Sumurayh'Borelan

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The religion of the Hyperboreans is an accretion of prehistoric animisms, ancient superstitions, the systems of several conflicting philosophers, and the spiritual intuitions of the religion's practitioners, all lumped together under the catch-all name sumurayh'Borelan, or "religion of the Hyperboreans".

Truth and Beauty

All modern forms of sumurayh'Borelan center on some conception of Truth and Beauty, the two forces or beings responsible for the existence and motion of the Universe. Truth is visualized as being the sum total of all that actually exists, while Beauty is composed of the realm of ideas, visions, and desires. Our world is the love of Truth and Beauty, and their eternal tendency to unite with one another. Thus, the natural world is always striving towards a form more like our dreams and ideals, and the world of dreams is always struggling to become reality. The Hyperboreans view this not as a passive, natural force but as something akin to love, and all earthly love is a single manifestation of this cosmic desire.

The love of Truth for Beauty and the love of Beauty for Truth are said to be the same love, but this is a higher-level doctrine not easily explained in a brief summary.

In a less rarefied, more metaphorical guise of the religion, Truth and Beauty incarnate as human-like gods. Truth takes the form of a dark-haired young boy, and Beauty takes the form of a fair-haired young girl. Both wear the traditional formal dress of Hyperboreans, a blue and silver robe with a silver spiral necklace.

The Soul and the Utheyethail

Humans and other created beings are, according to this view, the most significant ground in which the meeting of Truth and Beauty takes place, having as they do one foot in the psychic realm and one foot in the physical realm. In fact, each soul may be defined, in a sense more profound than by identifying it with a particular created being, by identifying it as a particular locus in which Truth and Beauty contact and incompletely interface with each other. While the created being that hosts it may die, the locus of interface remains and passes to a different created being until the interface is resolved and Truth and Beauty have become one. From the point of view of any particular created being, this looks like reincarnation, a belief which the Hyperboreans embrace.

From the point of view of sumurayh'Borelan, a person's actions during life are not incidental to, but supervenient upon, his mental quest to unite Truth and Beauty within his spirit. Thus, the reincarnation of a particular soul might be expected not necessarily to share personality characteristics with its preincarnation, but to share the same deep driving spiritual conflicts.

When a soul, through many lifetimes, finally resolves the last vestiges of separation and unites Truth and Beauty entirely, it becomes no longer a part of the Universe (which is the love of Truth and Beauty) but something of a different order entirely, a perfect facet of Ultimate Holy Reality. Its identity as a particular created being drops away from it, becoming one of the utheyethail, Hyperborean for "those who wear no name" for their lack of identity or selfhood. The utheyethail are rare, not necessarily social with the rest of humanity, and often difficult to tell apart from frauds, pretenders, or ordinary dime-a-dozen holy men.

One tends to become an utheyethai through years of asceticism and meditation, often in the Cold Waste to the north of settled Hyperborea. However, exceptions exist, and the literature tells of people who have suddenly shed their names and selves on the basis of a sudden revelation seeming completely banal to everyone except themselves. Further, many Hyperboreans believe that every action, good or evil, forwards the soul in its course to this inevitable goal, although it may take many years and many lifetimes to reach fruition.

Spirits and Demons

These relatively sophisticated concepts are superimposed in a variety of ways on top of a primitive animism, in which everything is believed to have a spirit that interacts with created beings in some way. This view complements in some ways the belief that everything is a result of the love of Truth and Beauty and thus can have the desire to further that unification in its own way.

Most common of the spirits are the Ice Spirits or vinukal, demons said to dwell in the Cold Waste or any other hostile, forbidding place. Although vaguely human in appearance, ice spirits are about fifteen feet tall, deathly pale, inhumanly thin, and have long, spindly arms and legs and long, blue-white hair. They are intelligent, but prefer eating humans to conversing. Often they feature in the legends of prophets and sages in the Cold Waste.

Oath spirits, or damoral, are born whenever anyone swears an oath. So long as the oath is kept, the spirit is benevolent and even helpful. If the oath is broken, the spirit because a malevolent demon, causing trouble to the swearer and his friends.

The Wanderers are terrestrial incarnations of the nine planets recognized by the Hyperboreans. Each is identified with a specific color and has specific properties. They often wander incognito, testing, tempting, and teaching the mortals they come across.

Observances

March 21 is the Hyperborean New Year, the first day of spring, and the celebration of the foundation of Hyperborea. Like many other New Years, it serves primarily as a time for making resolutions and for reflection on the year ahead.

June 21 is celebrated as the summer solstice, often with treks and camping trips in the wilderness.

September 21 is observed as the autumn equinox. It is a day of reflection, atonement, mourning for the dead, and apologies to those who have been wronged.

December 21 is observed as the winter solstice. It is a day for telling secrets and for revealing what is hidden.

Other

The only prayer used in the Hyperborean religion is called the Iith. Its full text is "I know not what is best, but whatsoever that is, let it be done."

The symbol of the Hyperborean religion is a silver spiral.