On Prydaen Marriage (book)
On Prydaen Marriage By Ra Yureko Sablefang
Over my lifetimes, many have questioned the practices of the Prydaen concerning marriage, bonding, and what it means to us. Firstly, I wish to say that is it common for a Prydaen to take a mate for a few seasons, or perhaps even a year or slightly more. I have even known of Prydaen to mate for life without ever becoming life-mates through life-bonding. Such practices are considered normal and in many cases, virtuous. To explain, perhaps I should start by discussing life-bonding.
Life-bonding among the Prydaen is not taken lightly, for when two Prydaen choose to life-bond, it is not just a statement of taking the same mate for the rest of this life. The souls of the two Prydaen become bound together. As such, each time the two souls return from the Wheel, it is quite likely the pair will bond again in their new lives, as it is not possible to severe the bond the Triquetra has made.
In some rare cases, the souls may even return with bodies of the same gender. We do not hold any ill judgement towards these individuals. While some will partner and reaffirm their life-bond, some of these couples simply become the closest of friends, never choosing to become lovers in this lifetime. Such practices as these usually result in the pair taking other mates or choosing to remain solitary. These persons are frequently looked upon with great respect for the hard choice they have made.
Reading: The Practices of the West
The life-bonding of Prydaen is such an uncommon event, that it customary for us to gather and celebrate to prepare for what is to come. The pair usually meet with a priest or a member of the Claw of Eu to ensure that neither soul is already bound to that of another Prydaen. Asking the Triquetra to bind such a soul to two different souls is like asking to have your soul ripped from your body. It simply should never be done. In the deepest parts of my memory, I know only great sadness for those Prydaen that have sundered their souls in such way.
When a life-bonding is to happen within a Hub, the Hub provides a feast. This is done as celebration, because these events are so infrequent among the Prydaen, given our nature and understandable caution concerning matters of the soul. Throughout the feasting, there is often a large bonfire, around which many Prydaen will gather to share stories and legends.
Reading: The Ceremony
Western Ceremony This is where things become very formal for us. If two Prydaen chose to become life-bonded, the two stand before Eu, in nature, and exchange a marriage or bonding token. This token was frequently was a tailband decorated with teeth, skins, feathers, or claws from recent kills.
After the exchange, the two hunt together, and as a show of promise to care for each other in this life and all the following lives, the pair feed each their kills. Completing the ritual, a priest or a member of the Claw of Eu from any nearby Hub performs a bonding prayer to Eu.
Eastern Adaptation of the Ceremony Pulling from Western traditions, two Prydaen that wish to be life-bonded will often seek out a Prydaen Cleric to stand over the proceedings. The pair will exchange a marriage token, commonly a Pr'raaho or a tailband. The pair will then, as a show of devotion and promise, feed each other some sort of small prey -- a hunt is not always practiced. The small prey is often mice, birds, or something else easily kept alive until the ceremony. To complete the ritual, the Prydaen Cleric recites a bonding prayer to Eu.
Reading: The Bonding Prayer
While the bonding prayer may often change with translation, the general message is held in the prayer below.
Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor gave us a promise of life again. Hear our praise now, for your people are strong and happy. We wander the lands in thanks to your promise. As each creature of Eu seeks a partner, so now do your people.
Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor, we call upon you now. It is time for your children to find happiness in each other. It is the time for pairing and the time for hunting for each other. It is time for the Prydaen before us to give promise. It is time for the bonding two souls.
As the Wheel turns, these Prydaen will join in each life. Choosing to never separate, but to entwine their souls. Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor, bind these Prydaen to their promise. As they wake to each other, may their souls be as one. Bound now and forever more, no longer to wander alone.
Reading: New Practices
While I have yet to experience it for myself in this lifetime, it has become the practice of some Prydaen to take up the flower of a Kermorian God called Saemaus in order to simulate a deeper bond. In the West, this is not something that ever troubled our people, but all the same, it is rumored that the Claw of Eu members in Dawngrove Hub have cultivated a special flower that allows for much the same union of minds.
However, it is important to note, the Triquetra do not unbond their people from each other. If two Prydaen take up the Binding of Eu, it does preserve their soul from becoming entwined, but they will be forced to turn to the Kermorian god Be'ort if they ever wish to sever the bond they have formed.
By my hand, Ra Yureko Sablefang The soul of Vael ShadeSable and many others.