Illavallanism

Illavallanism is one of the five great religions of the Sunrise Lands and may be one of the oldest, perhaps even dating back to the civilizations of the Hidden Lands.

Beliefs

Illavallanism maintains belief in one central goddess known as Illa he Kuduma “Mother of the World” or Illa va Alla “Good Mother”, among other names. In many lands, she is known by the name Illavalla, a contraction of Illa va Alla. Illa is the creator of the universe and mother of all living things.

The icon of the religion of Illavallanism: four circles orbit a star, representing the four suitors orbit the sun of Illa he Kuduma
The four suitors orbit the sun of Illa he Kuduma

In the beginning, Illa engaged in the Takat va Maga, the Great Art in which she painted the canvas of the sky and molded as sculpture the world itself.  Beholding the magnificence of what she had wrought, she exhaled a sigh of satisfaction and her breath entered the world, bringing life to the creation.

Delighted with what she saw, Illa peered closer to the creation and as she did so, the breath from her nostrils continued to give life to the objects she beheld.  At one point, she looked over an empty place of nothing but earth (kadam) and her life giving breath brought forth human beings (kadmawehu).  The first humans gazed upon the Goddess and cried out “Mother!”  It is said that Illa forsook her name and claimed only the title of mother as that was the name given to her by her beloved children.  The Lost Name of Illa is said to possess the highest sacredness and were anyone to learn it and utter it, they would be able to wield tremendous power.

Illa is pursued at all times by Four Suitors, who vie for her attention and seek her hand in marriage. Illa is said not to be interested in marrying any of them, but from time to time shows one or the other of them favor, an act which has consequences for the world.

  • Duga. This suitor is a farmer and tiller of the soil.  When Illa shows favor to Duga, crops flourish, flocks increase, and business is plentiful.
  • Thura. This suitor is a sailor on the cosmic sea. When Illa shows favor to Thura, winds and weather are favorable, as well as winds of fortune and chance.
  • Suzha. This suitor is a knight. When Illa shows favor to Suzha, justice is performed and nations are strong against their rivals.
  • Rala. This suitor is a healer. When Illa shows favor to Rala, people are healed of their afflictions and conflicts are settled.

Illavallans believe that if they are faithful during this life, when Illavalla remakes the world into a new masterpiece, she will recreate them to live forever with her and the suitor she has chosen.

The primary source for Illavallan beliefs is Kadunghu Ka “The Writings,” the sacred scripture of Illavallanism.

Practice

Illavallans observe a five-day calendar, in which four days are assigned to the suitors to make their case and one day for Illa to make her judgments. Every fifth day is a holy day upon which the faithful will make petitions to Illa in favor of one of the suitors, depending on particular need.  The fifth day is not necessarily a day of rest as this often depends on whether the surrounding culture embraces the five day week.

Throughout the week, Illavallans may make offerings to each suitor to try to strengthen his cause with Illa so that individual concerns may be addressed.  For example, an Illavallan may make offerings to Duga during the week in order to make Duga more appealing to Illa and then on the fifth day make prayers to Illa to hear Duga’s case and incline her heart toward him so that the Illavallan’s crops might flourish.

Values

Illavallans see the world as a work of art and as human beings as works of art brought to life. Therefore they tend to value human dignity and stewardship of natural resources.

The sole deity of Illavallanism, Illavalla, orbited by the four suitors. This is a traditional depiction of the goddess as an artist, with the paint of creation on her fingers and the Earth she formed in her hands.
Illavalla, orbited by the four suitors. This is a traditional depiction of the goddess as an artist, with the paint of creation on her fingers and the world she formed in her hands.