This article belongs to the lore of Esquarium.

Saturnism

Saturnism is a henotheistic religion traditionally situated in Conitia. An outgrowth of Latin religion, Saturnism is predicated on the belief in the deity Saturn as the King of the Cosmos (Rex Universum), a title originally held by his violent predecessors Ouranos, Jupiter, and Typhon. Saturn overthrew these tyrants and became the first fair and compassionate king. He is regarded as the creator of mankind and his reign is regarded as an idyllic, golden age.

Saturnism's mythical founder, the First King of the Men of Gold, saved Saturn after his banishment from heaven. He compiled and enshrined Saturn's teachings into a book, the Codex Saturnalia, which is now regarded as the core of the faith's theological and literary corpus. Today, the faith is practiced widely in Conitia by XXX people, with a particularly strong presence in Ainin, Karazawa, Mespalia, Montecara, Pantalera, and [add yourself].

[link with mesoamerican lazarene traditions]


Beliefs

Saturn resplendent in the ruins of the past, 1822.

Most of the religion's beliefs and doctrines stem from the interpretation and the study of the Codex Saturnalia, a compilation of historical, religious, philosophical and literary texts of various origins that date back to the mid-late Latin Republic. Because of a lack of consensus, many schools and sects have emerged offering different interpretations of the Codex.

Saturnism is posited as an entirely philosophical and cosmological tradition, seeking to understand humans' existence and environment in metaphysical language. It is, in the most general sense, the devotion towards the abstract forces and concepts that shape and influence the human condition. This point of view developed in the late stage of the Latin Republic during the transition from old paganism to Saturnism, a time when traditional religion and Classical philosophy were syncretizing in a time of political and social instability.

Deities

In the traditional and practical sense, Saturnism is a henotheistic religion in that while Saturn, the overthrown King of the Cosmos and creator of mankind, of fullness and opulence, is the central focus of worship, the faith has a vast pantheon. Good spirits, like the nymphs (Latin themnae) and dryads (arboriae), are venerated and given offerings in their holy groves. Similarly, the Men of gold are still worshiped and regularly invoked for their protection and blessing. People of historic significance or identified with great miracles are often posthumously promoted to the rank of Heroes, who are called upon through prayer. The First King is also worshipped as the gods of doors, scribes, priests, visions, rituals, and initiations. He is one of the most divine within the pantheon, just below Saturn himself.

Philosophical understandings of the faith reinterpret the classical gods as metaphysical entities, universal concepts and forces that shape the foundations of the human spirit and its experience in the mortal world. Saturn, representative of time (more correctly, time itself), is an example, as he facilitates the passage of events and experiences of the cosmic condition.

Creeds

Saturn

The central tenet of Saturnism is the belief in Saturn as the Wanderer, Time and Space itself, responsible for growth, evolution, and moving forward in general, as a single dynamic, vivifying, eternally self-generating and self-regenerating sacred entity or "force", permeating, encompassing, and shaping the cosmos as part of its endless process of self-generation-and-regeneration. That which humans commonly understand as nature is generated by Saturn, as he is the first to have separated all the elements of the universe, notably the Sky and the Earth, from one another, and re-organized them in what became the current Creation.

Saturnist scholars warn against the risk of letting anthropomorphism skew the idea of what Saturn is. In Saturnist metaphysics, He is not defined by what he is but by how he "wanders". Process, movement, becoming and transmutation are essential attributes of Him. "He" is properly understood as ever-flowing and ever-changing energy-in-motion, not as a discrete, static entity. Oftentimes, the word Deo, taken from the Tulan concept of Teotl, is understood not as a title but as a verb denoting process and movement rather than as a noun denoting a discrete static entity.

Janus

First of the Men of Gold, Janus is understood as the "Right Arm" of Saturn, given power over beginnings, gates, transitions, duality, passages, and endings. Through his work as the first scribe to ever write the Codex Saturnalia, he is considered to be the first man to have truly understood what "Deo" was, and to have made it understandable to a human man by sequencing it to better represent the idea of motion. As a result, he is the Saturnist guardian in charge of transitions and passages, whether abstract or concrete, sacred or profane.

Scriptures

Saturnism, like other religions, has adherents whose beliefs vary. Saturnists regard the Codex Saturnalia as the inspired word of Saturn, first written by Janus. This has led to different views on the inerrancy or infallibility of the codex depending on the pontificate, school, or sect.

While the Codex is made up of various “books” which existed long before its official creation or were added long after its official completion and only represent a small part of the various texts, songs and mythos associated with archaic Saturnism, it is considered the core of the beliefs of the religion and no “orthodox” school fails to use it as a reference for their theologies and ethics.

The Theogony is the first book of the Codex. It concerns the origins of the world and of the gods, beginning with Chaos and how Tellus Mater and Caelus emerged from it, before giving birth to the first generations of Titans, Giants, Cyclopes, and Hecatoncheires. Among the Titans, the first of them is Saturn, who will overthrow his father with his mother's help.

Another interesting passage of the Theogony is the "Kings and Singers" passage, where the original writer of the text appropriates to itself the authority usually reserved to sacred kingship. The poet declares that it is he, where we might have expected some king instead, upon whom Saturn has bestowed the two gifts of a scepter and an authoritative voice, the visible signs of kingship. It is not that this gesture is meant to make the poet a king. Rather, the point is that the authority of kingship now belongs to the poetic voice, the voice that is declaiming the Theogony. This passage has led to many varying interpretations, but the most commonly held one is that there needs to be a separation of church and state as the King no longer has authority over religious matters. The book ends with Saturn being overthrown, falling on the surface of the world and being saved by Janus, king of the men of Gold.

The second book is the Meditationes, sometimes translated as Meditations of Saturn. It is a collection of seven poems which retrace Saturn's reflections on life, death, the cycle of time, the nature of time, the "physical" condition, the meaning of life, and one's place and role in the greater universe. These meditations lead to the "illumination" of Saturn, who then abandons once and for all the title of King of the Cosmos to become Time and Space, as he was always meant to be, and begins his Eternal Wander. The Meditations are clearly influenced by the culture of Tula Prima and exploit fully concepts such as the Teotl to explain their message.

The third book, Work and Days, takes up the story where the Theogony left it, with Saturn explaining to Janus and the other Men of Gold the core tenets of what will become Saturnism. Then Saturn leaves the Men of Gold but promises to return each new year in a ceremony that will become Saturnalia. The rest of the book describes how the gods slowly decayed, trapped in an eternal cycle of violent coups for the title of King of Cosmos, with Jupiter being overthrown by Typhon, and Typhon overthrown by an unnamed monster described as "even worse". This general decay of the Cosmos had its repercussion on the world and mankind, and is expressed in the myth of the Ages of Man.

Worship

The Laureline Aede of Growth, dedicated to Saturn and Ceres, is the seat of the XXX Pontificate.

Saturday is regarded as a holy day in the Saturnian week, dedicated and named after Saturn. It is mostly honored through congregating at temples (Aedes) for the ceremony of [ritual]. Saturday (and Sunday) are traditionally non-working days in most countries of Saturnist culture, to allow for such communal worship. During [ritual], parts of the Codex Saturnalia are read and contemplated and hymns to Saturn are sung. These ceremonies usually end with a final prayer to the Guardians and the Spirits to continue to protect them, and afterwards holy wine is shared among the group before the concluding prayer.

Prayer—rather, individual prayer—in Saturnalia is nominally a meditative procedure, an act of contemplation and, in turn, deepened communication with the divine. The gods are looked upon as a source of insightful wisdom rather than fulfillers of wishes, though there are some exceptions, such as Sol Magnificus or Bondona. In both communal and individual worship, victual offerings such as fruit and wine (sometimes with added psychedelic stimulants which are consumed during the ritual) are universally necessary if one is to seek deep communion with the divine.

[other practices], [caerimonia?]

Saturnalia

The most important celebration of the religion is known as Saturnalia, usually set within the month of XXX (December 17-23). Practices, festivities and customs surrounding the holiday vary from country to country. For example, the Aininian Saturnalia last three days, while festivities in Montecara last for twelve days. There is a general consensus on the exchange of gifts, large public or private banquets, and the permission for otherwise illegal acts, like gambling, to be done for the duration of the holiday. Some traditions see Saturnalia as a moment to parody or mock the current organisation of society and to point out its contradictions. As such, demonstrations or riots often take place during Saturnalia, while some of the days of the holiday are dedicated to the celebration of workers' rights or of political freedom in general. These traditions are not shared by all schools, but are relatively common among Saturnian countries.

Agonalia

Ianus and Juturna, Belentòn Afàli, 1811. Galerìa Sufréxi, Montecara

At first a series of four different holidays, only the XXX (January 9 or 17) Agonalia was kept by Saturnist cults. The Agonalia is dedicated to the First King and is generally seen as the celebration of the "birthday" of Saturnism, as the religion's mythology says that the First King came back in human form to guide and assist early Saturnian communities, notably by offering them the Codex Saturnalia that he compiled, as well as some teaching that became parts of the religion's oral tradition.

Juturnalia

On XXX (January 11 or 19), this holiday is dedicated to the wife of the The First King, Juturna, Queen of the Men of Gold, leader of the Guardian Spirits, and guardian herself of fountains, wells and springs. The Story of Turnus and Aeneas is generally considered as an apocryphal text and thus her role in it is not considered part of the Saturnian canon, even if it is sometime acknowledged or mentioned by some schools.

Ludi Dioscures

On January 27. These festivities are dedicated to the Dioscuri, the heroic twins. Beyond the celebrations in every Aedes, especially those who bear the names of the two guardians like the Dioscuri Aede of Palatin, the Ludi Dioscures is considered to be a good date to hold sport competition, especially related to equitation.

History

[saturnism is what happens when you mix metaphysics, classical philo and paganism together. it's kinda like positivism but more neoclassical.]

Saturnism developed during the 1st century CE as a distinct sect part of the general Palatin polytheism. A cult to Saturn has always existed in the Palatinate, but he was generally considered one among many other gods. The temple of Saturn was located at the base of the Mons Saturnius, and was an important part of the Palatinate religious and political life, as it was where the Treasury of the Republic was held.

However, modern day Saturnism emerged outside of the official religious hierarchy of the Palatinate. Traces of Proto-Saturnism can be found in the texts of XXX, who was one of the last defender of the Jupiter-Mars-Quirinus Trinity, which was slowly losing in popularity and being replaced by the Jupiter-Juno-Minerva Trinity. Another development that will be integrated later to the Saturnist theology is the debates, reflexions, and meditations on the nature of divinity and immortality, leading to the creation or re-appropriation of the concept of Deo, from the Tulaic Teotl.

The texts used by these thinkers are the same than the ones referenced in every schools of their time, but slowly, some emerge from the fold and are re-translated, re-written, completed, and finally read by brand new commentators. Because of its roots and of the gods at the center of its cosmology, this proto-saturnian movement quickly positioned itself against the Mystery religions and their practioniers, who were often part of the social elites. Because of the tumultuous times of the XXX century, punctuated by many social, economical, and religious crisis, the proto-saturnists thinkers started to go further into their critic of the mystery religions, of their elitism, going as far as criticizing the social statu quo, rejecting many of the more popular gods of the time and their cults, promoting the idea that knowledge of the Universe was achieveable by anyone, and not reserved to a selected, initiated, few, and that faith in Saturn is what would allow humanity to emerge from the downward spiral that the Immortals have plundged the world into. This message was well perceived among the poorer strata of the Palatinate.

Organization and denominations

The highest religious authority of the Saturnians in a given country is the Pontifice (Latin Pontifex), who has jurisdiction within a particular region (usually within the confines of a nation). His role is to act as an arbiter and judge in case of theological or moral conflict among the different schools and theologians under his guidance. Regularly, the Pontifices meet in a College that can be called by any of them, if a problem is deemed important enough to warrant such meeting.

There are officially XX pontificates recognized by the Dominionist tradition, the largest and second-oldest branch within Saturnism, composing of the seven Great Pontificates: Ainin, Montecara, Karazawa, Seville, Tuthina, Wéppy (Oelia) and Zacapatu, along with numerous lower Pontificates in communion to either of the seven. The last Universal College of the Dominionists (when all the Pontifices are present) took place in XXXX.

Unlike other world religions, Saturnism has rarely formed deep schisms and sectarian hostility throughout its history, maintaining a long line of unity and communion mostly under the Dominionist pontificates. So far, there has only been one major schism in Saturnism's organization (the XXX), and it was primarily because of XXX.

[lower churches] ["saturnian unity"]

Demographics

Current issues

Relationship with other faiths