A friend asked me what taboos or sins Venacia tries to abstain from. It would be easy to point to the Twelve Virtues and say “breaking any of these constitutes a sin”, but I think the word “sin”, like the word “karma”, carries a lot of baggage that doesn’t have a place within Venacia.
The emphasis within Venacia is on what you aspire to, not how you fail. Everyone fails (usually often) because we are alive. Yes, part of life is making mistakes. It is a natural part of trying new things, and it does not mean that you are necessarily a terrible person. The only times shame enters into failure are when refusing to admit that you’re wrong, refusing to attempt to right your wrong, and refusing to try to do better next time. These actions can lead to disastrous consequences, make it easier for other failings to be committed, and most importantly it acts to the detriment of Life.
What are the consequences of failure? Oftentimes, nothing. When failure has caused no harm to anyone, it is right and proper to allow the person who failed to try to correct the failure, but at no time should anyone attempt to hold it against them or make them feel somehow less for having failed. Failure can be a wonderful time to learn and examine what went wrong so that we know what to try next time. All of our greatest achievements have been the result of many, many failures. If help is needed for a person to correct a failure, offer it as you are able, and then let the matter go.
Sometimes, however, a failure can be horrific. Sometimes, people are hurt due to the actions of another and it can be hard to make sense of things. What is at the root of these failures? Bad things sometimes happen to good people. Sometimes good things happen to bad people. This is not because of a built-in justice system monitoring the universe, or even necessarily because of something that person did. Your own, personal actions account for only one small part of what happens to you. The choices of others, the laws of physics, the will of Gods and spirits…all of these things will also have bearing on what happens to you.
Within Venacia there is no karma and no eternal hell awaiting the person who has fallen short, no matter how far they have fallen. It may be that your actions provoke a spirit, God, or person to act against you and mete out justice…but this is not a guarantee. For many, this notion can be disturbing. The idea that someone may harm you and get away with it, never paying the price for their crime or suffering as you have suffered…to say the idea is frustrating is putting it mildly. Injustice, inequality, cruelty…it is all too easy for these things to run rampant as creatures compete for resources. This does not make justice, equality, and kindness worthless, however…if anything, the rarity of them makes them more precious. It means that it is a long and difficult struggle to keep these ideals alive…yet it is still a rewarding one.
The truest consequence of a terrible action is that you will have made it easy for other instances of injustice and cruelty to be perpetuated. All actions have a consequence, and these consequences spread out like ripples which touch everyone.
We are thinking, feeling beings that have been given a great responsibility. Our Gods are not perfect, and neither are we, Their children. Inside each of us is place a wonderful mind capable of examining each circumstance and determining the path of least harm and greatest good. Rather than instilling fear into people, it is the goal of Venacia to point the way, to lift people up and inspire them towards better things.