Thralldom and the Arung system Today?
In Heathenry today few issues are more controversial
than that of Thralldom and the Arung system.
Why this should be so is something that has confused me for quite
awhile now. It has truly amazed me at times that some of
the biggest nay-sayers when the topic comes up are
people who consider themselves to be Tribalist Heathens.
Lets take a look at Thralldom in Heathenry.
A Thrall in the past was considered anything from a slave to an indentured servant to even some fosterlings. In today's Heathenry it is more akin to that of a pledge in fraternity. Although a person sells themselves into thralldom and someone has to purchase their service, it is mainly a learning position and also a way to prove oneself to the rest of the tribe. Your job as a Thrall is whatever your Owner/Lord needs you to do, such as the grunt work for tribal gatherings and other such menial chores. However the Thrall's Owner/Lord also has responsibilities to the Thrall. He is tasked with seeing to the Thrall's education in the proper ways of the tribe (tribe etiquette) as well as religious teachings and others topics as needed. The Owner/Lord is responsible for the Thrall's actions and providing the things necessary for a Thrall to grow in the tribe. During this time period the Thrall will show his worth or lack thereof to the rest of the tribe. While not a common occurrence but one that does happen is that of Thrall abuse by the Owner/Lord. Abuse of a Thrall is very harshly dealt with and is considered a serious breach of public trust. At any time a Thrall is free to leave the group if they decide that this is not the group for them. Since a Thrall can take no oath, no oath will have been broken and no loss of honor on either side will have occurred. When the Thrall has proven his worth to both his Lord/Owner and the tribe and it is deemed time, he will then be released from his Thralldom by his Lord/Owner (in some cases he buys his freedom). There will usually be a ceremony to celebrate the event and the Thrall is raised from the Arung of Thrall to that of Bondi/Karl/Freeman, with all rights associated with that title. As a Thrall a person holds no voting rights, cannot make an oath, and cannot be a witness in a trial.
What Thralldom does is help to weed out the undesirables as well as help make sure the group a person is entering into is what that person really wants.
I could go much more into Thralldom, I would risk going
off into the "Verbal Shrubbery". So I will
take up that task another day.
Some people are probably wondering "What is an Arung System"?