Fifth Month
Passage Hand
Year 10,174 Contasta Ar


This is a short narrative and relevant references references from the Books where "Gods" are mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,

Who did the common Gorean, be he of Ar or Torvaldsland or The Wagon Peoples or the Barrens venerate as Gods?

During his instruction in Gorean life by Torm, Tarl mentions this.

Oddly enough, there was little religious instruction, other than to encourage awe of the Priest-Kings, and what there was, Torm refused to administer, insisting it was the province of the Initiates. Religious matters on this world tend to be rather carefully guarded by the Caste of Initiates, who allow members of other castes little participation in their sacrifices and ceremonies. I was given some prayers to the Priest-Kings to memorize, but they were in Old Gorean, a language cultivated by the Initiates but not spoken generally on the planet, and I never bothered to learn them. To my delight, I learned that Torm, whose memory was phenomenal, had forgotten them years ago.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 40

However, Tarl did become familiar with offering a libation to the Priest-Kings.

Cabot lifted his Scotch again, holding it before him, not drinking. Then, ceremoniously, bitterly, he poured a bit of it out onto the table, where it splattered, partly soaking into a napkin. As he performed this gesture, he uttered some formula in that strange tongue I had heard but once before when I had nearly perished at his hands. Somehow I had the feeling that he was becoming dangerous. I was uneasy.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I am offering a libation," he said. "Ta-Sardar-Gor."

"What does that mean?" I asked, my words fumbling a bit, blurred by the liquid, made unsteady by my fear.

"It means," laughed Cabot, a mirthless laugh, "- to the Priest-Kings of Gor!"
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 13

Mentioned another time and happening in the presence of one of the Wagon Peoples, notice the thoughts of Kamchak.

I observed the banquet tables, laid out in an open-ended rectangle, permitting slaves to enter at the open end, facilitating the serving, and, of course, allowing entertainers to perform among the tables. To one side there was a small altar to Priest-Kings, where there burned a small fire. On this fire, at the beginning of the feast the feast steward had scattered some grains of meal, some colored salt, some drops of wine. "Ta-Sardar-Gor," he had said, and this phrase had been repeated by the others in the room. "To the Priest-Kings of Gor." It had been the general libation for the banquet. The only one in the room who did not participate in this ceremony was Kamchak, who thought that such a libation, in the eyes of the sky, would not have been fitting. I partook of the libation out of respect for Priest-Kings, for one in particular, whose name was Misk.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 89

Now, just because Tarl was willing to offer a libation to the Priest-Kings does not mean he was always willing to obey them, or at least, what some say is obedience.


A great, solemn, hollow voice boomed. All eyes on the roof turned to the sound of that voice. The Supreme Initiate of Ar himself stood forth, separating himself disdainfully from the cowering knot of white-robed figures that cringed behind him. He strode majestically across the roof. Both the men of Ar and those of Pa-Kur fell back. The Supreme Initiate was an emaciated, incredibly tall man, with smooth-shaven, bluish, sunken cheeks and wild, prophetic eyes. He was ascetic, fervent, sinister, fanatic. One long, clawlike hand was raised grandly to the heavens. "Who will challenge the will of the Priest-Kings?" he demanded.

No one spoke. The men, of both sides, fell back even farther. Pa-Kur himself seemed awed. The spiritual power of the Supreme Initiate was almost sensible in the air. The religious conditioning of the men of Gor, based on superstition though it might be, was as powerful as a set of chains more powerful than chains because they did not realize it existed. They feared the word, the curse, of this old man without weapons more than they would have feared the massed swords of a thousand foemen.

"If it is the will of the Priest-Kings," I said, "to bring about the death of an innocent girl, then I challenge their will."

Such words had never before been spoken on Gor.

Except for the wind, there was no sound on the great cylinder.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 206

When Goreans do pray, they do so standing up.

Goreans commonly pray standing. The hands are sometimes lifted, and this is often the case with praying Initiates.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 17

Below are listed the "Gods" I have found within the series.

The Nameless One
The Old Gods
The Priest-Kings
The Red Savages
The Sea
The Sky
The Sun
The Other, Stranger Gods


The Nameless One
To The Top

"Do you worship the Nameless One?" asked Cabot.

"What is worship?" asked a Kur.

"Do not be misled into heresy," said a Kur. "There are only Eleven Faces of the Nameless One."

"Some say many," said another.

"They are mistaken," said the Kur.

"Why eleven?" asked Cabot.

"Who knows," he said. "That is the number."

"Why not five, or ten or fifteen?" asked Cabot. "Or a thousand?"

"We do not know," said another. "Eleven is the number."

"That is the teaching," said another.

"I do not understand much of this," said Cabot.

"Do not despair," said a Kur. "We, too, cannot understand it."

"Much is beyond the scope of the finite mind," said another.

"Inconsistencies are to be ignored?" asked Cabot.

"Rather, transcended," said a Kur.

"What if Agamemnon dies?" asked Cabot.

"How can he die?" asked another.

"He is the Eleventh face of the Nameless One," said another.

"But what if he were to die?" asked Cabot.

"That which speaks through the eleventh mask cannot die," said a Kur.

"It is one, the Nameless One," said another.

"Agamemnon is mortal," said Cabot.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 456


The Old Gods
To The Top

The men of Torvaldsland, on the whole, I knew, while tending to respect Priest-Kings, did not accord them special reverence. They held to old gods, and old ways. The religion of the Priest-Kings, institutionalized and ritualized by the castle of Initiates, had made little headway among the primitive men to the north. It had, however, taken hold in many towns, such as Kassau.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 26

But Ivar Forkbeard had come in death, if not in life, to the temple of Priest-Kings, betraying the old gods, to have his bones anointed with the grease of Priest-Kings. No more would he make over his ale, with his closed fist, the sign of the hammer.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 38

"Praise be to Odin!" he cried.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 39

Standing on the broken fragments of the circle, Ivar Forkbeard cried out, his ax lifted, and his left hand, too, "Praise be to Odin!" And then, throwing his ax to his left shoulder, holding it there by his left hand the turned and faced the Sardar, and lifted his fist, clenched. It was not only a sign of defiance to Priest-Kings, but the fist, the sign of the hammer. It was the sign of Thor.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 48

Religious rune stones are repainted by rune-priests on the vigil of the feast-season of Odin, which on Gor, takes place in the fall.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 230

It coursed through the thronged warriors; it seemed a tangible thing, communicating itself from one to another; it was almost as though one could see it, but one could not see it, only its effects. I could trace its passage. It seemed first a ghastly infection, a plague; then it seemed like a fire, invisible and consuming; then it seemed like the touching of these men by the hands of gods, but no gods I knew, none to whom a woman or child might dare pray, but the gods of men, and of the men of Torvaldsland, the dread, harsh divinities of the cruel north, the gods of Torvaldsland. And the touch of these gods, like their will, was terrible.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 247

In Gorean legends the Priest-Kings are said to have formed man from the mud of the earth and the blood of tarns. In the legends of Torvaldsland, man has a different origin. Gods, meeting in council, decided to form a slave for themselves, for they were all gods, and had no slaves. They took a hoe, an instrument for working the soil, and put it among them. They then sprinkled water upon this implement and rubbed upon it sweat from their bodies. From this hoe was formed most men. On the other hand, that night, one of the gods, curious, or perhaps careless, or perhaps driven from the hall and angry, threw down upon the ground his own great ax, and upon this ax he poured paga and his own blood, and the ax laughed and leaped up, and ran away. The god, and all the gods, could not catch it, and it became, it is said, the father of the men of Torvaldsland.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 257 - 258


The Priest-Kings
To The Top

The more common expression for the sun was Tor-tu-Gor, which means Light Upon the Home Stone. There was a sect among the people that worshipped the sun, I later learned, but it was insignificant both in numbers and power when compared with the worship of the Priest-Kings who, whatever they were, were accorded the honors of divinity. Theirs, it seems, was the honor of being enshrined as the most ancient gods of Gor, and in time of danger a prayer to the Priest-Kings might escape the lips of even the bravest men.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 28 - 29

The utter masters of that world, which we will call Gor, are alleged to be the Sardar, an expression commonly translated as Priest-Kings, a word, we suppose, which tells us less of their nature than of the awe they inspire. Certainly it is a word suggesting power, perhaps of an unusually potent and unnatural sort, and mystery. One gathers the Priest-Kings are worshipped as gods, which flattery, if they have taken note of it, they apparently tolerate, and perhaps, for their own purposes, even indulge, and encourage.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 7

The Priest-Kings of Gor, who served as the divinities of this rude planet, inspired little but awe, and occasionally fear. Men lived in a truce with the Priest-Kings, keeping their laws and festivals, making the required sacrifices and libations, but, on the whole, forgetting about them as much as possible.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 104

It was not far to the fair of En'Kara, one of the four great fairs held in the shadow of the Sardar during the Gorean year, and I soon walked slowly down the long central avenue between the tents, the booths and stalls, the pavilions and stockades of the fair, toward the high, brassbound timber gate, formed of black logs, beyond which lies the Sardar itself, the sanctuary of this world's gods, known to the men below the mountains, the mortals, only as Priest-Kings.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 8

In Gorean legends the Priest-Kings are said to have formed man from the mud of the earth and the blood of tarns.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 257

Most, I suspect, I feared that, given the doings on the beach at Port of Samnium and the fires in the woods, which men now strove to extinguish, it might have attracted the attention of the denizens of the palisaded, gloomy Sardar, the attention of the gods of fresh, green, beautiful, perilous Gor, the mysterious, mighty Priest-Kings of Gor.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 504

The Initiates, who eschew sex and beans, and purify themselves by the study of mathematics, claim to be intermediaries between 'Priest-Kings,' the supposed gods of Gor, and mortals.
Treasure of Gor     Book 38     Page 80

"Who are the Priest-Kings?" I asked.

"The gods of Gor," she said. "I do not know if they exist or not. Supposedly they live in the Sardar Mountains, a palisaded, mysterious, dark, forbidden terrain."
Treasure of Gor     Book 38     Page 125

"I know little more than you," said the patron, "and I suspect that my principal knows little more than I, but it seems serious matters are afoot. Let me speak generally for a moment. What do you know of Priest-Kings?"

"I understand them to be mythical creatures, fabled to be the gods of Gor. There is a caste, the Initiates, which claims to be favored by them, to be able to interpret their will, to intercede with them on behalf of humans, and so on."

"The Priest-Kings are large, splendid, powerful humanlike beings, are they not?"
Treasure of Gor     Book 38     Page 366

"There is the Sardar!" cried a man.

I heard others cry out, similarly.

I had been told that the Sardar mountains were black, and encircled by a high palisade.

Supposedly the Priest-Kings of Gor, the mysterious gods of this world, held their courts within those mountains. Do not many cultures populate their worlds with such fanciful creatures? It was said that not even tarns could fly over those mountains, but would become disoriented and uncontrollable. I found that unlikely, but it added an element of interest to the mythology of the area.
Treasure of Gor     Book 38     Page 410


The Red Savages
To The Top

Too, if one regards these things as of any interest, the counting of coup and intertribal warfare lends color, excitement and zest to the lives of the red savages. They live in a world in which danger is not unknown. Surely they could live otherwise, but they have not chosen to do so. They live with the stars and the winds, and the kaiila and kailiauk. They have not chosen to revere the fat-bellied, beer-drinking gods of more sedentary peoples. Too, of course, it should be noted that the counting of coup tends, statistically, to ensure that it is the stronger and healthier, the more alert, the more intelligent and sharper-sensed who will reproduce themselves.
Savages of Gor     Book 17     Page 45

An adult Herlit is often four feet in height and has a wingspan of some seven to eight feet. The hunter must beware of being blinded or having an artery slashed in the struggle. The fifteen tail feathers are perhaps most highly prized. They are some fourteen to fifteen inches in height, and yellow with black tips. They are particularly significant in the marking of coups. The wing, or pinion, feathers are used for various ceremonial and religious purposes. The breath feathers, light and delicate, from the base of the bird's tail, are used, with the tail feathers, in the fashioning of bonnets or complex headdresses. They, like the wing feathers, may also be used for a variety of ceremonial or religious purposes.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 315


The Sea
To The Top

After a lean dark winter spring is welcome. The shed doors are opened, the vessels on their rollers emerge, into the light, as though awakening, and the rigging, refitting, caulking, and painting begins. It is lovely when, later, the ships, wreathed with flowers, to singing and music, are brought to the water. Oil, and wine, and salt are poured into Thassa, the oil to calm her waters, the wine that she may be warmed and pleased, and the salt, in its preciousness, for honor, prestige, life, and hope, and, too, that it may be mixed with her own, that she may accept the ship as one with her, to be sheltered and protected, as sister, as kin.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 99


The Sky
To The Top

I suppose the Tuchuks worship nothing, in the common sense of that word, but it is true they hold many things holy, among them the bosk and the skills of arms, but chief of the things before which the proud Tuchuk stands ready to remove his helmet is the sky, the simple, vast beautiful sky, from which falls the rain that, in his myths, formed the earth, and the bosks, and the Tuchuks. It is to the sky that the Tuchuks pray when they pray, demanding victory and luck for themselves, defeat and misery for their enemies. The Tuchuk, incidentally, like others of the Wagon Peoples, prays only when mounted, only when in the saddle and with weapons at hand; he prays to the sky not as a slave to a master, nor a servant to a god, but as warrior to a Ubar; the women of the Wagon Peoples, it might be mentioned, are not permitted to pray;
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 28


The Sun
To The Top

The more common expression for the sun was Tor-tu-Gor, which means Light Upon the Home Stone. There was a sect among the people that worshipped the sun, I later learned, but it was insignificant both in numbers and power when compared with the worship of the Priest-Kings who, whatever they were, were accorded the honors of divinity. Theirs, it seems, was the honor of being enshrined as the most ancient gods of Gor, and in time of danger a prayer to the Priest-Kings might escape the lips of even the bravest men.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 28 - 29


The Other, Stranger Gods
To The Top

The figure, as it could, was standing, just within the retaining wall. I did not know if it were praying, perhaps to the Priest-Kings, perhaps to other, stranger gods, or not. Goreans pray standing.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 649


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