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Collaring ceremony

topic posted Sun, August 24, 2008 - 6:25 PM by  Charles
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Does anyone have a favorite collaring ceremony? I don't want to look back and think "Man, that was some kind of hokey". While much of what is in the Gor books is a bit corny, this ceremony caught my eye. I'll paste it to get examples started. Of course, it could have some minor alterations to become less Gor-specific. I like for example, the part that the collar is inscribed (it's metal for 24/7 wear if that wasn't clear). I also like that the name, as with all else, is malleable according to the owner's wishes. In marriage of course, the traditional approach is for a woman to take a man's last name and in a sense this simply takes the same concept to another level. Perhaps change the slave's name to retain her first name as her middle name, and choose a new name for her first name, along with her taking my last name as her own? I've been married before, and my ex wife took my last name but I don't see why a person needs to be married in order to do this. Marriage tends to add rights and power, which are of course not exactly in keeping with the spirit of TPE as I understand the definition. While this may sound very extreme, I wonder if anyone has ever done this. Language and ritual has a huge impact on a person's self image. To call someone Master, or to be called slave for example, it tends to have an effect. Would it be any less powerful to suddenly be "Judy" for example, if it bore that meaning? All day long, in vanilla interactions, being called by your first name would now be a constant reminder of one's role and that one is owned. That may seem like one helluva big step, but my Aunt changed her first name for other reasons so clearly it can be done.

My disclaimer is that I am not implying "Natural order" by making reference to Gorean material, except that certain concepts therin may work for me.

THE ACTUAL COLLARING


“Assume the posture of female submissive," he orders. She kneels; leaning back on her heels, her arms extended, wrists crossed, her head between them, down "Repeat after me," he tells her.

“I, once (her name) of (her home city or town, or of Earth)...She repeats this

“ Herewith submit myself, completely and totally, in all things." She repeats this.

“ To him who is known as (his name) of (his city).."She repeats this.

“His girl, his slave, an article of his property, his to do with as he pleases." She repeats this.

He then produces the collar. If it is engraved with his name or an inscription, he reads it to her, making sure that she understands what it says and means.

He places it about her neck and snaps it shut with a click.

"I am yours, Master," he says.

She repeats this.

At this point, any freepersons in attendance will typically congratulate the Master on his new slave. When this is done, the new Master will usually ask the slave the following three questions:

"Who were you?" he asks.

She tells him her former name.

"What are you?" he asks.

"I am your slave, Master," she says.

"What is your name?" he asks.

"Whatever Master wishes," she answers.

The Master will then, if it pleases him to do so, bestow upon the girl her new slave-name, which can be taken from her or changed at any time, according to his whim.

"You are (new slave-name)," he tells her.

"Yes, Master. I am (new slave-name)," she says.

The ceremony is now over. Thus it is that a new slave is collared upon Gor.
posted by:
Charles
SF Bay Area
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  • In victorian protocol, a servant was referred to often by the last name of their Master/Mistress, particularly when servants of multiple households would mingle together. It bears a similar concept, enforcing identification of the one they serve over their own individuality.

    Madame did not give me her last name, but she did rename me. My old name is in use with family and work, and that is it. Frankly, if she wanted to change it legally, I doubt I would blink.

    Our collaring ceremony was wonderful, officiated by a wiccan elder who was close to our family. It included a ceremonial tying, a piercing (my permanent collar), vows, a contract with her seal in wax and our signatures. I was given an angraved piece of jewelry to wear, with her initials in it, that I can wear on a chain, or pinned to a velvet choker or pinned to a lapel as a public token of my place in her service.
    • Unsu...
       
      Our collaring ceremony was actually a surprise to me. We had planned on doing it but the date hadn't been set. On my birthday Master and I both dressed up in leather and I didn't think anything of it--he took me out for a VERY fabulous dinner. When we returned home the was filled with the people we'd put on our guest list for the ceremony. He'd instructed me to go right to the bedroom, remove my clothes, compose myself and wait for him. I was a nervous wreck! Anyway, Deborah Addington and Master had exchanged a ton of e-mails to come up with a beautiful ceremony which she officiated. With me kneeling--some words were exchanged, we signed our contract, we sealed it by mingling our blood (fingers were pricked from a thorn of a rose). Deborah read a lovely poem and Master placed his collar on my neck (which at the time was a chain and lock). He had me recite my affirmation which fit perfectly into the ceremony. Oh, and the guests actually all were involved by agreeing to witness our ceremony in unison.

      The key to all this to me is that it wasn't all about "the slave shall do this and that." It was about both of us--his promise to me and my promise to him. It always bothers me when things are designed all around what the slave will do.
    • This sounds like a very graceful way to make the transition. Thank you, Mercedes.

      "Madame did not give me her last name, but she did rename me. My old name is in use with family and work, and that is it. Frankly, if she wanted to change it legally, I doubt I would blink."
  • Here is food for thought. I wonder if anything can be done with this? I wonder if there are some other oaths that could apply to this sort of situation as well. I like that a soldier is the property of the government, and being AWOL for example is a serious offence. To me, the concept that fleeing is punishable sounds much like slavery (though alas, not consentual slavery). Perhaps there are some military or government oaths that would be useful for inspiration.

    The oldest traditional wedding vows can be traced back to the middle ages to the ‘Book of Common Prayer,’ published in 1549.

    The original wedding vows, as printed in The Booke of Common Prayer, are:

    Groom: I,____, take thee,_____, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance.

    Bride: I,_____, take thee,_____, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance.
    • Hehe, Madame had me chipped with a dog/cat RFID chip. That way, if I do run, a scan can always indicate I'm a runaway. Once the GPS upgrade is available, I believe that is in the works too. There's a little suspension of disbelief, but you should have seen the look on the vet's face when she scanned me. :)
      • A GPS upgrade, can you link information on this?
        • no, it doesn't exist yet. I assume at some point it will though!
          • Unsu...
             
            We have it somewhere..but we just moved...who knows where anything is.

            Also..Master and I also married at the courthouse. We didn't care about the vows..it was for that piece of paper because we'd already done what I call our committment ceremony...I nearly choked when the woman said to repeat "and forsaking all others" (or however you spell that). Guess we should have asked...we're poly..others are just fine...Master paused a moment..then went with it. We know how we feel about that part of our relationship.
            • Unsu...
               
              and Charles...don't be looking up stuff...make it something of your own..screw what everyone else does...this is about you and whomever you are committing to...
              • Exactly. It's not a bad idea to see how someone else did it, but it's best to make your own ceremony; it means more to both of you that way. Our marriage vows, for instance, while we didn't have him promise to obey (his fundamentalist family was there) we made no mention of "forsaking all others" or any other such sexual restriction. I'm poly. It would have been counterproductive. And no one noticed because our vows were written by us and included so many quotes from so many references (from Shakespeare, the Bible, Kalil Gibran, etc.) that it would be hard for someone without a copy of the "script" to know exactly what we promised each other. Especially since most of the quotes were read out by friends. We each read a poem to each other and recited another poem together. Lovely ceremony, but who's to say what, exactly was vowed?

                Domina
            • I read "forsaking all others" entirely differently from the way most do. This may come from the fact that my parents are elders in the Presbyterian church, and I pretty much grew up immersed in the Christian religion. Because I tend to look things up, as you might have noticed with my tendancy to paste in definition and source material rather than take things for granted, and most certainly helped by the fact that I was paid cash money as a small child to memorize as much of the bible as I was capable of I see things in a different light.

              For this cause, a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, and the man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:24-25)

              Leave your Father and Mother, your friends, your old way of life. Put your priority on your spouse, and forsake ALL others (not just that hot snatch/cock you just met). I see this as a gross misinterpretation of the Bible, which is really par for the course as far as I've seen.

              While I'm on the topic, I'm not aware of the Bible saying anything negative about gays-except as another gross misinterpritation. Get your hands on some literal translations and read for yourself and you'll see what I'm getting at. The abomination referred to is idol worship (it just so happened to be nude, and men's only, kind of like the Olympics once were I suppose), not men banging each other. It's easy to misread if you don't know the context.

              I'm looking at all these various vows for inspiration, not so much for a cut-and-paste job. Thanks to all who have helped keep the ball rolling.
    • I think it's best to make up your own, but I do also like your mind's way of comparing and contrasting similar rituals and other comparable ideas, Charles. I find the similarity of some of those things interesting.
      I was in the military, but I don't recall the exact wording of the enlistment papers that I signed.
      Presumably it was some sort of legalese that did make me, in effect, a slave of sorts - or at least an indentured servant, maybe.

      I'm also interested in variations of the marriage contract and vows - since I've never really put much faith in the institution itself, but am interested in ritual and bonding.
  • mine was the most informal thing you'd ever seen, but I think it was partially because it was done with a sort of placeholder collar 'till master can make the one he wants me to wear. We'd ordered it from the internet and the night it got here, Josh opened the box, told me to stand up, put it on me, we hugged, then sat back down and watched TV XD.

    Neither one of us are big on formalities or ceremony, so that did just fine :) I was his slave before that I just didn't have a physical collar, so nothing really changed.
    • Unsu...
       
      I'd say it was important to me to have something formal. I think Master may feel that way too. When it came to getting married, while I wanted it to be something more shared with friends it came down to the fact that the collaring was way more important to us. I'm a bit sentimental about this sort of thing--ceremony is rather like ritual really and basically like tying a big ribbon around us and our relationship.
      • A big...metal...24/7 ribbon. That evokes an image with me. For some reason the ribbon is blue in my mind. I am sentimental as well regarding some things, I just never thought of it as a ribbon. I've used ceremony in the past, and I've simply knelt someone down and put a collar on her. Perhaps it would be different if the audience was specifically kink friendly, and there was some degree of understanding about what was taking place and how we felt. My experience in having a ceremony in the past (in Alaska), was that only two people there understood what it meant and seemed much more than tolerant (we support it because you're our friend/family, but that's the only reason we do). In some respects, that feels even more solitary than it being just the two of us. Now that I live in an area where I know people who live this lifestyle in one way or another, having a ceremony where people share enough of our views and desires that they understand what they are seeing it might be more appealing.