Religion in the Cluster

The cluster’s cultural diversity as well as the cycles of rising and collapsing civilizations have given birth to a variety of philosophies and religious beliefs. Although it would be impossible to list all of them, here are a few of the most common patterns found on many inhabited worlds.

Astraism

Astraism is the belief that celestial objects are the physical embodiment of deities and that by interpenetrating their movements it is possible to to divine information relevant to mortal affairs on earth.

The Astraism church in each system maintains a system specific pantheon of the local planets and constellations visible form that system, most also recognize the existence of other gods, but prefer to focus their worship on local deities which are considered more relevant. A celestial calendar is maintained by the astrologer priesthood based on the movement of this pantheon, and even if the religion is no longer practiced by the local population, it may still be used as a highly accurate form of time-keeping. In some systems which have fallen below T-2 and lack the ability to observe the outer planets with telescopes, the astrological charts will continue to track the movements of the unseen planets until their re-discovery hundreds or thousands of years latter. The accuracy of these predictions often displaying a remarkable degree of accuracy.

Astraism is often the official religion of conservative planetary governments, partly because of it’s inherently hierarchical and essentialist worldview. The chief diety of each panetheon is typicaly the sun as a king, with the earth and moons as his queen and royal children. Each of the other planets his rightful subjects. As things are in the heavens, so must they be on earth. All authority radiates out from the center, and all things must follow their natural orbits around greater things. Feudal society and neuclear families are just reflections of the natural laws of motion. The sun orbits the galaxy just as a lord obeys his liege, and the planets orbit the sun as a family must obey the father. For mortals to try and change the natural order of things which even the gods must follow is absolute heresy. N body problems of course, are rarely considered except by deviant sects which trail ahead and behind official church doctrine like Trojan asteroids.

Most Astraists believe that mankind originated in space, and was scatted across various planets. Some believe that this was due to some great sin, and that traveling to other planets (or even entering orbit) is blasphemous. Some oppressive regimes push this as official dogma to keep the populace looking down and under control. And on other worlds, extremist sects use this as justification for terrorist attacks against spaceports. Most however think space travel, if handled with the proper degree of reverence appropriate to such an endeavor, can be seen as a form of worship, and that it is mankind’s destiny to return to the stars.

Regardless of their opinion on moral space travel, almost all Astraists believe that after death human souls are carried into space by solar wind and are eventually deposited in nebula where they exist in a state of cosmic bliss for billions of years until enough souls are accumulated to create a new star god. Wicked souls are weighed down by their sins and return to earth as meteorites to be reborn until they can repent for their sins in the next life.

Fractal Aspects

  • If the stars are right
  • All things have their orbits
  • Cast from heaven
  • Ad Astra

Example Characters

Astro Knight Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Aircraft Millitary grade aircraft Order of the void T-1 Vac Suit
+2 EVA , Navigation Swap Aircraft for piloting Ad Astra Gyrojet Pistol
+1 Slug Thrower , Micro-G , Resolve Extra wealth box Veteran test pilot slide rule sword
Wealth : [][][][] Stamina : [][][] Composure : [][][][]
The Royal astrologer Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Science Swap science for navigation The stars aren’t right Aristocratic dress
+2 Profession (Aristocrat) , Oratory Extra wealth box We all have our orbits astrolabe
+1 Arts , Archaeology , Bureaucracy Militarily grade Bureaucracy When I was your age Telescope
Wealth : [][][][] Stamina : [][][] Composure : [][][]

The great Queen of Heaven

A common criticism of Astraism is that it’s worldview is ironically geocentric and has no explanation for the slipstream network, or the the diversity and interconnectedness of the cluster. A spacer who has visited multiple star systems might find the idea of worshiping a particular star to be rather shallow. Sure stars are impressive, but there are so many of them, and represent jut a tiny piece of a much greater whole.

That greater whole is the great queen of heaven. The cosmic goddess who embodies everything that exists. The stars and galaxies are just the jewels which adorn her heavenly gown. Every living thing is her child, and the slipstream itself is woven by her hands. Some spacers even claim you can see her if you look at the stars, but only in space, and only through your own eyes, not on a planet’s surface and not through a camera.

The queen’s followers do not believe in sin, because everything is a part of her, any act can be considered a form of worship. They do however believe that after death, your soul will be re-incarnated in new life which is casually linked to the actions of the previous life. If you make the world a worse place, you will suffer for it. However, even a murderous tyrant might be eventually rewarded for his conquest if, thousands of years latter, the kingdom he founded becomes a progressive democracy.

The scripture also speaks of the queen’s son, The Great Conqueror of Earth. If the Queen represents all that exists, the Conqueror represents all that could exist. According to the legends, he was (or will be in the future) sent by the queen to unify mankind and usher in a new golden age. The queen, being pure actuality, gives birth to the Conqueror, and the Conqueror, being pure potentiality, gives birth to a new actuality.

Weather these events are intended to have taken place in the distant past, the near future, or rather represent a constant cycle is up for debate. Some believe that the Queen and Conqueror are based on individuals who lived back on old Earth, or are possibly a metaphor for a T4 society.

Followers of this religion are instructed to emulate the Queen and the Conqueror in their daily lives to find success. Because they collectively embody everything that does exist or could exist, following their example can help accomplish any goal.

Fractal Aspects

  • The stars are hers
  • All that exists and could exist
  • Emulate the conqueror

Example Characters

Media personality Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Oratory Swap oratory for charm The stars are hers Expensive dress
+2 Profession (Celebrity) , Assets Swap oratory for intimidation You’ve never been offworld? Fashionable spacesuit
+1 Agility , Micro-G , Brawling Credit rating: Extra wealth track box And why do you feel that way? Smartphone
Wealth : [][][][][] Stamina : [][][] Composure : [][][]
Entrepreneur Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Assets Assets for bureaucracy Emulate the conqueror Expensive suit
+2 Profession (Entrepreneur) , Charm Assets for brokerage I like taking risks Personal Re-entry kit
+1 EVA , Micro-g , Survival Credit rating: Extra wealth track box I’ll fund it on one condition Mysterious Briefcase
Wealth : [][][][][][] Stamina : [][][] Composure : [][][]

Real world inspiration

The Real life inspirations for these fictional religions.

Astraism
European Paganism and the Roman catholic church.
The Queen of Heaven
Hinduism, new age religions / pop psychology.
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