- 1 Beliefs
- 1.1 Flamma
- 1.2 The Natural Order
- 1.3 The Spiritual Order
- 1.4 Unholy Ones
- 1.5 Planes of existence
This information is commonly taught by the priests and temples, and is readily available to anyone who had contact with the religion.
Aetheris Pyrism deals with a complex notion called flamma, literally translated as "flame", which designates both the spiritual essences that make everything move, act and live, as well as the immaterial beings of both the spiritual and mortal worlds. The flamma is subdivided in several other categories.
The imus flamma is the interior/innermost flamma of a living being: what we could roughly translate as its soul. It is thought to be made of the same essence as the gods themselves, immortal and transcendent, constituting men and linking them to the divine. It is thought that every human being has a particular imus flamma, whose correct cultivation brings them closer to the Gods, both in life and in the afterlife. In such way, all the potentialities of the mind and body are directly linked to how attuned our flames are towards the divine. Aetheris Pyrism attempts to teach such attunement.
Not only there is in the living a presence of the flamma in the mortal world. Signs of it can be seen everywhere: in the humidity, in the warmth and even in the nourishment. Such presence, much more subtle, is called the exter flamma. These are seen as the lower spirits residing in the things and objects. These lower spirits have their own personality, and can take offense if disrespected. For example, committing impure acts in the area might make diseases spread or turn the living infertile if the local spirits are angered. Certain spirits, like the ones of the fire and certain alchemical compounds, are normally always angered, so they will show themselves hostiles no matter how respectfully they are treated if one gets too close to them.
There are places in where the spiritual world touches the mortal, and there can been sensed the presence of an uncommon, purer perhaps, aura of the exter flamma. These can be the souls of those who already departed, usually found in family shrines and temples, or the essences of very strong lower spirits, found in sacred places, commonly in unusual natural accidents, not rarely home of a shrine or temple themselves.
The Natural Order
Everything in this world is a member of a caste. The higher castes rule over the lower ones, in order to preserve the natural balance. From the lowest to the highest, this are the castes:
Those that are. They make up all the material things in the world, and provide it with substance.
Those that live. They make up all the moving things in the world, and provide it with life.
Those that sense. They make up all the sensing things in the world, and provide men with their work, products and ultimately with their mortal vessels.
Those that feel. They make up all the feeling beings, that is, the men. They work under the leadership of their superiors to ensure the Gods way is preserved.
Those that reason. They make up all the noble blooded men, whose divine mandate gave them the ability to reason and govern their passions. Their task is to guide humanity towards the Gods' way, and be an example for their inferiors.
Those who bring divinity upon the world. They are a select group of divinely-touched men who have came into closer communion with the spiritual world. They serve as the bridge to the Spirits, to have the will of the Gods known.
The Spiritual Order
Like the natural world, the spiritual has its own order. There are castes that determine their spiritual powers, and the worship that its due to them by the mortals. From the lowest to the highest, this are the castes:
Those who watch over their living offspring, even after their deaths. Even the commoners have ancestors, who they ought to pay the due respect. The worship of the ancestors occurs regularly as a duty to show respect (lack of which would trigger the anger and curse from the deceased), and occasionally to ask for personal aid in important tasks (examples: courage in the battle, a steady hand in a duel, inspiration for writing, wit for a debate).
They are the lowest of the divine beings and a tool of the Gods. They are guardians of divine places and objects in the mortal realm, and the dealings with them are not advised but to the proficient and spiritually trained ones, for they might be extremely dangerous to the common mind and heart. They can be mischievous, benevolent or plainly evil. Though dealings with them are not recommended, often men will make pacts with them, sacrificing something (examples: sacrifice an animal to request good weather for the ships, throw treasure into a natural pool to ask protection in a travel, burning food to tribute the spirits of plague to leave).
The Heroes who have passed away and transcended mortality, who occasionally return to grant their graces upon the world. They live in the Solar Realm along with the rest of the higher divine beings, enjoying the after-life of the Heroes. Saints will be prayed for the most varied reasons, in order to request their aid whenever should they pay visit again to the mortal realm (examples: pray for a daughter to find a rich husband, ask for intervention to grant a good harvest, plea for the saint's intervention to get the favors of the gods in a battle).
The highest grade of divine presence a human mind can bear to meet, only the highest spiritual authorities have contact with such beings. They are the messengers of the Gods, who enforce their will. The higher spirits' nature and deep motivations are beyond the human comprehension, and yet they are the higher we can achieve to communicate with. They are very rarely worshiped directly, but rather are object of communion by the clergymen, who attempt to gain indirect access to the Gods through them. This is done in the presence of stars, through deep states of meditation, and altered states of consciousness, ofter induced by the aid of natural substances.
The divine ones, creators and rulers of all. Their will is obscure for us simple minds, but through effort and the aid of those above us we are able to get hints of it. These we follow. The Gods are usually worshiped in every aspect of the daily life, being in carrying a holy symbol, dressing in an appropriate manner, thanking for the everyday graces or holding a festival in the Gods' (or in a particular God's) honor. Though pleas might eventually happen, trying to negotiate with or ask for things to the Gods is considered extremely offensive and dangerous.
Not all of the spiritual world is accessible to humanity, and some of it should be completely avoided. Such is the case of the unholy beings that seek to corrupt and consume the flamma of men. Aetheris Pyrism strongly condemns seeking to approach such entities, and their names are forbidden to be said out loud.
The dwellers of the Underworld are fallen Gods, which became corrupted, presumably under the influence of Ukhra. In the same way the Gods rule in the Solar Realm, the Underlords rule in their inverse Hellish Realm. They are trapped underneath earth, fooled to be actually in the sky (see more in the Creation Myth), always attempting to spread their damned influence into the Mortal Realm.
The greatest known evil is not a fallen God, or a creature of any kind we know. It is chaos, and it is order, way past the point the right measure. It is Ukhra, the nothingness, the enemy of everything and everyone, including the very Underlords.
Planes of existence
We Pyrists recognize at least three realms, but acknowledging the separation is merely academic, and non-exhaustive. The lower level is the Underworld or Infernal Realm, in where the Underlords live, fooled by thinking to be ruling from the heavens, imprisoned by this reality that makes the second and middle level, the Mortal Realm. In such we live and die, and it was made in the image of the Above, but in a much simpler form. Lastly there is what we call the Holy or Spiritual Realm, to which we are as less than a painting is to our world. We make a poetic division of such level for didactic reasons, naming the Celestial Realm to the place in where the Higher Spirits, messengers of the Gods, dwell, and the Solar Realm in where the Divinities lay. I could mention yet another level, the nameless void, in where we would find the nothingness, which I would not be able to point or even say is in a location, for the truth is that such entity "is" precisely the lack, not the presence.
Made as a crude version of the Divine Realm, it is where mortal and Lesser Spirits dwell.
Trapped in the Infernal Realm, fooled to think they are ruling from the heavens instead, the Underlords seek to corrupt as much as possible in the Mortal Realm.
The plane of the Higher Spirits and Gods. Souls join it after the passing of the mortal vessel should they have forged a proper connection with the Divine.