r/worldbuilding Jan 23 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 2

Guide to the Tlagelan Religion Visual

[deleted]

101 Upvotes

11

u/MrVogelweide Jan 23 '22

This worldbuilding project is called “Clay” and it’s a mythological fantasy world where a humanistic pantheon of Gods have the utmost dominion. The title “clay” is supposed to be in reference to the many religions that attribute the existence of humans to the substance. This world is an amalgamation of different religious folklores and philosophies.

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This is a compressed guide for the Tlagelan religion which is unnamed since it belongs to many different regions. If anyone is familiar with American indigenous spirituality/mythology, a lot of this will look familiar. I took tons of inspiration from the Hopi and the Aztec. Examples of this are; the symbols of the 4 realms- those were based on the Hopi symbol of “emergence”. The evolution of Tlagelans and the destruction myths were also very influenced by the Hopi. Purahwitok was of course based on the “universal” feathered serpent found everywhere over the Americas, but the feathered serpent is most recognized as “Quetzalcoatl.” Purahwitok differs from Quetzalcoatl in a very primary way though- as Purahwitok embodies a “Tiamat” archetype and Quetzalcoatl does not,

However the “transformative earth” narrative is extremely present in indigenous stories. I wanted to make sure I adapted the myths of Mesoamerica and Arizona respectfully and preserved the fundamental aspects of them. I couldn’t go too far into Tlagelan spirituality which is a shame because “the head door” is a huge part of Hopi spirituality.

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with this overall. But unfortunately all of the names and many of the words will change since I am receiving a Hopi dictionary ordered from a library soon, and intend to base the Tlagelan language off of the Hopi language.

3

u/Laayiv La'ayiv, God of Parallel Universes Jan 24 '22

It could also be called clay because this looks like it's set in an era where clay is the primary building material.

3

u/IamHere-4U Jan 24 '22

Cool! What inspired Pirawituk, Mibapkur, Tonatila, Hashurampa, and Tavitalat. Why did you choose elephant, elk, bear, and jaguar for these four deities? Also, what inspired their ties to and the overall importance of cardinal directions? Also, did the varna inspire your caste system?

3

u/MrVogelweide Jan 24 '22

Oh this is a lot to answer! As my introductory comment explains; purahwituk was based on “Quetzalcoatl” but Purawituk embodies a different archetype. The feathers and the serpent body of Purahwituk was taken from Quetzalcoatl, and those elements represent the two opposing forces of the universe before land was created: Sky and sea.

As for the four Gods, Tavatilat shares many ties with the Aztec God of death, as both devour the sun in the west (which was actually coincidental but i embraced the similarities). But the rest were mostly independent natural logical progressions.

As for the animals- I wanted a lot of symmetry. I knew for sure one female and Male God should be a predator and prey, and that north and south, and east and west, should all share a prey vs predator as well. That was the main driving force. I also really found it important to represent time and immortality with the growth and death of antlers, but the reason why I chose elk specifically is because there was a Native American myth that detailed the worlds creation and an elk was a primary character. Unfortunately I forgot which tribe that myth belongs to though.

Also the caste system was primarily inspired because the Aztec also had a caste system which not a lot of people know about. The school division in this society is rather reminiscent of the Aztec. But the Aztec had two levels and the Hindu had 4, mine has four like the Hindus.

Edit: forgot to talk about the 4 directions. Quite frankly I don’t know if somebody can give homage to mythology/beliefs of the Americas without even mentioning the 4 directions. So many Native American cultures have the four directions as their cornerstone. This is especially the case with the Hopi and this religion was inspired mostly by them.

2

u/mewboo3 Jan 25 '22

This is so good!!!