Novemian Deadhead Faith

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Novemian Deadhead Faith
Geographical areas: Novemia
Origin: August 2018, Terentia (Deadhead Faith)
2014-2015, Eresamia (Original Doctrines)
Key tenets: Pantheistic
Monotheism, Ritual Prayer, Concept of Holy Bands and Albums, Dance, Ritual Concert and Festival attendance
Main denominations: Terentian Deadhead
Religious Head (De facto), Estimated Prophet Stella Blue I
Members: Eight

The Novemian Deadhead Faith is a set of religious principals popular in the Novemia area, in Massachusetts. It is evolved largely from the religious practices of earlier Novemian Religions, which dominated nations like the United Kingdom of New Elmhurst, the Republic of New Elmhurst, and Eresamia. It's principals focus largely on the improvisational rock-bands, The Grateful Dead, Phish, and other bands similar to them. While the faith, which largely is centered in The Church of the Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion has it's own unique principals and theology, throughout November 2018 many of the religious ideals of former Novemian Faiths such as Spiralism found themselves as canon within the Deadhead Faith.

The Novemian Deadhead Faith was created throughout the late summer of 2018, mostly in August, as a spiritual focal-point of Terentian culture, which is heavily focused on the Grateful Dead. Throughout the Fall of 2018, as the Faith's theology began to be collected in it's holy text, the Helping Frendly Book, it's influence began to slowly spread throughout Novemia, reaching the borders of Eresamia, which was still largely dominated by the Spiralist Faith. As of December 2018, the Deadhead Faith is practiced mostly in Terentia, Austenasia.

History

Novemian Religions

The Novemian Deadhead Faith has roots that reach back into late 2014 and early 2015, which were considered the Golden Age for early Novemian Faiths. These faiths, specifically Novemianism were largely polytheistic, and focused on a set of Earth-centered gods who had limited reach and power. Within Novemianism, there were four. These gods were considered to be protectors of the United Kingdom of New Elmhurst, and were revered by it's people. Throughout a very short time, a collection of stories related to each god began to be drafted by many practitioners of the faith. There was only one copy of this early scripture, though, which is considered lost to time.

Throughout late 2014, Novemianism was practiced by a small group within what was the early United Kingdom of New Elmhurst, with practitioners often holding informal religious gatherings in the woods and near rivers in the central Novemian area. However, past mid 2015 these faiths became largely ceremonial to the people of Novemia, and did not have much actual practice within them. By the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, Novemianism was all but extinct.

Spiralism

The Holy Spiral, in North Western Eresamia.

Spiralism was a set of religious ideals that began to pop up in late 2014, with the discovery of the Spiral. The Spiral was a small, spiral-esque structure that exists in the far north-western part of Eresamia. When it was discovered in 2014, many adherents of Novemianism immediately attached spiritual importance to it. Through winter of 2014 many different theories began to emerge as to it's origin and importance, but as the Spiralist Faith began to become much more set in stone, it was agreed that the Spiral represented the center of the universe. As Novemianism was dying out in mid 2015, there were attempts to merge the two faiths in Novemianist Spiralism, though these ideas were largely unpopular. Spiralism became the dominant faith in the region in early 2016, and remained so through all of 2016, 2017, and into 2018.

Spiralism believes that the Spiral, in Eresamia, is the center of the Universe. The Spiral had been created by a uniterian God thousands of years ago, with the entire universe spreading out from it's center. According to Spiralist belief, the universe is constantly expanding in a spiral fashion outwards from that center. Spiralism holds that the first human beings, particularly ancient Prophets such as Adam, as well as many others existed in this area thousands of years ago, due to it's spiritual importance. As such, Spiralists put heavy importance on the Pocomtuc tribe, which existed in the Novemian area for centuries. Spiralism believes that many Prophets existed within the Pocomtuc tribe, and look at the Pocomtuc as the Children of Israel, referred to in the Bible and Qur'an.

Spiralism was most active throughout 2015 and 2016, but as of late 2017 and 2018 it became a mostly ceremonial rubber-stamp for the rulership within Eresamia.

The Church of the Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion

Throughout the summer of 2018, a massive cultural shift began to occur within Terentia, in Austenasia, with an extreme amount of attention being focused on the Grateful Dead and other such jam-bands. In early August, it seemed that this was just a cultural focus, however in September it became clear that within Terentia there was a certain amount of spiritual attention that some Terentians were putting on these bands. In September, Eryn Lewis, Representative of Terentia formed The Church of the Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion, as a spiritual center for the religious beliefs that were being formulated, as well as a cultural center for Terentia and Terentians.

Throughout October and November, the religious ideals of the Church began to spread out of Terentia and into the last of the classic Novemian states, Eresamia. Still largely stuck in it's older Spiralist ideals, many rejected the message that the Church provided, however a small group of elders within the nation accepted the religion, making them a minority within Eresamia.

Beliefs

The Novemian Deadhead faith is comprised of many different pieces of theology, but is based on three main principals, those being the spiritual importance of improvisational music and dance, pantheistic monotheism, and individuality. There are many smaller, less important bits of theology that Novemian Deadheads believe in, with different ideas and interpretations sometimes not found in canon being believed by members of the Church.

Improvisational Music

Spiritual Guides

The Grateful Dead in concert, 1977

Much of the focus in regards to improvisational music goes to two bands in particular, the Grateful Dead, an improv rock band that existed between 1965 and 1995, and Phish, an improv rock band that was started in 1983. Novemian Deadheads believe that the Grateful Dead were a group of spiritual guides, who brought a message similar but different to the spiritual guides in the past, such as Jesus and Muhammad. To Novemian Deadheads, every spiritual leader comes with a new way of communicating spirituality to their people. Jesus, to the Novemians, healed people and brought them back from the dead, where-as Muhammad brought spirituality through language, which was important to the Arabs of that day. Novemian Deadheads believe that music is a central part of American culture, and as such the message of spirituality was brought to mankind through improvisational music. To Novemian Deadheads, the improvisational nature allows for the music to not be constrained, which allows a painting of the present to occur. In other words, improvisational music and dance, when done right, is able to paint a clear-cut picture of that moment through sound. The Grateful Dead, according to Novemian Deadheads, were the first to truly do this, this is why such a phenomenon surrounded them, including the Deadheads, who Novemians believe are similar to other tribes and nations who followed spiritual leaders.

Novemian Deadheads also put a massive amount of importance on Phish, a similar rock band that was founded in 1983, as as of 2018 continues to play. Phish, according to the Novemian Deadheads, took the formula that was created by the Grateful Dead and brought it to another level. The faith holds that the Big Cypress Festival, which occurred on 12/31/99, specifically the set which started around midnight and went until seven in the morning, was a time-shattering event, which brought about the beginning of the next age. Phish is held in high regard by Novemian Deadheads, with the holy scripture of the faith, the Helping Friendly Book, being based off of a similar book mentioned in the Phish album, The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday.

Due to these beliefs, Novemian Deadheads hold that concerts and festivals featuring improvisational bands (also known as "jam bands") are spiritual pilgrimages. Specifically the Wormtown Music Festival, which is held just minutes away from both Terentia and Eresamia, where most Novemian Deadheads live. It's important to understand that by no means do Novemian Deadheads believe these bands or individuals to be Prophets by any means, rather they are considered to be people who were given gifts of spiritual understanding, weather conscious or subconsciously.

Other Concepts

Pantheistic Monotheism

Pantheistic monotheism is a concept unique to the Novemian Deadhead Faith. It's based on the concept that everything within creation, and outside of it, is God. Trees, humans, everything is a part of God, yet this all-comprising God is itself a sentient being. According to the Helping Friendly Book, in tenant the Tenants of Spiritual Understanding, it reads; The Universe in its entirety, is one. All beings that live and breath in the universe are one, all things that do not breath, are one, all that has, can, and will be created, are one. All that lays in the imagination and subconsciousness of mankind, are one, unified by the vibrational connections that make up our existence. The Universe is the mass consciousness of existence, and God is the Universe.

This concept developed largely throughout late twenty seventeen and early twenty eighteen within Terentia and Eresamia, though it was never a concept set in stone. When the Novemaian Deadhead Faith began to formulate and the words of members of the Grateful Dead began to influence spiritual understanding within Terentia, the concept of pantheistic monotheism began to be more ironed out. Though the term 'pantheistic monotheism' is not found anywhere in Novemian Deadhead scripture, it's used informally by members of the faith and is an appropriate term to describe the faith's concept of God.

God, to Novemian Deadheads, is referred to as 'Icculus', after the character in the before-mentioned album, The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday. In this album, Icculus is referred to as a Prophet who wrote the Helping Friendly Book as guidance for a group of people known as 'The Lizards'. Calling God Icculus is a mostly formal matter, to be done in prayer or in congregation, but the terms 'God', 'The Universe', and many other lesser-used terms are appropriate for understanding the faith's view of God.

Individualism

Despite not being mentioned in any scripture, individualism is considered to be one of the most important aspects of spirituality. The leader of The Church of the Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion, Stella Blue I says on the topic; "When one adapts the title of 'Deadhead' to their life, people are automatically going to assume that they're probably a weirdo. In adapting this small title, which means something completely different from person to person, it opens them up to be completely themselves. When someone automatically assumes you're a harmless weirdo, why not embrace that individuality and be the person that you truly are on the inside?"

To the Church, being yourself is of utmost importance, even if it comes between being yourself and following scripture or doctrine. To Novemian Deadheads, the Helping Friendly Book and many other bits of scripture represent something the people of the faith can come together around as a unified belief, and as such the book, and the faith itself, are subject to constant change, just as people are. Individual freedom and being yourself are considered to be some of the most spiritual concepts a human can understand in a society based on conformity.