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Author Topic: Gorean Ceremonies Part II - "Free Companion"  (Read 10944 times)
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Laja DeCuir
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« 14. May 2008, 19:24:27 »
…as I said it will be continued. So let’s see what I’ve found about the Free Companionship and it’s related Ceremony.

    There is no marriage as we know it on Gor, but there is the institution of free companionship, which is its nearest correspondent. Surprisingly enough, a woman who is bought from her parents, for tarns of gold, is regarded as a free companion, even though she may not have been insulted in the transaction. More commendably, a free woman may herself, of her own free will, agree to be such a companion. Such relationships are not entered into lightly, and they are normally sundered only by death. Outlaw of Gor , p 54

*lifts her head and feels the need for a comment. You can read it in that quote…don’t enter a Free Companionship lightly.  Some women out there seem to believe it is the only thing worth living for on Gor, they seem to feel only half fulfilled as long as they don’t have a Free Companion or even came to Gor only for that reason. But – if you are going to do rp, which is at least in some respect close to the books, then it is a serious matter. So ask yourself if the man you found is the one you would like to stay with on Gor for at least one year. Or maybe you want this not for role play reasons but rather as an expression of the true and real love you are longing for to find via the world wide web. Finally it is up to you two, who decided to live and role play to be Free Companions, just be aware if your interests fit, to avoid a mixture of IC/OOC-Drama in the end. *lowers her view focussing the parchments again and sorting her book quotes

The Free Companionship is pretty common in the most gorean Cities except Port Kar.
    “Port Kar does not recognize the Free Companionship, but there are free women in the city, who are known simply as the women of their men.” Raiders of Gor, p. 295

The Free Companionship isn’t always a matter of love, It also can be an arranged Companionship.
An example for an arranged one:
    The Lady Sabina, I learned from Eta, was pledged by her father, Kleomenes, a pretentious, but powerful, upstart merchant of Fortress of Saphronicus, to Thandar of Ti, of the Warriors, youngest of the five sons of Ebullius Gaius Cassius, of the Warriors, Administrator of Ti, this done in a Companion Contract, arranged by both Ebullius Gaius Cassius and Kleomenes, to which had now been set the seals of both Ti and Fortress of Saphronicus. The pledged companions, the Lady Sabina of Fortress of Saphronicus and Thandar of Ti, of the Four Cities of Saleria, of the Salerian Confederation, had, as yet, according to Eta, never laid eyes on one another, the matter of their match having been arranged between their respective fathers, as is not uncommon in Gorean custom. The match had been initiated at the behest of Kleomenes, who was interested in negotiating a commercial and political alliance with the Salerian Confederation. These alliances, of interest to the expanding Salerian Confederation, were not unwelcome. Such alliances, naturally, might presage the entrance of Fortress of Saphronicus into the Confederation, which was becoming a growing power in the north. It seemed not unlikely that the match would ultimately prove profitable and politically expedient for both Fortress of Saphronicus and the Salerian Confederation. In the match, there was much to gain by both parties. The Companion Contract, thus, had been duly negotiated, with the attention of scribes of the law from both Fortress of Saphronicus and the Confederation of Saleria. The Companion Journey, then, when the auspices had been favorable, as they promptly were, these determined by the inspection of the condition and nature of the liver of a sacrificial verr, examined by members of the caste of Initiates, had begun. The journey itself, overland and afoot from Fortress of Saphronicus to Ti, would take several days, but it was ceremonially prolonged in order that the four tributary villages of Fortress of Saphronicus might be visited. … The Betrothal or Companion Journey, ceremonially, included the circuit of the four villages, in each of which a feast was held, and from each of which a wagon of produce was procured, to be added to the dowry riches to be presented to Ebullius Gains Cassius, father of Thandar of Ti, to be included in the treasury of Ti. I had seen four wagons of produce in the camp, and knew independently from Eta, that the four tributary villages had now been visited. The wagons of produce were not of great value but stood as token of the relation of the villages to Fortress of Saphronicus. Also, of course, visiting the villages presented die opportunity for publicizing the match and, doubtless, unobtrusively, in the feasting and celebration, for gathering the reaction, and general feelings, of the villages. Are they content? Is trouble brewing? Must a leader be deposed, or Imprisoned? Must a daughter be taken hostage to the city? Accurate information on the oppressed is essential to the maintenance of the power of the oppressor. Slave Girl of Gor, p. 111-112

But you find it entered into voluntarily by both parties just between lovers too*smiles and whispers..I love that next quote^^
    Talena looked into my eyes. "What will you do with me?" she asked.
    "I will take you to Ko-ro-ba," I said, "to my city"
    "As your slave?" she smiled.
    "If you will have me," I said, "as my Free Companion."
    "I accept, Tarl of Ko-ro-ba by," said Talena with love in her eyes. "I accept you as my Free Companion."
    "If you did not." I laughed, "I would throw you across my saddle and carry you to Ko-ro-ba by force."
    She laughed as I swept her from her feet and lifted her to the saddle of my giant tarn. In the saddle, her arms were around my neck, her lips on mine.
    "Are you a true warrior?" she asked, her eyes bright with mischief, testing me, her voice breathless.
    "We shall see," I laughed. Then, in accord with the rude bridal customs of Gor, as she furiously but playfully struggled, as she squirmed and protested and pretended to resist, I bound her bodily across the saddle of the tarn. Her wrists and ankles were secured, and she lay before me, arched over the saddle, helpless, a captive, but of love and her own free will. The warriors laughed, Marlenus the loudest.
    "It seems I belong to you, bold Tarnsman," she said. "What are you going to do with me?"
    In answer, I hauled on the one-strap, and the great bird rose into the air, higher and higher, even into the clouds, and she cried to me,
    "Let it be now, Tarl," and even before we had passed the outermost ramparts of Ar, I had untied her ankles and flung her single garment to the streets below, to show her people what had been the fate of the daugher of their Ubar. Tarnsman of Gor , p 213
    When I returned to Ko-ro-ba with Talena, a great feast was held and we celebrated our Free Companionship. A holiday was declared, and the city was ablaze with light and song. Shimmering strings of bells pealed in the wind, and festive lanterns of a thousand colors swung from the innumerable flower-strewn bridges. There was shouting, and laughter, and the glorious colors of the castes of Gor mingled equally in the cylinders.
    Gone for the night was even the distinction of master and slave, and many a wretch in bondage would see the dawn as a free man. To my delight, even Torm , of the Caste of Scribes, appeared at the tables, I was honored that the little scribe had separated himself from his beloved scrolls long enough to share my happiness, only that of a warrior. He was wearing a new robe and sandals, perhaps for the first time in my years. He clasped my hands, and, to my wonder, the little scribe was crying. And then in his joy, he turned to Talena and in gracious salute lifted the symbolic cup of Ka-la-na wine to her beauty.
    Talena and I swore to honor that day as long as either of us lived. I have tried to keep that promise, and I know that she has done so as well. That night, that glorious night, was a night of flowers, torches, and Ka-la-na wine, and late, after sweet hours of love, we fell asleep in each other's arms. Tarnsman of Gor , p 216

A Scribe in Port Kar *grumbles..missed his name.. said something in a notecard about the courtship and it is for some of you maybe interesting to know:

The Courtship
A Free Man has been coming around a lot lately. He is very nice to You, compliments You, and starts bringing You presents. He talks to You more than He talks to the slaves. Chances are, He's interested and is trying to decide how to "make the first move". Of course, You two could have been cybering in IM for days already. What I am here to explain is the Courtship process.
If You are receptive to His intentions, find out what those intentions are! You could be the next slave He's looking at. (Read the Scroll again on Free Men). But if everything is on the up and up, He will approach Your Father, eldest Male member of Your family, or in their absence, the Jarl/Adminstrator/Ubar and declare His intention to court You.
Courting should be done in public, with a chaperone, if You keep to the standard of a demure, chaste and modest Free Woman of Gor. Believe Me, that is how You want to be portrayed. Act slutty, and You may find a ring of steel around Your neck instead of a ring of gold on Your finger. (remark by Laja: as far as I know you won’t change rings in the ceremony)
What's allowed in public? Soft glances, warm looks of love, hand holding, walks together, sitting together, anything that slaves do NOT do. No lap sitting, passionate kissing, groping or fondling.

Being Intended
The next step is to be "Intended".. The profile shows all of Gor You two are engaged. Other Free Man will probably not approach now, as You are sort of spoken for.

*sighs slightly …..I fear I wouldn’t be a Scribe if I would forget to mention those parts:

Negotiations and Contract

You see…there is a need for some negotiations before you set the date. You need to get to know the bride price, the contract needs to be discussed which each part before you announce a date and the Ceremony can be held.
Those contracts vary from City to city and from couple to couple. So the contract could state whatever you think it is important f.e. the Companionship Price, any clauses necessary to govern the relationship, events that would legally govern a dissolution of contract, and what property belongs to whom in case of a dissolution of the Free Companionship. The document may spell out in detail what happens to any property belonging to either party should either be enslaved or killed. One note: a Free Woman can not enslave her Free Companion, she however can be enslaved by her Companion resulting from either her actions or by her own submission.

A Gorean free woman does not change her name in the ceremony of the Free Companionship. She remains who she was. In such a ceremony two free individuals have elected to become companions. The Earth woman, as a consequence of certain mating ceremonials, may change her last name. The first and other names, however, tend to remain constant. From the Gorean point of view the wife of Earth occupies a status which is higher than that of the slave but lower than that of the Free Companion.“ Explorers of Gor, p. 365[/list]

The termination of the Free Companionship

The Free Companionship is a contract between two Free Persons, which will last for one year. After that period of time it must be renewed with the wines of love or it will dissolve. The renewal has to be performed by the twenties Ahn, at midnight of the anniversary date.
Btw this isn’t a matter concerning the second life partnership, which last one year too - it is stated in the books that way. It is unknown if there is a possibility of a sort of divorce before the end of the year but as it is a contractual matter it seems not impossible.
So if you feel the Companionship should be dissolved earlier then after one year talk to your Administrator or Magistrate and he may made a decision as to whether the termination will be granted. There will be a price to be paid for such a termination.

    The next to appear before Bila Huruma were two members of the nobility, a man and his companion. He complained of her that she had been unwilling to please him. By one word and a stroke of his hand between them Bila Huruma dissolved their companionship. He then ordered that the man be put in the dress of a woman and beaten from the court with sticks. This was done. He then ordered that the woman be stripped and a vine leash be put on her neck. She was then sentenced to a barrack of Askaris for a year, that she might learn how to please men." Explorers of Gor, page 231

The Ceremony
Well it was my first intention to write only about the ceremony but this Free Companionshipthing*smiles benignly… seems rather more complex somehow.
Anyway it is at is sometimes with Normans books, they don’t contain a complete ceremony just some small information’s every now and then. But it is clear that the ceremonies vary from city to city and that the couple has an influence how it will be held, as a huge feast or more in privacy. The only common denominator is that the ceremony include the drinking of special wine, the wine of love. In some ceremonies, the couple will interlock their arms as they drink the wine. The wine must often be drunk to conclude the ceremony. In some ceremonies, the woman will wear eight veils, several which will be removed during certain phases of the ceremony. Some cities then have the final veils removed in private by the man while in other cities the final veils are removed in public during the ceremony. http://www.gor-now.net/delphius2002/id26.htm

    In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony.
    This sort, of thing, however, varies considerably from city to city. In some cities the girl is unveiled, though not disrobed, of course, during the public ceremony.
    The friends of the male may then express their pleasure and joy in her beauty, and their celebration of the good fortunes of their friend. The veil, it might be noted, is not legally imperative for a free woman; it is rather a matter of modesty and custom.Slave Girl of Gor , p. 106

Hm…it isn’t that easy to find a quote, which mentions what those different 8 veils express ..maybe this one explains it a lil

    Eta, from behind me, pinned the first of five veils about my face. It was light, and shimmering, of white silk, almost transparent. Then, one after the other, she added the freedom veil, or veil of the citizeness, the pride veil, the house veil, and street veil. Each of these is heavier and more opaque than the one which lies within. The street veil, worn publicly, is extremely bulky, quite heavy and completely opaque; not even the lineaments of the nose and cheeks are discernible when it is worn; the house veil is worn indoors when there are those present who are not of the household, as in conversing with or entertaining associates of one's companion. Veils are worn in various numbers and combinations by Gorean free women, this tending to vary by preference and caste. Many low-class Gorean women own only a single veil which must do for all purposes. Not all high-caste women wear a large number of veils. A free woman, publicly, will commonly wear one or two veils; a frequent combination is the light veil, or last veil, and the house or street veil. Rich, vain women of high caste may wear ostentatiously as many as nine or ten veils. In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony. Slave Girl of Gor, p. 107-108

As you can see it isn't described in details. The Ceremonies I know were held in that way:
-the Admin/Ubar surrounded by others of the High Council held a short speech to the crowd, welcomed all citizens and said something like:"We as the officials of ... are very proud to lead this ceremony! And we wish to point out to let you all know, we do wish Honor, Unity and all the Luck they need for their partnership! May the Priest Kings follow them with a smooth eye on them to fulfill their Wishes!"
He asked them afterwards if they have the contract.
- each party spoke a vow towards the other
- the contract is signed.
- the FW gets unveiled as I mentioned above
- they drink the wine of love
- the Administrator/Ubar closes the ceremony the feast begins
A Free Companions Life

And well there are some Goreans who have a different feeling towards Free Companionship, as it is stated here:
    "Some Goreans think of the Free Companionship as being a form of contract slavery." Blood Brothers of Gor, p.246

In seeking for a Free Companion you should be aware about those issues:

Goreans believe that every women internalizes both being a slave and a Free.
    The Goreans claim that in each woman there is a free companion, proud and beautiful, worthy and noble, and in each, too, a slave girl. The companion seeks for her companion; the slave girl for her master. Hunters of Gor, p. 102
but (!)
    “In a Mans Own Hut, said he, he must be Master; even though he has selected out for himself a companion. It is the part of his companion to befriend and aid him, not to insult and drive him."
    Slave girl of Gor, p. 241

In a Free Companionship a gorean man is indeed Master of his own house. The Free Companionship to a gorean man still requires a woman who is submissive, or at the very least subordinate to her man. She does not dress or act outlandishly in a way that would bring him ridicule, she does not gain say her man, she may indeed offer advice and at times even criticize, so long as it is constructive criticism. She is "the wind beneath His wings".
Like her counterpart on Gor, she is mindful of her place, secure in his love and needs no reminding that she represents him. She welcomes guests into his home and ensures their comfort. She takes an active role in the financial situation of the household even to the extent of maintaining her own career and therefore contributing to it. She raises his children to be strong and honest. She is his lover. http://www.pantheus.com/T-O/thoughts.shtml

While the Free Woman in Companionship is highly regarded and treated with the respect of her station she is still subject to the nature of her Free Companion.
The Southern Region Free Woman often times runs the house and even businesses of her own and her Free Companion. She owns slaves both female and male and enjoys a life of privilege and rank according to the caste and/or social status of both, herself and her Free Companion.
In the Northern Regions of Gor such as Torvaldsland, the Jarls Woman as a Free Companion is known, sees to the running of the Lodge while the Jarls are at sea. She sees to the fields, the harvests, oversees workings of both, bond-maids and thralls.
It is ALWAYS to be remembered no matter in what Region of Gor a Free Woman resides the Man on Gor is dominant, the woman submissive. Whether she is a treasured partner to join beside him in companionship, bear his children and act as his helper and confident, if she steps from the role of Free Woman, he will quickly subject her to the world of a slave.
A Free Man will own slaves and his Free Companion must accept this fact. She is to remember her role at all times, if this means turning a blind eye to the pleasures her Companion enjoys with slaves so be it. A Gorean Male will not tolerate jealous behavior and harping by a woman whether she is Free or his Companion.
A Free Companion who is not found to be pleasing may find herself chained to the foot of her Companions sleeping couch nude with no blanket, furs or mat. The only difference separating her from His slaves is she will not wake up in slavery unless her continued behavior places her there. It does not usually take but one night spent on the floor in chains for the Free Woman to change her ways.
For it is known, only the Free Companion is allowed to share the couch of a Free Man, it is not a place for the slave. http://furmesnest.tripod.com/id24.html
The following quote is well worth reading and remembering.

    ”If she has not pleased her master of late, she may be, of course, as a disciplinary measure, simply chained nude to the slave ring at in the bottom of the couch, sans both blanket and mat. The stones of the floor are hard and the Gorean nights are cold and it is a rare girl who, when unchained in the morning, does not seek more dutifully to serve her master.
    This harsh treatment, incidentally, when she is thought to deserve it, may even be inflicted on a Free Companion, in spite of the fact that she is free and usually much loved. According to the Gorean way of looking at things a taste of the slave ring is thought to be occasionally beneficial to all women, even the exalted Free Companions.
    Thus when she has been irritable or otherwise troublesome even a Free Companion may find herself at the foot of the couch looking forward to a pleasant night on the stones, stripped, with neither mat nor blanket, chained to the slave ring precisely as though she were a lowly slave girl.
    It is the Gorean way of reminding her, should she need to be reminded, that she, too, is a woman, and thus to be dominated, to be subject to men. Should she be tempted to forget this basic fact of Gorean life the slave ring set in the bottom of each Gorean couch is there to refresh her memory. Gor is a mans world.
    And yet on this world I have seen great numbers of women who were both beautiful and splendid.
    The Gorean woman, for reasons that are not altogether clear to me, considering the culture, rejoices in being a woman. She is often an exciting, magnificent, glorious creature, outspoken, talkative, vital, active, spirited. On the whole I find her more joyful than many of her earth-inhabiting sisters who, theoretically at least, enjoy a more lofty status, although it is surely true that on my old world I have met several women with something of the Gorean zest for acknowledging the radiant truth of their sex, the gifts of joy, grace and beauty, tenderness, and fathoms of love that we poor men, I suspect, may sometimes and tragically fail to understand, to comprehend.
    Yet with all due respect and regard for the most astounding and marvelous sex, I suspect that, perhaps partly because of my Gorean training, it is true that a touch of the slave ring is occasionally beneficial.
    Of custom, a slave girl may not even ascend the couch to serve her masters pleasure. The point of this restriction, I suppose, is to draw a clearer distinction between her status and that of a Free Companion. At any rate the dignities of the couch are, by custom, reserved for the Free Companion.” Priest Kings of Gor, p. 67 – 68

soooo...that was hopefully all  Wink but it will be continued as I promised with other ceremonies
« Last Edit: 15. May 2008, 14:34:44 by Laja DeCuir » Logged

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