Skeanism

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Skeanism ( Qgam Dzwo Skea saw /skeə sʌw/) is an animistic-shamanistic Soltennan religion practiced primarily in Qgam, which focuses on ritual practices meant to appease and respect ancestral and natural spirits, in turn bringing balance both within the individual and between the individual and the natural world.

Origins

Skeanism is believed to have originated in the regions northeast of the Gelög Sea. It is thought to be related to Ngeyvtaiq, as, although the two religions are rather different, they share many core beliefs, including animistic beliefs, multiple souls within single individuals, the use of shamans for spiritual wellness, and ancestor veneration. The cultures are known to have mixed for over 1,000 years, and the Nuar, previously living in northern Soltenna, also were thought to have a similar religion.

Beliefs

As an animistic faith, adherents believe that everything has a spirit within it. Animals are of significant importance, and nine major sacred animals are recognized: the owl, the wolf, the rabbit, the bear, the osprey, the deer, the trout, and the snake.

Humans are believed to have a total of nine souls within them. The nine souls within a person must be aligned in order to maintain good health, and the nine sacred animals must also be aligned within nature. Alignment is performed through the services of a shaman.

Historical narrative

Practices

Acts of Worship

Obligations

Scriptural law

Texts

Scriptures

There is only one Skeanic holy book, the Skam to Sro, ("Affairs of the World"). This text chronicles the legendary origins of the Qgamic people, and explains the various tenets of Skeanism. Such tenets include the importance and uniqueness of the Qgamic people, the existence of spirits in all things, and the mutual responsibility between humans and spirits to take care of each other, to keep each other in balance.

As stated above, the text combines both mytho-historical accounts and outlines the practices of the religion. The text establishes the line of Qgamic kings as the spiritually chosen line of leadership for all Qgams, and mandates northern Soltenna as the chosen land for Qgams to rule. From this, trust in strong leadership, and a strong sense of territoriality became ingrained aspects of Qgamic culture.

Common Skeanic practices include the supplication of spirits and the importance of shamans and their use of trance states.

History

Modern day

Current religious practices differ in many ways from the past. The spirituality of religion has ceased to dominate aspects of daily life as it once did, but a multitude of practices are carried out, somewhat on the level of superstition. People often continue to adjust their diet, various activities, and use traditional medicinal remedies based on religious and traditional teachings, and will often carry out important events on auspicious days.

However, the services of shamans are not employed to nearly as much of an extent as they were in the past, and they are much less frequently called upon for physical and spiritual healing. Notably, modern shamans generally employ specifically crafted tokens to assist in entering trance states, while few if any shamans continue the practice of using psychoactive mushrooms to this end.

Additionally, in the modern day, Skeanism is exploited by the government to evoke nationalistic thoughts and behaviours. As The Skam to Sro extols the special and unique nature of the Qgamic people, and proclaims the Qgamic leadership as divinely selected, it has served as an effective tool both for maintaining national identity and controlling public opinion.

Denominations

Being a very nationalistic religion centred on the uniqueness of the Qgamic people and the importance of the Qgamic kings, there are no significant denominations or sects of Skeanism. However, Among the ethnic Nuar, the religion tends to differ somewhat from that found among Qgams. This is thought to originate from the incorporation of the ancient Nuar relgion. It is thought that the ancient Nuar religion may itself have been a denomination of the ancient religion from which Skeanism and Ngeyv religion derived. As this religion bore many similarities to Skeanism, the two were easily merged when the Nuar seemingly converted in the centuries following the conquering of the Nuar Kingdoms by the Qgamic Kingdom.

Some of the most significant distinctions involve the various details of the shamanistic practices.

Culture

Art

Music

Literature

Morality

Community

Social welfare

Politics

As mentioned above, Skeanism has become a powerful tool for defining a core national identity to be used for nationalistic ends.

See Also