I am Sani Sabik.
Before I graduated from UC’s capsuleer school one of my friends, who has been a capsuleer for around a decade now, sat me down and gave me some advice. They told me about some capsuleers to watch out for, some who were good people, and to never read Jita local. They also told me that, as a capsuleer, any mention of my beliefs would automatically put me at a disadvantage. They said that capsuleers interact with Blood Raiders all the time, usually violently, and that there are Sani Sabik capsuleers who delight in their depravity and violence. She continued to explain that for the vast majority, the Blood Raiders are the Sani Sabik, and the Sani Sabik are the Blood Raiders. If I said I was Sani, then most capsuleers would assume that I was also a Blood Raider, and it would be a struggle, a fight to explain otherwise. Even then, some would not care.
It’s been a couple of months. I’m bad at taking advice, it seems. Though, to tell the truth, I was content to just be me, tell a couple of close friends, and go be a great pilot. Until my friend Vlour was murdered.
She was killed shortly after the news broke of the attack on Matar by the Blood Raiders. The killers were helpful in their motive by leaving a message “Death to All Blooders.”
However, Vlour was not a Blood Raider. Vlour was merely Sani Sabik. More to the point, she was Gallente Sani. There is a difference.
Vlour would have been one of the first to donate to a charity that delivered aid to Matar. She would have been one of the first to speak out against the act, to call her representatives for actions to help the Matari, and to fight the Blood Raiders. If she had been given the chance.
I blame her killers for their actions. I am not sure they are responsible for their ignorance.
Last weekend, another one of my friends was put into hospital. I can no longer stay silent and feed into that ignorance. I am compelled to speak out, to use that little influence I have to try and stop this violence.
There are likely billions of Sani in the Federation; Lifeblood sold 8 billion copies. If you put a dozen of them in a room and ask them about what it means to be Sani Sabik, you’re likely to hear a dozen different answers. We Gallente generally frown upon the top-down control like the god-bothering Amarr. Add in the fact that Sanism is very focused on individual empowerment, and the opinions become more diverse.
It’s like this with most Gallente religions. Half the god-bothering Amarrian types in the Federation are officially heretical sects of the traditional Amarrian faith. As far as our own, home-grown religions and faiths? I plan to live forever and even I don’t want to catalogue them. By and large, so long as you pay your taxes and obey the law, citizen, the government doesn’t care what your believe, gods wise.
And our being Gallente heavily influences our faith. No Sani sect would last for more than an hour and a half in Caille acting like the Blood Raiders do. Slavering and sacrificing is highly illegal.
Rather than attempt to distinguish my beliefs from the Blood Raiders, because ■■■■ them them, I am going to explain what I believe. I would hesitate to use the term typical to describe me. (Or anyone.) However, I will say I am firmly in the bounds of mainstream Sanism in the Gallente Federation.
I was drawn to the Sani faith through the songs of Midna Lyre. I liked her music before hand, and when she came out with Lifeblood, well I was hooked. Yes, there are other circumstances that lead to that choice, but those are my own.
The first part of my spirituality is that we are not solely beings of flesh and blood. There is more, unseen than the matter we interact with. It doesn’t matter what you call it: a spirit, a soul, a life essence, an empyrean shadow. I believe that who we are is not comprised solely of the atoms that make up our body.
I do not know if there is a God. As my own thoughts on the matter are evolving, I’ll save that for another time. However, the idea of a Red God, sitting on some Throne of Judgement stroking his beard as he judges us is not within my beliefs. If there is a God (likely Goddess), I am quite sure that she doesn’t get off on us sacrificing our fellow humans to her.
My belief in our spirituality is very akin to traditional Gallente Animism, and doesn’t require there to be a more Amarrian-type or Lunaries-type God to exist.
Blood is the medium with which we can interact with each other’s spirit. In our rituals, the giving and receiving of blood is practiced, to unite us together, to give strength, to show love. In every rite and ritual I have ever been a part of, this giving and receiving of blood has always been voluntary, practiced by Sani Sabik. It is never taken from someone unwillingly. Period.
Blood rituals are very intimate. To take blood from someone unwilling would be a horrific as rape. Which is something the typical Gallente does not do. (I know there are criminals, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.)
I also believe in personal empowerment, personal responsibility, and personal improvement. All men and women are capable of greatness. However, true greatness doesn’t mean being superior to other people, but being superior to yourself, yesterday. Elise Randolph might say that we can all only do our personal best, but I say that if you don’t wake up every day with the drive to beat your own personal best, you’re not really all that great.
If someone is running a race, and they win because they untied their opponent’s shoes at the starting line, that’s not a true victory. This is partially why I (and almost every other Gallente Sanist) do not believe in slavery. Though, a significant portion of that is from cultural reasons.
Almost without fail, Gallente Sani do not believe in violence as part of their faith. I feel very comfortable saying this. No slavery, no sacrificing, no forcible blood taking. The vast majority of us are rather indistinguishable from our neighbors. (And while we could have a long discussion on Sani fashion, we won’t here.) We work regular jobs for respectable companies, pay our taxes, and sort our recycling from our garbage. While we are people driven to succeed, that alone doesn’t define a Sanist. There are plenty of people driven to succeed without being Sani.
So, if you’re walking around Caille, and you see a woman or a man in stylish clothing with reds and blacks wearing a golden vial around their neck, they’re not a Blood Raider. They probably hate the Blood Raiders more than you do.
Sometime in the coming week, I hope to hold a vigil in Caille for the all those hurt by the Blood Raider attacks, and intend to invite Gallente Sanists as well as Minmatar living in the Federation. I hope and pray we can come together and move past this.
In the interest of promoting understanding: Ask Me Anything. There are no secret rites, no occult knowledge. Everything I do, and believe is available up front, for anyone to know.
P.S. Midna, when is the Red Album coming out? (Obligatory)