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Fírinnism is a polytheistic and animistic religion that originated in Vasturia (where it is the state and ethnic religion), is the majority religion in both Vasturia and Vestmannaland, and is otherwise a major religion in northwestern Nordania. A highly complex faith with both pagan and animist characteristics, Fírinnism is believed to be a syncretic religion between Germanic and Celtic paganism with significant influences from the Jute-Cherusk religion that was in turn a syncretism of the Indo-European Jute and pre-Indo-European Cherusk cultures that inhabited Vasturia in ancient times. Fírinnism is also typically believed to be a Shamanistic religion as various Fírinnist rituals are centered on communicating with and entering the spirit world through attaining an altered state of consciousness; however; such rituals are not considered to be as important as other tenets of Fírinnism by its followers.
Fírinnism is based on the principle that there exists the Forbetha, which simultaneously is, transcends and infinitely extends beyond the Universe; and that within such a mystical and divine absolute there exists the individual spirits of all objects and life; and such spirits and souls are believed to have always existed and will always continue to exist, reincarnating whenever they die. Such spirits are defined by their unique True Will, name, and soul; and it is believed that one must totally control and become one with such a soul, know such a name and achieve such a destiny in order to achieve true and perfect enlightenment, serenity, bliss, and divinity. Fírinnists also believe that the Forbetha is further divided into the opposing yet mutually dependent forces of light and darkness, order and chaos, and heat and cold (in what is known as Dàforus; and the natural forces of earth, fire, water, air, and ice. From such an Forbetha arises not only the regular spirits but the polytheistic gods who are superior to spirits because of their unique and great powers; but simultaneously inferior to such spirits because they have not existed for all eternity and are prevented from ever achieving a true soul and nature because they are not bound to the same cosmic laws spirits are.
Fírinnism is an organised religion; nearly all of its adherents are members of the Sacred Circle of Druids, the religious institution of all Fírinnists. The doctrines of the Sacred Circle were standardised by the creation of the Great Edda at the Great Council of Druids in the early 11th century. Although a large proportion of Fírinnists refused to accept such an organisation and standardisation, the temporal power deployed by both the Vasturian state and Druids themselves eventually virtually eradicated all Fírinnist movements opposing the Great Council and Sacred Circle by the 12th century. Due to the universally-adopted and highly intricate myths of Fírinnism that cover virtually all theological topics, Fírinnism is not considered to be compatible with any other religions.
Since the High Middle Ages and the Great Council, Fírinnism has served, alongside the Vasturian clans, as the dominant institution in Vasturian society. Following the War of the Vasturian Succession, the Sacred Circle of Druids dominated Vasturian politics and exercised most temporal power; either directly as in the areas where it exercised direct control over the lands or indirectly as in areas where Druids presided over courts and where local leaders were dependent on Incarnations of Áine to bestow sovereignty upon them. Furthermore, this period saw a great expansion in the spiritual power of the Fírinnist Druids as well, as popular piety became emphasised and dominant in Vasturia as Druids began to play a role in all aspects of life, whilst Fírinnism expanded throughout northwestern Nordania as well; most notably, the Principality of Lothican was conquered by Vasturian states and Fírinnism became the dominant religion of Lothican for a time. Despite the transition of the Age of the Druids (commonly dubbed the Second Vasturian Golden Age into the Age of the Burghers in the Late Middle Ages and the general decline in Druidic power in favour of that of the Burghers and the Clans in this period, the Druids continued to remain the dominant force in Vasturian society as popular piety continued to increase.
Although virtually all Fírinnists are today members of the Sacred Circle of Druids, the religion is nevertheless not without its various sects and divisions; the most notable division amongst Fírinnists is between that of Traditionalist Fírinnists and the Quietist Deóinforists, the latter of whom are more Charismatic, egalitarian, and populist, and believe in/practice the universal priesthood, the inner light, unprogrammed worship, individual contemplation and meditation, limited use of the vernacular in church services, and confession amongst believers; but in modern times both Traditional and moderate (i.e., the vast majority of) Deóinforist Fírinnists are reconciled to the Sacred Circle of Druids, and most practice a synthesis between both sects in the Standard Fírinnist Rite. However, whilst moderate Deóinforist groups are fully reconciled to the Sacred Circle of Druids and largely distinguished by their unique liturgical Rites and greater emphasis on certain parts of already-accepted Fírinnist doctrine, more radical and significantly smaller offshoots of Deóinforism moreover practice Druidic poverty and the community of goods amongst all believers (although most rural Vasturians today largely practice the community of goods for secular, clan-based reasons) as opposed to merely amongst clerics, as is standard in mainline Fírinnism. Such radical offshoots are also explicitly separated from the Sacred Circle of Druids as they reject the Sacred Circle's essentially-presbyterian mode of governance in favour of congregationalism; moreover, many radical Deóinforists also practice nonresistance, although other radical sects are explicitly opposed to pacifism and verge on being revolutionary in character.
Throughout Vasturian history, the Sacred Circle of Druids has been the primary patron of the arts in Vasturia; consequently, the vast majority of Vasturian art, music, literature, and theatre has been religious in nature; for example, the Coillteánfilidecht, long regarded as the heart of Vasturian theatre and entertainment, is almost wholly religious and philosophical in nature and is frequently simply a live performance of the Elder Edda (which is wholly composed of various epic poems). Even in modern times as technology has revolutionised cultural mediums, the Sacred Circle of Druids continues to hold a dominant role in cultural and artistic expression in Vasturia, serving as the primary patron of cinematic and television productions alongside the Fírinnist-dominated government and consequently dictating content and guiding it in a vastly more religious direction. To this day, artists of all cultural mediums are loath to publish any publications that are wholly secular in nature; but Druidic patronage has conversely witnessed very high respect and support for the arts in modern-day Vasturia.
Although industrialisation and the development of democracy in modern Vasturia has permanently eroded the temporal power of the Fírinnist clergy, modern Vasturian times have simultaneously witnessed an unprecedented growth in the spiritual power of Fírinnism. The development of universal public education combined with Fírinnist control over the education system (indeed, the vast majority of students attend Fírinnist schools in Vasturia, and all Fírinnist schoolteachers are required to be Druids) has instilled highly religious sentiment in the Vasturian people from an early age and Druids literally oversee all aspects of Vasturian life from the cradle-to-grave, as all non-secular (or most) doctors and morticians are Druids. Furthermore, increased leisure time and the advent of the biological new regime (wherein the vast majority of the people need not be farmers) has led to a mass increase in religious and clerical participation; temporary monasticism (usually for two years), long a rite of passage in early adulthood amongst the elite, has become a tradition expanded the common people, whilst increased leisure time has led to the vast majority of the population becoming active members of multiple Mystery cults devoted to a specific patron deity (historically most would join the cult patronising their profession, but rarely more than that); today, approximately 95% of Vasturians attend religious services at least once a week, and the vast majority do so multiple times a week as lay brothers in multiple mystery cults of their choice. Charismatic religious traditions have also contributed to this spiritual awakening, as Fírinnism, always a relatively charismatic religion, has gradually become more charismatic in modern times and personal relationships with the spiritual world are emphasised as a part of this mass popular piety unprecedented throughout the world.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Theology
- 3 Uileforus and the Spirit
- 4 Cosmology
- 5 Pantheon
- 6 Vættir
- 7 Scripture
- 8 Organisation
- 9 Liturgy
- 10 Mysticism
- 11 History
- 12 Demographics
- 13 Criticism
- 14 Notes
The word Fírinnism was coined by Katranjian anthropologist Viktor I. Borovkov and is derived from the High Tauriscian word for truth, Fírinn. Because the sacred-profane dichotomy is weaker in Fírinnism than it is in most other organised religions, there is no endonymic term for Fírinnism, just as there is no such term in most folk religions; Fírinnism is thus an exonym and is not used in any of the Vasturian languages.
At its core, Fírinnism is based upon the idea of Animism - that all things and phenomena possess a spirit. Like many other Animists, and consistent with the highly non-individualist, collectivist nature of Vasturian society, Fírinnists also believe that individual spirits or souls are not atomised entities, but are rather totally defined by their relation to others as a whole. Moreover, like many Animists, and like their Norse polytheist antecedents, Fírinnists additionally reject the idea of a singular soul with no divisions, instead believing the soul is in turn composed of various components. Core Fírinnist tenets also include polytheism, a sort of Monism that views everything as part of an infinitely-vast Absolute, a kind of Ontological dualism in certain matters, Pluralism on matters of the elements, a belief in reincarnation but one atypical of other forms of reincarnation practiced by other religions (largely due to the Fírinnist idea of individual parts of the soul), and strong belief in Magic in the form of Seiðr, Galdr, divination, and other types of magic.
These various core tenets of Fírinnism were summarised in the Great Forus (High Tauriscian: "Great Fundamental/Basis/Principles [of Fírinnism]"), a Fírinnist creed that serves as the preamble to the Great Edda and has continuously defined Fírinnist dogma since the beginning of the 10th century, and reads as follows:
We, the assembled Druids of Miðgarðr, believe in the Fírinne, that which is objective, obvious, and certain; and from this belief arises the following:
We believe in the Forbetha1, immanent and transcendent, invisible and present, from whence all things arise and shall return to, encompassing all reality and extending infinitely beyond it;
And in the Dàforus2, that in all things the Forbetha is divided into the two forces of order and chaos, light and darkness, and heat and cold, dependent on and in constant conflict with the other, and that all things must remain in Cubaidmed3 for there to be abundant life;
And in the Cóicforus4, that in all things the Forbetha is divided into the five forces of fire, earth, air, water, and ice, not opposed and separate but fraternal and mixed, and in all things, Cubaidmed;
And in the Gnéitheforus5, that humanity is not alone but shares our reality and our world with the beneficence of our fellow species of the highest order, the ethereal species, and the gods;
And in the Dúilemforus6, that it is by the grace of the benevolent Mother Danu and Father Líathoenar in their wisdom to enchain the Unknowable Ones that Cubaidmed was created and so were the people allowed eternal life;
And in the Déforus'7, that our worlds are governed not by a single god but by many gods in collective with the spirits, ethereal and corporeal;
And in the Brinnforus8, that truths are not unchanging but constantly-changing and ever-discovered through continuous Revelation;
And in the Trembithforus9, that all reality and all things have eternally existed and shall continue to exist for eternity;
And in the Deóinforus10, that all reality may be altered, and therefore divinity as part of the Forbetha may be attained, in harmony through the death of fate accomplished by the force of magical Will;
And most important of all, we believe in the Uileforus11, that in everything therein lies a free spirit and person not separate but defined in relation to its fellow spirits and the Forbetha, not static and singular but dynamic and disparate, not mindless but with a conscious Will, and not dying but through rebirth achieving eternal life.
It is in acknowledgement of these beliefs do we hereby transmit that which has been Revealed to us, so that we may spread the shared personal wisdom and light that has been shown to us by the Gods themselves, in the following Great Edda:
Forbetha1, which is the Fírinnist term for what can be most-closely described as the Absolute Forbetha is specifically said to be impersonal and to completely transcend empirical and intelligible reality; it is not a part of reality but rather separate from and beyond even being itself; it is rather the so-called "ground" of all being, although all existence is simultaneously said to be a part of the Forbetha. Wholly unobservable, Fírinnist doctrine holds that it is indeed impossible for all, both human and deities, to truly understand even a single drop of the Forbetha, and that to do so would surely destroy the mind and reduce it to nothingness at the infinite paradoxes therein. However, although this doctrine (referred to as the Unknowable Essence Doctrine) is accepted amongst Fírinnists, the Forbetha is conversely held to be somewhat understandable through the physical forces and powers of the Universe. Through this doctrine, the Forbetha is determined to be ground of the reality of the spiritual quality and essence in all things and all other Fírinnist doctrines. Furthermore, Fírinnist doctrine dictates that reality itself is but a part of the Forbetha, which infinitely extends beyond it in ways that can never by understood by anyone in a form of Panentheism).
Dàforus2 is the Fírinnist idea roughly approximate to ontological dualism that within everything exists two opposites in the form of order and chaos, light and darkness, and heat and cold, that are constantly in conflict with one another if left unchecked. However, Dàforus likewise asserts these various opposites are all equally necessary for the universe to function, but that that they must be in complete harmonious balance (i.e., Cubaidmed3) for the universe to be structured in a just manner conductive to righteousness. Furthermore, all such elements are personified by an Unknowable One, or an inhuman and incomprehensible class of deities representing primordial concepts such as those in Dàforus or other concepts such as time, spirituality, or death. Because the various cosmic forces personified by Unknowable Ones must remain perfectly in balance, yet are constantly in conflict with one another, it was deemed by Danu (goddess of nature and life) and Líathoenar (god of death, rebirth, and justice) necessary that the Unknowable Ones personifying various opposites be imprisoned at the beginning of creation so that life may continue unimpeded. However, a core doctrine of Fírinnism is that the continued balance of the universe between these forces is not assured, and most be continuously maintained by the shared effort of the gods, spirits and various supernatural races, and humanity itself through various ritualistic sacrifices.
Cóicforus4 is the pluralist idea that, in addition to the various dualistic splits, the world can be fundamentally divided into five elements in the form of fire, earth, air, water and ice. Although considerably less important to Fírinnist dogma than Dàforus and other divisions, Fírinnist doctrines on the nature of various sapient, spiritual species beyond simply humanity are based on Cóicforus; more specifically, it is believed that all sapient, corporeal species are specifically based upon one of the elements, entrusted with certain magical powers, granted stewardship over the world they rule, insofar as they rule said world justly and give due respect to the other spirits of the world they rule over. Moreover, the worlds upon which such species are granted stewardship over are usually primarily based upon one of the five elements, but not entirely so, as a mixture of all five elements in a world (or more accurately a dimension) is believed to be necessary to avoid a disharmonious imbalance.
Although there are exceptions, there are usually multiple species that are principally based upon one element, but with substantial variations between those various species (usually arising out of the degree a species is based upon a particular element, or a nature based upon chaos/darkness or order/light respectively). The Tuatha Dé Dannann of the Otherworld and the Aos Sí of Tír na nÓg are based upon the force of earth (the "earth of order", and the "earth of mystery" respectively), the Dwarves and the Álfar are based upon the force of air (albeit the "air of darkness" and the "air of light" respectively), the Fomorians are based upon the force of water, the fire giants of Muspelheimr and humanity ((a belief generally thought to have been rooted in the importance of fire to humanity) are based upon fire, and the Frost giants of Niflheimr are based upon the force of ice.
Furthermore, although dwarves and humans are heavily influenced by earth and by earth and water respectively (but are more air and fire respectively than not)m certain races are considered to be a mixture of a few elements to the extent that they cannot be categorised as belonging to a certain element. The mountain giants of Jötunheimr are in equal parts a mixture of earth and ice, whilst the Huldufólk are almost entirely identical to humanity (to the extent that both live on earth; indeed, the Huldufólk were held to be created for the purpose of ensuring a strong non-human sapient presence on earth at all times, in order to monitor humanity) save for the fact that they are invisible to humans and are primarily based on earth rather than fire. Other tutelary spirits such as the Skogsrå are also upon a particular element, but their incorporeal and ethereal nature excludes them from being considered to be one of the species based upon the five elements, whilst certain spirits such as the Dísir are not based upon any of the elements at all.
Uileforus and the Spirit
Components of the Soul
Death and Reincarnation
Modern-day Fírinnist morality and belief in general is intensely pietistic in the sense that it is focused on the morality and virtue of both the individual person and broader individuals, and Fírinnist ethics are complex, but are de facto an early development of two-level utilitarianism with influences from natural law. Like two-level utilitarians, Fírinnists believe that the morality of an action is usually determined by a set of intuitive moral rules except in certain situations, wherein a level of critical analysis is necessary; furthermore, Fírinnist ethics are generally hedonistic in nature, and emphasise that the desire to maximise happiness and/or pleasure is necessarily the root of Fírinnism's moral rules and by extension the root of those rules' abrogation when critical analysis and reasoning is believed to be necessary. To that end, Fírinnist applied ethics, particularly medical and sexual ethics, sharply diverge from most other traditional religions' views on the subject. In the case of sexual ethics, Fírinnists view sex (including practices such as casual sex, swinging, and polyamory) as an inherent good because of its pleasurable outcomes (in contrast to other traditional religious views condemning non-reproductive sexual behaviour and extramarital sex as inherently sinful), with the exception of sexual assault, which Fírinnists hold to be always sinful; and in the case of medical ethics, Fírinnists view pleasure as inherently superior to both freedom of choice and life, and therefore believe that medically-necessary procedures must be performed regardless of whether or not the patient in question consents to such a procedure, commonly perform both voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia, and occasionally involuntary euthanasia, and support the use of compulsory sterilisation for purposes of eugenics should it be perceived that the violation of freedom will lead to a long-term social good. Furthermore, the mysterious and concealed, esoteric, and mystical nature of the Fírinnist mystery cults are commonly demonstrated and justified as an application of the Fírinnist ethical system; as Fírinnist doctrine holds that omission and outright violation of the truth is morally right and imperative in certain situations, and because the truths (particularly the higher truths) of Fírinnist mystery cults are outright said to be ones the uninitiated mind cannot handle, it logically follows that large portions of Fírinnist doctrine taught in the mystery cults necessarily ought to be held as sacred mysteries and concealed from the larger public for the greater good.
The legal systems of majority-Fírinnist countries, particularly Vasturia, reflect the outcomes of such a hedonistic, utilitarian ethical system; in the absence of perceived absolute natural rights, rights are considered revered, but not inalienable or absolute, and strict laws against hate speech are notably applied against extremist and far-right views (and allegedly against harsh critics of Fírinnism specifically), compulsory sterilisation is nigh-universally employed against those with hereditary diseases as part of Vasturia's eugenics program, assisted suicide, voluntary, and non-voluntary euthanasia are all legal and culturally normalised, whilst involuntary euthanasia is used against individuals in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, specific exemptions to criminal laws such as the laws against theft or homicide (but never rape) in certain circumstances (often taking the form of jury nullification) are well-established in Vasturian jurisprudence when it can be sufficiently-demonstrated that the criminal act in question maximised utility in a situation wherein a more critical level of reasoning was necessary (the fat man variant of the trolley problem being a famous example of a situation wherein homicide by a disinterested, civilian actor would be legal in Vasturia for moral reasons).
Despite the de facto teleological, consequentialist, and utilitarian nature of Fírinnist ethics, the oft-arcane and complex justifications for Fírinnist ethics mean that it can be steadfastly deontological in nature, even in situations wherein well-being is not obviously justified except through byzantine, complex systems of Fírinnist philosophy and logic. Hospitality is revered at an almost-numinous level, and punishments for violations of that hospitality (both in the legal system and in the afterlife) are notably "exceedingly cruel" (to quote Vasturian atheist philosopher Marvin Valgardsson), particularly for Fírinnism. Although this is theoretically-justified by the fact that the Fírinnist goddess Danu is held to be so angered at violations of hospitality to the extent that the very order of the universe is threatened, the nigh-omnibenevolent nature of Danu in Fírinnism means that Fírinnists themselves view her anger at violations of hospitality as being righteous and just. Furthermore, Fírinnism strongly supports ideologies such as nationalism and especially the Vasturian clan system, and the idea of individuals putting the interests of their clan/nation above the interests of all others except Fírinnism itself, including the general well-being and the self, despite said ideologies directly contradicting the moral universalism of of utilitarianism. In order to rectify such an ethical contradiction in Fírinnism, apologists argue that traditional forms of organisation such as clans and nationalism are inherent goods because they avoid excessive chaos (something held to be undesirable by the Fírinnist principle of Cubaidmed, or that balance between all things - including chaos and order - is necessary for good), that the clan-based society itself leads to maximum happiness (as the apologists argue that substituting individual self-interest with collective self-interest maximises pleasure in the long run because it prevents individual pursuit of self-interest, encourages altruism, ensures that individual self-interests are prioritised by clans' interactions with other clans, due to the assertion of apologists that some form of pursuit of self-interest is necessary to ensure that collective misery is not ensured in an ethical altruist dystopia, but that individual pursuit of one's own self-interest inevitably leads to chaos and misery), and lastly, Fírinnist ethical apologists simply abrogate hedonistic utilitarian ethics in the problems of clanism and nationalism, instead arguing that the strength of institutions traditionally valued by Fírinnists is itself a divinely-ordained good and moral end equal to that of pleasure itself that can be universally-determined through reason, citing the preponderance of clans, tribes, nationalism, and in-group/out-group thinking throughout all human societies.
Utilitarianism in Fírinnism is further-challenged by Fírinnist beliefs regarding reincarnation. While avowedly opposed to any sort of believe in a hell, or indeed any place specifically designed for extreme and/or infinite suffering, Fírinnists nevertheless belief that Líathoenar, held to be nigh-omnibenevolent like his wife Danu, judges the moral actions of all souls in their previous life and determines where they shall reside in the next life accordingly. In addition to the ethical problems and contradictions to a utilitarian ethical system already posed by such retributive justice, ethical dilemmas further arise as Líathoenar is said to judge not based off the consequences of a soul's actions, as is held to be paramount under consequentialism, but to judge based off a soul's intent. Fírinnist ethical apologists resolve this inherent conflict by stating that the workings of certain planes of reality - namely, the planes of sapient spirits, including that of man - are so important to the continued survival of reality that they must only be occupied by the most moral individuals possible, and the planes of animals, plants, inanimate objects, and all other theoretical things or phenomena (down to "the very fragment of a letter or number, or the very gust of wind") held to exist in Fírinnism's Animist are far less important to the functioning of reality, and therefore need not be inhabited by more moral beings, even if their existences are held to be less pleasant than those of sapient spirits. The various subordinate subdivisions within species, such as social groupings, are not held to be influenced by one's actions in a previous life, and Fírinnists therefore reject the Prosperity Gospel in the strongest of terms. However, Fírinnists conversely hold that one's social status in life at birth is not random; indeed, it is believed that humans are usually at least partly reincarnations of their own ancestors, at least through their Hamingja, although humanity is usually held to be an intermediate phase between the more primitive planes of animals and those of other sapient spirits to which it is believed humans ascend to after their death; furthermore, to be born to a Fírinnist household is considered to be a blessing and result of moral deeds done in the previous life as a virtuous unbeliever.
Despite the largely-utilitarian natures and more importantly consequences of Fírinnist ethics, natural law is another ethical theory Fírinnist ethics can be categorised into; Fírinnists hold that their ethical theories can be universally understood through human reason (from whence the act utilitarian portion of critical analysis and reasoning is said to derive under Fírinnism's belief in two-level utilitarianism) as well as human instinct, from whence the rule utilitarian portion of usually-applied ethical rules is said to derive. Unlike traditional formulations of natural law, however, the capacity to be moral and ethical, and especially the ability to do so through a rational manner, is held under Fírinnist not to be given by any sort of monotheistic god as part of the creation of man in such a deity's own image; rather, such a capacity to be moral and ethical is held to be innate to all spirits as part of reality, or the Fírinne, itself.
Although rejected by Fírinnism, virtue ethics is another important influence on Fírinnist ethics, as vigorously living a pious and virtuous private life that wholly subscribes to Fírinnist principles is a central feature of contemporary Fírinnist ethics, which are strongly pietistic. Although liturgy and sacraments are deemed essential to being a good Fírinnist, and indeed are believed to be central elements upon which the greater spiritual good can thrive and survive in addition to helping increase's one's favourable chances in the afterlife, personal elements are equally if not more important to Fírinnist personal morality. Diligence, frugality, discipline, and thrift are all essential features to being a moral Fírinnist, as it is held by modern-day Fírinnists that such values are integral to assuring broader happiness, pleasure, and indeed a better lot in the afterlife. Such an emphasis on personal virtue is not a result of traditionalist Fírinnist dogma and ethics; rather, it is chiefly the result of the modern Deóinforist movement, both in and of itself and as a result of the synthesis between Deóinforism and traditionalist Fírinnism. Traditionalist Fírinnism is more focused on liturgy and law rather than the cultivation of personal virtue, but all non-secularised modern-day Fírinnists, particularly in Vasturia, are largely united in their ethics by a pietistic emphasis on personal morality, intense belief in the government's duty to legislate Fírinnist morality, steadfast adherence to both hedonistic utilitarianism (including above freedom and life, if deemed necessary) and clan-based, narrow collectivism, and the foundation of such utilitarianism upon natural law with influences from virtue ethics.
Dúilemforus and Creation
Although the Fírinnist doctrine of Treimbithforus9 expressly dictates that reality in the form of the Forbetha has always existed, as have all souls and deities in some form, Fírinnism nevertheless features a detailed creation myth outlined in the Dúilemforus6 of the Great Forus that serves as the root of many Fírinnist doctrines and practices, as is the case in most religions. More specifically, Fírinnists believe that the current incarnation of the universe observable and reachable by man - that is, the various worlds (or more accurately dimensions expanding vastly beyond worlds) of Yggdrasil - was created in time immemorial as a result of the labours of Líathoenar, god of death, rebirth, and justice, and danu, goddess of the earth, nature, hospitality, and freshwater, a story that is related as follows:
The universe was believed to have originally been a void in the form of Ginnungagap, an interregnum following the passing of a previous world after some sort of Ragnarök and before the rebirth of the current world. From amongst this void arose, or more properly were reborn, the Unknowable Ones; primordial, divine things representing equally-primordial concepts of order in the form of Bake, chaos in the form of Laittomuus, light in the form of Argi, darkness in the form of Ilun, heat in the form of Bero, and cold in the form of Hotz. At this time so too was born Nortia, deity of the concept of the passage of time (as well as time travelling) and the Norns, goddesses of time as well and more particularly of fate (but emphatically not irreversible fate, for Fírinnism recognises a limited degree of Will), as was born Danu and Líathoenar, both of whom were, along with the Norns, the only Unknowable Ones with a distinct gender and otherwise far more humanlike than the generally alien, incomprehensible Unknowable Ones.
Throughout this time, the Unknowable Ones opposed to one another were all in constant conflict with their respective opposites, but due to the equal degrees of power held by all of the Ones, none ever emerged victorious, at least for long; and the forces of good and life were all the richer for it, for even the slightest imbalance would be disastrous for life. When chaos and Laittomuus reigned, the world was so formless and chaotic that nothing could ever be created for long; and when order and Bake reigned, the autonomous Wills of spirits were crushed and spirits destroyed (or more properly hibernated, for Fírinnism does not recognise true death of souls), for even the slightest unpredictability and disorder attracted the ire of Bake. When the darkness of Ilun reigned, so little was perceived that the soul's relation to others - which it is dependent on in Fírinnist doctrine - was so meaningless so as to render souls themselves equally meaningless; but when the light of Argi reigned, the light equally drowned out so much that light itself became meaningless, and so did the soul's relation to others. When the cold of Hotz reigned, the energy of the world was weakened and chilled to a numbness; but when the heat of Bero reigned, the fires and energy of the world were so overpowering that any non-divine consciousness was smitten. And when Nortia, Itself necessary for the proper functioning of reality, took any actions whatsoever, the very force of Creation was weakened and stretched by the interference of Time.
But through this grave conflict and imbalance was sown the seeds of good and life. The various Unknowable Ones, in equal parts due to sexual/romantic desire and in equal parts due to a desire for the power guaranteed by alliances with their fellows, soon began to procreate amongst themselves; and from a fusing of the Hypokeimenon of each of the Unknowable Ones in their procreations was born a new generation of deities in the form of the Elder Ones, the first gods after the Norns, Danu, and Líathoenar to be personal rather than impersonal, thinking in addition to simply being and feeling. From Argi and Bake was born Sól, goddess of the sun, from Ilun and Bake was born Sól's twin Máni, god of the moon and the night, and from Bero and Laittomuus was born Surtr, god of fire, volcanoes, and lava. Most of all, however, this new generation of gods was birthed from one of the various Unknowable Ones and Danu, who in Her infinite wisdom realised the necessity of birthing a new generation of gods created in Her image and ready to bring Cubaidmed3 and Eudamonia, as She sought to do along with Líathoenar, in order to create peaceful and joyful life. From Argi and Danu was born Brigid, goddess of the dawn; as was born Freyr and Freyja, twin deities of magic, pleasure, Seiðr, war, lust for power, and prosperity, virility, and fair weather, respectively, and collectively the deities of the air. From Laittomuus and Danu was born Njörðr and Njörun (or Nerthus, twin deities of the sea and fertility, as was born Cernunnos, horned god of nature, the wilderness, and the Aos Sí. From Bake, Argi, and Danu was born Áine, goddess of sovereignty, wealth, prosperity, motherhood, the midday sun, and femininity. From Bero, Laittomuus, Argi, and Danu was born Zlu Mlakaflere, hermaphroditic deity of love, beauty, and sex. From Laittomuus, Hotz, and Danu was born Skaði, goddess of snow, the mountains, the winter, ice, and the Jötnar; as was born Skaði's twin brother Loki, god of trickery, shapeshifting, independence, and rebellion.
After the birth of all of these Elder Ones, sapient, rational, balanced, but nevertheless divine, so did Líathoenar and Danu judge that the time in Their infinite wisdom that the time had come for the overthrow of the Unknowable Ones and an end to the pointless conflict and imbalance that had plagued the universe. Convincing all of the Elder Ones that the overthrow and paralyses of the Unknowable Ones was necessary, but recognising that the continued life of the Unknowable Ones was necessary for the preservation of Creation, They set about on imprisoning all of the Unknowable Ones, with the integral assistance of all the Elder Ones but primarily with the assistance of Loki. Having weaved the finest ropes in all the land that all the Elder Ones had laboured on, Líathoenar, Danu, and Loki decided to trick all of the Unknowable Ones except for the Norns (who did not imbalance and harm reality in any way, but rather secured what balance could be maintained with Fate, albeit for selfish rather than altruistic reasons, but not at the expense of totally destroying conscious Will) into biting on such ropes and then binding the Unknowable Ones in that manner. From such an initial binding came forth the full imprisonment of each of the Unknowable Ones in prison-worlds vast and powerful beyond human comprehension.
After such imprisonments, so was the glory of Cubaidmed achieved; but, in Their infinite wisdom, Líathoenar and Danu sought to it that there would be small imbalances caused by the Elder Ones' commitment towards the force of whoever served as one of their parents; for example, Loki was naturally inclined to cold and chaos, whilst Áine was committed to order and light. In such minor fluctuations is born the intricacies of all good and life, ensuring peace without stagnation. Following the establishment of such an order, Danu and Líathoenar crowned themselves Queen and King of the Elder Ones, respectively, but nevertheless granted the Elder Ones a substantial degree of power in the form of the Thing; for despite their general benevolence and wisdom, Danu and Líathoenar are as imperfect, selfish, and ambitious as any other soul, but used such sins in a manner that is not evil but in a way that would surely lead all things onto the path towards harmonious enlightenment.
Gnéitheforus5 is the Fírinnist concept that humans are not merely alone in this world and reality but share it with numerous other sapient species, spirits, and the gods. While sometimes simply understood as a rejection of atheism because of its explicit idea that humanity shares its reality with the divine, Gnéitheforus is more properly understood as a continuation of Norse and Celtic polytheist ideas asserting the existence of other spirits and species that, while still inferior to the divine, are still equal to or frequently placed above humanity. More specifically, from Gnéitheforus in collaboration with Cóicforus emanates Fírinnist doctrine about the existence of the Tuatha Dé Dannann, the Aos Sí, the Dwarves, the Álfar, the various species Jötnar, and other supernatural species Fírinnism asserts the existence of. Moreover, the Gnéitheforus also specifically asserts the existence of ethereal, incorporeal, and supernatural as are believed by Fírinnists in the form of the Dísir, Valkyries, and others.
Yggdrasil and the [X] Worlds
Although fundamentally different in a multitude of ways, the various supernatural races and spirits (High Suevi: Vættir) are collectively lumped together as non-divine races or species (depending on the translation used) believed to exist in Fírinnism that are not human but possess intelligence on a level roughly equal to, or in some cases superior to, that of humans. Whilst the Animist nature of Fírinnism means that Fírinnists believe all things, living and nonliving, to be souls with an independent will that carry the capacity to be and ultimately are sapient, even numinous and divine, Fírinnists nevertheless recognise the fundamental differences between what a Fírinnist might call a "human-person", a "bear-person", a "rock-person", etc., in levels of intelligence and consciousness; but through the principle of Gnéitheforus, Fírinnists equally assert that humans are not the sole non-divine sapient inhabitants of reality.
More specifically, Fírinnists assert in their core theology the existence of the Vættir, which encompasses all non-divine sapient souls and spirits, and of which humans are technically a part; but the similarities amongst all Vættir end there. The classification of Vættir encompasses all non-divine sapient species and spirits, from humans and their relatively similar cousins from the Huldufólk, to the mysterious Aos Sí, to the fundamentally different (yet equally sapient) Dwarves and Álfar and other similar species such as the Fomorians and various Jötnar, to the semi-divine Tuatha Dé Dannann, to the various Rå, and finally to the Dísir, Valkyries, and other similar spirits that serve vital functions so integral to the preservation of reality that that can in a sense be collectively viewed as divine.
Like other organised religions, public worship and liturgy is an essential component of Fírinnism, and all liturgical rites are approved and devised by the Sacred Circle of Druids (as that organisation is largely coterminous with Fírinnists) outside of radical offshoots of the Sacred Circle; however, rites within the Hofs of the Sacred Circle of Druids are not standardised, and three separate rites are held to be equally legitimate by the Sacred Circle of Druids and most Fírinnists; the Traditionalist Fírinnist Rite, which are less Charismatic than mainstream Fírinnism and identical to the rites of Fírinnism prior to the Quietist Deóinforist movement; the pietistic Standard Fírinnist Rite, which is the majority position of most Fírinnist Hofs and adherents and represents a synthesis between Traditionalist Fírinnism and Deóinforism; and the Deóinforist Rite, which represents the more Charismatic, quietist, and populist elements of Fírinnism. Traditionalist and Standard Rites are conducted entirely in High Tauriscian as opposed to the vernacular, whilst the Deóinforist Rite utilises both High Tauriscian and the vernacular. Unprogrammed worship is a feature of both the Standard and Deóinforist Rites but coexistent with programmed worship in both Rites; however, programmed worship is the dominant part of the liturgy of the Standard Rite whereas unprogrammed worship is the dominant part of Deóinforist liturgy; moreover, both programmed and unprogrammed worship is required to be conducted in High Tauriscian in the Standard Rite, whilst unprogrammed worship tends towards the vernacular in the Deóinforist Rite.
Confession of one's perceived sins or slights is a mandatory component of all Fírinnist liturgical rites and services, and Fírinnists are expected to confess their sins to their local Druid at least annually, but are encouraged to (and typically do) confess much more frequently. Fírinnism holds legitimate and frequently employs clerical confession, but is notably distinguished from other religions in its prolific use of confession amongst believers in the Standard and Deóinforist Rites in addition to clerical confession. The Traditionalist and Standard Rites mandate full use of High Tauriscian in all confessions, whilst the Deóinforist Rite uses the vernacular in confession except in the standardised rituals of commencement and absolution, when High Tauriscian is used.
The liturgical practices of Fírinnists are highly Charismatic, and perceive personal relationships with the various Fírinnist deities are considered to be of the utmost importance in Fírinnism. All Fírinnist liturgical rites emphasise the use of spiritual gifts and a series of chronological works of grace beginning at an early age, starting with formal initiation into the divine mysteries of young children (but not infants), and preceding being born again, the third work of grace, and initiation into the mysteries of Danu, the last of which is a frequent, continual experience amongst pious Fírinnists. Furthermore, all Fírinnist liturgical rites emphasise the doctrine of Glossolalia as the various spirits and deities of the universe speaking through the personal, as is automatic writing, faith healing (but as a supplement to, and not substitution of, medicine), mediumship, and psychometry. The Standard and Deóinforist Rites also emphasise regular foot washing, snake handling, and other practices associated with more radical elements of Charismatic movements as evidence of the divine strength expressed through the person. All Fírinnist Rites also practice regular laying on of hands as a part of its general Charismatic tradition.
- 1.^ ^ Literally "above existence" in High Tauriscian.
- 2.^ ^ Literally "two principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 3.^ ^ ^ Literally "harmonious balance" in High Tauriscian.
- 4.^ ^ Literally "five principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 5.^ ^ Literally "species(es) principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 6.^ ^ Literally "creator[s] principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 7.^ Literally "[many] gods principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 8.^ Literally "[continuous] revelation principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 9.^ ^ Literally "Eternity principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 10.^ Literally "Will principle" in High Tauriscian.
- 11^ Literally "All/everything principle" in High Tauriscian.