A set of six constellations on the ecliptic. The foundation of the dominant religion in Askaier, bearing a passing familiarity to astrology. Zodiacism involves a belief in Fate as a personified force, or forces, and links the six constellations of the Zodiac to six broad paths a life can take. Some sects identify the signs themselves with a personified force of Fate, and make offerings (in modern times, typically the lighting of a candle and a small monetary donation) to a particular sign in order to seek some benefit associated with that sign. An infertile couple, for instance, might make an offering to the Mother, who is associated with fertility and parenthood, and a cancer patient might make an offering to the Healer, who is associated with health and illness, or the Tyrant, who is associated with endurance.
Although many Zodiacists believe that the sign of one’s birth influences personality, all sects agree that true devotion to a particular sign is a matter of conscious choice, and it is not only possible, but preferable, to choose a path based on life goals and personality traits, instead of following the sign of one’s birth.
The six signs are:
Path of the innocent, the unsure, and children. Associated with gentleness. Associated by some with virginity, but this link is not explicit in the traditional characteristics of the sign.
Path of medical professionals, scientists, the sick, and the grieving. Associated with all forms of illness and treatment, although other signs may be brought in for specific maladies, such as infertility or addiction.
Path of politicians, religious leaders, and the ambitious. Associated with determination and drive, the Zealot is one of two “power signs”, so called because they are actively associated with combat. The Zealot is the sign of aggression and chaos, standing in opposition to the Tyrant.
Path of soldiers, law enforcement, and the chronically ill. Associated with endurance and defence. The Tyrant is the second power sign, standing for defense and order, in opposition to the Zealot.
Path of traitors, liars, and addicts. Associated with cunning and curiosity. Although regarded by many to be the most negative of the six signs, the Serpent retains popularity because of its link to intelligence.
Path of parents, farmers, and all caregivers. Associated with nurturing, fertility, and selflessness. The most personified of the six signs. The Mother is extremely popular in the southern provinces, which are dominated by farmland, and is generally a popular sign to call upon in imes of distress.