Shining Tea Room

Tellurian Families

This topic contains 26 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Lucetta Jane Spurling 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #794


    Rayati all,

    A question for Herthelani: Considering that everyone here has Tellurian families, many of whom probably do not have intermorphic souls, what type of relationship do you have with your Tellurian family? Are you in contact with them? Are they supportive of your intermorphic identity or are they unaware of it?

    In amity,


  • #799

    Rayati Miss Carmilla. I don’t feel comfortable divulging personal details on a publicly available forum, but I think what you want is perhaps more an idea of the principle we strive for in this. Both menamity and gratitude are very important in Herthelan culture, and as far as we can share this with the Tellurians in our lives, we do. Often I have seen Herthelani actually put up with more from their Tellurian families than a Tellurian generally would, because our sense of duty is quite strong.

    It can be very difficult to communicate sometimes, because the way we think is different from the way they think and our interests are often different as well. However, it helps that even the most confirmed bongo generally has some secret liking for some good thing (that they are desperately hiding from the bongo police); this means we can converse with them on that topic pleasantly and they are quite grateful to us because we appreciate good things openly and do not mock them for liking them as well.

    The decision to tell or not tell people about one’s exile status is quite personal. Some do and some don’t – mostly it depends on the nature of the Tellurian involved. Regardless, a Herthelana’s difference is *noticeable* – even if she isn’t dressing differently *yet*, even if she still views Pit media from time to time, the way she sees the world and the things she values in it mark her as foreign. A common response to, “I’m not from this planet,” is an eyeroll and, “Yes, we knew that.” Of course, the more racinated a Herthelana becomes, the more different she appears, and family does notice. Some changes they appreciate. Some changes they complain about. Usually, with a little creativity and the right kind of compromise, things get worked out, and often family members find that changes they were suspicious of are actually rather nice.

    Not every Tellurian family member is safe to be around. Some Herthelani cannot be with their Tellurian families because of this. There are steps to take which can prevent or minimize poisoning, but real abuse should be avoided. It is sad that this is even a concern, but that’s Telluria for you.

  • #800

    Princess Pureheart

    Rayati all, dear sisters.

    Most of my Tellurian family is either highly toxic (both biological parents in my case), largely unavailable due to other commitments (much of my aunts, uncles and cousins) or in the case of my grandmother, the one shining bright star of goodness, sadly deceased.

    I do my best to be pleasant around my parents when contact is necessary. Issues of my pursuit of “lesbian relationships” to paraphrase my mothers words in a not too vulgar way, or deeply devoted intemorphic relationships to put it more simply, are absolutely verboten with my mother and have been cause for much violence towards me. Modesty in dress and speech as well as pursuit of delicate and innocent femininity have also made me a target.

    My grandmother knew, if only subconsciously, and was 1000% supportive. I suspect that had she been a bit younger she might have realised her own exile status. I cannot tell you how many sweet dresses, aprons, and strings of pearls she gave me, or how many times she would patiently put my hair in rollers or pin curls. I treasure her memories fondly.

    I do have one aunt by marriage and her dear daughter who know and are supportive. But they live a bit too far away for regular contact, I am afraid. Otherwise I really do not have a family to speak of–but is that so bad, to not have an anchor weighing me down in the Pit?

  • #803



    Yes I mean moreso a general idea of the principles in regards to relationships with Tellurian families. You know, I have a rather strong sense of duty as well. I believe in a strong sense of community within the family, even though I am fundamentally different than they. My family nurtured my physical body during my early years and cared for me in many ways. When my parents become old and grey, I refuse to have them placed in a nursing home facility, because I believe that it my responsibility and moral obligation to take care of them in their old age as they took care of me in my youth.

    You know, I have found much the same phenomena that even people who live mostly in darkness still have a part of them that loves things of the light. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have been in public and a girl in ripped up jeans and a T-shirt told me how much she loved the way I dress and how she wished she had the confidence to dress as I do. I feel almost as though the Pit rips out the confidence of many Tellurians and so everyone follows the same ugly trends. Even in the following of ugliness, Tellurians are not as individualist as they would like to think of themselves, because individualism is simply unnatural.

    I am really sorry to hear about your bad experiences with your Tellurian family, Princess Pureheart. But it is good that you at least have the memories of your grandmother as well as the support of distant relatives. I’m not sure if really anyone in my family is like that. Most of the women never wear dresses and are not particularly into the type of femininity I want to allow emanate from my life. But they are not disapproving of my dress choices either, thankfully.

    In amity,


  • #805


    This is a very good question, honoured Miss Carmilla.

    I often wonder if my proper sense of duty was ruined by the way I was brought up in Telluria. My mother was a very toxic force in my early life and continues to be completely unperceptive to anything sound. I’m close to my father, in our own stoic, supportive way, so I actually cheered inside when he announced that he an my mother were separating after 30-some years of marriage. To have my mother “out of the family” seemed like a long-awaited triumph. Is that absolutely horrible of me? So, I suppose I do have a sense of community within my Tellurian family, but my mother (and, indeed, my mother’s whole side) was never a part of it.

    All my friends and family know me as “gay,” and many of them know me as, “asexual,” as these are labels Telluria knows. However, I have yet to “come out” to anyone as Deanist, let alone intermorphic. I often wonder whether I should. Finding the courage to do so is another matter.

    Some guidance from our senpai would be most appreciated.

    In Amity,
    Lucetta Spurling

  • #808


    Honored Miss Spurling,

    No, I do not think you were awful, honored Miss Spurling. The relations of intemorphs to Tellurian families varies enormously. Some have little or no contact. Some have a strong sense of duty or community. Circumstances vary enormously, and we as a community certainly don’t say that anyone should do this or that in relation to Telluria or Tellurian family.

    I wouldn’t say there is a need to “come out” to Tellurian friends. If it is going to cause problems maybe best not to. On the other hand, not knowing who one fundamentally is does put everything on a somewhat false basis, I would imagine.

    I am probably not in much of a position to discuss this as I really don’t know anyone much in Telluria. People I do know I have not told, and it does make everything feel completely false and silly, but then they are not very important people to me so it does not really make much difference.

    In Japan I did tell the closest person to me what I was, at least somewhat. I am not sure what she made of it, but it certainly made it easier to talk to her.

  • #809

    Petite Sorcière

    “Gay” and “asexual” – that combination does really help, I think, if one isn’t going all the way in “coming out” of course it still leaves out a lot of things about why one doesn’t identify with Telluria and has different values, but those two probably make one seem sufficiently strange to them that the rest might kind of follow in their minds (seeing as how they build so much of their identity around s*x).

    I am not sure how many people are sophisticated enough to take in “gay” and “asexual” at once. They would probably tend to think they negate each other, and perhaps in a way they do – each one cutting off the other the parts that don’t apply to us!

  • #810


    Unusual circumstances led me to meet a young gentleman recently and when he started asking personal questions, explained that I was a doll. When later he asked why I don’t have a boyfriend I said “Dolls don’t – well, actually I know Barbie has Ken, but most of us don’t.” Which was much more accurate than saying “I like girls” which would give the impression I am “gay” which is not only impossible (as I am a chelana and not a femin any more than I am a mascul), but even in outward and apparent-to-Telluri terms, I am not.

  • #812

    I think my family knows who I am despite not knowing or understanding the terms we use. In fact, when I’ve tried broaching the subject, their misunderstanding of not just what I mean but what I could *possibly* mean has made things less clear rather than more. Mostly, I try to show rather than tell, and leave coming out to the debutantes.

    I think the one good thing the “aces” as some of that lot rather charmingly like to be called have done is (re)introduce the idea of a purely romantic orientation, as many of them *are* still romantically inclined. It is possible as that seeps further into Tellurian consciousness that there will be one thing at least that is easier to explain. Not that I’m advocating actually identifying with any Tellurian label or community when one is within Chelouranya and speaking to Chelouranyani, but at least there will be an approximate English translation that doesn’t require a thesis paper to explain every time.

  • #813

    To be honest, almost no one understands “asexual” at all. It’s really very strange to me that they don’t. But it does set one apart as different from even the LGBT crowd, which is helpful at the outset of a conversation. It also stops people from asking many awkward questions since they don’t know where to start!

    Honoured Sushuri-chei, thank you very much for your assurances and advice. I think your doll explanation is very clever and helpful. I know I have told people I was a little robot trying to learn with all my heart how to be a person, but no one really takes you seriously when you say that, no matter how true it is.

    I think trying to situate oneself with a comfortable(ish) handful of labels in Telluria wouldn’t be so necessary if there was a proper physical community flying the flag of the Protectorate, like in the old days. Something with firm edges. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  • #814


    Yes, honored Elefarya-chei, the thesis-paper thing is really the main problem for me too. If you aren’t going to know someone very well (and I am not with Tellurian acquaintances), then the sheer volume of explanation involved in telling who one really is is just excessive to the situation. That is my main reason for not.

    I have no idea who aces are. Should I have?

  • #815


    Honored Miss Spurling, I think we definitely need a physical community. What form it will take and where and when I don’t think any of us really knows. I think we are working toward it in the way that is right for us now – in building spiritual community. Most of what we are doing that doesn’t look like it (Japanese, for example) I have a feeling are all preparey steps on the way to that. But we aren’t really planners – we tend to go where we are led. It is really something we need though, isn’t it?

  • #816

    Ace is short for asexual, but a much nicer word, I think. Well, the latter term sounds like something you’d find in a medical textbook, and the former sounds all jaunty and genki.

  • #817


    Deuced if I can think of a better.

    I was not really aware of these peeples, but I do think it might make things a shade easier for us if that becomes a part of the WeT consciousness. Of course the s*x thing is only a small part of it and other things are a good deal subtler and harder to explain, but it at least gives a fairly easy box for that purpose. From my point of view the doll explanation still covers more. Of course they probably don’t believe it, but they probably wouldn’t believe the truth either, and it is much simpler.

  • #818

    Myriam Hildotter

    My spouse knows everything.  I couldn’t hide anything from her if I tried…and the times I have tried, I have made a mess of it, so it is generally best for me not to bother.  It was rather strange for her at first.  She thought about it, and thought, well, if you are going to be from another world, it might as well be one where people are nice and have good manners.  Some of my friends and family have read my blog articles.  I have gotten a lot of mixed responses from my friends and family, although, surprisingly many of them have been positive…and from people one would never have thought would approve.

    It took me a while to be comfortable dressing in a Chelouranyan manner in public, but now I do.  I am not sure what people think.  It occurred to me that if people are not embarrassed to go out dressed in their pajamas, there was no reason for me to be embarrassed to wear gloves!

    As to my family, I do not know how much they really know.  There are enough strange things to mention without getting into the “being from another world” part!  They know I am studying Japanese.  I get the question often, “Well, what you are you going to do with it?” and I say, “I don’t know.  It just feels like something I should be doing right now.”  So far, that has seemed to be a good enough answer for them.

    I stopped worrying about what people called me a long time ago.  I have been married to my brunette spouse for gosh…18 years this coming Hera.  There was a time I called myself a lesbian, but that felt wrong for long before I came here.  I have not felt the same gender as my spouse for many, many years, if I ever really did.  I haven’t “come out” about that for a long time, I just talk about my spouse, and let others do what they will with it.

    I think that the choice of how much and who to tell what to is a case by case basis.  The not having to go into a thesis is a definitely a consideration.  There may be other considerations such as employment which may influence these things.  I have left the business I was in, so that is no longer a worry.  I also am asked so “what are you going to do, now” by people.  I talk about starting an astrology practice and being a housewife.  That generally starts a long enough conversation that I do not need to talk about anything else!

    One of the advantages to living in the katte ni society of the Pit is that one can get away with being a bit different.  One of the things I have noticed is that the more comfortable *I* am about things, the less trouble others give me.  It is hard for Chelouranyani in that we do want to be part of a community and to blend into our community, but katte ni is the norm in the Pit now, I think, so I might as well go ahead and be who I am.

    I am sorry if this is a bit rambly,  I hope it helps somewhat, though.

  • #820

    Yuriko Rill

    I guess it would be good if “ace” was in the West Telluria consciousness, but it seems to me that this would not concern anyone but a potential spouse.

    It is really strange how much personal information that West Tellurians seem to be interested in.  Of course, if one is married, who one is married to is a rather large matter and is a community concern, I think.  As to the rest, that is between the married couple, I would think, as would be the decision of whether to have children.  If you are romantically interested in someone, the other person is either interested or not, so I do not know why anything else matters, per se.  Why would someone need to say more than, “I am very flattered, but I am not really interested.”  If they were rude enough to continue to press the point, then they are not entitled to any other explanation, it would seem.

    Sorry, I am still scratching my head about this.  Is it not possible to say that it is against one’s religion to engage in such things when one is not married anymore?  I would think that there would be enough Christian sects who still believe this that one would not need to say any more than that and could let the listener fill in the details with her imagination.  Maybe I am wrong about this though.

    I hope that I am not being rude or argumentative to be pondering about this.  It is not intended in that manner at all.  I am just a bit confused.

  • #824

    Petite Sorcière

    It is a very strange phenomenon, but Telluri seem to think this sort of thing is a vital part of who one is. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with personal romantic interest on the part of the person one is speaking to – it is more that they regard that sort of thing as a vital part of who one is. At least I think that is the case.

    I find it completely puzzling. But I suppose when one seriously believes that people are animals a great deal changes in the way one looks at life. Or maybe it is  just the way Telluri are  built.

    I think it may be not entirely unconnected with the habit of calling everyone by her given name. That sounds strange, I know, but when people use family names they are placing people in a setting of who they are and where they belong in the world. The given-name cult is based on regarding everyone as an atomized individual, and essentially an atomized individual animal. She does not have Estate or Function but only – proclivities. In this world-view, very different things characterize a person from what you or I would expect.

    I don’t know. Just musings really!

    Perhaps not unconnected with this – honored Sushuri-chei, would it be in order to ask why you feel Japanese might be a preparation for a physical community? What tantalizing things you sometimes say!

  • #827

    Well, honored Rill-san, I think you have a point. Certainly more people in the Pit seem to think they have a right to one’s innermost feelings and wishes than is considered appropriate in any normal society. However, there is one reason we might worry about what concepts Tellurians are or are not familiar with and the terms they use in this area: the discussion isn’t really so much about random looky-loos or acquaintances, but family. Obviously one’s family when one is unmarried should still offer some privacy of thought to a grown maid, but it is legitimate for a family elder to ask, “Do you plan to marry?” It would be nice, when they ask a Chelouranyana who does not have the marriage vocation, if they had some frame of reference for, “No, never, nor do I wish to.”

  • #829

    From what I understand, not yet being far removed from my Telluria-centric life, myself, Miss Sorcière is completely correct in that Telluri are very wrapped up in who one is as an individual. One’s proclivities, as she so accurately put it, determine which of the pre-sorted containers one fits into. The more snug the fit (and the more desirable the container), the more one identifies with that chosen container and can use its label as a means of explaining who one is trying to be to other people in very few words. One’s background and even one’s actions mean almost nothing compared to a long laundry list of random likes, dislikes, and values. It’s all very annoying and meaningless, if you ask me.

    One can easily see, then, how family life rarely engenders a sense of community. I know a lot of families that are downright adversarial, caught up in all the false dichotomies of which bongo opinions are “acceptable” at any given moment. Eating at table, if they do it at all, is simply a stage for argument. I should probably be thankful, on some small level, that my family never really ate at table.

    How lucky you are, Miss Hildotter, to have an understanding spouse. I think that’s just magical and wish you both all the happiness in the world. I must confess that I love your “Temple of Home” blog and live a bit vicariously through that ambitious project, as I’m not currently in a place to take it on myself.

  • #830

    Yuriko Rill

    Now that is an interesting question, Elefarya-chei, about family asking about whether one plans to marry.  Where I am from in the Motherland, most marriages are arranged, and the decision of whether or not to marry is really not a matter that a maid would make a decision about anyways.  I do not think that marriage was all that common though, particularly not in the city.  I think marriage was more common in the countryside, as most farms were run by one’s extended family.

    Generally, one’s parents would know whether or not one was suited to marriage though, and there could be many reasons one was not that had nothing to do with proclivities.

    I guess it is still an expectation that one will be married in West Telluria.  It seems a strange expectation, I think.  If that is an individual choice of whether or not to marry, it would seem a strange thing to ask in the abstract.  I guess if one is going to be asked about such things, I suppose it is good to have something to answer with.

    Anyways, thank you for your explanations, minasan.   That is tantalizing about Japanese being perhaps a step towards a physical community.  I am interested to hear myself!

  • #831


    Honored Elefarya-chei, I think this is an area where even more racinated Telluria differs from the Motherland, since marriage has always been considered to be the vocation of almost everyone, where in the Motherland it is not. Also romance seems to be mostly linked to marriage or potential marriage, whereas in the Motherland it is very often not and is very often same-sex without any notion of “gayness”. We don’t have that notion, of course.

    The idea of marriage as something that ought to happen is common in more racinated places in Telluria (such as Japan), and I think the idea of being “ace” would be rather puzzling to older Japanese people who would probably ask “But what does that have to do  with not getting married?”

    I am sure their puzzlement would be equally puzzling to West Telluri. They have no idea how their quite historically recent notion of “s*x” is not universal because it really has erased everything else for them.

    Increasing numbers of younger people in Japan do seem to be “ace” though. They do not marry, and extramarital nonsense really hardly happens. The phenomenon has become a “worrying topic” in Japan. So like the West Telluria, there is some (but not so much) disruption in traditional norms in this area – but it is taking a very different form.

    Thread forks here to “Marriage and S*x”–>

    Honored Sorcière-chei, I am not (I must confess) entirely sure what I meant. I get the feeling we are being led along. But I feel that as we develop our bonds we are going to need something other than modern English to enhance the possibility of communication in terms that are not set by that language.

    I think  our bonds maybe need to grow to a certain point before we can move on a physical community and that the Japanese language is playing a role in that. English really is a very limiting language in some areas.

    Sorry to be so very vague. I hope it makes some kind of sense.

  • #832

    Oh, of course I mean in Western (and particularly West Tellurian) culture it is a question to be asked rather than an instruction given or not given. And that’s another thing: the obedience one owes to one’s family in the Motherland is generally not even possible towards one’s Tellurian family because they are not part of the Golden Chain and are more likely to steer one wrong than right – even a good family.

  • #835

    Myriam Hildotter

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Honored Miss Spurling.  I am so glad that you are enjoying the Hestia blog.  Oh gosh, sometimes it feels like three steps forward, two steps back trying to reclaim my hestia, even with no longer working outside the home.  There is a lot to keep up with, even with a small house, and I really am quite blonde…which can be a bit inconvenient when it comes to these things.  A closet monster seems to be coming back (although not as bad as before), and I think (gulp!) it is time to take on the back porch monster.

    Yes, I am quite fortunate indeed.  I will be honest in that it took some time, and there are things that my spouse does not understand.  My soul has been through some major changes as a result of coming here, and in many ways, I am not the same maid now that I was before.  These changes have in some ways eased old tensions between us, but they have also created some new ones.  I am quite grateful, though, that I can be open, at least within my home.

    It has been interesting in that knowing that I am an alien has actually helped me in social contacts with outlanders.  I have much less of them now, but I have an understanding of why I feel so awkward with them when I do.  Instead of feeling bad that I do not fit in, I can accept that I really do not fit in, and let them just be them.  Also, knowing that social contacts with outlanders is awkward helps me to be prepared emotionally for it, and I use Bach’s Flower remedies daily, and at extra times when I know I will be in contact with outlanders.  The two I use most often are Walnut for protection and Crabapple to remedy poisoning.

    Thread forks here to Bach’s Flower Remedies and Homeopathic Medicine

  • #978

    Petite Sorcière

    Honored Miss Spurling wrote:

    One can easily see, then, how family life rarely engenders a sense of community. I know a lot of families that are downright adversarial, caught up in all the false dichotomies of which bongo opinions are “acceptable” at any given moment. Eating at table, if they do it at all, is simply a stage for argument. I should probably be thankful, on some small level, that my family never really ate at table.

    This is so odd, isn’t it? I suppose it is no stranger than a political system in which agreement and harmony on what is right is structurally prohibited. Parties of supposedly “respectable” rulers of countries have to be in perpetual opposition. Surely it is only familiarity that stops people seeing how extremely odd and inherently disharmonious that is? Or are West Telluri really that fundamentally self-inimical?

    The odd thing is that there is disharmony within disharmony, as Miss Spurling says. While everyone has “a right to her opinion” there is at the same time an obsession with which opinions are “acceptable”. How does one tabulate that?

    1. Everyone shall have a right to her opinion

    2. Some opinions shall be disallowed and excoriated.

    3. Which opinions are to be disallowed and excoriated shall itself be a matter of dispute.

    I am sure glad I don’t live there!

  • #979


    That, I suppose, is institutionalized discord for you!

    The other interesting thing is that while in the Motherland, the agora is seen as essentially a huge hestia, with the county, principality, nation and even empire being seen as a large family, with rulers being seen as  mothers and elder sisters rather than factional “leaders”: so in Telluria, from what you all are saying here, the hestia seems to be regarded as a small agora, mirroring the same institutionalized quarreling that characterizes the polity.

  • #1023

    The institutionalized quarreling is quite a strange phenomenon, isn’t it?

    When I have observed it and (to my embarrassment) participated in it (before I knew who I was), it almost had the feel of a sporting match of verbal and intellectual Vikhelic Arts.  The “sides” were clearly drawn, and often it seemed like no one was actually interested in solving any problems but in defending their “side.”  Often the “arguments” do not even seem like real arguments, but like a choreographed fencing match.  In some families, people seemed to be quite sportsmaidlike after a good argument.

    Sadly, I can not fully avoid the news, even though I do to the extent that I have control over my Image Sphere.  Now, when I must see the news, I look at it as if I am an anthropologist observing a strange culture.  It seems though that their politics are very much the same….verbal sparring matches.  The “sides” seem to be so clearly drawn that people will take absurd and quite ridiculous positions (even for Telluria) just to combat the other “side.”  West Telluri are very strange people.

    I wonder sometimes if they need an outlet for their over-Vikhelic nature.  It would seem less dangerous though to confine that to actual sporting events, rather than using serious matters of public policy for that purpose.

    Anyways, I too am glad that I am not from that world either.  It is quite nice to be able to step back from the nonsense, I think!

  • #1025

    This is one of the dangers, or at least considerations, I think, in bringing one’s Tellurian family into the knowledge of a Chelouranyan’s true identity. Surely, we will be expected to make a good argument of it! For me, at least, that’s not a conversation I want to have, let alone keep having as curious relatives try to “get to the bottom” of my sudden interest in a strange “religious cult.”

    I think it’s very astute, honoured Sushuri-chei, to see the Western Tellurian hestia as a miniature agora. Certainly that is precisely what has happened. I’m sure even the Tellurian mind wars with itself thus.

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