Theocracy of Xochimechatl
There are no less than nine major temples operating in the Theocracy of Xochimechatl. Each one of these has some input into the government of the country. Some of these religions are related, while some are not. Some accept the existance of other deities, while some are monotheistic. As an example, the Meztlians and the Teotlahtollians, who worship the moon and sun, respectively, both acknowledge the legitimacy of the other's worship; the sun-worshipers do not deny the moon's godhood, and vice versa. They merely hold that their religion is the better one, and the most pure and powerful. The Temoans, however, deny the existance of any god but their own. Below is a summary of each religion and an illustration of its symbol.
Temple of Teotlahtolli
The Teotlahtollian faith, coming from the word meaning "prayer", is the oldest religion in Xochimechatl, and worships the sun. The origin of the religion is debated. Some believe that it began in the mountains of southern Xochimechatl, while some believe it was brought to the island by the first settlers. Regardless, it is the oldest and largest faith in the Theocracy of Xochimechatl, although not by a great deal. The Temple itself is based at its great temple just south of Iztepl. The early history of Xochimechatl is strewn with conflicts between the Zacatltetotopixqui of the Temple of Teotlahtolli and the Mahuiztictlactl (emperor). The key values of Teotlahtolli are power, directness, and glory. The official title given to the chief of the Temple translates to High Sunpriest.
Temple of Meztli
The Meztlian religion is the opposite to the Teotlahtollian one, worshiping the moon. The Meztlians are almost as ancient as the Teotlahtollians, and have always been in conflict with them. There is not, however, any debate regarding its origins, as the story is told over and over by the Temple. According to the myth, a senior priest of Teotlahtolli, formerly one of the most devout, was praying when one of his children, against instructions, looked directly at the sun, and was blinded. The priest asked his superior why Teotlahtolli had blinded his child, and was told that the child deserved it for daring to gaze on the magnificence of the god. The priest thought upon this, and decided that a god who inflicted suffering out of his own pride did not deserve to be worshiped. Instead, he turned to the moon, Meztli. Thus the Meztlian religion began. The main principles of Meztli are humility, discretion, and tolerance. They call their leader the High Moonpriest.
Temple of Citialin
The Citialinians are the newest of the sky religions, although still a very old faith. Instead of worshiping the sun or moon, they worship the stars. This religion was established in direct contrast to both the Teotlahtollian sun-worshipers and the Meztlian moon-worshipers, and was founded by a priest of Meztli that wished to end the strife between the two great Temples. It was the Citialinians who established the Ilhuicatl Alliance, encompassing Teotlahtollians, Meztlians, and Citialinians, which governed Xochimechatl after the overthrow of the old imperial system. The followers of Citialin preach balance, neutrality, and pacifism as tenets for living. Following the pattern of the other two Ilhuicatl temples, the leader of the Citialinians is the High Starpriest.
Federation of Teraeli Shrines
The Teraeli faith is based around four forces, being Fire, Air, Earth, and Water, following similar lines to several ancient religions elsewhere in Vexillium. In some ways, the Teraeli faith is actually four separate religions, one for each of the elements, but is classified as one because each one is linked closely to the other, unlike the three sky religions, which could continue separately. The Teraeli religion is believed to have originated in either the Maritim Islands, Arcania, or Udan-Woo, but whatever its origin, it is now only practiced in Xochimechatl, having died out in its place of origin. The values it teaches are different depending upon which element the follower is aligned with. Air represents change, movement, and rejuvenation, Earth represents reliability and calmness, Fire represents emotion and passion, and Water represents health and purity. The leader of the Federation of Teraeli Shrines is known simply as the Harmony, representing the fact that they are in balance between all four elements.
Order of Calacoayan
The Calacoayanian Order is an old and highly respected organization based around a religion that has its origins in northern Xochimechatl. It follows its own god, Calacoayan, but makes no judgements as to the existance of other deities, leaving that to individual members. This religion originated among the Chitec people of northern Xochimechatl, although it is practiced no more there than anywhere else on the island. Calacoayanism is a very rigid faith, and requires complete adherence to its doctrines. The Order sees itself as a protector and guardian of Xochimechatl, and serves as the Xochimechatlan police force (no official police are maintained by the government). The Calacoayanists place duty, honour, justice, and total obedience above all else. The title of the head of the order translates roughly to Grand Master.
Cult of Inxichtlincuicatl
This religion is, in essence, dedicated to insanity and the lack of rational thought. The name Inxochtlincuicatl is merely a contraction of "In Xochtl In Cuicatl", an idiomatic phrase meaning music, song, poetry, or, in this case, dance. This refers to the Dance of Madness performed by its members at the high temple. The Inxochtlincuicatlans believe that sanity and rationality are the ultimate prisons, and that forcing the mind to conform to their laws is a denial of the essentially animal nature of the human race. They encourage a complete abandonment of sensibility and basic all actions directly upon emotions. They are completly opposed to education and knowledge, particularly science. The leader of the cult is given the title Danceleader.
Sect of the Temoa
The Sect of the Temoa is a monotheistic religion following a deity without a name. The word Temoa means, in this case, Seekers. It is the belief of the Temoas that there is only one god, and that this god has left the world due to the impiety and lack of worship shown by mortals. They believe that all evil in the world is because the people have turned their backs upon the one true god, and that in order to fix this, they must not only worship but punish themselves for their disloyalty. The Temoans believe in spreading their religion as much as possible, and believe in subjecting themselves to hardships so as to punish themselves and speed the return of their god. The leader of the Sect of Temoa is known as the High Seeker.
United Monasteries of Meko'u
The Meko'u monasteries belongs to the Alva Lamaist religion, which is native to the Maritim Islands and was brought to Xochimechatl from there some time ago. It is but one of several sects, and a relatively minor one compared to the largest in the Maritim Islands. This particular sect is native to Xochimechatlan Alvanism, and has only a small following in the remainder of the islands. Alva Lamaism is a monastic religion, and follows the same sort of code. For more information on Alva Lamaism itself, please consult the website of the United People's Republic of the Maritim Islands. The Meko'uans recognize the Alva Lama as head of their religion, but the Meko'u monasteries themselves are lead by the Meko Lama, unconnected with the Alva Lama.
Church of San Alandro
The Church of San Alandro is a Cruisian organization established by missionaries from Lendia. It was originally intended to be a branch of the Papaist Church in Gloria Libertatis, but this connection was severed by the Papaist church due to objections to the Church of San Alandro's somewhat radical policies. The San Alandrians still maintain a similar system to the Papaist Church, however. Unlike the majority of Vexillium's Cruisian churches, the Church of San Alandro is not very tolerant of other religious believes, and has made it a primary goal to end the dominance of "heathen and barbaric religions" in Xochimechatl. It is headed by an Archbishop.
The Theocracy of Xochimechatl is a fictional state on the world of Vexillium.