Star Trek Expanded Universe


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Oralius is the primary deity of the Cardassian religion, the Oralian Way. Oralius is typically portrayed as a female. (A Stitch in Time, Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius)

Little is known to outsiders about the nature of Oralius; however, at least three Cardassian clerics have been known to have significant experiences involving their faith as a result of an encounter with the Bajoran Orbs. Whether these visions are the responsibility of Oralius or the Prophets, however, is unclear. (Terok Nor trilogy)

The Pocket books novel Well of Souls speculates that Oralius is a legend that grew up in Hebitian society due to the influence of aliens known as the dithparu that used a mask similar to an Oralian recitation mask to bond with a host. While some continuities may include this as fact, this is explicitly not canon to either the Star Trek: Sigils and Unions or Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius universes.

At some times, the relationship between the individual Hebitian or Cardassian and Oralius is described in similar terms to the way Earth's Christians describe the believer's relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Oralian Invocation, in which the believer describes what he or she wishes to happen (" speak her words with my voice, To think her thoughts with my mind, To feel her love with my heart..."), bears a striking resemblance to the sentiment espoused in certain passages from the Bible, especially some of Paul's letters in which he expresses the wish to have the mind of Christ and to speak the words given by the Spirit.

This wish is symbolically expressed by the ritual donning of the recitation mask for the reading of the Hebitian Records and for prayer, a custom which in some sects is the sole province of the Guide; in others it is permissible for laity, including males, to wear a recitation mask as well. The recitation mask is carved with feminine Cardassian features (though often more androgynous for masks shaped for men by sects that allow this) in a representation of Oralius herself. (Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius--"The Desolate Vigil")

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