we will unfuck this situation at a later date (paperflowered) wrote in sacred_20,
we will unfuck this situation at a later date

Prompt Help & Tips

If the terms in the prompt table are unclear, under the cuts are some explanations of the more problematic terms and some tips for writing about them. (You can find the full tables and their HTML codes on the "User Info" page.)

Keep in mind - I'm certainly not a religion expert. I looked up many terms, but the information I offer includes my own interpretations and thematic suggestions as well as technical definitions.

table one

communion - Christian ritual of the Eucharist. Also refers to connection or closeness (spiritual or otherwise), as in "to commune" (with someone/something).

mazel tov - Hebrew, Yiddish; lit. "good fortune"; today means something like "congratulations" or "felicitations."

covenant - an agreement between two parties (religiously, often a contract between God and humans). A sacred or revered contract.

benediction - a blessing, a sending-off or sending-out.

karma - what goes around, comes around. The universe/God/etc. repays you for your bad or good deeds in kind. Divine retribution.

exodus - the departure of a large number of people from an area or country. Border-crossing, escaping slavery for freedom.

lamentation - to lament is to mourn, to grieve, to articulate a loss or sadness.

table two

shalom - Hebrew, lit. peace; also: wholeness, harmony, general sense of wellness. In Hebrew, is used as a greeting (i.e., peace be upon you). Can apply to individuals or to communities.

messiah - savior figure.

purgatory - place in the afterlife for those who were neither overwhelmingly good or evil, where one can work off their sins to enter paradise; also: waiting place, limbo, stuck in the middle; stagnation; no forward motion.

haram - Arabic word to describe any action or thing (person, object, or place) that is against the laws of Islam and Allah. Forbidden, unclean.

zen - to achieve enlightenment through meditation; the state of enlightenment. Nonplussed; calm; collected.

table three

supplication - plea for help, especially in prayer or from a higher authority figure.

yezer ra - Hebrew, the (sinful) impulse to satisfy one's own needs, in Judaism.

nirvana - Buddhist state of enlightenment; transcendent state where there is neither suffering nor desire (since desire is what causes suffering).

Mecca - city in Saudi Arabia; one of the Muslim pillars of faith is to undertake a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca during one's lifetime (if possible). Has also come to mean any place that has come to be important or central to a given group of people.

alms - giving to the poor/those who need help.

catechism - a book or basic manual outlining a set of principles (from the Catholic catechism); also, a set of questions designed to determine knowledge.

penitent - regretting past sin and willing to change.

table four

dogma - a set of principles laid down by an authority as unquestionably true.

genesis - the beginning of all things; the creation.

apocalypse - the end of the world (as we know it!). This doesn't have to be taken literally (though I do love myself a good apocalypse!fic), but could be something earth-shattering, the world figuratively falling down around your ears.

desecrate - a very strong word, meaning to treat a sacred place or thing with disrespect, scorn, or contempt; to violate the sanctity of someone/someplace/something.

sanctuary - a place with two connotations: a) a sacred or holy place; b) a refuge, a place of safety, a haven.

atonement - to make reparations or do penance for a past injury or wrong.

forbidden fruit - the apple in the Garden of Eden. Temptation; taboo. The lure of the forbidden.

Your stories do not have to be overtly spiritual. Stories about characters' religions or spirituality are, of course, also welcome, but it is definitely not a prerequisite. The prompts were chosen for their spiritual connotations and themes, but your stories do not have to be religious in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. The words are just a starting place, and you can use them (or abuse them!) in any way you want.

So, you might think about what these themes and words could mean in a secular context. What might "repentance" mean in a fic? A change of heart? Regret for a past action? Guilt? And for the prompt Priest, for example, you might think about a leader and followers, the function of a priest (to absolve), confession, or any number of other secular, related ideas.

The prompts are just a way to get you thinking about certain themes, desires, and practices in preparation for writing.
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