Religion in Solterra is mostly a fairly personal thing often based around the common creation myths that most Gryphs share. Really it might be better called spirituality given how individual it is, but groups do come together in common to share celebration of the myths and legends of the creation of the world. There are a few tales that most know.
The First Wolf of Creation Edit
The first wolf of creation, all of creation, the stuff of Solterra, the sky, and magic existed within her. In a burst of inspiration she let the fire of being within her out, bursting across the cosmos to create life. Coming forth from her were all of the creatures of creation. She is known by many names, but we honor her with every breath. Her image dances in the flame, and grants comfort and inspiration both. We call to her in times of need for that last extra spark that drives us on and forward beyond our normal abilities. She is the sacred in all living things, and we honor it in all of us.
Star Wolf Edit
On the heels of The Mother of All, walking the skies in relentless exploration came the Star Wolf. Every footstep of The Star Wolf spread the sky out to its infinite edges. She created from the stuff of creation itself stars, the moon, and the cosmos. Forever she runs across the sky looking, seeking, and spreading her steps beyond our vision, always running ahead through the night. As we look into the night skies we see a fraction of the work that The Star Wolf has done, and when a meteor comes to earth, it is a reminder that she continues her creation through out the stars, whether we see her or not. When the Aurora crosses the sky we honor her work as it is the wake she leaves behind her.
Water Wolf Edit
The stuff of life is fire, the stuff of survival is water. The water we drink, the water we swim in, the water of rain that nourishes the earth of Solterra. The earth, the cosmos, and the fire of creation spreading around him, the black wolf of water saw that for life, that water must flow. In his urgency as he ran, spreading water through rivers and oceans, the seas and waterfalls, the rain from the sky, he became the water he brought to the world. He still moves through the water, bringing the rain from the sky, the waves upon the shore, dew on the grass in the mornings. He watches us closely, life is so beloved to him he is everywhere it lives. He is why we welcome the dawn water, as we welcome life every day. We honor him as we drink, and in the rain.
The Raccoons of Time Edit
As the stars were scattered across the sky, the sun bloomed in the sky, and Luna sat by, everything stood in stasis other than the creatures of creation. While Everything sprang forth from Nothing, there came the sound of chittering and discussion. With their clever eyes and hands, the raccoons had taken command of time, motion, and placement. You can see their hand prints in Luna where they pushed her into place so the tides would flow, and we would be able to tell day from day, month from month, year from year. We can hear their laughter in the sunrise and sun set, the phases of the moon, and the changes of the temperature as the seasons move by. We honor them as we celebrate the cycles of the moon.
The Mischievous Fox of Creation Edit
It is well known that foxes can't create, they can just manipulate. But on the first day of creation one fox was not satisfied with this. As Star Wolf, Water Wolf, and others took a rest after the first day of creating Fox was not done. Fox quietly sneaked up on each wolf, and gently plucked hairs from the very tip of each wolf's tail, and bound them together into the first paint brush. By the time the others had awakened new creation abounded in small ways. Thunderstorms and butterflies, puddles and the colors of the sunset, the wasp and fireflies. We honor the Mischievous Fox with art, humor, and laughter. Some of us even end up honoring the Mischievous fox with frustration, but that is another story.
Dissolution Wolf Edit
Of all things and beings that the burst of inspiration from the First Wolf of Creation, one was the end. She doesn't have a name that we call her, because we don't call to the end. She is Dissolution Wolf. Where her feet touch creation fades, and goes away. Where she stops nothingness pools. She was there at the beginning, and she visits each of us as our last breath ends. She steps quietly through the world in the areas of silence, of emptiness, and of loneliness. By necessity she walks alone, and we know not where she sleeps. We only hope she doesn't sleep for too long. We honor her as life ends, and when we ask for another day each morning.
A mostly seasonally focused group, Gryphs celebrate both solar and lunar holidays as the year passes. Mostly Lunar holidays are celebrated individually at the Full and New Moons by those that focus on those. The 13th Full Moon of the year is the beginning of the new year and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Hunting the Sun Edit
The shortest day of the year, though rarely the coldest, is the day of the Hunt for the Sun. Starting at the first crack of dawn, the young hunting Gryphs go out and Hunt the Sun. With the calls of hunting, and the enticement of a huge feast, they draw the eye of the sun and bring the Sun back. During this celebration while the hunters are out, pups and cubs chase nimble runners through challenging terrain, a bonfire is built, and by mid-day the feast begins. The fire will remain lit, and Gryphs will try to stay awake through the night to see the Sun return slightly earlier than the day before.
The first Spark of Spring Edit
The first day of spring, obviously can be a very different holiday from place to place. It has become a holiday that is focused around farmers over hunters as the first lambs of the season will arrive soon. This is a holiday where it is still very cold for the most part, and the nights are still longer than the days. In many places it has become a holiday celebrated with games, cheeses, and the milk of the newly lactating herd animals. It is traditional for children to be out and about, gathering fallen branches from trees. At dusk on this day candles are lit along paths between dens in communities, and around the perimeter of properties that are isolated.
The Birth of the New Year Edit
When the day is shorter than the night, the first of the new year is celebrated. This is a celebration of fertility of Solterra, and the Gryphs. It can be a very raucous holiday, and is very joyous, as those that have survived the winter are likely to do well in the coming year. This celebration traditionally involves young Vulpes hunting for early bird nests and bringing back eggs. The one that brings the most eggs back is the King of the Year. With the recent declines in births among Gryphs, some have been focusing on this holiday to try to bring the gaze of the Wolves of Creation, and others have been turning away from it in disgust due to the lack of help that has come to the dwindling population.
The Sunrise of Summer Edit
The first day of summer is a holiday of fun, relaxation, and celebration. This is the time of year where the young have been born, and it is a beautiful time to just enjoy. This is a holiday of fun, feasts, plenty, and impressing potential mates. Competitions of strength, skill, and endurance are common. So are playful fights, and quiet private evening meetings after the celebration starts to wind down.
The Turning of the Year Edit
At the mid-day of summer is a holiday that most don't pay much attention to. It is the day that the longest day, and the shortest night occurs. Mostly those that celebrate it are the very spiritual, and in tune with the rhythms of the Sun and Moon. They call to the night to return, and balance the cycle of the year. During the day they thank the Sun for the life that is brought to the world, and call on the Sun to rest so year can continue after year.
The Ripening Edit
On the first day of Fall everything is ripening or ripened, and the world is at the most lush. This is the celebration of abundance, and is celebrated with ecstatic revels. The party begins at dusk in the cool of the evening, and goes through the night with fires glowing around the celebration instead of centering it. This is a celebration that for once welcomes gluttony, and excess among Gryphs. At this time all celebrate the year as it has been, and thank Solterra for the time and ability to celebrate. To some traditionalists this is the time that all births should be celebrated, though that is considered old-fashioned by many, it is still a common part of the night of revels.
The Storing Edit
At the mid-day of fall the land has not yet gone to sleep, and the eye of the Sun is on Solterra less and less. At this celebration it is mostly private celebrations as families and chosen families get together to insure that everyone has a secure den, and store food for winter. It is tradition at this holiday to work through the day, and in the evening have the meat of the hunt with family and close friends speaking thanks for the fruits of this year that will allow passing the winter hale and whole. This is the feast where Gryphs speak thanks for the gifts of the year that will allow survival through the winter.
Festival of the Passed Edit
On the first day of winter, as the light of the year fades this is the holiday of those that passed in the year. A somber and quiet time where the spirits are at the door. Some open their door to the spirits, and speak to them wishing them well on the remainder of their journey that is to come. Others bar the door, and turn away those that have passed, telling them to move on. Spirit Kin at this time are particularly strained by their connection between the worlds. Due to this strain in the past Spirit Kin started wearing colorful masks to distinguish them from those that passed in the year before, and many have taken on that tradition wearing colorful masks of an idealized version of themselves.