Loremasters, fire-up your cogitators and get ready to install new informational subroutines. Today we learn about the Religion of the Cult Mechanicus!
Although the Emperor is venerated by the Adeptus Mechanicus for his ancient knowledge and comprehension, the techpriests do not follow the Imperial Cult, but a wholly different religion, known as the Cult Mechanicus or the Cult of the Machine.
The Cult Mechanicus has ancient origins, developing on Mars during the Age of Strife. It was the state religion of the early Mechanicum even before the arrival of the Emperor and the commencement of the Great Crusade. When the Emperor first arrived on Mars many saw him as the Omnissiah, or the physical manifestation of the Machine God. As per the terms of the Treaty of Olympus that saw Terra and Mars unify, the Mechanicum was was still allowed to practice its faith despite the Emperor’s own secular Imperial Truth. The Cult Mechanicus continues to exist to this day, distinct but related to the Imperial Cult.
According to its teachings, knowledge is the supreme manifestation of divinity, and all creatures and artefacts that embody knowledge are holy because of it. Machines that preserve knowledge from ancient times are also holy, and machine intelligences are no less divine than those of flesh and blood. A man’s worth is only the sum of his knowledge – his body is simply an organic machine capable of preserving intellect. It is by this motivation that the followers of the Cult Mechanicus follow the Quest for Knowledge, seeking new technology and information to better themselves.
The Machine God, also known as the Deus Mechanicus, is the ultimate object of worship in the Cult Mechanicus. It is the Machine God that gave rise to all technologies and made them manifest through his chosen among mankind. To the Mechanicus, machines represent a higher form of life than those crudely formed from biological evolution. The planned perfection of form and function embodied in a machine are so great, that they could only have arisen from a divine source. Officially, the Cult Mechanicus maintains that the Emperor is the physical manifestation of the Machine God (the Omnissiah) and part of a trinity that also includes the Machine God and the Motive Force, the deity that gives all life and motion its continued existence.
The Cult Mechanicus await the arrival of the Omnissiah, a prophesied physical avatar of the Machine God. During the Great Crusade the forces of the Emperor liberated many of the forge worlds founded as colonies of Mars in ancient times. On his arrival at many of the worlds, the Cult Mechanicus recognised the Emperor as the long awaited Omnissiah. However, the Men of Iron also seem to have worshiped a faith similar to the Cult Mechanicus. One of its surviving constructs UR-025 states that it has met the true Omnissiah, not the false one worshipped by man, and that it would find the Mechanicum quite disappointing.
The core tenets of the Cult Mechanicus are codified in the sixteen “Universal Laws“. In the Cult’s tenets, life itself is of no intrinsic value. One of the most obvious examples of this belief is the techpriests’ use of humans as raw material in the creation of the machine-slaves known as servitors.
Want to learn more about the Cult Mechanicus and the Adeptus Mechanicus? Check out the Lexicanum!