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Author Topic: Blood Oaths: What's your experience with them?  (Read 6255 times)
joshuatenpenny
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« Reply #15: October 01, 2007, 12:15:50 pm »

The examples that Joshua cited, Odin and the fairy folk, are *famous* for sneaky, tricky contracts, and even outright betrayal -- their chancy natures are well-attested in myth and folklore.  (One of Odin's kennings (epithets) is "Oathbreaker.")  In cases where the lore is so consistent, going in trustingly is probably going to cause more problems.  But then, I follow a tricksterish deity (Hermes), and consider it a misuse of my gods-given intelligence not to read the fine print, especially with beings known to be fond of it.

One of the things I think is often overlooked, is that for many of these types, it is more about the game than just being a straight up con. If you are canny and rules-weasel against them, they seem to enjoy it, or at least respect it. Whereas if you go into it all trusting they'll think you are an idiot, use you for what amusement they can, and then ignore you.

-- Joshua
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joshuatenpenny
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« Reply #16: October 01, 2007, 01:08:25 pm »

Well a lot of the time, the person who the contract was made with DOES get screwed over when the contract is broken. It's a natural act of breaking the contract. However that doesn't mean it's some sort of Divine retribution. If someone kicks you in the balls, it's not divine retribution that YOU fall down.

I may be misunderstanding (Joshua please correct me if I am) but it seemed to me the situation was "if these oaths are broken, the Powers that Be punish not only the oathbreaker, but also the one to whom the oath was made, and the uninvolved community at large."

Well, as Sunflower said, is is more about consequences than "fault" and "punishment". The only time I've really seen "punishment" play heavily into it is in the case where someone is unknowingly aiding someone in breaking an oath to a quick-tempered deity.

On both an energetic and social level, one person kicking you in the balls opens the way for others to do it. It opens a dishonorable path of action as an energetically viable alternative to an honorable path of action, so you suffer more than just the initial injury. If someone is married and divorced four times, their wedding vows do not have the spiritual weight of someone who is marrying for the first time. Their ability to make those vows has been lessened by the injury sustained by thoese vows being broken, whether or not it was their fault. Now if they were the oathbreaker, that injury is perhaps ten times greater than is they were the innocent party, but even the innocent party is injured. This is more than just psychological. The strenth of oaths has magical and energetic reality.

Also, a community is made up of people, and each of those people has a certain amount of power to effect the well-being of the community, for better or worse. By being in community, you share a small part of each other's wyrd. The more tightly bound the community is, the greater each person's effect on the other people is. The more individual-focused, the less effect. Some close-knit communities feel this gives them the right to police the private behavior of their members. Others simply recognize that being in community involves a certain amount of vulnerability, trust, mutual respect and obligation.

-- Joshua
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Dania
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« Reply #17: October 01, 2007, 02:14:56 pm »

One of the things I think is often overlooked, is that for many of these types, it is more about the game than just being a straight up con. If you are canny and rules-weasel against them, they seem to enjoy it, or at least respect it. Whereas if you go into it all trusting they'll think you are an idiot, use you for what amusement they can, and then ignore you.

Wink Yep.

Well, as Sunflower said, is is more about consequences than "fault" and "punishment". The only time I've really seen "punishment" play heavily into it is in the case where someone is unknowingly aiding someone in breaking an oath to a quick-tempered deity.

On both an energetic and social level, one person kicking you in the balls opens the way for others to do it. It opens a dishonorable path of action as an energetically viable alternative to an honorable path of action, so you suffer more than just the initial injury. If someone is married and divorced four times, their wedding vows do not have the spiritual weight of someone who is marrying for the first time. Their ability to make those vows has been lessened by the injury sustained by thoese vows being broken, whether or not it was their fault. Now if they were the oathbreaker, that injury is perhaps ten times greater than is they were the innocent party, but even the innocent party is injured. This is more than just psychological. The strenth of oaths has magical and energetic reality.

Also, a community is made up of people, and each of those people has a certain amount of power to effect the well-being of the community, for better or worse. By being in community, you share a small part of each other's wyrd. The more tightly bound the community is, the greater each person's effect on the other people is. The more individual-focused, the less effect. Some close-knit communities feel this gives them the right to police the private behavior of their members. Others simply recognize that being in community involves a certain amount of vulnerability, trust, mutual respect and obligation.

Now that makes MUCH more sense!! Thank you!! Cheesy

That I actually agree with. Smiley
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SunflowerP
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« Reply #18: October 01, 2007, 09:49:02 pm »

One of the things I think is often overlooked, is that for many of these types, it is more about the game than just being a straight up con. If you are canny and rules-weasel against them, they seem to enjoy it, or at least respect it. Whereas if you go into it all trusting they'll think you are an idiot, use you for what amusement they can, and then ignore you.
My patron says, "Arf-arf-arf-arf-arf."

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RebDog
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« Reply #19: October 23, 2007, 07:38:23 pm »

One of the things I think is often overlooked, is that for many of these types, it is more about the game than just being a straight up con. If you are canny and rules-weasel against them, they seem to enjoy it, or at least respect it. Whereas if you go into it all trusting they'll think you are an idiot, use you for what amusement they can, and then ignore you.

-- Joshua
Your posts are very informative and for the most, I would agree.  Somehow this statement above doesn't resonate with me at all, but that is just me. I follow Northern Traditions in the home. I'm still at question about different reconstruction methods at this point, only due to the fact that I enjoy the conveniences of modern world.

ALL of my interaction up until this year has been thru dreams. It's like I was asking to wake up and did just that. Even though I am not exactly sure of the purpose, I realise the patience and the intent. I highly doubt amusement was the reason for Odin to appear in my dreams since childhood.
Odin, to me, seems to have higher purpose thru his reasoning of breaking an oath or for betrayals (as outlined in the Eddas). While this may be one aspect of a deity's nature, I doubt that it is the usual personality or 'interaction' with a human. No matter how to seems to appear, I don't consider what any deity does is a game, just some purpose that I don't understand. (Even if it IS funny or not so funny!)
I see myself as a small piece of the 'big picture' puzzle; if my deity has plans for me that I do not understand or would even have me betrayed, it is entirely up to me to either learn to understand his reasons or to break oath with that deity and hope it is amicable. And in my case, I know it would not be.  Aside from that, I think that trust is a determining factor that is mutual and should not be dismissed. We humans are just as conniving, tricky and untrustworthy as anybody/anything especially when we are in a position of power or equal footing to do so.
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« Reply #20: October 23, 2007, 08:51:18 pm »

I'm working on an article about the historical and contemporary use of blood oaths in pagan religions, and I'd appreciate hearing about your own experience and/or knowledge about the practice.

For myself, Macha told me to 'blood the land' when I moved into my current rental home. At first I didn't know why, however, I've figured it out (since She wasn't telling), it was so I could draw energy from the land if I needed it.

Otherwise, all my tools have been blooded during the consecration process.

I've never made a blood oath to a group or person.

Phouka
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Dania
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« Reply #21: October 23, 2007, 09:04:51 pm »


My UPG is that if Odin likes you or at least RESPECTS you, he won't make difficult and tricky oaths with you. If he doesn't, well, that's where the issues come in. Wink

I expect that any time he would do something like that, he would have a good reason. Hardly would he do it simply for amusement...although he may be laughing when it's done. Cheesy
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RebDog
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« Reply #22: October 24, 2007, 02:44:55 pm »

although he may be laughing when it's done. Cheesy

Perhaps..  but I'm usually awake by then !   Grin

My UPG: I don't believe in human looking entities per se, even though that is the form that comes to me in dreams..  I think it is just the image put there that my human mind can understand.  The odd thing is that I immediately will know the difference between just another person or Odin in some human form no matter what it happens to be in the dream. For years I never knew or asked who he was, I just knew he was there..
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