February 27, A.S. XXXIII (1999)
Russian Winter, al-Barran
AE to Cathyn: Cathyn, now that you have returned to the Outlands, will you commit yourself to learning and to service as my protege?
Cathyn: [kneeling and handholding] If you would have me as your student, I am willing to learn.
Ælflæd: I will take care to maintain your faith and trust.
Cathyn: I will show my faith and trust in word and deed.
Ælflæd: I will give time and attention to your projects and fears and successes.
Cathyn: I will strive to be worthy of that time and attention.
Ælflæd: Of all the things you might learn from me, I most hope you will become a peacemaker and a teacher. You have a good start on this.
Cathyn: I will help you do these things until you think me worthy to do them on my own.
Ælflæd: Will you dedicate yourself to the study and practice of virtue?
Cathyn: I have no greater hope or desire than this.
Ælflæd: Then I will put your stated intention above our friendship if necessary, and will with all my heart and power aid you in that desire.
Cathyn: I will try to make your job easy
Ælflæd: Cathyn Fitzgerald, I accept you as my protege, with both hope and gratitude.
Ælflæd: As you are a royal peer, I have chosen not to use a belt to symbolize our bond. Please wear this inscribed ring, then, to remind you of me and to inspire you toward greater compassion, modesty and joy.
[while putting the ring on:]
Cathyn: As in many cultures, this ring symbolizes the bond between us. Ever shall I uphold those ideals dear to us both. Keep this ring to remind you of the commitment I have to aid you in all matters within my power, and be your diligent student.
NOTES: Cathyn had a ring that had belonged to his dad (on his right hand, in this photo). I had it inscribed with "compassion, modesty, joy." It had a ruby. He had wanted to try to make a ring, so from wax cast, he made a gold ring with a little ruby, and I wore that during the time of our formal association. Cathyn has both rings now.
I had exchanged rings with Helena the Fortunate, giving her a plain silver ring that Beau Marishka had given me for service, when she was baroness of al-Barran. We found a little fancier ring for me to wear while Helena wore hers. Helena also wore a gold belt.
Cathyn was my second student, then, for whom I wore a ring to remind me of the relationship. When AnneAliz was my student, we wore matching rings, as AnneAliz was also a Countess and for that reason, a belt seemed somewhat inappropriate. I know in some kingdoms it's done but it hadn't been done much if any in the Outlands.