The Children of the Arixi Sisterhood
Diana DeRiggs and Csillag
NOTE: This report, written by the Jedi Archivist, Jocasta Nu, lies as yet undiscovered in the ruins of the Jedi Temple archives.
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When danger comes, the seeds must disperse, so that we may coalesce again.
This is the single line written in the Bible of the Arixi Sisterhood, under the procedures to be followed in times of grave danger. Over the millennia, this had been interpreted as educational or mission work, but it's true meaning was not understood until the dangers became real. Then it was obvious that it meant to disband the Order, and especially to throw the children to the winds, leaving them to fate and the Force to survive. When the danger was past, the children would have grown, and -- wiser that those who bore them -- would recreate the Sisterhood anew, better than before.
The Sisterhood did indeed consist of women only. This implied that they were gathered from the general population, like nuns in convents, or like the Jedi on Coruscant. This was only partially true.
They also bore children, and yet no male child was ever observed with them. How is it that they could have children in the absence of men, and guarantee only female children?
They could not, of course. Men were allowed in their walls only under very strict conditions:
The Jedi had offered to deliver the contents of a sperm bank to the Sisters, but this had been refused on the grounds that the Sisters stood for natural order in the Force. Besides which, they enjoyed the sex.
When male children were born, they were nursed for a month, then were turned over to the Emissary. This Sister's sole responsibility was outplacement of the male infants. She and her staff would find suitable foster parents and she would leave the child with them. No mention would ever be made of the Sisterhood. The sole clue was delivered when the parents agreed to keep the infant -- the Emissary would open the hood of her cloak to reveal a mark on her face or scalp. This was the symbol of the Arixi Sisterhood.
Why were the male babies given away so readily? Long ago, it was decided that the presence of men detracted from the mission of the Arixi Sisterhood. The second reason was much more pragmatic: the boys would grow into men, and could conceive children strong in the Force, thereby enriching the galaxy. Men being men, it was likely that they could conceive many children simultaneously, whereas with women, no matter how many men they slept with, they could only carry one or two children at any given time. It was simply a matter of reproductive politics.
In times of war and severe galactic distress, the Sisterhood might need to disband and go underground. But who would care for the children? The Emissary's job doubled during those times, as she was charged to give away not only the boys, but the girls as well. Thus during such times, the population of Force-strong infants among the general population might double; they are all related to one another through the Arixi Sisterhood.
Not only are the fathers chosen carefully, but the mothers are screened even more carefully. A woman who cannot follow through within the discipline of the Sisterhood is removed from the pool of candidates. If a woman becomes pregnant through carelessness or through an illicit and unauthorized coupling, she is likewise removed. In extreme cases, the women were also made infertile through surgery, or through the will of the Force.
As healing is primary among the missions of the Sisterhood, breeders were selected for their healing talents and skills. The ideal candidate would be a woman in the peak of her fertility, who has already demonstrated outstanding native talent in the healing arts, including diagnosis, medicines, understanding of the Force in healing physiology, and empathy for the sick and distressed. Such a woman would have to be in top health at all times, to continue her own education, to heal others, and to carry as many children as possible, so long as her fertility allowed.
One of the unstated reasons Jedi are generally forbidden to have intimate relationships lies in the activities of the Arixi Sisterhood -- it can never be known which Jedi might be related to whom. No such records are kept, for privacy and practical reasons. Of course, the primary reason for this Jedi rule is the complexity of sentient psychology -- if Jedi form intimate bonds, they cannot be trusted to make good decisions for the good of the galaxy. They will be forever tainted for the love of their own seed. For this reason, the Arixi Sister selected for breeding will never know which child they had borne. In all cases, she will not know the name or face of the Jedi who impregnates her. Requests can never be made by either the Sister or the Jedi to breed with specific individuals. This is frowned upon, for genetic variety is important to maximize the strength of the Force-strong pool of children born. Occasionally, through the will of the Force, the same Sister and Jedi pairing will produce several children, but the Emissary's job is to distribute the children widely, so that accidental future pairings within the same gene pool will be minimized.
The origins of the Arixi Sisterhood are ancient, and can be traced back to a prophecy that states that there will come a time when the Force will conceive a child through a woman possessing Force talent. That child will bring about a change in the Force itself. It is fervently hoped that the woman will be under the protection of the Arixi Sisterhood, so that the child will be protected as befits one conceived by the Force.
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Author's Comment: This piece was inspired by Discovering Their Past; the symbol referenced is illustrated in The Arixi Sisterhood.
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