Power of changing into a Woman
Glana Veck Ceremony
The “Glana Ceremony” (the virgin, preparing her, or getting her ready) is an ancient Ceremonial, unique to Panther girls in the Northern Forests which surrounds the myth of the Changing from a young girl into a Woman. The power of Changing Woman is transferred to the pubescent girl through songs sung by the Shaman (one who has power). A shaman is joined by other tribal members in singing a series of songs. These songs are collectively known as “Glana Veck” or songs of beauty and awakening.
The Glana Ceremonial marks the transition of a girl into a woman, and takes place during the summer after a girl’s first menstrual period. The Ceremonial lasts four hands during which, traditionally, the girl takes on the role of Changing Woman, the first woman on Gor and the mother of all Panther women.
Men who were referred to as “seeders” in the Luna tribe , were used only to mate, after which they were killed or sold at the trading posts.
The following passages describe the Glana ceremony for Linna. Please note that Luna is a GE tribe , this is all purely fictional and was never mentioned in the novels of John Norman…
Before sundown, Linna must be dressed, her sisters come dancing into our camp. It is time for her godmother to dress her. The shaman will start with a speech. She will dwell on the gifts of the Glana Ceremony and how important it is to be prayerful for the next four hands. She reminds us of the need to be charitable. She tells us that we are sisters in the Goddess image, and that we must live by those standards as passed to us from our ancestors. Because she is here to pray for Linna she will also pray for all of us, as there is a need for healing in our community.
She tells Linna and her sisters of their responsibilities, and Linna learns that she will also have special healing powers during the next four hands. She must be prayerful, and she must fast and drink only spring water. She must learn to be patient because her Ceremony will be a test of endurance and a time for her to get in touch with her spirituality.
Linna is told to stand in the middle of the ground covering. The feathers, her drums ,larl skins, scarves, scratching sticks, her water straw made of bamboo, her beads, shells and sacred yellow pollen are all laid out. This is the Dressing Ceremony–with the shaman directing the placement of each item. Usually the feather for her hair is put in last–it is always a long special plume.
After she is dressed, four songs are sung that officially begin the Ceremony.
Early morning, Linna was told that one of the shaman’s helpers would be in the camp to awaken and direct her to the dance grounds. It is important to be early and even better to start before sunrise. From our camp, Linna and her sister are escorted to the dance ground where she must prepare the blankets she will dance and be massaged upon. The larl skin is also placed there. The pollen is placed in an shell, and lots of candy, fruit and bosk milk to be given away are nearby. Linna also has her own personal burden basket with her own candy and tarsks to give away.
This morning, Linna will dance approximately six ehn–a real test of physical and spiritual endurance. It must be difficult, because it was her wish to dance in her whole larl skin outfit, and the weather is humid. This will surely test her endurance. I was proud of her, and I prayed she would persevere. She will be massaged by her godmother who prays, too, that this young girl shall become a strong person, and will grow up to be a fine young huntress.
Linna also has special healing powers. She is to be blessed with the sacred yellow pollen. Some come to bless her, and others come to be blessed and healed by her. She will lay her hands on the sick, pray along with the shaman and blow away to the four directions whatever is ailing the sick.
After the Glana Dance, Linna’s mother has assigned two male slaves to cut two trees to use for Linna’s Glana hut. Usually these are cut before noon and one would be a cottonwood pole. This was a special prayer request for rain because we have suffered a drought for three years and our creeks and ranges are dry in Lake Ias.
It is now time to feed our sisters again. it is also decided that a food and gift exchange must be done today in order to continue with the Ceremony without interruption. Having just danced six ehn, Linna is tired and not exactly happy about the prospect of more dancing. She must be reminded that all this is part of her becoming a stronger person
Dinner is served and everyone is fed. Then the food and gift exchange begins. We count all the food in stock, and we decide how much we should give to our sisters. The gifts also include blankets, yards of material, enamel pots, baskets and other items brought for gifts.
After dinner, we are relieved by rain, and the air has cooled considerably.
Now the time has come for the evening of the Larl Dancers. On this evening, the Larl Dancers will dance to their own special songs, and they will be blessed by four chosen elders . It is an honor to do this because the Larl Dancers will have special protective powers and blessings this night.
It is next morning, and the glana hut is waiting for her . Linna is directed to fix the blankets, and she must grind some corn and other natural ingredients for the sacred clay that she will be painted with.
Linna’s mother helps in this ceremony. The songs will be sung, and the feathers have been put in place on the glana hut. The hut has become our altar, and special prayers have been said, and it is under this that Linna will dance with her mother. Linna has now danced close to four ehn. Her endurance is amazing, but she is showing signs of fatigue.
After the painting ceremony, the young who had been the spirit dancers must now dance one more time, and special prayers are said for them. The tribal chieftess will speak to the tribe and thank all those who came and helped.
On the last day of ceremony, Linna was finally set free to rest.
The Tasta ceremomy
Because they lived so close to nature, all Panther Girls knew that death from hunger, disease, or enemies was never far away. Individual tribes maintained their own death customs and adapted them to their regional environments into which they migrated. The Sa di Sani panthers believed in resurrection of the dead, for the Luna, the veil between physical and spiritual is considered to be very thin. The “Tasta” , the giving, generosity, taking care of the elderly or sick, and purification of the body through fasting or ritual bathing were how one prepared for the afterlife, and resurrection in the flesh. The resurrection from the dead is considered to be very real among the Luna, and within the realm of the shaman or healer or person of power. It results in a state called “Tor”, which means, “light,” or, “heaven.” It is an exalted state of great joy that one could enter when the two powers in the self are brought together in ceremony, and ritual, and with spiritual cleansing.
Most Panther tribes believed that the souls of the dead passed into a spirit world and became part of the spiritual forces that influenced every aspect of their lives. Many tribes believed in two souls: one that died when the body died and one that might wander on and eventually die. The Sa di Sani Panthers believed that the soul could be brought back into this World.
Burial customs varied widely from tribe to tribe. Panthers disposed of their dead in a variety of ways. Some tribes cleansed the bones, and then reburied them in a mound that included furs and ornaments for the dead spirits’ use in the afterlife. But during outbreaks of deadly diseases like Dar Kosis leading to the deaths of many tribe members, survivors hurriedly cast the corpses into a mass grave or threw them into a river.
“Suddenly to my horror, I saw the quarry of the larl, It was a human being, moving with surprising alacrity over the rough ground. To my astonishment, I saw it wore the yellow cerements of the sufferer of Dar Kosis, that virulent, incurable, wasting disease of Gor.” (Tarnsman of Gor pg. 149)
Rites among Panther tribes tended to focus on aiding the deceased in their afterlife. Some tribes left food and possessions of the dead person in or near the mound. Other tribes, such as the Sa Nahele of Sardar, sacrificed slaves. Among some tribes, mourners, cut their hair. Some Panthers discarded personal ornaments or blacked their faces to honor the dead. Others gashed their arms and legs to express their grief.
SA’NG SURI INITATION CEREMONY
The overall principle is that the Pledge is brought to the sacrificial altar where she is threatened with death or giving her undying and unbreakable allegiance to the En and the tribe of Sa’ng Suri.
It is important to RP a lot of the ceremony according to the individual and to ensure a rotation of speakers so the ceremony flows. All involved are invited to join in and RP as appropriate. shouts of ” sacrifice her ” ” Is she worthy ” ” Kill her ”
THE PLEDGE IS SURROUNDED BY THE ELDERS
EN : Growling, I want her ready for sacrifice to our gods
ELDERS RP DISARMING AND BINDING HER AND TAKE HER TO THE ALTAR. All ELDERS AND SISTERS STAND ON THE WALL AROUND THE CIRCLE , JUST THE PLEDGE AND EN INSIDE THE CIRCLE
ELDERS RP FORCING HER TO KNEEL
EN: rounds the corner her eyes cloudy and emotionless, fixing on the kneeling woman there. Her face doesn’t shift as she steps up into the pit casting a glance over her Elders as she stops in front of the kneeling woman
EN : standing there she looks over her shoulder, each word dropping from her lips as if ice smashing on stone… “Strip her”… *she says nothing else only waits*
ELDER : steps forwards and with a sharp knife starts to cut away the clothing , pulling it from the Pledge and throwing it to her sisters.
EN : looks down at the now bare huntress her pride dashed, her hands move slowly as she walks around behind her, she takes an arm, she isn’t rough but doesn’t allow her an inch of struggle as she knots the rope around her wrists yanking it tight
EN: she stands her eyes looking with that of her elders… ” Bring me the Blade of the Sa’ng Suri ”
ELDER : bends and pulls the long heavy blade from beneath the altar , admiring its weight and wickedly serrated edges , swiftly wiping the old dried blood from it she holds it up in the air before her En and the Pledge sacrifice.
ELDER WITH THE BLADE MOVES FORWARDS : ” Here my En ” ….* places the Dagger into her En’s hand *
EN : fingers lace around the hilt of the dagger, the sharp click of steel on stone the only thing audible, the dagger hangs by her leg purposly in the vision of the woman in front of her as she circles behind her once again, her knee rests against her back her free hand falling into the hair on the woman, not a force but a guide as she tips her head back, far enough to see the whites of her eyes, the dagger the image of it knarled and horrifying the serrated edge sticky with old blood not cleaned, she presses it against her skin the spikes creating little dots along her neck where slow lines of blood spring from still ,not a word spoken to the pledge
ELDER : looks at her En and laughs excitedly as this is the part she loves , that spurt of the first blood as the artery is cut.
EN : voice comes with not a waver on any word but slips from her mouth, every word cold and purposeful……” I am your En” *she plainly states* “Who is your En…”
HOPEFULLY THE PLEDGE ANSWERS CORRECTLY
THE ELDERS ALL SHOUT ” YOU ARE OUR EN ” after the pledge has answered
EN : hand shifts slightly with the weight of the blade on the womans throat increasing, the lines of blood now dripping over her collar bone…… ” I am Sa’ng Suri…….. What are you? ”
THE ELDERS ALL SHOUT ” WE ARE SA’NG SURI ” after the pledge has answered
EN : voice changes the ice given way to a turn that demands attention, that demands a heart to hear it…… ” You are Sa’ng Suri and will always be from this day forth… Tell me this ”
THE ELDERS SHOUT ” I AM SA’NG SURI, YOU ARE SA’NG SURI , WE ARE SA’NG SURI ” after the pledge has answered
EN : hand retracts the dagger from the womans throat she takes a step around her to look down on her again, her free hand raises up and pulls the the tattered fabric covering her own breast exposing the two sliced s’s running along her skin…… ” Do you have the heart to carry this mark ? ”
EN she turns her head to her elders… Bring me the charcoal and the knife
ELDER : moves to the side and bends to pick up a number of items, sorting them out moves forward carrying a bowl of burnt charcoals and another knife used for skinning animals its blade sharpened to split a hair …… moving up to the kneeling Pledge being careful to avoid being splattered with blood… her eyes glittering hoping infection does not set in… she hands both the bowl of charcoal and the knife up to her En ..offering her hand to take back the Blade of the Sa’ng Suri.
EN : places the long horrific Blade of Sa’ng Suri back into the hands of her elder as she takes the bowl of charcol and the knife dropping to one knee in front of the woman, her hands dance with an old known dexterity, the point of the blade first pushing and with guidence piercing the womans skin, the blade sways down the S taking shape in her skin a reddening trail following each line, as the second line is carved she drops the blade at her feet, her hands stained in the womans blood and scoops a fistful of the charcoal pushing it against her skin and holding it there
ELDER : takes the tribe Blade of Sa’ng Suri holding its weight carefully and moves silently back to replace it in its hiding place without cleaning it..the pledges blood joining that of many others before her on the blade..turning looks back at the scene
EN : removes her hand, the small fountain of dusted ash falling from it, as she picks the dagger up one last time, sliding it between the ropes binding her hands, with a flick they are servered……. ” Rise Sa’ng Suri and join your tribe as a sister now and forever.”
SHE IS NOW RELEASED AND ALL WELCOME AND CONGRATULATE HER.
© Lunacaleengpanthers/Sang Suri Talunas