Basic Gorean Greetings

A Free Man is always referred to as Master and a Free Woman as Mistress. If a person is disguised or you cannot tell, use Master and then beg forgiveness for your mistake if reprimanded.

First, if you are with your Master, ask permission to greet. Do not speak until you have, unless he has given you a standing order that you do not have to ask permission to greet.

Second, never greet until you are on your knees. Greeting Free while standing gives them the impression you think you are of the same status as a slave, and you are not. This is a high insult to them.

Third, the order of greeting is important. You always greet your Master/Mistress first (Tal, my Master). Next are Masters (Tal, Masters), then Mistresses (Tal, Mistresses). Last you greet the other slaves (tal kajiri and kajirae). If you know the other slaves, then you may use brothers and sisters instead. A couple of other things to recognize when greeting:

a) Use capitals when greeting Free in SL. This gives an added level respect to them.
b) You may combine a greeting of Master and Mistress, such as Tal Masters and Mistresses. Do this only though if there are a lot of people around. This shortens the greeting process for all involved.
c) You never use titles or names when greeting, with the exception of the Ubar. So Tal, Master First Sword, or Tal, Master Matrix, is never acceptable. If you do need to indicate a particular Free, do the following…/me turns slightly to Master Matrix….”Tal, Master”.
d) If the Free are in a heated discussion, emote your greetings instead, as this is less interruptive to the conversation. So for example /me whispers softly…”Tal Masters and Mistresses”. If the conversation is heated do NOT greet the other slaves.
e) Be careful of greeting assassins. An assassin will emote being disguised and moving towards his victim. Though you can see this in SL, in character, you role play not seeing him. Greeting an assassin before he has revealed himself can result in death for a slave. So make sure you do not greet assassins until they have spoken, or come close enough that it is obvious you can see them.

8 Comments

  1. I appreciate the fact that you try to help slaves learn, but I think you should re-evaluate what you are teaching. What you have written is not from the books; they are online-isms that have absolutely no basis in the books.

    A few examples: Panthers are addressed as Mistress, never as Huntress.
    You NEVER address a Master by his title, including and especially an Ubar. To greet a Free Person by title implies that you are on the same level.
    There is no greeting order. Do not be so rude and attention whoring that you spend 10 minutes greeting the Free. A simple “Tal, Masters. Tal, Mistresses” will suffice.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. You are correct, that my method of teaching is a mix based on what I learned as a kajirus myself. My motivation is not to bastardize the works of John Norman. However, the reality is, this exists in Second Life. There are many little ones that find themselves lost and many, many cities in SL Gor that do follow these onlinisms. My purpose is just to help those little ones cope in the reality of the world they face when entering SL.

    But I do reevaluate and change my lessons as I myself learn new things. I will certainly make adjustments to my entries based on the good information you brought to my attention. I do not profess to know everything or even anything. This is strictly just about what I see and experience in the Gorean world of Second Life.

    All of this came about because I once found a boy in one of these cities who was being severely punished not because he was necessarily doing something wrong, but because he did not understand. And he was dealing with people who used the onlinisms. I vowed at that time i would not allow another little one to suffer that humiliation.

    I view this as a survival guide in SL Gor, not a strict guide to John Norman’s books. Plus, if you read through this blog, you will see I make a distinction between players and lifestylers. There are some who just want the basics to enjoy their time in SL Gor and those who really want to know every nuance of the books.

    But I would ask you this…..Are the Norman books the end of the story of Gor? Should these be revered as Holy texts by which there is no reinterpretation? I personally say no. i am not a fan of stagnant Holy texts in any form. I feel that like many texts that are followed with such zealousness that the world changes and they need to adapt to the world. After all, these were written before I was born and much of what he writes about does not apply to today’s world. So what I teach is an adaptation.

    Am I infallible, absolutely not. Do I change things on here based on comments. I do quite often. And I refine what I teach here. I depend on the good advice of people such as yourself to enlighten me on certain points and I do listen and make adjustments.

    So thank you. It is much appreciated.

  3. You are right that many people use online-isms. Most do so because they think that is how it is, and they think that because they read it on websites like this. I think it’s important to let people know “This is how it is in the books, but many people do it this way too (online-isms).” Then you have educated the person, and offered a choice.

    I also agree that roleplay can’t be solely what you see in the books; otherwise, you’d have very boring rp. But where do you draw the line? There are those out there who roleplay as upright, walking, talking Furries in Gor. There are those that roleplay Star Wars in Gor. The excessive liberties with what’s Gor have to end at some point. If not, we aren’t really roleplaying Gor. We are roleplaying something completely different.

    Thank you for not being offended by my remarks, and allowing me to debate this with you. It’s refreshing to “meet” someone who doesn’t get angry over a less than glowing blog comment.

  4. In my readings of the Gor Books I understood that slaves were not permitted to use TAL, as it would put them on an equal basis with their Masters/Mistresses. Slaves were to use only “Greetings” for all their Greets no matter who the person was … it shows they are not on the same level with their Owner/s.

    • I believed that too. However, that is not the case. It is clearly in the books that Tal was used to greet Free. This was one teaching I did correct after research. You can use Tal to greet Free. Now be careful, because some SL cities do not recognize it. If you are unsure, fall back to not using Tal. But if you are in true Gorean RP cities, use it. I like it better actually and that is my only greeting when a kajirus.

      SL Gor is not like the books, and even in the cities that profess to be “true” Gorean. For instance, in the very first book, Tarnsman of Gor, the captured slave Talena stood along side her Master as they walked through the city of tents. So you have to dissect what is based on the books and what is common practice in SL Gor. Even the most “by the book” cities will never let a kajira stand with her Master. though it is “in the books.”

      So Tal greeting of a Master is clearly referenced in the books. Would I do it in most cities in SL Gor, probably not….but I love to rile some feathers.

  5. Tal, the use of the greeting by a slave not being allowed is also an onlineism, at least the way i understand it from reading the books, though truthfully, they do not explicitly state either way

    Is the use of Tal reserved to free men and women?

    “Tal,” cried Ute, greeting me as a free person.
    —Captive of Gor, 13:237

    It is unclear whether this quote means:
    a) ‘greeting me as free persons are greeted’ ie; the word is not used to greet slaves or
    b) ‘greeting me as free persons greet’ ie; the word is not used by slaves to greet or
    c) both

    Note however, that in that quote, the person using the word is a slave. In context though, it is pertinent to look at more than the two line quote. In this particular passage, Ute and Elinor have escaped and it may be that they were experimenting with use of phrases reserved to free persons. The conclusion remains difficult to draw.

    Further searches have, on many occasions, slaves both using the word to greet, AND being greeted by it.

    “Tal, Kajirae!” cried one of the men, waving.
    —Captive of Gor, 8:86-87

    “Greetings, Ute,” said I, smiling.
    “Tal, El-in-or,” smiled Ute
    —Captive of Gor, 13:245

    The girls stood straight, proud under the gaze of a warrior. “Tal, Master,” said many of them, as I rode slowly by….
    —Tribesmen of Gor, 26:344

    “Tal, Master,” they said to me.
    `Tal, Slave Girls,” I said to them.
    —Tribesmen of Gor, 26:345

    This leaves the reader in a position where he cannot quite clearly establish whether this exclusive use of the word is in fact, a habitual thing, a local custom, or a rule.

  6. I love this conversation…. Kajirus worry about the silliest things. hehe. Try to fashion myself as a man of Gor. When I am in a gathering of men, as example, and a kajira or kajirus is present and offering a greeting… most men. mind you, do not make habit of policing how a greeting is made. A humbly-put acknowledgment of a sudden presence should be made according to the expectation of the kajira or kajirus’ owner and/or village or city’s cultural mores. Your duty comes first to your owner, and hopefully your owner will cover your ass to some extent if you have good relations. I would go so far as to say that I have on more than one occasion taken offense to a man who would diverge from a good conversation amongst men and go on a tirade against a poor slave for such a misdeed – the exception being when a man is familiar with the offending slave’s repeated stupidity or had some other axe to grind (literally?) with them personally. An experienced gorean man generally has a constant purpose… and therefore is usually preoccupied with important business and does not so easily find himself offended by a well-intended greeting , unless he is of a very high caste, and even then only for the purpose of showing what a pompous royal caste of asses he represents (in which case, take your licks and be glad you’re not sleen food). hehe. I loved your comments about not greeting during a debate between men, and the follow-up discussion of SL-isms. There are sooo many. I really think your thoughts on “interpretation” of the books is a really great topic in and of itself. The spirit of the books is what is important and even the fiercest book thumper can find agreement that the books set the tone… and unless you are acting out a specific scene from them, then it is up to the players to manage the interpretations… giving and taking when necessary – to get through each respective scene. Peace to you children. Bring those who love you great happiness and service, and may those who do not choke on their paga.

    • Tal Sir and thank you for your wise insights. I too find the arguments on specific ritual to be tedious as well. As a Free Man, I become quite annoyed by the parade of greetings from kajirae and kajiri. It is all rather pointless when greater tasks are at hand. However, in defense of those little ones who find pride in the detail of ritual, I do understand. All Free are different and have different expectations. And though the first duty of service is to their Master and Mistress, survival in Gor away from their Master and Mistress entails a nimbleness and knowledge on these details. It is their protection in some ways.

      I find your insights refreshing and I hope you will peruse my other doves and bring your perspective to the discussion. I also have an affinity for kindred spirits in the belief of interpretations of the books. It is a recurring theme in my journey.

      Well met, Sir, and Honor and Steel…

      Matrix Voom


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