|Alana Culemerwin Devar|
Karawati (or the mother of Rixx, the lifestone of Krysaros) is the ancient symbol of purity, hearth and unity of the Betazoid people. Rixx is an influential figure in Betazoid history and his story is told in many different ways. This would both tie him to Krysaros, a certain powerful figure in his own right who gave Rixx the instruments he used to unify the planet, and the houses themselves. Krysaros was thought to be Karawati's brother in many occasions. However, in other sects, she is believed to be his wife. At any rate, the believers of Karawati are not limited to any one scenario but do have some of the basic ways of thinking.
In some variations, Karawati is referred to as Saraswati. Use of either name is acceptable.
- 1 The Details
- 2 The Houses: The Play According to Karawati Followers
- 3 Love
- 4 Places and Art of Worship
- 5 Raising Children and Family Affairs
- 6 Dispositions
- 7 Sources
The religion is one that involves many variations of Gods and Goddesses.
Karawati is identified as Betazed herself, thus Mother Nature. Without her care to the individuals that make her home, there would not, in essence, be life at all. It is because of her they have the gifts of empathy and telepathy. It is used to keep their minds open, to feel her love and she would in turn feel theirs.
The Moons are described as her two sisters, Yimone and Retana, the twins of the heavens. One without the other would destroy the flow of water on the planet, change the tropical seasons and light at night.
Krysaros is the ancient hero of their planet, as stated before to be either Karawati's brother or husband. More are to be inclined to believe him to be her brother. He saved Karawati from certain invasion from a looming, malevolent telepathic force. Rixx inherited the tools that saved his mother.
A number of other Gods and Goddesses follow, but each have their own quality and sect of followers.
The Houses: The Play According to Karawati Followers
- First House of Betazed: House of Honesty/Truth
- Second House of Betazed: House of Mysticism
- Third House of Betazed: House of Health
- Fourth House of Betazed: House of Natural Art and Muses
- Fifth House of Betazed: House of Nobility
- Sixth House of Betazed: House of Heart and Life
- Seventh House of Betazed: House of Courage
- Eighth House of Betazed: House of Intuition
- Ninth House of Betazed: House of Wealth
- Tenth House of Betazed: House of Perseverance
- Eleventh House of Betazed: House of Hearth
- Twelfth House of Betazed: House of Balance
- Thirteen House of Betazed: House of Peace and Protection
The House's Stories
There has been many tales of how the houses were originally divided. Some say that as part of the houses nobility, it had caused prior conflict with the lesser of Betazoid blood, kind of like a Lord and serf relationship amongst the planet's population.
However, it is the belief of the Goddess' people that everyone is born into equality. The division of the houses come from a much distinct source: These are supposed the children of Rixx and the qualities in which each son or daughter possessed. In these houses, they took in mates and multiplied, taking in the blood of others and mingling them from the direct essence of the Goddess herself. Therefore, in each of the houses lays a piece of the Goddess.
The statue of the Goddess stands molded in marble, donning a silver and gold robe with a circlet chaining a series of stones together. There is a different stone, all thirteen, signifying a different house. This is considered to be the buds of her grandchildren and children in life now, a symbol of her ever-loving connection and spirit within them. It is said if they wear the stone of their house it will amplify their strength in which their house represents.
Reminder: Not all of the members of the Houses stay true to this belief. This is only pertains to whom follows the Karawati belief.
The followers of Karawati do not stray from the ideals of love, which means that any one Betazoid man or woman can love and be attached to several different mates at any one given time. Some sects hold true to the idealist manner that held families together through the tests of time. Here are some terms to keep in mind when it comes to the love and bonding of Karawati's people.
- Genetic Bondmate: As some of Earth cultures, a mate can be prescribed to an individual at a very young age. However, with this type, much like Vulcans, the children can be psychically attached and eventually marry in an elaborate ceremony that is instigated with a Bonding Gift. Though modern Betazoids typically do not marry genetic bondmates now, other than marrying Imzade's or Imzadi's. The sentimental connection to genetic bondmates is still a common practice though and preferred through the majority of religious and cultural divisions.
- Imzadi: This is commonly known in the Betazoid language as Beloved. It is meant and said to describe the first person that touches not only the Betazoid in full body, but in immaculate soul as well. It is the purest term to call the most dearest of hearts. The connection is usually exhibited and shared by both parties, Betazoid or other alike. It is considered a very special bond.
- Imzade: A term that is most notably describes the lover(s) in a Betazoid's life as, Secret Lover, not to be confused with Imzadi. Imzade(s) are relatively common and come and go throughout. Imzades are seen more with the female population especially during the Phase, in which a mature woman will take in a variety of mates.
Love, Marriage and Relationships
The ethics of a Betazoid love relationship becomes a little more complicated when it involves another from a foreign race. Some other species do not understand in why a Betazoid would do this; some Betazoids do not take in other mates, but some others will.
The typical Wedding Ceremony stays common with the norm, however, and it is based on a number of symbolisms. It is done in the nude, to mark that the past is the past and the bride and groom come into the union with no secrets; having, thus, nothing to hide. Spectators are encouraged to dress the same, but it is not mandatory. References of the ceremony in specifics are described in Peter David's book, Imzadi.
It is also seen that the male gender take the female's last name, as the Goddess is the sign of the most dominant sex. However, it is not uncommon either to see the women to take onto a male's last name if he is of noble blood and comes from a House. However, if they both derive from Houses, then the male becomes a part of the females and takes onto him her surname. This all falls into the preference and actual religion of both parties, and is no way connected to the normalcy of Betazoid martial politics.
Each Karawati follower considers Love a sacred thing that should not be taken advantage of or for granted. Though some approach the ethics a bit differently, given their personality type, it is still considered a gift from the Goddess when he or she finds their Imzadi.
Places and Art of Worship
There are a number of ways to worship and pay homage to Karawati, depending on personal preference. A series of temple locations scatter across the planet's surface some in major cities (most notably, Mestara) and within jungle regions.
Most followers choose to adorn their bodies with associated piercing and body art. This would mostly be kept hidden, but are displayed in many of the festivals and rites.
The temples are home to Karawati's Priestesses (who are otherwise known as Vadas), who dedicate their lives to her name and inspire others the path of her faith. They chant and pray all day and night, serving her people and the continuing prosperity of their home world. Most of the time, they dress in elaborate and exotic robes that show off their tattoos and piercings; it is relatively normal to see them also don anything symbolic of the goddess. Cool mannered and sometimes often mistaken as gypsies or Wiccans, these women are revered and praised for all their good work. It is considered an honor to take into the position, and is addressed as so by paintings that mark the occasion in each independent, receiving house.
Mediation is also a preferred practice that involves the burning of incenses and candles to clear one's state of mind. This method is used to clarify oneself as an individual and to hone into the clarity that is Karawati herself: thus, becoming more aware and feeling enlightened after the experience is finished. It is also used to purge any angered or impure feelings/thoughts, channeling them into a black hole to be recycled for the better of their disposition. It is much like Buddhism in the ways they do cherish and exhibit it.
Common Incenses and Candles
- Sea'Nu: A fruity scent that is used in festivals. It is believed to embody a chemical that rejuvenates the spirit, making the individual feel more alive and active. This is also used to center the mind into a total state of bliss.
- Nor Kala: This is a scent more associated with Nag Champa. It is used to cleanse the air and add peace to one's well-being.
- Revann: A flowery essence that associates with wildlife and the grandeur of the outside world. It is said to connect the person preparing and burning to the Goddess herself, and is more inclined to have a more spiritual connection with others not to mention themselves.
Cycles, Solstices and Festivals
- Moon and Rite of Yimone: Yimone is associated with Life and Death, as she is the sister of Karawati and twin of Retana. As one of the makers of the Moons, it has become a balancing effect of both sisters to keep the stability of their sister (Betazed). This is the beginning of the end of what the Betazoids call Winter and brings in the first signs of Spring. The waters are supposedly washing more rapidly, and it is believed by the Goddess' followers that this is the time for rejoice. Things to begin anew, another life cycle starts.
- Reign of Ceriwynn: The flourish of spring, in with the life, rebirth and the awakening of Ceriwynn, Daughter of Karawati and spirit of the season. A festival in this young maiden's name is celebrated within the temples in the crispest of mornings, tagged with singing, dancing and painting. It is considered where Karawati is most alive. It is said when the young woman has her outbursts is when the torrential rain pours; when the Sun rises once more and clears the land, Karawati has put her young daughter to sleep.
- Seane: Early spring risen of the Goddess into the bleed between to Summer. This symbolizes the official awakening of the Goddess and her sisters into the heat of life; this is usually met with a series of burning incenses in the temples and craft festivities in the markets. Marriages are most popular during this time of year.
- Retana's Farce: Summer into what is fall. Still warm, but Retana moans for her time to bring things down and let her sisters rest. Calmly gliding into Winter or the Severance of Rixx, Karawati's people choose this time to pull in any crops and tie down any loose ends.
- Severance of Rixx: Known otherwise as the Fall of Rixx, this time symbolizes the end of Rixx's days, bringing chill until Yimone turns again.
Raising Children and Family Affairs
Most of Karawati's people tend to be liberal, and bring their children up into homes that accentuate their strengths. Faith is not forcefully drilled onto them as they believe every child should go where their heart tells them. However, the ethics of right and wrong are enforced as well as good standing and respect for others.
Each child, when born, whether or not decides to merge with the Goddess, undergoes a ceremony called The Caitia Panelle. This is a rite to ensure a good, healthy life full of lessons and prosperity. It also acts as a sinker for the gift of telepathy and empathy in which to connect with their people.
Ceremonies and Rites
A little known practice in Betazoid culture, this particular ceremony bonds two souls together giving the individuals a sense of each other no matter how far apart they may be. It resembles Vulcan Bonding and is otherwise known as a spiritual commitment ceremony. Usually these are attended by a small gathering of friends and family, with a few representatives from each of the Betazed Houses.
The rite to ensure a good, healthy life full of lessons and prosperity that is enacted upon birth. This ceremony ensures the gift of empathy and telepathy, also, so they can feel the connection to others and the Goddess herself.
This is the ceremony that adopts others and melds them into a house by the prayers and blessings of current members. The ceremony can be held by any number of individuals, but is most commonly done by one. The individuals adopted can be of any given race or gender, and have to be entered with the purest of intentions and hearts. This usually lasts for about one week and is strung out by a series of events that leads up to the finale. It mostly involves chants and, depending on the house, dress.
Reaching the eve of marriage, Betazoids would often engage in a ceremony that commits them to their partners. This will forsake any other mates for the duration of their marriage and, if broken, can be faced by a number of repercussions. During the relationship, a Betazoid female would often run her fingers over her mate's face, indicating her fascination and dedication to him. In this rite, however, this step is taken one degree higher. The physical connection is met with psychical methods and is kept, behind closed doors.
An old Betazoid rite and ritual to cleanse one's thoughts and focus their mind and body onto reality and the true core inside. It's used to diminish the bad and take in the positive good mediums for this right include a warm tub and plenty of sweet smelling oils.
Depending on the individual of course, many of Karawati's followers share a common faith that everyone should be treated equal as they were created equally. Even if not from the Houses, each being and essence is a part of a bigger scheme that binds them together. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do things good and do no harm unto others. This is the common goal of Karawati and hopefully she inspires her children to do the same. If they accomplish the goal of peace, stability and harmony to themselves and others, the next life cycle will bring about an even more beautiful harmony.
The web-sites used to help assist in this final production of Alana's religion: