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Let us suppose that the Judaeo-Christian deity is an aspect of the seasonal deity of the summer season, known as the Summer King (or perhaps the other way around, the Summer King being an aspect of the Judaeo-Christian god, it doesn't really matter). The Summer King has - in a largely but not entirely disconnected set of magical realms - become increasingly dominant over the deities of the other three seasons in the last few thousand years, particularly in the last thousand or less, so that the Spring Princess and the Autumn Prince deities' avatars have vanished entirely, and the Winter Queen has been greatly weakened.

The end result of this is that the worlds - including our world - are all headed toward a catastrophic global warming disaster.

The Winter Queen has established a plan to restore balance to the seasons (and to bring the magical realms closer to our technological realm), not to seek total dominance as the Summer King has done.

Part of this plan is for the Winter Queen to (re-)establish her religion in both the magical realms and our technological realm.

How might the Winter Queen go about doing this given:

  • The deities can create human (to some degree super-human) avatars, but doing so is expensive in terms of magical power. The Summer King has one, and could conceivably afford only a handful more. The Winter Queen has one, and cannot afford more yet. The Spring and Autumn deities cannot afford even one, and will require the assistance of their temporally-earlier deity to create one.

  • The deities promote particular personality traits and lifestyles in their worshippers as well as favouring their particular season. The Summer King favours gender inequality, slavery and servitude, chastity or celibacy (just look at the Old Testament), summer being a season of physical warmth but emotional coldness.

  • The Winter Queen, being in opposition, favours gender equality, emancipation and sexual freedom, winter being a season of physical coldness but emotional warmth. As a specific example, since the Summer King vilifies prostitutes and supports them only if they give up their profession, the Winter Queen supports them in their profession.

  • The Summer King is powerful (due to lots of pre-existing worshippers) but is lazy and complacent, and hoards his magical power rather than sharing it with his worshippers (hence few if any real miracles occur and few if any divine powers are handed out to the more devoted worshippers). If any powers were to be handed out, they would be in line with the powers and abilities described in the Old and New Testaments, but they would be exceedingly rare. Assume that this won't happen for a good many years.

  • The Winter Queen is much less powerful, but can potentially offer especially devoted worshippers a number of advantages, including immunity to exposure to winter conditions, better performance in winter sports and activities, immunity to sexually-transmitted diseases, and for women, the ability to start or stop their menstrual cycles at any point they want. A very few particularly devoted worshippers of the Winter Queen may be able to read the minds of others at ahem "touch" range, and share what they learn with their goddess. All this comes at a price, in that the Winter Goddess must obtain more worshippers than the Summer King (on the order of, say 25% more) to attain the same level of personal power. Of course, if the Summer King was to begin performing miracles and handing out powers, the relative worshippers to power ratios would go back to parity.

  • The Winter Queen must eventually assist the Spring Princess and Autumn Prince to regain their lost powers and to create new avatars. As the Winter Queen's avatar must literally give birth to the Spring Princess, that is relatively easy to achieve once Winter becomes a bit more powerful, but the Summer King's avatar must father the Autumn Prince's avatar, and must be either convinced or tricked into doing so.

  • Neither the Spring Princess or the Autumn Prince can assist in the timeframe of this question.

  • Our technological realm is currently pretty much ignorant of real magic, but this can - and indeed must - change as the Winter Queen acts.

Since it would take too long here to describe the many magical realms - suffice to say that each is roughly the size of a kingdom, big or small, and without magic, travelling in one direction just gets you back to where you started from pretty soon - answers should concentrate on how the Winter Queen might go about (re-)establishing her religion in our current-day magically-ignorant technological realm.

EDIT:

The timeline I mentioned in a comment of 10-15 years is for a reasonable start, not parity. The Winter Queen really only needs a relatively small share of the world's religious devotion over that period, perhaps 5-15%, and ultimately needs around 25%, which may be shared with other deities, as the Winter Queen, unlike the Summer King, is not a jealous deity.

Directly co-opting or subverting the Judaeo-Christian religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) is out of the question for multiple reasons:

  1. The Winter Queen is the Antichrist and the Whore of Babylon as far as these religions are concerned, and her theology would be quite antithetical to that of these religions.

  2. The Summer King is lazy and complacent, and might not notice a gradual trickle of worshippers away from him, but if the Winter Queen started a wholesale takeover, that would get him interested pretty quickly, at which point there would likely be a fight that the Winter Queen - and possibly the rest of the world - would lose.

Part of the Winter Queen's strategy is to present the Summer King with a situation that he cannot win, without having to make him lose either. This is about balance, not dominance. If the Winter Queen was to actually win, there would be an ice-age, and while she wouldn't really mind on a personal level, it wouldn't be good for her worshippers, and unlike the Summer King at present, she cares about them.

Deities can hand out powers to perhaps 5 to 15% of their worshippers, as long as that 5-15% results in a whole worshipper - no fractions allowed, so it would take at least 7 worshippers before one could gain a power. If the worshippers with powers tend to have more powers each, then fewer in total can have powers. The worshippers who can gain powers must be highly devoted, have compatible personality traits, and must also be proactive rather than passive types of people. Typically around 50% of those will gain one power at most, 25% will be able to gain up to 2 powers, 12.5% will be able to get up to three, and so-on, individuals with one more power than others will be half as common, though this may vary somewhat from deity to deity - some may concentrate their powers in fewer individuals, others may spread them out more. This comes at a cost of around 25% of the deity's personal power, so by not handing out any powers, the deity gains a personal advantage.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does the Winter Queen have a time limit? Also, how would magic manifest itself in a technological realm? Would it be a personally accessible aspect of science that mimics traditional magic powers, or would it - by definition - be outside the realm of hypothesis, testing and repeatability? $\endgroup$ – Dan Smolinske Jul 21 '15 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ @DanSmolinske, The time limit is vague - I'd say within the next ten to fifteen years at most, but the sooner the better. Magic is by definition unknowable, but as magic re-enters the technological world, there would be frequently, but not consistently, repeatable effects that defy scientific explanation, new, impossible physical elements with weird properties; lots of stuff to keep scientists busy - and happily frustrated - for years while magicians come out of the woodwork. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Jul 21 '15 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ Brace yourselves. Winter is coming. :) $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jul 21 '15 at 4:14
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    $\begingroup$ To be clear here: Are the powers listed for the Winter Queen ones that she can hand out at her "current" power level, or do they require her to have 20-25% more worshippers? $\endgroup$ – Obie 2.0 Jul 21 '15 at 18:05
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Due to your objection of co-opting or subverting the Abrahimic religions, I think she could try a more silent approach.

Starting a virtuous circle

She can do magic, and the populations more likely to believe in magic are religious people of various animist, neo-pagan, spiritist, etc. groups. At the end of the day, they represent 3-5% of the World's Population. In their case it should be quite easy to get as one of their important figures, doing some magic, which would increase their belief in her (through the image she chose). This should be quite easy, as they are fundamentally abandonned by the Summer King, ready to believe in some form of magic, so no need to revert to too much subtility.

The main aim, is to get more direct believers to her. And as most of those are somewhat polytheists religions, it also offers some place for the Prince and Princess, when their time has come. For that she might need to play more than one role on the "pantheon". The more believer she gets, the more power she has, the more magic she can do, and thus, the more believers she gets.

At some point, she should be able to try to communicate directly with the worshippers. The main goal for that is to provide some philosophy: like what is the meaning of life, what is there after life, etc. This would help to convert loose Monotheistic believers, who are in one religion for the answers the said religion give. If she provides more appealing ones, she would get them to change.

Getting more greedy

As she gets more power, she can try to infiltrate larger religions. Buddhism and Hinduism are obvious targets. Again they allow more than one god/or god-like characters, so she could use a similar strategy as the smaller ones. Her newly acquired powers should allow her to perform large-scale miracles, which would then be convincing both current believers, and believers from other religions as well as non-believers, on the "veracity" of the precepts.

Whence she manages to effectively get a cult of her through different facets in all the targeted religion, she should capitalize around 20-30% of the World population: getting the current believers of those religions, as well as convincing some agnostics: having witnessed miracles, they would start to believe, but also some from Abrahimic religions.

Revealing herself to the King

The time is probably good to create the Spring Princess, and share some of her powers, by placing her as another of the multi-faced religions she now controls.

Slowly she should try to get in all those religions the concepts that 4 characters are more important than others. Or that many of the gods are different faces of the same 4 ones.

Still, even 30% (shared) are not enough to beat the Summer King (who would still be around 55%). But the Summer King attention should slowly get attracted to the situation. The Queen and Princess should then try to be more pro-active in converting people. Similar to the Evangelists strategy (at least in some country), they should get in the population, try to have an image of cool (music, dependable, sponsoring sports, etc.), dependable (helping people in needs, poor, providing food and shelter), as well as philosophical sound (answers to all the BIG questions, and accomodating the modern societies: divorce, homosexuality, etc.).

The fact that the power is now shared limits the grandeur of the actions that can be done, but increase the number of them.

If successful in establishing the religions as common within the given societies, and essentially everywhere, in different forms, not to appear too threatening to the population, the time as come to openly show yourself to the Summer King. How? I am not sure, maybe simply paying him a visit on his cloud or something.

"War"

The King is likely to respond by trying to forment a war, be it directly with weapons, death, etc. Or in a rivality of miracles. But having infiltrated the societies at different levels, and having generally good image, will limit the range of actual wars against your followers. And a rivality of miracles, you would have the advantage of the number.

At some point, a typical sentence like "Alone, you have no chance to win against us, Wha-ha-ha!" could help a retreating King to create the Prince. But for that he needs to share some of his own powers. And to get the Prince in, he needs to modify his religions to accept devotion to someone else than just him. This allows you to actually step in as another important person. For example, if he tries to have the Prince seen as the characters of Jesus, she could step in as Mary, stealing some more powers.

At that stage, you might not have reached a perfect equilibrium, but you certainly broke the monopoly. And by the balance of power Queen+Princess vs King+Prince, possibly, "children" vs "parents", you ensure that no monopoly can return.

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Given the timeline, you will need to co-opt existing religions rather than making your own.

I'll break this into three rough categories - Western, Islam, and Eastern.

Important Note: This post is partially about tearing down current religions. If you are a religious person, you will probably find it somewhat offensive. You have been warned.

Western

We'll co-opt Christianity. Our tool will be Minority Lesbian Jesus (MLJ). This will be the Winter Queen's Avatar. She will use a combination of miracles (avatar powers), and the rise of magic to be convincing.

MLJ will preach as the second coming of Christ. Her message will be that she was sent by her Mother - God - to bring a new message to the world. She will explicitly invalidate the current Bible in all its forms, preaching inclusiveness (for example, she'll explain that Wicca is just one of Her aspects). I'm unsure if she should go for the Mormons - she's probably cool with multiple marriages but not the patriarchy. But I'd give it a try.

This will accomplish two things. First, it will bring a lot of new worshippers to the Winter Queen (WQ). You'll get some percentage of Christians, plus she'll either get (or at least retain) a lot of the pagan/wicca/etc religious worshippers.

Second, and possibly more importantly, it will drive the Christian Right out of their fucking minds. Second coming of Christ? Female, gay, non-white, talks about God as her Mother? Invalidates the Bible? It's almost like she was designed to offend them as much as possible. And they will respond with such an outpouring of vitriol and concentrated hate that Emperor Palpatine would be all like, "Whoa, slow down there."

This will reduce the Summer King's (SK) followers, as the moderates - even those who don't move to the WQ's side - are pushed away by the hardliners. Christianity will be forced to adopt extreme positions to differentiate themselves, and that will cause them to be marginalized. It's going to be easier to help Christianity tear itself down than to gain new followers.

Islam

This will be MLJ's second step, as this is also an Abrahamic religion. Once she's entrenched/known in the west, she should reach out to Islamic women. I would recommend writing a new version of the Quran, in Arabic. The beauty of the Quran's poetry is often taken as a sign of divinity, and having that same cachet will only help you.

Most importantly, I think she should tell them, "Look, if you don't want to worship me as the daughter of God, that's fine - just listen to me as your prophet". She shouldn't insist on being divine, just go with the flow. Again, inclusiveness and acceptance.

If the WQ has enough for a second avatar at this point, she should use it to help influence Islam even further.

Eastern

After Christianity and Islam, your next biggest religions are Hinduism and Buddhism. Hindu is tricky as a polytheistic religion, so I think your best bet is to aim for Buddhists.

The Dalai Lama is quite old. When he dies, manipulate events so that he "reincarnates" as a female. Just having a female religious leader will be a positive influence in the direction the WQ wants to go.

Endgame

The WQ should push things slightly beyond parity. Once she's in a position of strength, she should offer to balance things out with the SK in exchange for his help creating the Autumn Prince. At this point MLJ should soften her stance sligthly and allow the older Christian sects back into the mainstream.

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  • $\begingroup$ As with Gary Walker's answer, co-opting Christianity and Islam is a no-no. Hinduism & Buddhism, perhaps. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Jul 21 '15 at 23:26
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The answer appears to be hard to get you religion widely adopted in a short period of time. The only real answer that I could think is is commandeer an existing religion of some prominence. I think the that the top down control religions are best for a rapid power grab. Lets assume that the Winter Queen uses her magical influence to change the minds of the leading mullahs of the Islamic world, issue the necessary fatwas and bingo lots of new worshipers quickly.

The trick is blending the worship of Allah and the Winter Queen so that no conflict is obvious. Fortunately, Allah has 99 names, and some of those could be easily applied to the Winter Queen.


Mind control was not mentioned, but reading of minds was. It seems to me that mind-reading would be very helpful is changing the minds of the mullahs. I assumed that even a weak god would be able to do a bit more when concentrating efforts on a select few (or just one as described for the avatar). I also assume that the Winter Queen does not emphasize her true nature and relies on deception initially at least. Pick a different religion if you like, Islam seemed the best fit for a popular top-down religion, certainly not totally autocratic, but the leaders are quite influential.

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  • $\begingroup$ Where does it say the Winter Queen has mind control? Also, unless she controls literally all of the people with a knowledge of Muslim theology, this new religion is certainly going to be denounced as heresy and apostasy and opposed by many Muslims. Even influential mullahs can't control their worshippers, only influence them. $\endgroup$ – sumelic Jul 21 '15 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ As followers of the Judaeo-Christian God (Islam arose out of a Christian heresy), who is also the Summer King, this is one action that would practically guarantee that the Summer King would sit up and pay attention for once. The Winter Queen can control minds, but cannot pass out this power to her followers readily. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Jul 21 '15 at 23:23

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