Green Rites: initiation ceremony taking place during an Argosian boy’s fifteenth year and conferring the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship. Those who have not been to their Rites in Argos may not hold high positions in government or in the trade and artisan guilds. All applicants for entry to the Priests’ College must have completed their Rites. No women or foreigners are eligible. These ceremonies take place in the ‘Divine Mouth’ and witness the death of a Nurian tithe-pilgrim.

Guild Fair: event organised by the various Argosian guilds in order to interest students at the seminary in an apprenticeship with their organisation. Entry to the Guild Fair is only available to those students completing their Green Rites, or those with families rich enough to buy them a ticket.

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Under the hood…

In a rigidly patriarchal and hierarchy-bound society with a ‘male’ God, you almost always find women at the bottom of the heap. They don’t enjoy many rights or protections and sometimes aren’t even considered fully human. Perhaps more surprisingly, the exact same thing happens in societies paying lip service to the feminine divine. An overwhelmingly male priesthood prays to a goddess while still considering ordinary women to be second class citizens. It occurs so often and across so many cultures that I suppose the reaction must be hard-wired inside us to a degree. But that doesn’t mean it can’t change. I have some hope for the Argosians in this regard! As the old story goes:

One day, the Buddha passed a woman working in a field. To the surprise of his disciples he bowed low before her. When asked why he had bowed before a mere woman, he responded: “Why should I not bow before the one who brought me into the world?”

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