Kashmina represents one of
the four lesser elements. Her power resides over that of the Heart. Her main
concern is with the desires, wishes, whims and wants of all people. It is also
believed that should she observe two people who have a similar desire for each
other she will seek to join them together in love. However, the ways in which
she does this are not always predictable, neither are they the best for the
people involved, she can be scheming and cruel. She is not as popular as many
of her counterparts, although she has a strong following amongst young girls,
many of whom join a special cult dedicated to her, to become a "Sister of
Names. Her official title is the Goddess of Love, however, she is more likely to be called the Goddess of Desire. Other names include the Lady of Want, Goddess of Lust and the Temptress.
Being the Goddess of Love, Kashmina is often depicted as a wildly attractive
seductress. Her eyes are always a blue colour, although the shade can vary from
the deepest navy to the lightest sky. Her hair is generally long, jet black,
with several golden streaks adorning it, although more recent representations
have favoured the Goddess with long, golden, curly tresses. Her clothing is
varied, sometimes she is depicted wearing a long, figure hugging robe – at
other times she is covered by only the most basic of clothing, revealing a body
fit for a temptress. Whilst Kashmina is not the most popular Goddess, she is
one favoured by artists, many who labour long hours over representations of the
Lady of Want. Tales say that sometimes artists become so enamoured with their
work, they end up falling in love with it!
Favourite scenes include her coupling with Arkon to produce the Cerub (see Symbols), and also see her peering from the clouds, as she witnesses and thus joins two beings together in love.
Mythology. Kashmina was easily convinced to rebel against the Void – immortality is a desire of any being! Kashmina is seen to be somewhat scheming and cruel, despite wanting all mortal wishes to be fulfilled she will stop at very little for her own. During the creation of the world Kashmina looked upon the land, and created the Stoorné (Tharian "humans"). Impulsive, and ready to pledge their heart to all things, she delighted in them.
Lore. Kashmina is one of the central figures in a popular Aeoliran myth, “The Choice Between Heart And Soul”, which tells of a love triangle between the Goddess of Love, Har’wyn, God of Health and Jenevére, Goddess of Soul.
Kashmina is also central in many myths telling of how her lust to achieve her desires have resulted in many upsets amongst the Gods, and also the legends of her exploits upon Caelereth, where she has seduced mortals and upset balance.
As can be surmised, the Goddess of Love is not popular among her counterparts – whilst they don’t dislike her as such, they are wary of her, knowing that she will stop at very little to achieve her wishes. They are aware of her skill at manipulation, and so do not trust her.
Importance. Kashmina is a reminder to strive for goals if they are important for you, for she will grant them should she see that it is truly what your heart wishes. She is also a reminder that to much lust and desire can pervert a being, the Goddess herself is an example of that.
Kashmina shows people not to be afraid of love, to be open to it, although, you must not expect such a thing to be easy to obtain. You must be aware of the pitfalls and traps the Temptress will set to test the love.
Kashmina is also central to the life of the Aeolrhan elves who reside in Shan'Furrionis and the surrounding area, as they constantly strive to achieve their desires. They often perform spontaneous worship in praise of her, and have many festivals in honour of the Goddess of Love throughout the year.
Symbols. Pink is the
colour belonging exclusively to Kashmina, although she also is seen in relation
to red and occasionally black (this representing that not all whims and wants
are necessarily good). Also, light, shiny colours such
as gold and silver are often linked with the Goddess, merely as they are
aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and often attributed to wealth and
consequently the desire of wealth. Humans are
also sacred to the Goddess of Love, being that she created them during the
Creation of Asharnion
Also, large jewels are affiliated with the Goddess of Desire, along with anything that may be considered elaborate or excessive, such as a heavily embroidered dress, or a greatly bejewelled crown. Kashmina's symbolic creature is a product of one of her frivolous couplings with Arkon, God of Creation, which resulted in the Cerub. It is a small, winged being, humanoid in shape, who is said to move faster than the wind. It is believed to be Kashmina’s spy upon Caelereth, able to see into the hearts of all, perceiving the desires and wants of people, and reporting back to its mistress, the Lady of Want.
Celebrations. The celebration for Kashmina is called the Festival of Love. Traditionally it is a time when families give and receive presents to one another, however, more recently the day has been an opportunity for young courting couples to formally declare their love.
The day is celebrated within families, not as a mass gathering as most festivals are. It begins in the morning, when the gifts are formally exchanged. As the day progresses, the family will travel to the nearest temple for the Goddess of Desire, bearing a gift for her, which is dropped down into the well present at the centre of her holy place.
Then, the family will return to their homes, and traditionally write down upon suitable surfaces their greatest wishes and desires for the time to come. These are then burned, along with an offering to the Goddess, which is often a small piece of expensive cloth, which is practical for such an occasion.
Recently however, young couples have been declaring their love for each other upon this day, to their families, and ask for blessings. Also, the Festival of Love can cause people to become bold, and pluck up the courage to ask a friend to be more than a friend to them.
Often, the day is rounded off with parties, where wishes and desires of a different nature are often fulfilled.
Temple Design. It is rare for Kashmina to be chosen as the personal God for a family, except for if the family has many young women. If she is chosen, then the shrine is lined with preferably pink cloth, sometimes red is also added. As with most shrines, there is a pictoral representation of the Goddess, the more flattering the better. If the people keeping the shrine are chasing a particular person, with a view to love, then something belonging to that individual is placed within the shrine. Commonly this is a piece of hair, being an easily obtained item, naturally falling from the head. In order to please the Goddess of Desire, so that she may look upon you more favourably than a rival, something precious should be offered to her.
Temples for the Lady of Want are as elaborate and lavish as they can afford to be. Often they are in a shape similar to that of a square pyramid, however, the base is shaped like a diamond, the walls sloping up diagonally and meeting at an apex. The walls will often be painted a deep, rich, red colour, sometimes marbled with a light pink.
The inside is often a breathtaking sight, full of rich colours, gold, silver, with pictures lining the walls of the Goddess of Desire granting the wishes of mortals. There is a well in the middle of the temple, where offerings are given, plunging down the darkened hole. It is said that at night, when the temple is closed to outsiders, that Kashmina herself will come and collect the items to take to her residence in Asharvéa, rejecting those offerings deemed unworthy by tossing them out from the well. These will be found in the morning, and often taken back by the devotee who offered them, who frantically visits the temple to see if his or hers has been accepted.
Whilst anyone may enter the service of Kashmina, it are often young females who do so for a period of three or four years, leaving when they feel they can gain no more from the priesthood. It is a very fickle service, rarely will anyone be devoted to Kashmina for longer than ten full years. The priests wear robes of pink or red, often elaborately decorated with frills, jewels and sashes. The majority of women within the order often customise their robe so it can be as revealing and flattering as possible. Their duties are the upkeep of the temple, and much praise and worship of Kashmina – most of the day is taken up with the latter. As most people entering the service of the Goddess of Love have a specific desire in mind, this excessive worship is not minded, if their want is granted.
There are very few strings attached to being part of this order – the following of desires are encouraged, whims should be listened to. This is sometimes not the best policy to follow.
There is a major cult devoted to Kashmina however, the most widely known throughout all Aeruillin, called "The Sisters of Kashmina". It is open to women only, and those who join have one single thought in mind – to be the desire of a certain man. These members undergo rituals and perform many acts of extreme worship devoted to the Lady of Want, which are shrouded in secrecy by the cult members. Being part of this society is not frowned upon, although most choose to keep their membership secret, as should the object of their desire come to realise that the girl is part of the cult, it can often frighten him! Most senior members of society see the women who join simply as a little silly, and believe that no harm can come from it.
Temple Locations. No details provided yet.
Prayers. The following prayer is one of the most common ones dedicated to Kashmina, the Aeoliran Goddess of Love, Lust and Desire:
I KNOW YOU, KASHMINA
Information provided by Artemis