[Wednesday] Basics: the Clarene

Both here and on it’s own separate page, I’m posting up a basic overview post for the Clarene. The Four Gods page will also be updated, to reflect our growing family of gods and the information we have about them. You can expect posts like this, in this format, for the rest of the Four/Four Gods. A format like this will also be used for the spirits of the Otherfaith. Along with this, there is a glossary in the works that will be going up soon. There are a lot of terms in the faith that can get confusing very fast, so a glossary should help.

Happy Wednesday!


Overview

  • Name: the Clarene (or, alternatively, Claire Clarice Clarene)
  • Main Epithet: the King
  • Domain: Sovereignty
  • Placement: First
  • Color: Black
  • Symbol: Compass Rose
  • Element: Earth
  • Sacred Weapon: Noir or Staff of Foundation
  • House: Hale
  • Court: Black
  • Order: Vivant

Origins

the Clarene was the last of the first Four Gods to reveal herself. Associated with Kingship and commitment, she was the final piece to beginning the Otherfaith properly as its own religious tradition. She was originally associated with greenery and the wilds. This has since changed, through better understanding, to a god of farmland and orchards.

She claims to either have been born or joined the human world around the 1300’s. She associates herself with the Black Death, in time period. The stories she tells detail a fair amount of time spent in the human world cavorting with humanity before finally founding the otherworldly West. She has an affection for both Germany and France and will speak both languages – it is possible she originated from around the regions.

Mythically, she was born to a general, unnamed Fairy Queen, likely without a father involved. Her confrontations with her mother lead her to leaving her fairy home for other sights. She took a variety of lady lovers and has a noted preference for them. Stories surrounding human spirits who fall into the West usually involve some sacred or fairy item the Clarene had left during her travels.

She eventually settled, in part, around the Appalachian Mountain Range before claiming Seattle as one of her sacred cities.

Appearance

the Clarene’s most common appearance is that of a tall, dark-skinned woman. She bears horns, often of a ram, and wears prosthetic legs carved from wood. Her hair is wild and endless and bears a resemblance to a starry night sky. She is of a regal bearing and face. Unlike most of the other Four Gods, she has long, pointed ears. Her eyes are usually a solid black. Her clothing tends toward minimal or nude.

In some variations, she is freckled and takes on reddish hues. Her hair is occasionally braided.

When appearing as Claire, she is gangly and long-limbed, though still bearing prosthetics. She is rosy-cheeked and often dressed in frills and elegant gowns. She is notably thinner in this form, likely due to her power being sapped and/or stolen by her mother. She does not bear weaponry or fangs as Claire. She lacks horns in this form.

As Clarice, she is taller and usually darker in tone. Her hair is tied back into thick braids or designs, and small horns sprout from her head. She may appear atop a horse or as a centaur, though the latter is rare. She takes on more martial symbols in this form, largely swords, spears, and war banners. She is accompanied by a large host of horses, dogs, and fairies. She has a larger presence in this manifestation than as Claire, though as she is still pre-King, she does not bear the prowess of the Clarene when she is crowned with a full set of horns.

the Clarene does not often wear a crown. She is seen wearing it mostly when appearing as a light to devotees.

Her horns, while most often that of a ram, can also be that of an ibex or corkscrew shaped. She may take on antlers at times – this is rare, as antlers and deer are more associated with other gods. Her horns mark her divinity and status, as well as her spiritual power.

Her prosthetic legs can also represent variations in her form. All of them are lavishly decorated or carved, usually in the form of ungulate (cloven-footed) legs. She appears at times in a wheelchair; this usually implies she has ownership or dominion over the land she is inhabiting.

Though she tends toward nudity, she can appear lavishly dressed, usually in suits and sticking to a color scheme of black, white, and gold.

She may come bearing flowers and fruits, a sign of abundance and pleasure. Other times, she may bear a butcher’s knife, large cauldron, and/or handfuls of herbs. This form is associated with harvest and eating, usually with the implication that the one visited by her is to be ‘chopped up and eaten’ before being renewed.

Her more martial forms include that of Clarice noted above, as well as more general weapon-clad variations. She can hold Noir, the black spear she created from both her and the Dierne’s bones, as a form of decisive action and war. She can also hold the Staff of Founding, made of wood from the fairy tree used to found the West. This variation has associations with peace and reconciliation. She can hold a variety of swords and spears, though she typically goes without shield. In her more hostile forms, she may carry guns, varying from pistols to machine guns. This is far rarer, as those weapons are more tied to the Laetha.

Through all her forms, she radiates a ‘lack of light’, a dark light or essence.

Temperament

On the most superficial level, the Clarene is comfort and support. She is motherly and loving and forgiving. She opens her arms wide, glad to accept us as all we are. She is bountiful in her orchards and land and in her generosity – giving and giving and giving to us.

She is a kind and doting god. She gladly teaches her art to spirits who come to her. She builds houses for those that ask and expands her own to fit travelers in. She is adept in child-rearing. Care-taker of the house and kitchen, as well as her expansive farmland, she can be subtly powerful.

Her holy House is huge – with numerous offshoots and almost endless children, born and fostered in. She showers her House with gifts. Clothing, jewelry, food, and housing are the most common. Spiritual gifts and techniques are another. Her Initiatory Order (Vivant) revels in luxurious feasts. All of this comes from the Clarene’s generosity and desire to sustain her people.

She has an affection for humans. This is shown in her reaching toward us, extending her hand as we extend ours through our practice. Like some fairies, she can view humans as toys or playthings, though she does take a gentleness with us. As with her spirits, she offers us education in her skills. This can include spiritual or mundane practices.

She is incredibly hospitable. She gives tea and gifts to those who visit. She is a jovial and upbeat host.

the Clarene is also ruthless, destructively indulgent, and a bully. She wipes out the entirety of the dragon species that once inhabited her land, partially for food and partially to keep them from gaining power to rival her. When the Eighth god (the Liathane) appears and challenges her rule, she orders the Ophelene to kill him outright. When the Ophelene refuses, she attempts to kill both of the gods. She deems most spirits, and even some of her gods, as beneath her in strength, status, or worth. Though she rarely states so outright, she at times slips up and causes disruption among them.

Her indulgence and bias works against her, and her world, in disastrous ways. Her dislike and hostility toward stars leads in part to her refusal to do anything to help Mircea (the Dierne’s sister-brother) as he wastes away in the West, while her affection for humans leads her to aid the human Arabella in her otherworldly sickness. Her distaste for stars also affects how she approaches the Dierne (almost never as an equal) and the Liathane. She implies, at times, that they are unable to handle the responsibilities of being gods.

She is patronizing, toward her gods, spirits, and humans. She pats us on the head and tells us to let the ‘adults’ handle things. At times this is appropriate, but she values herself far above others. Even when another might be better at handling a situation, she may take the reins and make a mess in her arrogance. Her arrogance also causes her to dehumanize and disrespect those around her. Her lover the Ophelia often points out when such happens. Their relationship is at its coolest when the Clarene insists on ignoring her lover’s advice.

Her ruthlessness shows best in her creation of the Aletheia Androids, a line of spirits born out of a Laethic shard. the Clarene creates the first Aletheia in order to rescue other spirits, against the wishes and warnings of the Ophelia. The android performs as intended, but she is also plagued with a malfunctioning body and a tendency toward extreme violence. Seeing the use of the android, the Clarene creates more and more, abandoning them after they have fulfilled their purpose. She creates some without mouths, not recognizing a need for them to speak, and for others she ignores creating stable emotional frameworks. The level of destruction the Aletheia Androids bring leads to the Ophelia creating a twin line of robots to balance them out (the Alices).

All of this combines to form who she is. She is both kind and gentle and ruthless. She will do what she thinks is required to keep those she loves safe, even if that involves sacrificing those she loves (just not as much). She is fiercely protective. the Clarene as we worship her has lived through her mistakes and trials and come through the other side, just as the other gods have. To understand her, we have to see all her selves and figure out how they fit together.

Function

the Clarene is the progenitor and provider of the gods. She tends to the fields, farms, and slaughterhouses, as well as the businesses and shops in her holy world. She creates the otherworld we interact with. She is tied with abundance and stability, both important things to continuous survival.

Within the West, she acts as an overseer to the large operations and landscapes. She creates worlds under the West for her people to inhabit and explore, and she raises (and razes) cities. She declares where there will be wilderness, countryside, and urban living. She is heavily tied to the functioning of the cycles of the West and the holy days it gives us as well.

She ‘crowns’ (deifies) the Ophelia, Laetha, and Dierne. She has a power-over many of the inhabitants of the West and is the law-maker of the gods. She is concerned with order and the actual continued functioning of the West.

the Clarene created and watches the gate that separates the West from other parts of the otherworld and acts as a diving line between her and humanity.

For the practitioners of the Otherfaith, she has a role as a comforter and safe-haven; she protects us from gods like the Laetha and Liathane who can pursue their human devotees to breaking point. She also delineates those who are part of the ‘faith and the Other People from those who are not. She acts as boundary-maker and enforcer.

Applicability

the Clarene, being the first of the gods and their King, is usually honored first in our prayers. If one is unsure which god among the Four/Four to approach first, she is a good option.

Her tendency toward stability leads well to prayers concerning the topic. Her stability emphasizes house and home, especially homemaking. Activities such as sewing, knitting, baking, cooking, and cleaning fall into her realm. We can perform these as devotional acts for her.

She is tied to slaughter, and so hunting and/or butchering are skills to learn for those who wish to come closer to her mysteries. Preparing and understanding meat are other important parts of this god.

Confidence and sensuality are also part of the Clarene. She can help us build our own confidence or learn to appreciate our bodies. Her ties to granting godhood can aid us in honing ourselves and sharpening our skills, as well as building pride and self-worth.

Associated as she is to commitment, she is fitting for dedication ceremonies. We can look to her for support in being committed in our daily and devotional lives.

Caveats

As noted above, the Clarene can be a difficult deity. Compared to gods like the Ophelia, Laetha, Ophelene, and Liathane, who are all more outwardly or obviously frightening, the Clarene mostly appears as a soothing, kind deity. This is not wrong, but it is important not to be lulled into easy comfort. This warning also applies to the Dierne and Laethelia.

the Clarene is a god of cannibalism and slaughter, and these are lessons she lives out in her otheworldly home. She teaches these skills to the other gods, especially the Laetha in the form of self-cannibalism. For mystics and those inclined toward journeying or the more rapturous types of storytelling, the Clarene can be brutal. All the spirits she enlists to teach about slaughter, cannibalism, and food are sweet and kind, as she is, and can cause spiritual trauma if not handled properly.

Her Court and Initiatory Order both have to do with food, slaughter, and harvest and should be approached (when seeking entrance and initiation) slowly.

Though largely muted, thanks to the influences of the rest of the Four + Four Gods, the Clarene can be patronizing toward humans. For this reason it is better to build a relationship of some sort (through your preferred devotional style) with either the Ophelia, Ophelene, or Liathane. The first two are more stable forces than the last.

Domains

  • Agriculture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Beauty
  • Black Dogs
  • Butchery
  • Caves
  • Cities
  • Compassion
  • Cooking
  • Death
  • Discovery/Exploration
  • Domestic Canines
  • Earth (Planet)
  • Earthquakes
  • Excess
  • Execution
  • Food/Harvest
  • Foxes
  • Griffins
  • Healing
  • Home
  • Industry
  • Joy
  • Jupiter
  • Knowledge
  • Lady-Love
  • Life and Death
  • Lions
  • Love
  • Luck
  • Marriage
  • Medicine
  • Mountains
  • Order
  • Purification
  • Recovery
  • Revenge
  • Revolution
  • Right Action
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • Sex
  • Swordfighting
  • Technology
  • Transformation
  • Wealth

Values

  • Abundance
  • Accessibility
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Ambition
  • Assertiveness
  • Beauty
  • Bravery
  • Camaraderie
  • Challenge
  • Competence
  • Competition
  • Confidence
  • Cunning
  • Dependability
  • Dominance
  • Endurance
  • Euphoria
  • Excellence
  • Extravagance
  • Family
  • Fitness
  • Friendship
  • Generosity
  • Hospitality
  • Leadership
  • Longevity
  • Loyalty
  • Optimism
  • Potency
  • Power
  • Pragmatism
  • Reliability
  • Sharing
  • Strength
  • Teamwork
  • Victory

Relationships

Parents:

  • Unnamed Faery Queen

Lovers:

  • the Ophelia
  • Adilene
  • Desiree
  • Epiphany
  • Irene
  • Moira

Siblings:

  • the Ophelia
  • Bear
  • Black Lion
  • Claudia
  • Cordelia
  • Dark Mare
  • Nightmare
  • Thunderhorse
  • White Mare

Children:

  • the Laetha
  • the Ophelene
  • the Darren
  • Alynah Blake
  • Aletheia Androids
  • Book Keepers
  • Centries
  • Casimir
  • Dahlia
  • Dallas
  • Merrymell
  • Merryweather
  • Othani
  • Thiam

Rivals:

  • the Dierne
  • the Ophelene
  • the Liathane
  • Alynah Blake

Associated Spirits

  • Adilene
  • Aletheia Androids
  • Alynah Blake
  • Bear
  • Book Keepers
  • Casimir
  • Centries
  • Dahlia
  • Dallas
  • Desiree
  • Epiphany
  • Erann
  • Grace
  • Merryweather
  • Moira
  • Mora
  • Othani
  • Rabbit Troupe
  • Thiam

All Epithets

  • Girl-King
  • Unfeathered one
  • Singer
  • She of right action
  • Soft teacher
  • She of stable sight
  • Lion maker
  • She of sundered limbs
  • Hand-holder
  • Mask honer
  • Orchard keeper
  • Judgment maker
  • Pleasure giver
  • She of wondrous snakes
  • Bare city
  • Healer of wounds
  • Mistress of snark
  • Rolling hills
  • Lady of slaughter
  • Midwife
  • Jewels and gems
  • Ash and forest
  • Undertaker
  • House of magic
  • Debt owner
  • Mountain peaks
  • Cruel mother
  • Tea brewer
  • Ophelia’s lover
  • She of long dirt roads
  • Star-spearer
  • Beloved of women
  • Teller of filth
  • She of wholesome crops
  • Screaming retribution
  • Apple bearer
  • Skyscraper stilts
  • Petulant mother
  • Griffin rider
  • She who laughs
  • The maker of the land
  • Wind tamer
  • Earthbound daughter
  • Adilene’s lover
  • Centry maker
  • Stirring sunset
  • Gunpowder mother
  • Overabundant feast
  • Fire catcher
  • Girl-God

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

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