Gaira is an ancient religion with its roots deep in the historic culture of the Rodani and Fexlund people. Though it is still practiced on a strongly individual basis, Gaira has become a widely congregational practice – perhaps in response to the rise of Kelyea’s Church and the ever-spreading A’erian religion.
There is no sanctioned “holy book”, and much of the religion’s lore is kept alive through oral tradition. Such stories of creation are referred to as The Narratas, and are expected to be known, in different variations, by Gairans everywhere.
Gairan deities include namely The Lord and The Lady, a two-part personification whose various actions and rhythms dictate the seasons and the “basic laws of life”. However, The Narratas is filled with a myriad of creatures and demi-gods (such as tree-nymphs and the god and goddess of fertility) whom can each be addressed individually depending upon what one is looking or praying for.
The Lady lives in all things and is all things. She is self-sustaining and all-powerful. On the Winter Solstice, she gives part of herself to create a mate, The Lord. Spring marks the full recovery of The Lady and the maturation of The Lord. As summer approaches, a season of fertility is inspired by the Lady’s joining with The Lord, and the earth follows suit. Fall, the harvest, marks the last fruitful birth of The Lady for that year, and much rejoicing and thanks is given. But with Winter comes the death of the ever short-lived Lord, and the hibernation of The Lady in an effort to once more produce for herself, a mate.
Outside of this, as mentioned before, there are a multitude of demi-gods and demi-goddesses devoted to various aspects of life. They are too numerous to list, with a male and female counterpart for each, and are generally nameless, but can be called upon easily as the "god-of-this" or the "goddess-of-that". Men are expected to pray to both the male and female incarnation (turning to the female when most desperate), while women enjoy the privilege of always receiving the female's attention first.
The traditional religion of Rodan and Fexlund, Gaira finds itself still immensely popular amoung the Rodani, where the greater population subscribes to the religion, while having "recently" lost some of its sway amoung the ever-fickle Fexlund nobility. Amoung Fexlund's peasants, however, the religion is still popular as many farmers find praying to the god of corn that his corn grows very practical.
More like religious guidelines for living the "Gairan way"
- Sanctity of Life
- In short? Do Not Kill. Every life is precious and worthy of its natural course. That includes the lives of animals and insects and, of course, people.
- an ideal. Assumed by the most devout as to kill an animal violates the aforementioned sacred right of life. In most cases, however, rather than banning certain foods, others are encouraged depending on the season and festivity. Traditional foods for the mid season between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, for example, include gourds, autumnal fruits like apples, and corn.
- Unheard of, unless you've been handfasted
or intend on being a priestess to the goddess of virginity and maidenhood. Sexuality is celebrated as a tribute to the unity of the Lord and Lady, and is even ritualized in some practices.
- Marriage...with a test-drive? A handfasting is unique from a traditional marriage in that its original duration only lasts a year and a day, a time during which the couple is expected to remain faithful t one another. After the allotted time is past, the couple may then choose to continue their marriage permanently, or separate "cleanly". If the pair chooses to remain married, the expectations of love, respect and fidelity are upheld for the duration of the lives of the partners.
- delivered individually or in small groups with the appropriate incense-burning, they are not required but it is generally considered that the gods and the Lady and Lord appreciate such contact.
- a general term referring to the gathering of several unrelated Gairans for the purpose of praise. Typically lead by a priestess. Can be held in homes or out of homes.
" - winter - celebrates birth of the new Lord.
-- "birthday gifts" are exchanged between members of the faith and feasts are held in honor of the Lords birth. Giving birth on the winter solstice is greatly frowned upon as taking away from the Lord's birth and adding a burden to the Lady's work.
" - autumn - celebrates the death of the old Lord.
-- A time for feasting and preparation for the coming winter, Lordas both commemorates the death of the old Lord prior to his rebirth in the winter, as well as serves as a final celebration before the harshness of winter sets in. One of the purposes is to bolster spirits, in order to outlast the snow.