Zoroastrianism and Divine

Why does Zoroastrianism qualify for being a Divine religion when it is dualistic?

I think yes but it is not in RoP:D (or RoP:I). I think it is in Cradle and the Crescent but I do not have access to that book right now.

You don't wish to discuss Zoroastrianism in any depth on an RPG board.

And you might start studying, whether and how it is dualist or monotheist, by reading jaar.oxfordjournals.org/content/ ... l.pdf+html .


Being smug doesn't answer my question. I've read that.

RoP:D has a holy tradition of zoroastrian magi.

Then you know, that just qualifying Zoroastrianism as dualist isn't very helpful, and a bad base for an argument.

TC&tC p.81ff Mythic Zorastrianism takes heed of the historical position of Zoroastrianism, and its importance for the later monotheist religions originating from the Middle East, when basing an imagined, medieval variant of it for Mythic Europe on ArM Divine.


Conversely, I see no reason why a dualistic religion would not be Divine - the God to be worshipped is Good, and fated to win over Evil. (Ahriman is not a worshipped entity. He's just seen as a much bigger enemy than Satan, so to speak.)

Ignoring the discussion or RL Zoroastorianism (of which I'll openly admit to knowing lettle more than nothing), it has been declared so twice:
RoP: D, p. 116ff and tC&tC, p. 81ff.

That said, there have been christian dualists (with a female aspect called 'Sophia' IIRC), and arguably, duotheism is really just a form of monotheism, especially if one (or both) of the divine entities is mostly or fully defined by their opposition to the other.


And, of course, once you decide to declare Zoroastrianism insufficiently monotheistic because of dualism, there are some who say that Christianity is even less monotheistic because of that whole trinity thing, and others who think it is downright idolatrous because of all those statues, icons and dead people being venerated.

Best just to shrug and tiptoe very carefully.



Well, the books already talk about "The Church" as if it's a monolith entity and eastern orthodoxy doesn't exist, so...

The position of the Western Church is that the Eastern Orthodox are rebelling from the authority of the Pope, and the Greek position is that the Pope is usurping authority, but both sides still accept that they are theoretically part of one body, just that it is riddled with heretics.

Much like the Taiwanese and Beijing Governments disagree about who is the government of China, but accept that there is only one China. They just don't agree over which provinces are rebellious.

So "the Church" as a spiritual entity, still is a theoretical thing. You're right that -politically- there is a persistent division (which is briefly healed in 1274, actually, for which I credit Jerbitons in my game, as part of their desire for a binding statement on the sinfulness of magic).

As to Zozorastrians being monotheistic, it's because the original Hittie religion from which it descends was monotheistic, and they are the first traced Divine religion in Ars (well, Atenism is). It's well within the realm of "monotheism" if you accept that Christianity, with its trinitarianism (God contains three persons who are mysteriously one person), is monotheistic.

So, by that logic what matters is that you worship only one god, but you can recognise however many other gods you want? So for example priest of Odin would be divine, as he worships Odin exclusively, but his flock would be Faerie as they worship other gods?

You're overthinking it way too much. (Less snarkily, you're poking at an area of the game that you know is inconsistent in practice. Ars Magica has a lot of rules like that.)

Divine is Divine because it's Divine. If you worship the Divine God, through the many religions He has revealed to the world, you're worshipping the Divine.

If not, and you're not worshipping a Magical or Infernal being, a Faerie being will tailor itself to your worship if you're not worshipping it already. If you're worshipping a Magical being and it doesn't care...a faerie will still get involved.


It has nothing to do with what you worship.

If I worship Banjo as the One True God, temples that I consecrate to Banjo do not generate a Divine Aura: I might be a monotheist but I'm also an idiot.

Within the game, something is Divine if a) It exists, b) It is in theory a singular godhead or whatever you want to call it, c) is not something that is just pretending and d) is defined as such outside of the game.

A priest of Odin is not divine, because he is a person. He might have Divine supernatural virtues, but these have absolutely nothing to do with Odin, who is a Faerie and by definition within the setting is pretending. He's just another Faerie.

Some people within the setting might believe that God--the one and only--is also a big Faerie. Canonically, they are utterly wrong. God is just one name for the Divine, whose actual nature is undefined canonically. But we know that the Divine is Divine and not Faerie.

You or anyone else can define Odin differently, of course.

You or anyone else can also revert to AM3's "belief defines reality" paradigm, of course, allowing that priest of Odin's belief to matter.

Whatever works for you.



Not so.
Best read TC p.8f Introduction and RoP:TD p.80ff Practices (with p.83 box Two Churches) carefully.

Also note that the space in an RPG to describe a religion is necessarily limited. Even ArM5, a forty book RPG dedicated to 1220 AD Mythic Europe, needs to take shortcuts.


If you think handling Zoroastrianism is tricky, consider Tengriism. It's equally dualistic, but arguably also non-theistic. Yet, by all accounts, it would mainly not qualify for the "Divine" treatment because it's outside of the traditional bounds of Mythic Europe, which makes it automatically Faerie realm based. [WHich, arguably, might aslo apply to the Atenism mentioned earlier in the thread.]
At some point, you can only shrug at the rules and tell a story, rather than worry over logic. At the end of the day, as long as the players have faith in your story, it's a success. Which makes you a faerie, of course...

You overstate.

Tengriism in 1220 AD Mythic Europe would be encountered with Mongol invaders - whose realm alignment by TC&tC p.180f Great Tengri is with Magic, which in Mythic Europe makes sense.
In an 865 AD campaign like Voventes Centennales from sub rosa #16, there would be native tengriists in Bulgaria and with the Magyars. These also would best be aligned with the Magic realm - as is hinted at for the predecessors of the Taltós in HMRE p.115f.


Possibly. First of is the idea that you can't get paid twice for the same faith, so the Odinic priest would have to not be getting magical or faerie benefits. Next divine auras come from congregations, so there would need to be more than just the one priest who is worshiping Odin and Odin alone. I suspect you could venerate the other Aesir in the same way that the Catholic church venerates the saints...

...basically the closer it comes to structurally emulating Christianity (in game) the more likely it is you would be able to utilize it as a divine religion.

I don't think it's that hard. Don't think that much about the number of deities or stuff like that, I'd say it's simpler. If it has to do with morality, it's Divine/Infernal, if it's objectively related to nature it's Magic, and if it's subjectively related to nature, Faerie.

Any faith related to morality is Divine, with an Infernal counterpart. The Christian God is the embodiment of all that is morally good, perfect and virtuous. The idea of monotheism usually comes from Aquinas' view on perfection, as for God to be perfect it must be singular. But since us poor limited mortals can't even fathom perfection in its entirety, we represent it as best as possible, and the Divine god seems to be chill about diverging representations since many religions enjoy Divine alignment. Christianity can be described as a religion that worships three "representations" of a single deity. And anything in opposition of this deity is aligned with the Infernal realm. Ormazd and Ahriman fit the concept, because even if they're regarded as "equals", evil it's just the lack of good.

Any faith related to natural powers is aligned with the Magic realm, which is related to Plato's metaphysics. Anything that represents the Platonic "idea" of something (other than moral good), objective, eternal and primordial, fits the concept. So, Ouranos, Pontos, Gaea, Chaos, Aether, Tartaros, Chronos, etc, are deities of Magic because they represent the skies, the seas, the earth, the primordial chaos, the light, the netherworld, time... themselves.

Any faith related to abstract, subjective powers is aligned with Faerie. Stuff like love, fear, war, dreams, craftsmanship, rulership, etc, are aspects of the human nature. Many deities that would seemingly fit the Magic realm are instead aligned with Faerie as well because they don't represent nature itself, but power over it. Zeus doesn't represent the skies, he rules them. Likewise, Hades is the ruler of the netherworld and Poseidon the ruler of the seas, not their embodiments.

Also, the Divine seeks worship because "it's righteous" to worship moral goodness, while the Infernal seeks worship or lack of worship in the Divine simply to oppose it. Magic deities don't give a crap about worship, they simply are worshipped due to their might and greatness. Faeries demand worship because they enjoy and/or crave it, as they feed off human vitality. The Divine acts upon the mortal world out of mercy and the Infernal out of malice. Magic deities act upon the mortal without concern, simply because that's what they do, and Faeries do it to gain power from mortals.

grin Yeah. My gf and I were watching Agents of Shield the other night, and one character explained that the big box of books he was unloading was "all the books we have on symbols in mythology," and I said that he had far too few....