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All Beliefs are Welcome Here!

My goodness, it's hard to believe; really hard to believe I wrote this four years ago. I found myself reading over it again recently, and decided to post this here. These sorts of things never lose their relevance:

The gods of Vilturj are diverse. They exist in the physical world and the three otherworlds. They are planets, weather phenomena, animals and
states of mind. Some are distinctly male or female, while others blur
the boundaries of sexuality, gender, form and nature. They have distinct
and sometimes contradictory folklore attached to them, and can be
easily accessible through worship, or difficult to access through years
of loyal dedication (in the case of the weather gods).

For us, the gods are not archetypes that exist as higher energies within us, but
independent entities that for the most part exist without any of our
worship at all. This means that many of our gods are not dependent on us
for their existence, and so have no reason to help us unless they are
particularly benevolent or compassionate, or we have something to offer
them, or we simply amuse them (as in the case of the untrustworthy
Lesavny).

Our relationship to our gods is not hallmarked by a 'relationship of equals,' as seen in some aspects of neopaganism.
Vilturj gods are often feared, and rightfully so. We appeal to them for
help and aid, but without giving appropriate honour, respect and
offerings, they can also turn their heads and ignore us, or worse; curse
our families and our land. Years of dedication and loyalty to the
Vilturj pantheon is in turn rewarded with prosperity, health, spiritual
achievement and a heightened ability to travel successfully in the
otherworlds. However, if we turn our backs on them, they also turn their
backs on us.

Because Vilturj requires a constant sense of devotion and loyalty, it is difficult to worship all of the gods, or
even many of them. After years, you may only be fortunate enough to have
worked seriously or at length with maybe two or three deities. This is
why certain Oraite and Ilkara'te 'specialise' in certain areas. An
Ilkara'te that spent their whole life worshipping L'yuvotn'r (the rain
god) may be far more equipped to work with the rains, than an Oraite who
spent their whole life working with Vavale and so were more equipped to
work with herbs and b'lethra (plait magic).

Just because Vilturj requires loyalty and devotion, does not mean you cannot question the
gods or the beliefs within the religion / spirituality itself. During
times of crisis, and natural times of detachment from our passions, it
is normal for us to rail against the gods, our situation, or our 'lot in
life.' At these times we may damage our relationship with the gods, but
during a true crisis many deities are tolerant of what must seem to be
our childish outbursts. In fact, some deities may even be facilitating
the circumstances that lead to such outbursts. It is through questioning
our beliefs and our gods that we temper our strength and spirit,
however, we must remember that a little respect goes a long way.

Vilturj does not house a pantheon that plays well with other deities. Vilturj
gods prefer exclusivity, though they have been known to call upon those
who already practice other religions and spiritualities. I have worked
with Sekhmet a few times in my life, but only at the permission of the
gods I worship. There have been a couple of times where Sekhmet has been
'turned away' by Vavale.

In Vilturj, there is a primary Sun Goddess: Karijiana, and a Moon God: D'miezak'r. Many of the gods are
celestial, or connected to weather phenomenon, and are sometimes not
personified into human or animal incarnations. Some gods are connected
with psychological states such as 'madness' or 'sorrow.' Some gods are
connected to specific otherworlds. Almost all of them have 'houses' of
some kind that can be visited in the otherworlds where petitions may be
left for them.

No god in Vilturj is accountable to humankind. If we are wiped out tomorrow, almost all of them would go on existing in
some form or another, as the rain, as the Arctic fox, as the moon and
narwhal. This teaches us our place in the world, we are just as
important or unimportant as everything else. When we give the gods
respect and trust, we in turn learn that we may be rewarded with the
same respect and trust. When we show our fellow companions compassion,
we learn that these distant gods foster not only fear, but love,
integrity and passion. The Vilturj pantheon may seem cold, but there are
many benefits to maintaining a strong and loyal relationship to the
gods - or indeed to any god.

If you are thinking of making an appeal to one of the Vilturj gods, please keep in mind everything you
have read in this article. I would discourage anyone from contacting any
of these gods if they are hoping for an 'equal and loving'
relationship. While some Vilturj gods are quite benevolent and
compassionate, they still require dedication, loyalty and hard work. One
ritual may not even be enough to secure their attention, let alone
their commitment. These deities tend to call those who have gotten their
attention, and resist being 'called' by those who simply want to know
what it's like to meet the maiden Vasilia, or the bountiful Karijiana.

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