August 01, 2005

Ylessa

Ylessa, Goddess of Fertility, Reincarnation, Feminine Creativity, Healing, Love, Sexuality and the Sea

Worshipers
Worship of Ylessa is widespread and diverse, as are her powers, however, the number of true devotees are small, as often other gods are prayed to in addition to Ylessa (For instance, in matters of fertility and reincarnation, Cymur may also be prayed to, and in regards to the fertility of land among farmers, she may be asked for help from her ruling of the seas, but Sykala may also be prayed to to allow them favorable weather, as well as Cymur once again as he also holds ties with agriculture). Of the races, the Tir appear to be the majority of her followers, as she is believed to be particularly fond of them, and of the sexes women are the majority. The walks of life that her followers tend to fall under are small peasant farmers and mages focusing on curative powers and the use of healing herbs.

Methods of Worship
Devotees of Ylessa believe that they must abide by certain rules in their lives so that the goddess will be pleased and bless them with signs of her gratitude or favor, though there is no evidence that this has been revealed by the goddess herself. These rules are as follows: Respect the fruits of the earth, the miracle of life, and the honor of motherhood. Sex is an act done as a display of love, and with the intentions of conceiving a child, not simply for pleasure; Respect and honor should always be shown towards family and kin; and the less fortunate should be aided with all that one can, especially the eldery.

Her devotees also tend to wear simple, green woolen robes with one or more of her symbols sewn into the hems, carved into their staffs, or branded onto their pouches or bags. Ylessa also loves music, spring and flowers, which has led to many singing songs praising her, or sending offerings of flower petal afloat in the nearby rivers or lakes. During the Spring and Autumnal Equinoxes, are when the majority of offerings are made to Ylessa, as they are associated with the planting and harvesting of crops, as well as birthdays, giving thanks to the goddess for the birth of children.

When both worshipers and devotees pray to Ylessa, they often make a sign to her, and their prayers are usually carried out either outdoors, or near a window (if one is available) or a doorway, though the latter is usually performed by those of a noble status. Dipping their heads back towards the sky, the come down to their knees facing the nearest body of water, placing a hand over their heart. If it is a woman praying to Her, they may also drape a hand over their abdomen as they ask for assistance in conceiving a child, or over their forehead as they turn to her for creative inspiration. Believing that Ylessa loves music, spring and flowers, they may also sing songs praising her, or send offerings of flower petal afloat in the nearby rivers or lakes.

Dedicated Temples And Priests
Worship of Ylessa is purely carried out in personal prayer and household shrines.

Ylessa's Appearance
There is much debate as to how the goddess Ylessa appears to her believers. Those who spend much time by the sea speak of visions of seeing a youthful mermaid with a pregnant belly. In villages cities and towns, some speak of a scholarly woman walking the streets, carrying a pile of books, and an instrument also dangling in her grip. If she should stumble and fall, spilling all of these objects onto the ground, the first woman to aid her is believed to be inspired with a magnificent inspiration and creativity as the woman vanishes from site, leaving behind only an object indicating the path the woman should take (For instance, if the instrument remains, the woman will feel compelled to play music). In forests, some say that the very trees or flowers began to move, or even speak to them as Ylessa inhabited them with her spirit. Others believe she never appears at all.


Ylessa's Motives
At times, it seems that Ylessa is concerned with the perseverance of her own followers, as women under her worship appear to be made more fertile than others. However, conflicting with this goal to nurture womankind, she will just as quickly rob them completely of their fertility, or use fertility as a punishment for those not planning a child, but rather are promiscuous, and seek solely pleasure from the act of sex. Ylessa also has the tendency to fall in love with mortal men, and may cause their companion to become barren, refuse to aid in her healing should she become injured or ill in an act of jealousy, believing that the woman seeks to take the affection that the man feels for the goddess away from her in the love of their relationship. A small group also believe that at times Ylessa has gone to extremes, turning to the help of Morhiag to bring about the death of a woman in her seas, and refuse her a reincarnation.


Ylessa's Symbols
Ylessa’s symbols are an acorn, a babe in a mother's arms, or rolling waves. Believing this to be a form she takes in the presence of mortals, some also consider a mermaid, large-bellied with child, to be a representation of the goddess.

Posted by ShadowSiege at August 1, 2005 03:11 PM