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Pacts versus prayers

As is being pointed out in Alex's book "Pacts With The Devil" by S. Jason Black and Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph. D., there is a difference between pacts and prayer. Prayer is an act of supplication, begging a higher power to help out. Pacts, on the other hand, are bribes to entities with different powers, or a trade with them, one thing for another. Like with my recent pact with Djao'Kain and Kusahnjiijahn, I specifically called it a pact because it was a trade: in exchange for their help, I would give them the attention of other people, because attention is the food of the gods and similar entities.

I'm not entirely sure prayer is always an act of supplication, though. At least, not the way I do it. A lot of what might be considered prayer by others is more on the order of asking a favor of a friend. I don't have a suplicating/submissive relationship with my deities (except sexually, with Djao'Kain); we're equal but different. So sometimes I do pacts with them, and sometimes I do "prayers" that are more like asking a favor of a friend. I don't know, I think I ought to come up with another term for that. Because the way most people pray, it IS supplication.

I can't think of a better word right now, though.

Okay, and now I just had an interesting idea for a kind of casual pact: some kind of divine money. Either place this divine money in a bank, or burn it, or somesuch, as a way of doing a quick pact without the paperwork? Like, what would the money represent to the deities? Like, maybe it would be charged with attention, even put on display somewhere, and have their names on it; different "money" for different deities, kind of paying things forward? Like, "I charged these full of attention for you, so this act of burning it (or banking it) now represents payment for something I'd like you to do for me."

Hmm... needs more thinking upon.

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1151264.html
You can comment either here or there.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
Oddly similar too...
Wow... that is oddly similar to some REALLY old forms of currency.

Back when a piece of gold was handled by its weight, rather than whose picture was put onto it (because the picture could always be removed), often times, the image of a deity would be placed onto the Gold coin. Others would "prefer" to be on Silver, Copper, Bronze, Tin and other materials that could be used as currency.

This was done to have knowledge of them go around and bring attention to them.

Typically the matter for how to have casual pacts would be closer to what Eliyah eventually set up. Bare with me here.

The more a deity recognises you and is in a decent state with you, the more that deity is going to go out of his way and do stuff in your favour(by their standards). In our modern day world, where most of the Gods are dead (or the closest form of such), there is a need for a bit of physical therapy required to "revive" them.

It is mostly a matter of figuring out which God/Goddess to revive, work into a healthy state, and have them generally okay with doing favours to you. This also requires that they don't just decide you are an a-hole and not work for you on principle. They won't be worried about death (it has already happened).

The money, or note, itself would not be necessary--physical stuff never is. However, depending on the deity revived, they might be able to set up a system for you to predefine a few things they might need to do for you, and how to set it up so they can be done.

The burning the money note to them, would indicate it is a one time use ability--which could be used to store more powerful requests to be filled at later times. The issue is: what do you do, to get it so that the God recognises what essentially is a Miraculous IOU.

I'm going to think about this Miracle IOU system.

Edit: somebody fucked with my keyboard in the middle of typing. Fucking bitch.

Edited at 2013-07-12 01:39 pm (UTC)
Jul. 13th, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
Well, that's what ritual sacrifice always is - divine money. You pay with burnt offerings, which can be pretty much anything, from livestock to “vanity items” such as clothes and combs burnt to show your (new-found and usually temporary) piety. The point being that you're giving these things up, with the expectation of a quid pro quo.

[I like the Chinese way of doing it: They wrapped silver coins or ingots in paper upon which they'd written their praises and prayers, and fired that. The paper burnt away.

“ But - the silver is still there, unharmed.”

“What, are you simple? You think we'd destroy real wealth? The gods saw the silver in the flames, that's what matters!”]
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:12 am (UTC)
In that light, while I may need "divine money" for some of my deities (the ones I don't work with often), then it would seem that for Djao'Kain - with whom I have a deep and potent and even romantic relationship with - that such things aren't necessary for working with Her exclusively. Still, I do like talking about things She has helped me with. :-)
Jul. 15th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)

a deep and potent and even romantic relationship

I get a kick out of Greek mythology for just this: Man was, indeed, the measure of all things, and the Greek gods behaved exactly like humans - who, if they were Greek, were impressed but not humbled.

They boast they breed a race of kings -
But we of the West breed Men.

- R E Howard

Read the Odyssey, and it's obvious that were it not for his fidelity to his wife, Odysseus would have made a serious pass at Athena - goddess or no. Hey, you never know 'til you try!

Jul. 13th, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
I don't know that we have ever defined prayer purely as supplication. which isn't to say that it wasn't a part of it, but that it wasn't the entire breadth of it. More that I would have probably defined prayer as communication. how much of a difference that makes may well be entirely in perspective of the beholder.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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