HELIOLATRY is a Hellmouth originated, largely monothestic religion based on the Sun, the Sun's glory, and the Sun's effect on the earth. Its adherents are largely associated with the Hellmouth Sunbeams. Believers of HELIOLATRY are largely focused in the Hellmouth area, with little to no effort being seen thus far to spread to convert other blaseball teams or spread the religion to other areas. Believers of HELIOLATRY state that even without additional effort, HELIOLATRY is inevitable, as the sun is objectively real, very large and glorious, and an "unstoppable force of blaseball power."
Although many claim that HELIOLATRY has always existed, as it is only natural to worship the glorious Sun, the beginnings of modern (loosely) organized HELIOLATRY began sometime after the Hellmouth opened, as a result of the opening of the Forbidden Book. During this period of confusion and fear for the residents of what was once a normal Utah town, a "shining specter" was said to appear, extending one of its many hands and "guiding those who lived in the flames into a new and purer light."[note 1] The identity of this founder is unknown, but was said to be "Radiant, glorious, charismatic, many-armed, and had a strange tendency to always speak in ALL CAPS."
Disappearance of the Glorious Founder
After the formation of HELIOLATRY, the Glorious Founder was said to ascend bodily into the Sun, leaving the people below to follow in it's mighty footsteps. Some take this as proof that the Founder was the child of the Sun, brought down to guide it's chosen people to a new, warmer world. Some claim this is proof of the nature of incineration, and that all blaseball players who are struck down by rogue umpire have followed the Founder into the arms of the Sun. Some even go so far to claim that when an umpire goes rogue, it has become possessed by the Glorious Founder, who is selecting new people to become the Saints of HELIOLATRY (but unfortunately, none of them were able to withstand the Glorious Founders light). [note 2]
You will never find anyone who claims that the Glorious Founder merely put on a pretty light show, threw some smoke bombs, and simply ran away while everyone was distracted and has been living in secret among us by wearing a pair of shades and going by a new name, as everyone who dared to claim this has been aggressively and thoroughly silenced.
After the disappearance of the Glorious Founder, HELIOLATRY promptly spit into multiple denominations of worship, commonly referred to as "sects." Each sect has their own unique belief system and styles of worship, and may or may not interact, acknowledge, or respect branches outside of their own. Some sects allow for overlap with others, while some are largely ostracized by anyone outside their group.
The Collapse of Sol
At some point during the observable history of blaseball, the sects of HELIOLATRY were said to reach some level of stability, once most reasonable interpretations and methods of worship and heresy had been thought up. This tenuous peace was shattered toward the end of Season β10, when retrocausality struck Sol, revealed it to be deprived of fuel, and precipitated its collapse into a black hole. Sol's instantaneous transformation into a lightless, all-consuming, invisible presence in the sky was a cause for panic in the Hellmouth. The rise of Sun 2, its smiling countenance, and its ability to confer Wins upon well-performing teams, caused even more panic and confusion. The vast majority of sects, including many of those considered stable by Sectologists, split over furious debate as to whether the black hole or Sun 2 (or to give up on sun worship and worship something else instead, because boy howdy was this just confusing) was the appropriate recipient of veneration.
The Voidlings are a notable example of a sect which arose during this tumultuous time. In many sects, debate still rages to this day.
There are many different Sects of HELIOLATRY, all of them coming to light after the absence of the Glorious Founder. Some of the most popular sects, having a wide amount of worshipers in the Hellmouth area, are listed below. HELIOLATRY is constantly expanding, however, and has an unusual amount of enthusiasm to the creation of new sects, saying that "As the Sun has so many beams with which to reach out and touch our minds, So will we have many beams to reach out and touch the hearts of believers." Therefore, categorization of all possible branches is considered challenging, if not entirely impossible.
The Lunar Apologists believe Sol and Luna to be allies, the two conspiring to hide Sol from the Hellmouth and starve it of power. They are considered a highly heretical sect by many other branches of HELIOLATRY.
The Dusk Conspiracy are a sect of peculiar habits, whose primary method of worship is to work only under cover of darkness, supposedly ensuring the rising of the sun the following day through their toil. Any implication or accusation that they are avoiding the sun out of necessity will be subject to litigation.
Notable splinters of the Dusk Conspiracy
- The Coven of Solar Sight - worshippers who conclude that as all light can trace its source to the Sun, sight and "consumption" of light is a heretical act which drains the reserves of the Sun.
The fashionable Siblings of Solar Exposure supplicate for the Sun's blessings by coordinating their outfits, to better "direct" the Sun toward particular aspects of the self. They are accidental trendsetters in Hellmouth and beyond.
The Gilded Hand's primary mission is to acquire material goods, exclusively for the purpose of spending said goods for the betterment of Sol's mission. They may either dress in gaudy, expensive clothes to display their wealth, though pauper's garb is considered equally acceptable.
The Photosynthetics are less of a sect in the more traditional sense, and more a group of people who like plants a lot and can justify it as photosynthesis being "the ultimate form of sun worship".
The cult of Sols Melodious posit that instead of "staring at the sun", the sanctioned action is to "sing at the sun", and "the sun sings back".
The Voidlings were one major splinter of HELIOLATRY formed when Sol collapsed and turned into a black hole. They treat the Black Hole and the Void as the Sun's true successor.
Additional inquiry into this sect is Forbidden.
Despite the general laid-back nature of the inhabitants of the Hellmouth, including among its worshipers of HELIOLATRY, there are many who claim HELIOLATRY is not a religion so much as a cult: a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. People claiming this often point to the fact that worshipers commonly refer to it as the "HELIOLATRY cult," claim to be members of a cult, wear t-shirts that bear messages such as "ASK ME ABOUT THE CULT I'M IN," and say things such as, "Oh, yes, I absolutely believe in HELIOLATRY, and for the record it's a cult. Just in case you were confused- this is absolutely a cult." Although there is no real evidence that HELIOLATRY is a cult aside from word of mouth and blatant confessions from the members, many take a negative view of HELIOLATRY due to this belief.
When asked to comment on if claims of HELIOLATRY being a cult are truthful, a Solcerer who chose to remain anonymous said, "well, what is a cult, really, when you think about it? I mean, a lot of things seem sort of strange or unusual to people outside of it, but that's because they're outside of it, you know? You have to keep an open mind about things, because that's how the sun gets in. You keep an open mind, and the sun crawls in through your eyes and into your mind. It's here now, it's inside me, there's so much light inside me and it is bright and terrible and holy. Would you like to see? Would you like to see the sun? Would you like to feel the sun the sun the sun the sun THE SUN THE SUN THE-"[note 3]
The investigator then inquired about the patch on the Solcerer's jacket that said "HELIOLATRY is a cult, I lead a cult, AMA," but the interviewee was unable to comment, due to being too busy chanting, howling, and gazing at the Sun. [note 4]
There is some disagreement among members of HELIOLATRY over the correct spelling of the religion, with some calling it HELIOLATRY, as in this article, and some calling it HELIOATRY, as seen in a popular HELIOLATRY handout designed to determine which sect you should consider joining. Proponents for the HELIOATRY spelling argue that the alternative "sounds too general, how is everyone going to know we're talking about this Specific religion and not just general Sun worship?" Proponents for the HELIOLATRY spelling argue that their opponents "probably are just really bad at spelling and made a mistake and then didn't want to admit they did it." At that point, most meeting generally descend into chaos, assuming they were not already in chaos to begin with.
- Where did our Glorious Leader go? What did we do to displease them so? Please return, oh shining one. I long to be led by your many arms again.
- A ridiculous claim, of course. They don't have enough arms.
- THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNISHERE
- The Sun is Here. Blind your eyes and Follow Me.