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Etra, Goddess of Life

Etra

Etra, Goddess of Life
Etra, Goddess of Life

 

Titles: The Surgeon, The Mother of the World, Glorious Mother, Deathless One, The Eternal Spirit, The Mother

Domains: Life, Healing, Good

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Symbol: Etra’s holy symbol is a green leaf with a bladed stem.

Holy Color: The holy color of Etra is pale green.

 

Etra is regarded as the Mother of the World and her worship predates the Empire by many hundreds of years.  She has been alternately worshipped as a goddess of the harvest, a fertility goddess, a goddess of love, and a goddess of nature.  In her most modern incarnation, Etra is depicted as a beautiful, full-figured woman with flowing blonde hair that curls at her hips.  Her eyes are bright green and she holds a surgeon’s knife in one hand and a flower in her other hand.

 

Temples to The Mother are ascetic in appearance with no benches but rather cushions that worshippers sit on.  The Singer (usually a priestess, but sometimes a priest) sings homilies and prayers to the worshippers and then leads group meditation.  Clerics of Etra sing their prayers for their miracles.

 

Afterlife: Resembles life in the material plane, but all pains lifted and all sorrows eased.  Souls who enter the Garden of Life (or the Golden Pasture) have a time of healing where the pains of life are eased away.  After this period of healing, they are expected to help in the Great Work of Etra, which is the proliferation of life where there is none.

 

Worship: Solemn group meditation in temples.  When alone, a worshipper writes a prayer on a piece of paper and burns it.  If a prayer cannot be burned, simply writing the prayer in a place where it will be wiped away is enough.

 

Holidays: The Burgeoning of Life (first day of spring) is Etra’s holiest day and is celebrated by putting a seedling in the earth and then mixing the soil with a burnt prayer, after which small token gifts of affection are given to loved ones.  The Mother has many holidays which commemorate prophets, full moons, the harvest, and births.

 

Clergy: Male and female, though primarily female.

Function: Judges, spiritual advisors, healers, connection to the afterlife

Lifestyle: Ascetic

Family: None (chastity required)

Chosen: Prospective Singers (priests or priestesses) must study to become clergy and then serve a mission as a healer for a year.

Distinguished By: Singers are powerful advocates for good and healing and as such are admitted into any nation or city.  They heal any who are sick or injured, to the best of their ability and do not take sides in political issues.

 

Passed Down:  Etra’s Song is a long composition contained in a book called The Music of Life.  Clergy are supposed to have the Music memorized.

 

Creation Myth Type: Dismemberment.  The Mother was dismembered by her four children, then healed herself with her divine power.  Her severed limbs and body became the earth and all life on it.

Mortals’ Origin: Divine blood.

Major Myth/Symbols: The ascension, the tree, the fall

 

Deadly Sins: murder, theft, envy, despair

High Virtues: honesty, bravery, wisdom, thoughtfulness, selflessness, diligence

 

Associated Artform: Song

 

Coming of Age: 15 years old

Coming of Age Rite: Involves personal meditation and prayer culminated in a celebration of life where the Song of Creation is sung by the person who is coming of age.

 

Marriage: Free choice with homosexuality accepted

Marriage Rites: Typically take place in natural settings.  The couple partake in sacred vows, sing the Song of Life, and exchange tokens of love (typically something of value that has personal significance to the spouse.)

 

Death Rites: The recently deceased is either cremated or buried without a coffin in a natural setting with a grave marked by the planting of a tree.

 

Major Taboo: Touch without consent

Prevalence: Very popular in rural settings and with the common population

Outsiders:  Proselytized to.