The world lost so, so much when the Codices were destroyed.
One of those things that was lost was the accumulated knowledge of the nature of many of the Gods, and much of what we have paints a painfully incomplete picture. Case in point: the primary text I’ve studied concerning my Gods comes from just one iteration of the wider culture: the highlands, specifically. I knew there would be discrepancies small and unfathomably large, like trying to use Pictish accounts to piece together the religion of the ancient Irish, but lacking any evidence, even small evidence, that countered this information, I went with it.
And of course, it turns out I was wrong about a number of things: the foremost being my assumption that They were not widely venerated, and perhaps even reviled more often than not. In the lowlands, and in other areas with lowland heritage, They were not just respected Powers, but, apparently, highly regarded as part of the second generation of Gods.
I have to Rethink a Lot of Things.
But… not really. Their highland lore still paints a compelling picture, and further contributes to the whole. They are simultaneously powerful, orderly creators, keepers of old ecstatic wisdom (c’mon, you can’t tell me that’s not true when, apparently, They have been depicted with snakes coming out of Their mouths; snakes being otherworldly messengers and surefire symbols of deep trance states here*), and loathed for trying to kill the culture heroes (ie, bringers of civilization).
So when I said I wasn’t sure if They’d ever had cultus, I was unintentionally talking about highland lore, where they did not, in fact, have cultus. But lowland religion is another thing.
Piecing the lowland religious thrust together is difficult – even for the lifelong, professional anthropologist. The number of Their surviving depictions can be counted on one’s fingers, I think, and primary written sources are even fewer and farther between.
But still! They had cultus!
Excuse me, I’ve got some books to go buy now.
*Not overjustifying… I’m just terribly excited.