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Zoth-Ommog is an ancient and demonic god that exists outside reality and seeks to enter our world. To accomplish this, he took a virgin to be his "bride" in order to reincarnate a portion of himself into the mortal realm. This mortal would be inseminated with a piece of Zoth's power in order to produce a child, and would die during the birth. This would eventually break down the barriers between realities that would eventually lead to both realms becoming one.

This dark Messianic figure would go on to begin the process of combining both worlds, but would eventually leave this reality, leaving the unfinished work to his followers. The religion that developed around this god is well aware of this truth, and how this prophecy involved three individuals: Zoth, the mortal bride, and the product of their union. Instead of worshipping these three beings as separate gods, I would like this faith to go on to worship this trinity as one being, with each of them playing a role as part of that being : God the Mother, God the Father, and God the Son.

The problem is that I can't find a way for this to make sense practically. If the son is supposed to be divine, then the mother should be divine as well, as she is also representing the creator. However, the mortal in the story is simply a mortal woman with no godhood attached to her. The logical solution would be to give her some kind of divinity, but if an aspect of God is already on earth in mortal form, that defeats the purpose of having a son in the first place.

Does the triadic nature of this god make sense as a cultural development? Are there any comparable examples?

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    $\begingroup$ (1) Declare it to be the official doctrine at the First Council of Nicea and the First Council of Constantinople. (2) Crush mercilessly the inevitable Arian (no relationship with "aryan") and monophysite heresies. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 16 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP: Ouch dude, too soon. . . . $\endgroup$ – Daron Feb 16 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ @TitaniumTurtle - Although I didn't VTC because of any real or perceived anti-Christian bigotry, this query really does reek of it. This isn't the first time a question in this forum has too obviously ridiculed religion, and Catholicism in particular. Generally speaking, that's bad form and it's so easy to avoid. It could be worded much differently and with far better results. FWIW, it's story based largely because it's asking for actions of characters. Better wording can solve this. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 20 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ @jamesqf - Really? Which "large" sects are those? I've never heard of such a thing. Any rate, the bigotry largely comes in the form of the wording itself. This query is a good example: such a clear and obvious parallel can hardly go unnoticed. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 20 at 4:47
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    $\begingroup$ @jamesqf -- Ah, I see. Was just at mass this morning. I don't recall seeing anyone worship Mary. I thought maybe we've been something wrong all this time. ;) Don't mean to jab, but your understanding of worship vs veneration and divine nature vs human nature I think could use some work. Catholics do nòt regard Mary as divine. Yes, she is immortal -- and so are we all. Yes, there are icons of her (and of every other saint that's ever been). Yes, Catholics do address prayers to Mary -- as they do to every other Christian in heaven and on Earth (this is the communion of saints). $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 20 at 18:59

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  • "Zoth-Ommog is an ancient and demonic god":

    First of all, from the very beginning the question places itself outside the religion of interest; that is, the question is presented from an etic point of view, instead of the more natural internal, emic point of view. I'd be willing to take a small bet that from the point of view of the people who follow the religion of interest their magnificent god Zoth-Ommog is not demonic at all, but rather beneficient and all caring.

    It is perfectly possible to write the history of the development of a religion from an external, non-religious point of view. The point is that the question requires such an approach.

    Excursus: the Proto-Indo-European language had the word *deywós, meaning a "god"; it is derived from the root *dyew-, meaning "bright", "sky" or "heaven". From the same root, Greek has Ζεύς, Zeus, and Latin has Ju-piter (Sky Father). Now, in Proto-Indo-Iranian *deywós became *daywás, preserving its meaning "god". Then a curious thing happened: to the east, in Proto-Indo-Aryan, *daywás kept its positive meaning, giving Sanscrit devá and Hindi dev; but to the west, in Proto-Iranian, *daywáh switched to a negative meaning, "demon", eventually giving Persian div which then proceeded to be received in many languages influenced by the Persian civilization. We see here the truth in the words of wisdom about the universal unity and conflict of opposites.

  • "He took a virgin to be his 'bride' in order to reincarnate a portion of himself":

    Ah, so he had done it before already! A "portion of himself" had been incarnated in ancient times, according to the testimony of the mytographer Incognito, but nothing more is known; how and why that "portion of himself" went to leave the sublunar realm remains a mystery.

    Note the scare quotes around the word bride, present in Incognito's original. We can only speculate on the intended meaning: what is certain is that chosen virgin was not intended to be a real bride; possibly the solution is to be found in the text of the only remaining piece of mythology, where it is affirmed that the mortal virgin was to be inseminated by "a piece of Zoth's power", and not by Zoth himself. (As an aside, we know that the piece of Zoth's power which inseminated the virgin bride was male and possessed an Y chromosome, since the myth refers to the child as a "Son".)

  • "This dark Messianic figure":

    Rivers of digital ink can be spilled arguing about the meaning of the word dark in the synoptic myth of Zoth-Ommogism recorded by Incognito. Given that is it likely that the mythographer himself was of northern extraction, the word dark may simply refer to the southern origin of the worship of Zoth; or, it may be another indication that the myth was transmitted through a non-Zoth-Ommogist milieu, where Zoth-worship was associated with fearsome and alien barbarians.

    A mural depicting the baptism of Jesus, Cathédrale de Sainte Trinité, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    A dark messianic figure being baptized by a dark antecessor. Photograph of a mural depicting the baptism of Jesus, Cathédrale de Sainte Trinité, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Picture by user Doron, available on Wikimedia under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or later.

  • "The religion that developed around this god is well aware of this truth, and how this prophecy involved three individuals: Zoth, the mortal bride, and the product of their union":

    This is one of the most vexing passages in the Zoth-Ommogist myth as transmitted by Incognito: for the demonstrative adjective "this" does not have an antecedent. We do not know what "this" prophecy is; we can only speculate that in the course of time, a passage has been deleted where the prophecy was spelled out.

  • "Worship this trinity as one being":

    Luckily, we have the full explanation in all its details in the works of the Zoth-Ommogist historiographer Eusebius, whose Historia Zoth-Ommogistica summarizes the development as follows:

    1. During the civil war which had thorn up the world-empire, one of the pretenders to the throne had a vision of the Zoth-Ommogist symbol with the words "in this sign thou shalt conquer". He inquired upon wise men, who explained the significance of the sign; and, desirous of divine favor, he proceeded to sew the Zeta-Omega sign upon his banners, and indeed Zoth-Ommog favored him with victory.

    2. Now at that time the Zoth-Ommogist belief was split into three main sects: one holding that the Dark Messiah is a god distinct from Zoth-Ommog himself, as being begotten by Zoth-Ommog at a definite point in time; one holding that the Son combines two perfect natures, human and divine, into one person; and finally, a third and correct opinion holding that the Son has one single divine nature.

    3. Now, maybe the emperor had an opinion of his own, but he was a wise emperor and decided that in such important matters it is wiser to defer to the collective wisdom of wise learned men, well-versed in Zoth-Ommogist lore, and for this purpose he summoned the elders of all Zoth-Ommogist communities to a worldwide council to be held in a major city of the empire.

    4. The elders assembled and deliberated and reached the conclusion that the only correct interpretation is to assume that the Dark Son was of the same substance as Zoth the Father, and that he didn't have any human nature at all, or at least the human nature was irrelevant; thus consecrating the first two lines of the Zoth-Ommogist Symbol of Faith:

      We believe in one God, Zoth-Ommog Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible;

      And in one Lord Son of Zoth, begotten of the Father Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.

    5. Those accursed elders who maintained the abominable heresies of Arius who separated Zoth from his Son, or of the dyophysites who mixed or at least glued together a mortal nature with the Dark divine nature of the Messiah, were anathemized and cast aside from the true Zoth-Ommogist temple. Some such sects survive in the remote corners of the Earth, but their power is puny, and their salvation denied by mainstream Zoth-Ommogists.

    6. Which left the question of the nature of the Mother of the Son. A third worldwise assembly of Zoth-Ommogist elders, divinely inspired, affirmed that Zoth's mortal bride was truely the sinless ever-virgin Mother of Zoth. This was a step towards the ...

    7. ... Fourth worldwide Zoth-Ommogist assembly, which affirmed the illusionist interpretation that "the historical and bodily existence of Zoth's virgin bride, and above all her human form, were mere semblance" (words from Wikipedia, profoundly altered to drag them to the subject at hand). This completed the Symbol of Faith:

      We believe in one God Zoth-Ommog, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

      And in one Lord Son of Zoth, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;

      And in the Holy Mother, the Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

Further reading:

  • Monophysitism is a Christological position that the Son, as the incarnation of the Word of God had only one single nature. (This is not the position of the mainstream Christian churches.) Monophysitism was extremely popular in Syria and Egypt and, arguably, may have favored the rapid adoption of the strictly monotheistic Islam.

  • Docetism was Christological doctrine which maintained that the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality. This view was condemned at the First Ecumenic Council.

  • Sabellianism and Patripassianism were (eastern and western respectively) modalistic heresies, which maintained that the Holy Trinity consists simply of modes of revelation of the One God; that is, the three Hypostases of God are not distinct, coeternal, consubstantial Persons, but simply different modes in which God manifests Himself. (This is not the position of the mainstream Christian churches.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Someone studied their catechism $\endgroup$ – NixonCranium Feb 20 at 23:47
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    $\begingroup$ A well-presented argument and well-explained answer without snarky condescension. $\endgroup$ – EDL Feb 21 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @EDL I get it, I'm bitter. Forgive me, the last time I went to church the lesson was "Stop asking questions and obey" in prettier words... Beyond that, AlexP gave a way better answer than me anyway. I like how it broke down the study of the religion as a social construct, and how the religion and society grow together. $\endgroup$ – TitaniumTurtle Feb 25 at 18:20
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Please read the whole answer before commenting how much you hate everything I said, and how I will probably be banished to outer darkness. This is entirely for discussing a hypothetical religion, with MY PERSPECTIVE on real world examples.

Personally, I grew up a member of the LDS church (Mormon) but am no longer a member. With the risk of starting more arguments I will try to breakdown MY understanding of some religious differences. The LDS church doesn't believe in the Holy Trinity, but their closest equivalent is the Godhead, which is basically the same except God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are considered separate beings with separate bodies and GOD being both a title and a name. This obviously contradicts the idea of the Holy Trinity essentially being a single being in multiple forms.

With that bit of information in mind, you could simply allow the society to believe godliness is a result of an individuals actions, not just a right of birth. This is more similar to what I was taught growing up as Mormons basically believe that EVERYONE is literally children of God and therefore able to achieve the same level of power and authority the closer to perfect they are. This is how Christ can both be a separate being, while also holding the power of God, as he was the only truly perfect person to ever live. (Queue arguments in comments. I know this is GROSSLY simplified. I am just trying to give an example of how this works for society in the real world.)

Alternatively, one should consider that most of Christianity seems to follow a binary nature of most things (in this case: god or not-god), but many world religions do not follow that structure. Obviously Greek and Roman mythology is full of demi-gods as an in-between, but those do not quite fit the idea you seem to be going for. There are, however, numerous examples in various mythologies of individuals being granted godhood, either by other gods (Dionysus), or by a society that elevates them to such for their achievements (Ghengis Khan). This may be more in line with the mythology you may want to use.

Another possibility is to perpetuate the idea that everyone comes from God in the literal sense, not just as his children, but as an extension of himself. This would then easily spin into individuals of great veneration literally becoming a part of God. With this idea, the 3 points of the trinity could be used as extensions of God's power prior to achieving a certain goal (whether that be becoming ultimately powerful, overcoming some foe, founding of his chosen people, etc...). After that goal is achieved they are then recognized as the Trinity in whole.

Just my ideas on the subject for your expansion.

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Since I am a "hard science fiction"" fan, I viewed this request from that perspective. Here is my solution:

This is from the "alternate universe" genre of science fiction.

Universe 1 is an evil place. A "master race" has taken over. They commit genocide on all minorities or others they don't like in pursuit of their goals, a pure race. However, they are still scientifically advanced. (imagine a modern day Hitler and the Nazis, unbridled and supreme in the world).

Universe 2 is much like our own.

Zoth-Omogg is an explorer from universe 1 (let's call him Joe for now). Universe 1 has discovered a way to cross the boundary between alternate universes, but it is incredibly energy demanding. Nevertheless, they decide to send an explorer (Joe) across the boundary to discover what is there.

Joe arrives in universe 2 and has many adventures. Finally he meets a young lady (let's call her Mary) and falls hopelessly in love. They have a son (let's call him The Chosen One, or TCO).

Eventually, as TCO grows up, they discover that he can cross between universes relatively effortlessly. This is the result of their combined DNA. Furthermore, as he gets older and has children of his own, it is discovered that this mutated gene breeds true, and all of his offspring are able to cross between universes. Meanwhile, Universe 1 has given up on the original technology, because it was too energy expensive.

TCO has many offspring (imagine a modern day Ghengis Khan analogue, spreading his DNA widely for whatever reason, possibly a rock star?). Thus, in a couple of generations, there are a substantial number of people able to cross universes. This is recognized as miraculous, and could only come about as the result of all three people, Joe, Mary, and TCO. A religion forms, initially a cult but quickly expanding into a full blown religious following, and celebrating, or outright worshipping, the trinity of Joe, Mary and TCO.

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Faith and religion are not really about gods. They are about the community and shared vision. Or visions, most religions have lots of different views for lots of different topics the community felt important enough.

This actually makes sense since any deity worth worship is beyond mortal comprehension and judgement anyway. You are compelled to worship fragments of how the deity was revealed to mortals in different times and in different contexts without any realistic possibility of forming real understanding of the deity as he actually is.

In your case one such aspect would be Zoth-Ommog as he was revealed to his worshippers in the context of his plan to enter the world. It is a single plan that gives a single image of Zoth-Ommog from single aspect. This single plan still has three separate parts visible to humans. Three manifestations. But single aspect of Zoth-Ommog to worship. The manifestations themselves are not worshipped. Just the single deity as he is revealed thru his plan with its three components to enter the world.

I do not think this is a particularly good answer to your question but I felt it useful for your needs to explain something that other answers with more detail did not mention.

The logic of religion looks at reality at a different level than the mundane. It is about the reality that (allegedly) underlies the largely illusory reality we mortals can perceive. As such, religious dogma does not need to "make sense" or "work rationally". It doesn't even need to be self-consistent, contrary to what people assume religious dogma is by its nature partial and incomplete, it is natural that different fragments of it conflict.

The actual goal is that the dogma needs to accurately reflect a fragment of the underlying reality as seen from a viewpoint relevant to the followers of the religion.

In your case the fragment is the divine plan to enter the world. The viewpoint is that the plan has three parts that work together to fulfil the divine plan by single divine will. The dogma reflects this by seeing the three parts a single divinity because in the context of this plan they are.

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Zoth-Ommog must be indivisible, for some reason

In Christianity, the holy trinity doctrine mostly results from the interplay between Christian religious doctrine and ancient Greek (pagan) philosophy. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the three godly persons identified in scripture. God is also the First Cause, the creator of all things. Theological developments in the late ancient period applied the Aristotelian and Platonic principle of rationality to Christian doctrine and identified God as the Final Cause, the ultimate purpose towards which all things strive. The details here are complex but the upshot is that a First and Final Cause must be utterly simple and therefore indivisible. Late ancient and medieval philosophy, subsequently, spilled much ink debating how to make a God with three persons unified and indivisible.

Maybe you are interested in developing your fictional religion into one that portrays a comparable level of complex thought. Awesome! If Zoth-Ommog is supposed to be the creator of all things, or the ultimate purpose of all things, then you can crib directly from real-world thought on the Trinity. AlexP's answer seems like a great resource for the theological side of the equation. For the philosophical side, see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the Trinity.

If Zoth-Ommog is part of a pantheon of some sort or is not the creator or ultimate purpose of the world, then you may not be able to use a requirement of utter simplicity as justification for indivisibility of the demon. Not a problem! There can be any number of other reasons why this entity is indivisible. The easiest one to justify in your narrative is revelation: whether through prophesy or scripture, maybe even an appearance by the Zoth-Ommog itself, it is revealed that "Zoth-Ommog is unified and indivisible. Deal with it!"

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Make the Reality Warping event the Holy Unit

The Event, where this Dark God enters the realm is the Holy Event that they are waiting, and the Holy Event is a trinity of its parts, since one cannot function without the other. Since the Event is itself Holy, their parts are too.

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The power of the flesh.

While Zoth-Ommog may (or may not) be all powerful outside reality, in our world he clearly has restrictions to his power. One of them is pointed out here in the text:

Zoth-Ommog is an ancient and demonic god that exists outside reality and seeks to enter our world. To accomplish this, he took a virgin to be his "bride" in order to reincarnate a portion of himself into the mortal realm.

Zoth could not reincarnate himself without the help of the mortal body; fleshy human bodies have a certain level of resistance and residual power which is strong enough to hold and sustain a portion of Zoth's strength despite the interference of the barriers between reality. Note that in order to create a new body for the supreme being Zoth, her body had to be sacrificed. The power of the flesh itself was required to disrupt the barriers and perform an act of divinity too strong for this world to normally contain. This power is inherent in all mortal bodies, and is not unique to the virgin that was chosen as Zoth's bride.

As such, the divinity of The Mother is not related to herself as a person or as a human - merely as the magical meat sack that provided Zoth-Ommog with a portal of entry into our world. What priests worship about The Mother is Zoth's omnipotent ability to manipulate the power of the flesh. The Father is Zoth's unholy power, too great to exist in our reality without rending apart the physics of space-time. The Son is the merest fraction of Zoth's power, small enough that weak human minds can comprehend it in a physical form. The Father, The Mother, and The Son all came together to create Zoth himself as humans can hope to understand and worship so that Zoth doesn't smite them where they stand.

The importance of the power of the flesh reinforces the fact that Zoth is a demonic, unholy, and evil god. Other acts of faith can be performed by believers and high priests by sacrificing other human bodies to Zoth; if enough bodies are destroyed, Zoth can perform acts of divinity in our world.

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Good and Evil are pretty subjective; so, let's start off by giving these concepts some scope. Since you seem to be going for an anti-christianity here, I will frame all ideals in this answer such that "Good" is assumed to be those things inline with the Christian definition of good, "Evil" is assumed to be those things inline with the Christian definition of evil, and Zoth-Ommogism is the polar opposite of Christianity (and therefore Evil)

When you look at Christianity, Jesus defines the hierarchy of whom you should love most: God first, then your neighbors, then yourself. Certain creeds of Satanism however invert this relationship and say that you should love yourself most, then your neighbors, then the Devil. This inverted relationship is the key here.

One of the basic tenets of Zoth-Ommogism that makes it attractive is the idea that you are the most important person in the universe. Everything is about making yourself perfect and elevating yourself to be above and independent from Zoth-Ommog, the ultimate being, so that you too may become a god. At the core of your dark religion, one does all they can to be free and unbeholden to anyone but themself: to perfect your own humanity. To be the best you that you can be. However, in a world where everyone does what they want for themselves, it means that no one cares when you murder a rival or enslave your enemies. Everyone lives in constant fear of betrayal and ruin by the hands of their neighbors. Christianity offers freedom through bondage to God, Zoth-Ommogism creates bondage through unfettered personal freedom.

Why would Zoth-Ommog put himself after man?

Because he is the inversion of God. He does not see you as saved by what you believe, he sees you as damned by what you do, and letting mortals put themselves first is the best way to insure that they damn themselves. The followers of Zoth-Ommog honor him only in so far as they respect him as their leader who set them free from restrictive morality and he is fine with this.

How does this answer the question?

In a world where individuals comes first, and the goal is to elevate oneself to godhood, they would need a paragon to live up to. One person whose sense of self was so pure and unfettered that she made herself into God. This person was the human born mother. When she elevated herself to godhood, she exceeded Zoth-Ommog's own greatness. Jealous, he bound himself to her body, mind, and spirit and they became as one so that he could share in her greatness. And through this union, they produced the son who was as one with both of them.

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The gods are by nature ineffable: no human can hope to comprehend their ways.

If the religion says the female is divine, then it is so; anyone who disagrees can queue up to be burned at the stake.

To believe that a religion has to provide a sensible, rational explanation about its roots (or any other aspects) misunderstand the nature of religion. See also creation stories.

Oh, and a Mr Lovecraft says your story sounds interesting, his agents Nyarlathotep & Co will be in touch :)

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A being that could cross dimensions could be multi-dimensional.

The dark god may not "fit" in 3 dimensions; it may not even experience time the same way as anything native to our dimension does. The different manifestations in our dimension being worshiped, while having independent identity, could be this entity's equivalent to our fingers dipping into water and drawing the interest of fish.

A mortal "bride" of such an entity could become "divine" be being assimilated into the entity through the process of gestation/birth. In a twisted case of "you are what you eat", the process could in some sense be the result of the dark god consuming the vessel. (The movie Phantoms featured an ancient evil that preserved the identities of those it consumed; it actually came to think of itself as a "dark god" of sorts because that was what it's prey perceived it to be.)

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