[Glorantha] Ancestor Worship & Daka Fal

From: Malk Williams <malk>
Date: Wed Mar 1 23:00:11 2006


> most sartarites and/or Praxians do not trace their ancestory
> back directly to their deities.

I dunno about Sartarites, but I think you'll find that the Praxian Khans all trace their lineage back to Waha (the first Khan), and indeed that this is a prerequisite of their becoming Khans in the first place.

According to Cults of Prax, the ancestors of the Praxian tribes in general are descended from the Founders and the Protectresses (children of the Storm Bull and Eiritha respectively). Of course, if that table is accurate, it means that Praxians can also count Tada as an ancestor (Tada & Ernalda fathered Good Shepherd, who fathered the Protectresses on Eiritha), though I remember that being specifically denied recently, as the only living descendents of Tada are meant to be the Oasis Folk.

Daka Fal, as I understand it, played a specific part in helping the Praxians to survive the end of the Great Darkness and the Dawn, and is identified in Praxian Ancestor worship mostly because of that. As Greg said, the association of Daka Fal/Grandfather Mortal with the Man rune makes him the de facto source of all human (or humanoid?) ancestor worship, but not necessarily named or specifically venerated by other cultures within their own ancestor worship.

It is my understanding however that Daka Fal is worshipped, or at least recognised, more broadly as the Judge of the Dead.

> you don't want to summon up Great Aunt Agatha at a crucial juncture, only
> to receive a lecture about how you only ever think of her when you want
> something, and if you can't have the common decency to help her out on
> occasion well, you'll just have to wait. What's that? If she doesn't help
> you now, you might die? Well, maybe that will teach you better manners in
> future!

What a great image! So great in fact, that I might have to steal it...

As for Ancestor worship versus Deity worship, at low levels, I don't see a problem with it. OK, Daka Fal has serious issues with deities tied to the Death Rune, but at the same time, it is said that all mortals are in a sense laity of Daka Fal, I suppose since all are descended from him, and everyone at least owes some veneration to their ancestors (even if they don't pay it).

At higher levels, cult prejudices become more entrenched, and in any case, the amount of time and effort one must spend in the service of one's chosen god/spirit/cult grows hugely.

>Imagine a Yelmic family, who can proudly trace their descent back to Yelm
>himself. If one of them decided to worship his ancestors, he could not
>worship Yelm, so his sons would lose their Yelmic status.

I don't agree with that conclusion. In My Glorantha, I would make a special case for one who worshipped his/her ancestors when one of the ancestors in question was a main cultural deity. Even if both the deity in question and the usual traditions of ancestor worship would usually conflict, to fail to accept that this is an exceptional case is to declare a victory for the pointlessly legalistic over the bloody obvious.

> Moonson and Great Sister worship the Red Goddess, who is their mother, but
> the "mechanism" they use is "the cult of the Red Moon" rather than
> "Ancestor Worship"

Granted, but to do otherwise - publicly at least - would be to create a barrier between both themselves and the populace, and the Red Goddess and the populace. The one because they are worshipping the Goddess in a way that is in accessible to the masses, and the other because they are in effect saying that the Cult of the Red Moon is "not good enough" for them, and that the "True" way to worship her requires her to be an ancestor. There is no reason that in private, they might also worship her *as* an ancestor, to attain a more intimate relationship with her. They might not, but I see no reason that they shouldn't be able to do so.

Technicolour Dreams -

Malk. Received on Wed 01 Mar 2006 - 21:06:00 EET

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