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A Value Map for Participation in the SCA

This post is a continuation of the work I started in 2020 on the subject of demonstrating the value of Membership in the SCA.  If you have read all my work before, or if you are also a Business Architect, read on.  If you are coming to this discussion for the first time, start with Part 1 or you will be hopelessly lost. If you choose not to start at the beginning, at least watch this video I made about the first Value Map to explain how to read it.  Part 1: A Value Map for SCA Membership  Part 2: But Meggie, what does this all mean? Part 3: Updated Value Map for SCA Membership: 2023 This is Part 4. As an SCA we are notoriously bad at defining terms, and since we often use the term "member" to mean "person who shows up at SCA events" and also "Someone who has paid a membership fee". It will become important to this discussion to be clear what kind of "member" we are talking about.  I have already defined both these types of "members' in t
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Updated Value Map for SCA Membership: 2023

All models are wrong, some are useful  -George E.P. Box It's been a hot minute (ok, not really a minute, more like a long and agonizing 3 year Pandemic) since I offered an SCA Value Map.  I have a couple of updates coming in light of the most recent Board of Directors meeting (April 2023).  Additionally, I wish to support of Master Aeron Harper/ David Biggs' work on improper sanctions handed down by the Board:  A Tale of 6 Sanctions    And Mistress Iselda de Narbonne/ Alexandra Evans'  petition to the BoD to restructure the organization. First: Context for this article In September of 2020 I offered some professional insight on the value of a paid SCA membership during the time period when the SCA was struggling with not being able to attend events in person.  At the same time the Board of Directors asked it's participants to buy paid memberships.  I did an analysis of what the "Pre-pandemic" and "Current Pandemic" value of an SCA membership was in o

A Triad Poem for Valerian's Pelican

Three acts of courtesy a good man should strive for: Holding a hearth seat for the cold and weary stranger,  Word fame given wildly for another man’s deeds, Bountiful bread broken with all who come to his table. This is the courtesy of Valerian of Somerset. He offers the gift of abundance. Cordials of cordiality,  provisions of partnership; the communion of community.    He serves the whole Society with his hospitality.  Three animal senses are soothed in Valerian’s mead hall: Our tongues know the sweetness of milk and honey, Our noses breathe the perfume of fire and wood smoke Our ears hear the sizzle-song of meat dripping onto coals. While I with my voice, make a feast with my words, Valerian, with his flame, has made a feast for us all.  Your majesties, one more triad to end this poem: He is my peer, he is my peer, he is my peer. ------- This poem was spoken by me for Baron Valerian of Somerset as a part of his peerage ceremony during his elevation to the Pelican.  When I was still

A Plausible South Indian Laurel

Since I have been made a Laurel I have been looking for a period Indian depiction of a laurel wreath.  Almost everything depicted in SCA regalia looks more Greek or Roman to my eyes.  I didn’t know if there was a depiction of anything more Mughal I could find. Spoiler: I did not find such an image.  The Persian and Mughal artists were very enchanted with flora of their regions, depicting them on the borders of miniatures and in their garden scenes. But their images were naturalistic, and I could not find a depiction of either bay leaves, laurel leaves, or any leaves twisted into the shape of a chaplet. I was getting ready to chuck the idea out the window when I stumbled upon an interesting note while I was doing research for another project.  The Purananuru, an anthology of 400 poems written between the 1st and 3rd century CE, describes the wars, cattle raids, Kings, bards and battles of the Tamil people during the Sangam era . (1)  Rather like the Victorian language of flowers(2), the

My Elevation to the Laurel

For the TLDR focused among you: I was elevated to the Order of the Laurel on Saturday at Rapier Champs.  Thank you to the people who worked behind the scenes to schedule, organize, plot against me, and provide some truly beautiful regalia.  During Royal court on Saturday after the Rapier Champs tournament had ended, I was startled to hear my Mughal persona name called back into court.  The Order of the Rose had given courtesy tokens at the start of court, so I had already been up once, and I had settled in to wait until the end of court when I was supposed to speak at both of the Pelican elevations.  I was so startled that I said "Oh shit" out loud. So I scurried up to the dais, totally forgetting to let my husband Robert Earlson escort me, as is right and proper.   I bowed to the crowns, full kneeling obeisance, cause I'm Mughal and that's what you do before your emperor. The King spoke about the wonderful fights he'd had with me at Birka, and that they were the

Tamil "Oath of Fealty"

Since our current King of the East has an Arabic Muslim persona, I got to thinking about how my Hindi or Tribal persona might have interacted with a Mughal Muslim emperor.  Oaths of fealty, which are widely used in the SCA, is a European centric concept, and don't have the same meaning in the parts of the world that interest me.  As an intellectual exercise, I started researching it. I needed to know: Could a Muslim ruler accept an oath from a non Muslim?  And what would an Indian oath look like? Long story short: Yes, Muslim Rulers had to do some mental gymnastics to get it to work, but they did, and they did it in India specifically (Moin).    And then I found a reference to an oath in the Mahabharata which was used to assert the innocence of the person making it.  As I said, an "oath of fealty" was not a concept that applied in ancient India, but certainly swearing that something was true did apply, (Hara).  So I took the Sanskrit which had been translated into English

A Dinosaur Poem for Maika on the Day of her Elevation

Occasionally I write stuff for the SCA that is left turn from my usual.  This one was one of those.  I have known Maika for an appallingly long time.  She has always had a thing about dinosaurs. When I officiated at her wedding, plastic dinosaur toys were scattered all over the centerpieces. During the reception guests redistributed the toys, and they ended up in my hair, in my purse and slipped into my pockets, like a case of reverse pickpocketing. When she was given a writ for the Pelican I figured I owed her at least this much.   Her regalia included dinosaurs embroidered on the sides of her Pelican cloak, and there were dinosaur toothpicks included as part of the vigil food.  ++++++++++++++ I am Countess Chatrikam Meghanta and I will speak for the Order of the Rose for this candidate:   For the Roses speak when they’re inspired,  Or when a candidate’s admired By an Order, and is required, To answer questions, kneel before us.  Maika is that candi-date, whose work we can not calcula