion for my characters. Thereby as always, I am incorporating my own mythology into the fold to further my concept. If anyone else is interested in becoming entwined with my mythology and concepts, feel free to pm me and we can discuss terms. Other than that, enjoy the read because this serves as a frame for my complex stories and writing and some of the stuff sounds repetitive, but off well. Constant updating.)

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