The Thirteen Houses Project: Orchis

[Once a month for the next twelve months, I will be doing a post on the 13th of each month based on one of the Thirteen Houses of the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers from Kushiel’s Legacy.]

This is a short post because I seem to be out of inspiration for the day.

This month’s House is Orchis House, one of my favourites. The canon of Orchis House is humour and its motto is “Joy in laughter”. Orchis House holds that Naamah lay with the King of Persis “for a lark”.

The lesson of Orchis House is that joy and religiosity need not be (or appear to be) mutually exclusive, that sometimes even goddesses do things “for the lulz” and that too, is sacred. (Even deities need to have a little fun.) That sometimes, you just need to pause in the middle of a ritual and laugh at how silly you sound. Orchis adepts, in my mind, have little use for solemn rituals (such as a Cassiline brother might perform) joy infuses everything that they do, including paying homage to Naamah. I like to think of them as gently teasing their patrons, engaging in a joke or two at their expense, perhaps singing a bawdy song or two.

Some may see this behaviour as irreverent, but for an Orchis adept, it’s as much a part of serving Naamah as healing is for a Balm adept and pleasure is for a Jasmine adept, there’s no separating one from the other. There are many people who are serious about their faith who will still make endless jokes at their deities’ expense, and it doesn’t mean they’re any less serious about what they do.

And I’m sure some deities enjoy jokes at their expense, very much so. I mean, you know what they say about not being able to laugh at yourself, right? Deities aren’t necessarily exempt from that just as they aren’t immune to petty jealousy or taking cheap shots at each other.

I’ve already talked about this in my post on “Faith and Fun” and I feel that that post perfectly captures what Orchis House is about, and I think this sense of fun is something that tends to be looked down upon as lacking in spiritual value.

“Orchis italica” by Lumbar (Via Wikipedia)

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