but not religion

When writing fantasy hierarchies—royal, noble, religious, etc.—you don’t need to stick to pre-existing titles and hierarchical structures.

If your system allows for same-sex marriage, perhaps there is a specific title or titling system for the consort (the one who married in). There may be a King and a Queen Consort or a Queen and a Prince Consort (or King Consort or Prince), but you could have a specific alternative title for the Prince Consort when you have a King or the Queen Consort when you have a Queen.

If the King or Queen has multiple official spouses, they can have different titles that denote different levels of rank, importance, or chronological joining the family. If there is a harem or are concubines, they may have different titles, either from each other or from the official spouses.

Appointed nobles can have different titles than those who are noble based on familial ties to the royal family.

Titles can be based on types of landholding, geographic location, or other characteristics.

There can be innate titles and given titles, as well as titles that can be taken away.

Religious titles don’t need to match Christian religious titles, and religious hierarchies really shouldn’t look Catholic unless you’re writing about Catholicism.

cecillanzi  asked:

Hiya! So, I'm writing a novel that involves several different fantasy cultures that are based off of real-world cultures and ideals. Everyone in this world shares the same religion {although it is worshipped differently in each place, but real world religion doesn't have an impact on this}. Anyways... One of the countries in this world is based off of Chinese and Japanese culture due to it being an ancient empire. Is this okay or should I focus on the aspects of one culture over the other?

One Region, One Religion: Avoiding Colonization Parallels

Regarding combining Chinese and Japanese culture, please read Research:Large to Small Scale, Avoiding Homogenizing East Asian Cultures, & Paralleling Regions Appropriately.

I would advise a lot of caution on “a single religion”, especially if you’re making one or more nations representative of various East Asian countries/empires, because while it looks like there aren’t any real world parallels there actually is one very large one, and it can come across as very hurtful if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Christianity is very close to the whole “one religion across the globe” thing, and most authors are going to be pulling Christian influences just because that’s what they grew up with. As a result, inserting a single religion across everywhere can lead to replicating colonialism in a fantasy setting.
Some ways to avoid this are:

Make it a polytheist religion
Not only can you better replicate folklore by having this situation, but you avoid the whole “one god is the ultimate don’t worship anyone else but this one god” thing by doing this from the start. Many world religions are polytheist (Abrahamic religions are actually the anomaly for that, but you can even find references that they aren’t truly monotheist and there are multiple gods, but the god of Abrahamic religions just wants to be the only one worshiped).
You can have different gods be major or minor in various regions, depending on their cultures, which in turn preserves the rituals and cultural values of non-Christian cultures more effectively.

Have the gods physically show up
This may or may not work depending on your world, and it would still be better in a polytheist religion instead of monotheist, but having a physical representation of a deity everyone can interact with (not just a few set people who then tell everyone what they saw) can help create a sense of non-Christian-ness to the world, and also reinforces why people follow only those gods instead of creating new ones to fit their cultures.

Reconsider it all being “the same”
Even people who worship the so-called “same god” practice in wildly different ways— just look at the differences between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three of them share a general history, but they’ve all taken it and run with it in different directions based on the historical context of the time and early followers. While there might be some similarities between how key gods are worshiped, they could have wildly different practices for minor gods, or some minor gods are only in some places, or some major gods are minor gods and minor gods are major gods.

Religion is such a big messy thing people love to argue about, and having one religion across a huge variety of cultures rings extremely false. Really, really trace back logic for why you want to have just one religion, and consider instead to work a little bit harder to preserve the huge variety in religion that exists in the world.

Religions are a product of their culture, so changing a religion so fundamentally means changing the culture to the point you might even end up with something unrecognizable if you insist on following this course. Not to mention, making marginalized groups who’ve been greatly hurt by Christianity (not necessarily East Asian individuals, but it is very possible) feel like you’ve pushed them out of their escapism by insisting that no, Christianity (or a Christian-like religion) is the best, theirs isn’t worth putting in other than a few trappings.

~ Mod Lesya

astudyinimagination  asked:

Okay, I actually have an Ekkreth question, and I think I haven't seen anything in your Tatooine mythology tag that could answer it. And, you know, no rush in answering—it can wait. :) Does Ekkreth have a physical form that's their "default" or that they prefer? I'm just curious because in rereading DAV, I realized that I had a vague image in my head of a person in grey robes. I think it's because of my color synesthesia—"Ekkreth" feels like a greenish-grey word to me. #QuestionsArtistsAsk ;)

Ekkreth doesn’t have any default form in the stories - and in fact they usually aren’t described at all, except when it comes to the shapes they take to fool Depur.

On the level of myth and metaphor, Ekkreth’s non-description means that they serve almost as a self-insert character for those who listen to the stories. Every slave can be and is Ekkreth the Trickster. What does Ekkreth look like? They look like you.

In terms of iconography, though, Ekkreth does have a number of symbolic associations. Birds are the most common symbol for Ekkreth, after the broken fetter symbol. And Ekkreth’s role as parent of Krayt Dragon means that people often use the dragon to refer to Ekkreth more obliquely.

An association with the color grey would definitely make sense for Ekkreth: grey is an in-between, twilight color, a color that changes. And if you consider grey a mix of black (the color of freedom) and white (the color of both righteous fury and death), then the symbolism works on multiple levels.

Ramadan Goals

1) 5 fard prayers, every day, no excuses.
2) No social media (other than Tumblr)
3) Hijabbbbbbb✨✨
4) Donate my immodest clothes
5) Keep water bottles and granola bars in my car at all times to give to the homeless.
6) Keep a dua notebook
7) Attend taraweeh as often as possible
8) Get through the Qu'ran again
9) Spread kindness
10) Smile

Ammazzare il tempo con 30 domande.

1 • La cosa più ridicola e imbarazzante che tu abbia mai fatto.
2 • Se potessi avere un super potere, quale vorresti che fosse?
3 • Credi che l'amore possa durare per sempre? Perché?
4 • Se ti dicessero che è l'ultima notte al mondo, con chi la passeresti?
5 • A fare cosa?
6 • Credi che siano migliori gli uomini o le donne?
7 • In cosa, secondo te, gli uomini e le donne sono diversi?
8 • Credi in Dio? Perché?
9 • Qual è la cosa più bella che ti hanno detto? 10 • Qual è la canzone che più ti descrive? Perché?
11 • Ti hanno mai dedicato una canzone? Se si, quale?
12 • Se potessi cambiare qualcosa di te, (sia fisica che caratteriale) cosa cambieresti?
13 • Moriresti (letteralmente) per qualcuno? Se si, per chi e perché?
14 • Se potessi tornare indietro nel tempo e cambiare qualcosa della tua vita, cosa cambieresti?
15 • Hai mai fatto finta di amare qualcuno?
16 • Ti innamoreresti mai di una persona che non ti piace fisicamente?
17 • Se dovessi mangiarti una sola cosa per tutta la vita, cosa sarebbe?
18 • C'è una data che non puoi dimenticare? Perché?
19 • Ti sei mai pentito di aver fatto sesso con qualcuno?
20 • Quali erano le tue sensazioni la prima volta che hai fatto l'amore?
21 • Qual é la citazione che ami di più? E perché?
22 • Hai un segreto che non hai mai detto a nessuno? Se si, perché?
23 • Qual è il tuo più grande difetto?
24 • Qual è la tua più grande paura?
25 • Se vincessi 30 milioni di euro, qual è la prima cosa che faresti?
26 • Come vorresti che fosse la tua vita fra 10 anni?
27 • Se potessi far tornare qualcuno, chi sarebbe? E perché?
28 • Qual è la cosa che non riusciresti mai a fare? E perché?
29 • Secondo te, è più importante la sensazione o la razionalità?
30 • Cos'è per te l'amore?

Discovering Religion

I see god in beautiful small things
Like baby’s hiccups
And the first raindrop
I see it in classrooms and
I see god in beautiful small things
Like fireworks
And birthday candles
I see god in the way something
Unfurls in your chest
When I am near
There is god in that
In the way fingertips caress the skin
On the back of your neck
And the way silence wraps itself around my body, keeping me company and the
Way I come to your body,
Hungry and haggard
Like a home.

Under expert hands,
My tongue rediscovers holy
Baptizes itself with the name of Our Father
Who art in Heaven
If a sinner utters a phrase
In holy reverence
If an agnostic utters a sentence
In holy matrimony
If I utter your name
In holy ecstasy
How then is that not prayer?
My moans claw their way up my throat
Like holy water
I look upon you as my savior.

When your head is on my chest
Like I am keeping you afloat
When my breathing is
Used for your buoyancy
When your giggle sounds
I hear something
Someone might call god
In the dark
With hopeful breaths
Something audacious.

You used the word heaven for the first time
As in
“This was another little slice of heaven”
And in the trail of smoke that
Reaches the sky and disappears
I see something that
Reminds me of when I was younger
And I sat at the top of the monkey bars
I remember the feeling of flying that
I get from
Looking into your eyes
It makes me dizzy
Your kiss gives me a
Head drunk.
I am imagining
Lips on lips
And skin on skin and
Lips on skin and
I see god for the first time in
Your goosebumps and
My goosebumps
Making their acquaintance.


“The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. THeir continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.”

Jimmy Carter

anonymous asked:

Hi ! Im the anon who asked about your point of view on Zionism. Id like for you to know that i appreciate you answering my question ( though in a quite long format), but i saw yoy have some misconceptions of islam that is quite common. The religon says killing one person is the equivalent to killing the entire human race and they arr the worst of the monsters. It also says we should love the people of the book ( jews and christians) like our own. Those who support nazis have hatred 1/2

Inside them, and that is by no way what islam stands for. Those are the actions of the people ,not the religon. I combat antisemitism in my comunity as much as i can, so it hurts to see you generalize all muslims as jew hating people. I implore you to do some research on the actual principles of islam from valid sources. And if you would like to ask questions and have a conversation i can comw off anon & tell you stuff! But still thank u for ur answer I really appreciate it and have a good day

I’m sorry, but if I can accept that there are harmful, outdated parts of the Torah and the Talmud, then you need to accept that there are harmful, outdated parts of the Qu’ran and the Hadith.

And when the extremist Jews take every part of the Torah literally, they’re bigoted. Just as the Muslims that take the Qu’ran and Hadith literally, they’re bigoted, too.

It was a fact that there were Muslims under the guidance of Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini who supported Nazism and joined the Nazis because they agreed with the Nazis’ antisemitism and wanted Jews to be eradicated, using Islam and Al Aqsa Mosque as an excuse. It’s a fact that Hamas uses this verse in their charter:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

You can point to all the great parts of the Qu’ran and Hadith all that you’ll like, but there are very obvious contradictions, and the fact that the highest levels of antisemitism are found in Islamic nations is not just a random coincidence. 

I’m a religious Jew. But I’m not a member of Neutrei Karta or any other extremist Jews. They are Jewish, too. If Jews followed the Torah to the letter, then any break of Shabbat would lead to people being stoned to death. There’s a death penalty in regards to homosexuality. Even Orthodox Judaism sees homosexual acts as equivalent to adultery or even incest, and I think that’s completely abhorrent.

I think circumcision is abhorrent. I think that ritual slaughter is abhorrent. I find the separation of men and women in more Orthodox circles abhorrent. I find the refusal to accept female Rabbis in the more conservative branches of Judaism to be abhorrent. I find the covering-up of paedophilia in Haredi communities to be abhorrent most of all.

So if I can look at Judaism as a whole critically, if I can accept that there are problems with Judaism as a whole despite that being my personal faith, and if I can sit here and say, “I’m a Reform Jew, so I do follow Judaism, but we have literally reformed and updated the faith and cut out what isn’t right today,” then I’m within my rights to treat other faiths the same way, including Islam.

Islam hasn’t reformed. Judaism has reformed. Christianity has reformed. Islam hasn’t. 

And I’ve cited this before, but I’ll do so again.

Whether you like it or not, there’s a big problem with antisemitism in Muslim communities. Those statistics are just in the UK, and those statistics only encompass the people (both Muslim and non-Muslim) that were honest in their antisemitism – because obviously there will be those that won’t be honest for fear of being judged despite how they really feel.

But the thing is, I don’t generalise. I make a point not to generalise. There are very clearly issues in Muslim communities and we have to address those. Pretending that they don’t exist is dishonest. Pretending that there aren’t Imams teaching antisemitism is dishonest. That doesn’t mean that every single Muslim is an awful antisemite. Of course it doesn’t. That would be ridiculous, and the presumption would be bigoted.

For example, I’m absolutely positive that your interpretation of Islam is fairly close to my interpretation of Judaism. You’ll just get on with your faith, you’ll ignore and discard the awful sections, and to you, that’ll be peaceful and have great messages. I totally understand that. I totally support that. 

The bottom line here is that I wouldn’t criticise Islam if I wasn’t prepared to criticise my own faith. I’m not a hypocrite. That’s not the kind of person that I am.

The fact is, whether fellow religious people like it or not, all the ancient religious texts were transcribed and passed around by people. Not just people, but people with all the biases and intolerance prevalent in their particular time period. It’s all in that historical context. Of course there are going to be awful things in there.

But you know what? That isn’t automatically a bad thing. It’s an understanding of the faith’s history, of the people who were alive then, of the culture surrounding the religious at that time. Where it is a problem is when people alive today, with all of our advancements under our belts, decide to take those ancient religions and follow them to the letter. ISIS is monstrous for that reason, the Neutrei Karta is monstrous for that reason, the Westboro Baptist Church is monstrous for that reason.

Just don’t be so blinded by faith that you’re willing to lie and twist and pretend that criticisms of the faith aren’t justified. Be reasonable. Just shrug your shoulders and say, “Well, yeah, but I don’t follow that.” Because the sooner that a majority is happy to say, “That bit’s outdated, we don’t actually want to do that,” the easier it is to dismiss the people that are clutching at whatever excuse they have to paint a specific group of believers as all evil.

You telling others that awful passages are just “misinterpretations” when they’re pretty clear sounds like a defence of those awful passages. It’s not what you mean, I’m sure of that, but that’s how it sounds to outsiders. And that’s not just true of Islam, it’s true of all faiths. It’s one thing to explain a greater context, but if you just dismiss criticisms outright like that, you’re honestly doing nothing but giving actual bigots ammunition.

That isn’t fair, obviously, the onus shouldn’t be on you, but the world isn’t fair. 

And honestly, I’m not attacking you here. I’m well aware of great Muslims. It’s completely wrong to hate every Muslim or see them as “bad” just because they happen to have a particular faith. I just really need you to open your eyes here, because I think that it’s really damn important.

I have no respect for Islam, but I respect Muslims. 

I have no respect for Christianity, but I have respect for Christians.

I have no respect for Judaism, but I have respect for Jews.

Do you see where I'm going with this? 

I am a tolerant atheist. But respect comes both ways.  

I don’t believe that I have to respect anyone’s faith as they are only ideologies.