The Ara is the special altar or platform at the center of villages such as Ver Ager and Ver Isca in the Ori galaxy. The shape of the altar echoes the symbol of the religion of Origin, with a narrow shaft leading to concentric ovals. The population regularly gathers near the Ara during prostration or for special religious events. The Ara is also where those who have strayed from the path are delivered for divine judgment in a trial of fire. In the center of the ovals is a bench where the accused is shackled. Flaming oil is poured into one end of the altar where it is channeled toward the victim, who is burned alive.
When Daniel and Vala used the Ancient terminal to communicate with the Ori galaxy through the bodies of Harrid and Sallis, Vala was accused of heresy and was burned alive at the Ara. As the flames consumed her, the Administrator chanted from the Book of Origin, "And the people shall deliver unto you the wicked for your divine judgment, where their sins shall be weighed in the balance of all that is just and true." Vala was restored to life by the Prior, who brought Daniel and Vala to Celestis to meet with the Doci. However, upon returning to Ver Ager, both Daniel and Vala were charged with heresy and chained to the altar. Only when the SGC succeeded in severing the link with the communication terminal were their consciousnesses able to return to their own bodies, and Harrid and Sallis were burned alive in their place.
When Vala was later sent to the Ori village of Ver Isca, she was once again accused of being an unbeliever by Seevis, who intended to test her loyalty before entrusting her with the secrets of the underground movement. She was chained at the Ara and left without food or water for three days until, near death, she was finally released.
Cross Reference: Administrator, Harrid Cicera, Sallis Cicera, Ori, Origin, Prostration, Seevis, Ver Ager, Ver Isca
Episode Reference: Avalon, Origin, Crusade