Informal Initiation.

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@interzone.ucc.ie)
Date: Mon 16 Feb 1998 - 09:38:28 EET


Chris Bell:
> The Compromise provides that the Gods may not interfere with the free
> will of humans, so that the Issaries who is a skilled swordsman will
> not automatically forced to worhsip Humakt.

Well, mastering a sword is an act of free will, isn't it? That obviously
isn't sufficient, but what if you, of your own free will -- or Will, or
Free INT ;-) -- decided to emulate each mythicly significant aspect of
Humakt, without undergoing an actual initiation ceremony? Master a sword,
foreswear your kin, crusade against undead, act like you're in a Clint
Eastwood movie...

> The transformation from Human to Broo seems more similar to Maliant
> involuntary initiation... 'involuntary', IMO, is really a bad term

If one feels the concept is useful, but want a different word, perhaps
Informal or Unconscious initiation would be a more generally applicable
concept. RQ Vikings has a vaguely similar notion, the term for which
I quite forget. My intuition is that it _is_ possible to become an
"initiate" withou being "initiated", or at least, to become some sort
of magically-significant worshipper. Exactly when this might happen,
and how it would be accomplished are rather harder questions, of course.

Presumably, for most cults, it isn't very "cost effective", otherwise
everyone would be doing it! Some cult secrets may not necessarily be
all they're cracked up to be in the Ultimate Cosmic Truth stakes, but
clearly, they're magically and mythicly _useful_ for their worshippers.
But you can perhaps make do without them, or stubble into them, if
you're (un)lucky.

> In the case of the Orlanthi who also has strong Humakti traits, he or she
> would not become an 'involuntary initiate' of Humakt, but I think that the
> person would find joining the Humakt cult all the more easy.

Perhaps just as the Humakt cult has a ritual for cutting off one's former
kin, there's an Orlanth cult rite which does much the same thing as a
sort of pre-emptive strike? (Clan member has cheesed them off greatly,
or is likely about to endanger or dishonour the tuath in some way.) Probably
not _technically_ involuntary initiation, but uncomfortably close, perhaps.
(Your remaining choices would be outright outlawry, and little else.)

The same can be said for "scapegoating" someone, trying to force them
into Trickster's role. Or perfomring the Summons of Evil on someone,
or Orlanth and Aroka on something. Does the object/victim have to
co-operate, or is there some measure of mythic coersion? At any rate,
you'll know if it works...

Slainte,
Alex.

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