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- You may also be looking for the Oralian species of Star Trek: Pioneer, the namesake of the Oralian sector.
The Oralian Way was an ancient religion worshipping the deity Oralius, originating from the society of the First Hebitians, and was once the predominant religion of the Cardassian species. In the wake of the Cataclysm--the severe climate shift five hundred years ago, the Oralian Way was blamed by some for the increasingly dire circumstances of Cardassia Prime and came under increasing persecution until by the latter half of the 24th century, only remnants remained, worshipping in secret. In the wake of the fall of the totalitarian government post-Dominion War, however, the Oralian Way is experiencing something of a resurgence. (A Stitch in Time, Terok Nor trilogy)
Adherents of the religion are usually called Oralians. A member of the clergy is referred to as a Guide, with the most central usually a woman taking the name of Astraea. Some pre-Union timekeeping systems marked the year by the "reign" of each Astraea. Guides tend to be female, and it is unknown whether men are permitted to assume the role. (A Stitch in Time, Terok Nor trilogy, Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--"Point of Divergence")
The two central ritual objects used by Oralian believers in worship are the Hebitian Records, the holy text in which they believe "all things are written," and the recitation mask, by which the wearer believes he or she becomes a conduit of Oralius. The leader of a religious service typically wears the recitation mask, beginning the worship service with the Invocation:
- The power that moves through me, Animates my life, Animates the mask of Oralius, To speak her words with my voice, To think her thoughts with my mind, To feel her love with my heart, It is the song of morning, Opening up to life, Bringing truth of her wisdom, To those who live in the shadow of the night.
To which the second will reply:
- It is this selfsame power, Turned against creation, Turned against my friend, That can destroy his body with my hand, Reduce his spirit with my hate, Separate his presence from my home: To live without Oralius, Lighting our way to the source, Connecting us to the mystery, Is to live without the tendrils of love. (A Stitch in Time)
Reading from the Hebitian Records, chanting, humming, and meditation are also features of a 24th-century Oralian worship service.
It is also common to hear Oralian believers speak of Fate in a personified fashion.
Religious figures and clergyEdit
- Yavenn Pretam
Other known believersEdit
Alternate-universe sects (Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius)Edit
With five hundred years' more history in which the Oralian Way is a living, thriving force in Cardassian society, the Oralian Way as portrayed in Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius has many more sects in existence and due to this, religious practice may occur in ways not seen in the prime universe. ("Sect" is the normal word used to describe Oralian "denominations," and lacks the pejorative connotation it has to practitioners of some religions.) Males have been seen as Guides in this universe, though they are still outnumbered by women, and in certain sects, laypersons are permitted to possess and wear their own recitation masks when leading a prayer. The name "Hebitian" is still used by some for the Cardassian species (including by strict traditionalists such as the Kurabda), although the latter term has become more common because the etymology of the term "Hebitian" could be perceived as excluding non-Oralians from personhood. ("The Guide," "The Desolate Vigil")