Mysticism in the Imperium of Man
Spiritualism and mysticism are trends within the upper-class culture of the Imperium of Man.
Mysticism is a subset of human religion, mostly practiced by non-mages, which emphasizes connections to the ancestors and the spiritual world. It originated ten years previously, through increased contact with the College of Free Magi and the people of the City of Mists. Mysticism was particularly influenced through the trade of psychadelic and magical drugs, such as Float. Common beliefs and practices include:
- A belief that the current God-King embodies the spirits of all previous God-Kings
- Belief in ghosts and an afterlife
- A belief in the reanimation of the dead (however, zombies and other mindless re-animations are considered a perversion)
- A belief in prophecy
- Holding Seances to connect with the spirits of dead relatives
- Using tokens and mediums to ask for advice from spiritual or eldritch powers
- Use of psychedelic or magical drugs, to connect with spirits or induce prophetic experiences
Integration with the Church
While none of these things directly amount to blaspheme, mysticism is not looked on favorably by the Church of Man. Some aspects of mysticism imply that magical powers come from the ancestral-spiritual world, rather than through the direct influence of the God-King. To state this outright would be heresy, and punished as such. Within the structure of the church itself, mysticism is considered shameful. There is particular judgement around the use of drugs, which is at odds with military culture.
Generally, mysticism as seen as a naive, juvenile fad. It is not considered a sect or cult religion, since it is not unified. It is often practiced by young people, and often primarily practiced as an excuse for a social event, such as a seance party or a death-play.
The trend of mysticism has allowed for unorthodox mages to gain undue power. Since actual prophecy or mindful necromancy is extremely rare, most mages claiming to be mystics are outright shams. The most famous and influential of these mystics is Cato Oranovich, widely seen by those critical of mysticism as a philanderer and a conman.