So what kind of a commune am I envisioning?
Well, to begin with it will be open only to polytheists – and specifically those who honor the Gods and Spirits of the Kingdom. The foundation of the Kingdom – indeed, the very reason for our coming together – is to uphold the covenants or sacred contracts between our Gods, our Spirits, our Dead, our Land and our people. This creates a reciprocal bond between us; we will make offerings, perform devotional activities, keep their festivals and holy days, tend and protect their shrines and those portions of the land that have been consecrated to them, consult them on all important matters of both an individual and communal nature, follow and preserve the sacred traditions, customs, rites and mysteries that they have entrusted us with and everything else that goes into being a proper member of the tribe; in return they will guide, protect and bless our land and our people. Divinities who have not formally entered into a covenant with the Kingdom are of no more concern to us than non-members of the tribe. This does not mean that members cannot maintain private cultus for them, merely that they are not reflected in our communal rites and customs and there exist no formal collective obligations. Children will be raised to value the traditions of our tribe and to reverence the Gods and Spirits of our Kingdom. Anyone who cannot do so, regardless of age, will be removed from our land and not permitted back until they have demonstrated correct belief and behavior.
The land will contain the following: numerous small homes for the permanent residents, lodging for guests and space for camping, a great hall for public business and feasting, workshops for our artisans, land set aside for farming and livestock, a place for our warriors to train, a common field for religious ceremonies ringed by god-poles, outdoor shrines and even a couple small temples, as well as a labyrinth, a sauna, an untouched grove, a hill and a lake. This, at least, is what I was shown in the initial dream – what we end up with may be a whole other matter.
We shall strive to be a self-sustained and contained community. Our members will have a diversity of skills and use barter and work-trade to supplement what they cannot make or do for themselves. There will be common tools and machinery to cut down on costs. To the extent that they are able everyone will be expected to pitch in at planting and harvest time, perform communal chores and help with the general upkeep of the place and its possessions, as well as defend our people and our land from threats both internal and external. In addition to the permanent residents (and allies from other polytheist communities and groups who may be in attendance) we will have an extended community drawn from the neighboring area and further afield who will visit for festivals, retreats and similar special events. Anyone who sets foot on our land is expected to contribute, especially at planting and harvest time. In return none shall want for their basic necessities – they especially will not go hungry or suffer untreated ailments or injuries – for as long as they are with us.
One is not simply born into the tribe; rather an individual must undergo thorough training in our ways and prove their worth through a series of ordeals and initiations. With the passing of each level comes an increase in rights and responsibilities until one is made a full member of the tribe. Until then the individual is as much of a non-entity as outsiders are. This process is also intended to determine the individual’s aptitudes and affinities from which their vocation will be forged. Everyone has a place, and that place is doing the thing they love most. Guilds will exist to facilitate specialized education within a particular field and foster professional relationships and opportunities. Each Guild will have its patron divinities whose cultus (private and public) members are responsible for maintaining. Guilds will also have Representatives who will sit on the Council of the King’s Advisors.
There is more I could say – much more – but that should give you a good sense of what I have in mind for this grand venture.