NAKASHI, AEOLIRAN HIGH GODDESS OF LIGHT

Names - Appearance - Mythology - Lore - Importance - Symbols
 Celebrations - Temple Design - Temple Locations
- PRAYERS

Nakashi is High Goddess of Light in Aeoliran myth. She is the wife of Polmaen, the High God of the Dark. She controls the power of Light, is a symbol of purity, and it is believed amongst her followers that she alone decrees when the sun shall rise in the morning. Nakashi works closely with her husband, Polmaen, forever attempting to turn Dark to the Light. This is her main objective in her existence. There is nothing above or equal to Nakashi, even Polmaen, as it is believed that the Light shall always triumph over the Dark.

Names. Nakashi's official title is the High Goddess Of Light, Queen Over All. She is, however, also referred to as the Lady of Light, The Queen Of Light, The True One and The Pure One.
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Appearance. All Aeruillin people see Nakashi as kindly, beautiful and fair. She is always surrounded by an aura of light, and often astride an Avéquis lighthorse, her personal, symbolic animal.

It is a common agreement that nothing will ever be more beautiful than Nakashi. She is seen as slim and lithe, and is drawn with milky pale skin, offset by the gold and silver robes she is seen to wear. Her face radiates her authority, but yet manages to remain soft, and loving. Full, red lips give colour to her pale face, along with eyes of a golden colour, tinted with brown. Long eyelashes and thin eyebrows add to her beauty. Her hair is often painted in a range of colours – from dark blonde to almost white. It is often windswept, especially when the painting depicts her astride her
Avéquis. She wears a silver circlet, a simple band around her forehead. What are truly breathtaking however, are her wings. They are translucent, veined, and in a shape unique to her – the two upper wings are long and pointed, whilst the lower two are more rounded, but have a long tip that reaches nearly to the ground. They are nearly always pictured outstretched, many rays of light reflecting onto them, showing their full beauty.
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Mythology. It is told that Nakashi was the first of the Gods to suggest a rebellion against the Void, of which is told in the Aeruillian story of creation. It was she who gathered the other nine Gods to proclaim dominance over the fae, and become all-powerful. She became their natural leader, wielding power over what is seen as the greatest element of all, Light. She became the wife of Polmaen in order to strengthen him with her Light and so that he does not give in to the temptation of the Dark. It was Nakashi who split the Void with her Light, to provide a place for the world to be created.
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Lore. The people of Aeruillin often offer flowers to Nakashi, as they are believed to be of her making, and thus should please her. However, if greatly displeased, it is said that Nakashi will stop the sun rising, plunging the world into darkness.

People often keep a fresh flower in their homes to remind them of the great Goddess. Solaria are popular choices, the pretty common desert flower is easy to find. Also, coarse desert grasses are considered acceptable.

The Aeruillian people believe that Nakashi regularly takes a mortal form to walk upon the world, as they believe the other Gods do, as she delights in the land. They see these wanderings as her way of judging the people, and so most tribes within Aeruillin happily take in travellers, with the notable exception of the Sor’inyt, as they feel that they never know if they are entertaining a pilgrim, wanderer or perhaps a God.

Nakashi is also said not to interfere greatly in the affairs of the other Gods, bar the work of Polmaen.
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Importance. Nakashi is revered greatly, and a popular God for a family to take as their personal protector. She is seen as the God who wields the most power, and if she wished, the people believe she could destroy the world. The sun, although a creation of Pariya, is ultimately her gift, and whilst the Goddess of Destruction controls the heat and ferocity of the glowing star, it is Nakashi who controls the brightness, and so cloudy and gloomy days are said to be because the Goddess is displeased in some way, and has chosen to block her Light from the people.

Nakashi is prayed to with intent when times are troubled, along with Polmaen, so that she may shine her Light upon her people and rescue them from strife, should she see reason to. She is at the end of all hopelessness and despair, for "Light shall always triumph over the Dark", a common chant taken up during difficult times for various tribes.

The people do not fear the Goddess as they would perhaps Sheára or Pariya – they know of her power, but see her as gentle and loving, not one to take revenge against her people (unless a deed of great evil was committed). They say that she will weep when something pure is destroyed, or innocence is taken away.

People believe that if a great favour is wished from Nakashi, then the person in question must undergo purification. Firstly, they wash, and do white clothing for the duration of the purification. Chastity is essential during this time, as is strict fasting during the daylight hours. They travel to the nearest temple alone, where they seek blessings from the priests and priestesses. Many days are spent in prayer, and, should Nakashi believe the purification and the request to be true, she will grant their wish.
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The Avéquis Lighthorse
View picture in full size Image description. The golden Avéquis Lighthorse as seen on the mural of the temple of Nakashi in Thylascuran. Picture drawn by Losmios (Mia Bengtsson), used with friendly permission.

Symbols. Gold, silver and white are the colours of Nakashi, representing her Light. The animal that was created for her by Arkon is the Avéquis, a beautiful and elegant winged horse. She is often depicted astride it in murals and paintings, representing her purity, and sometimes facing Polmaen upon his counterpart animal, the Maerquis. The name Avéquis derives from "Avé", which means "light" in Tharian and "Quis", being derived from "Equis", which means "horse". The literal translation is therefore "Lighthorse" or "Horse of the Light".

T
o show allegiance to Nakashi, flowers (mainly those of cacti that can be found in desert-like areas) are often worn, as they are seen to be of her making, and thus please her greatly.
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Celebrations. The main celebration for Nakashi is the Festival Of Light, which is celebrated when the sun is highest in the sky. It is a time of pure joy and happiness. On the morning of the festival, children traditionally arise early from their beds, and go to find flowers, of any sort, and take them home to present to the eldest member of their household. They are burned, during which prayers are offered to Nakashi, thanking her for her decision to cleave the Void, which ultimately led to the creation of the world. Following this, the whole family will search for flowers, and make the pretty chains that are used later in the day.

About midday, the family will return to their tent, in order to prepare their contribution to the feast that will begin in the afternoon. This may be food, or perhaps practicing instruments for the festivities. Slowly, people will gather in small groups of friends and families, and the flower chains that were made in the morning are exchanged, and worn for the remainder of the day. The food is eaten, but no alcoholic drink is permitted, as to be drunk on the day of Nakashi is considered disrespectful to say the very least!

Then, dancing and socialising will begin, and this continues until the sun sets, at which the Festival of Light is ended.
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Temple Design. Those families who have taken Nakashi to be their personal Goddess generally decorate their shrine with flowers, freshly picked each and every day. Poor families will use bright yellow cloth within their shrine, whilst those who are richer will use cloth that has had strands of gold or silver interwoven within it. As with all Aeruillian shrines, there is a picture of Nakashi in the centre. Return to the top

Temple Locations. The main temple to Nakashi is in Thylascuran, perhaps the only city that can afford such a lavish building. It is built with a white stone that so far has only been found in the Xantian Mountains, called Raella, it is smooth and can be sculpted into almost any shape. The temple is cylindrical in shape, supported by pillars that lean in towards the building, with carvings and statues on the outside. Just above the grand doors to the temple there is a large Avéquis lighthorse, wings outstretched, looking down on all who enter. The inside of the temple is magnificent. On the flat ceiling there is a painting of Nakashi that makes anyone who visits draw their breath in wonder. Directly opposite the entrance there is a statue of the Goddess of Light, which is leafed in gold and silver, blinding when the light hits it. The colours are repeated throughout the temple, in pictures and sculptures. Flowers are scattered throughout the building.

The Priests and Priestesses are all chosen from a young age – about twelve or thirteen years. They wear robes of white and are chaste for the first ten years of training, after which they may leave the priesthood or remain and also have the option of marriage. This is done, as it is believed that children are the purest of all, and so are truly the only ones who are able to connect with the great Goddess. However, it is recognised that this purity is lost through age, and so the option of leaving the service of Nakashi is permitted, and encouraged in some cases if the child grows up into what is considered to be an unsuitable member of the priesthood.
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Prayers. There are many prayers worshipping the Goddess of Lighte. Among these songs the following is one of the most well known throughout the continent of Aeruillin. We know not where these words came from, a subtle kind of compassion and purity in a rare form:

GRANT, O NAKASHI
by Coren FrozenZephyr


Grant, O Nakashi, thy Brilliance
And with Brilliance, Knowledge
And with Knowledge, Insight
And with Insight, Virtues
And with Virtues, Frankness
And with Frankness, Power
And with Power, the Love
The Love of all Beings
The Love of thee, O Queen of Light

Divine One, I can hear thy voice
and see thy angelic face.

Doest thou open thy eyes so deep
so profound in love to look
to the depth of my soul?

A tear begins to form;
the mists of ecstasy
has taken the faithful
to see, to hear, to taste
to a safe and precious place

Grant, O Nakashi, thy Brilliance
And with Brilliance, Knowledge
And with Knowledge, Insight
And with Insight, Virtues
And with Virtues, Frankness
And with Frankness, Power
And with Power, the Love
The Love of all Beings
The Love of thee, O Queen of Light

Hear the sound of the spirit’s song
Speaking softly to followers
Of thou radiant vision
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