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A People Who Believe in Mystery

Each culture described in Eirelan has its own unique philosophy and religion. While the Gaelic-speaking peoples share certain cultural and moral values, they do not have identical outlooks on the world. The Dubliners look upon the Twenty Clans as ungodly and without moral compass. The Santanders’ religion is not known to the Celts.

The Province of the Twenty Clans does not have an approved religion; each person is free to form his or her own beliefs. Because religious belief is considered to be a private matter, there are no churches, clergy, or regular services of any kind. Persons known as Elders preside at certain events of a spiritual nature such as marriages and rites for the dead. Elders are at least sixty years of age and are looked upon by the community as persons of high moral quality and sensitivity. An Elder serves for a period of a year or two before turning the position over to another.

The Twenty Clans are an intensely spiritual people whose core beliefs are three: that there is a balance in the world between suffering and joy; that mankind is a part of the world of life and not above it; and that life itself, love, and the beauty of the earth are all that really matters. Such grand questions as life after death, the origin of the world, and a grand plan for the universe are relegated to mystery: the answers cannot be known.

Uinseann Laigain has been at work for some years on a book he has titled “Credo Mysterium,” old Latin for “I Believe in Mystery.” It is not a catechism or a treatise, but rather an exploration of the philosophical questions of interest to his people. He hopes to complete the book before he passes from the world. Despite Uinseann’s many years of philosophical study and thought, his old fishing friend Eimhim offers him a fresh outlook that gives him pause.