Kraith Affirmation Ceremony

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Kraith Affirmation Ceremony is purely a fannish construct, originating in the hugely influential Kraith series and universe created by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and other select fans.

Lichtenberg referred to it as "Affirmation of the Community" [1] as well as "The Affirmation of the Continuity." [2]

From Lichtenberg's website: "This is modern-human version of the Vulcan Ceremony Jacqueline Lichtenberg created for her Kraith Series....One fan made original music that sounded "Vulcan" and we played the tape while another fan, a dancer, danced the Vulcan dance described in Kraith. Afterwards, the Kraith, a large ceramic cup, was filled with water and everyone drank -- we wouldn't do that today." [3]

From Lichenberg's website: "At several of these Star Trek Conventions, fans held Kraith parties called 'The Affirmation of the Continuity' which was a Kraith Vulcan ceremony. The Affirmation of the Continuity was sometimes a program item and occasionally a program item at regular sf/f conventions. Some collectors may have seen that item in program books from the era without knowing what it was about." [4]

As "Affirmation" Happens to Vulcans in "Kraith"

The ceremony, as it happens in Kraith, is described in great detail in these zines.

Before Surak, leaders were men who could draw lots of people together telepathically to unite them as a group mind. Called kataytikh (pl. kataytikhe),[5] this ability turned out to be genetic and they started breeding for it with arranged marriages.[6] By Spock's time the kataytikhe's task is to perform the "Affirmation of the Continuity" in which every 51.237 standard years, a group of no fewer than 57 people are telepathically drawn together by a kataytikh in order to pass on Vulcan cultural and social values. The Kraith is the chalice from which participants drink water during the ceremony. A woman with the kataytikh gene is a sterile Daughter of Tradition (T'Pau is one of these) and her life is devoted to public service. A Vulcan who misses the Affirmation is effectively outcast.

Spock conducts his first Affirmation in the first Kraith story, Spock's Affirmation. Sarek, captured by Romulans, misses the Affirmation but is able to "trans-affirm" in a unique situation during his rescue.

"Affirmation" as a Fan Activity

It is also a solemn fan activity that took place at conventions.

When like-minded fans gathered at cons, a planned "Affirmation" occurred. This sometimes involved dancing, music, and drinking out of the Kraith (a chalice/cup).

A similar fanac was Faith Day Ceremony, another Lichtenberg construct.

The Chalice in Action, Some Affirmation

The Locales of Some Fan Affirmations

Fan Comments


Friday night, after escaping from the pre-registered line with my badge and my life, I rushed across the street to to the Century Room where ST films were supposed to be shown. No ST films. No ST fans. Would you believe a group of overly zealous religious types? I spoke with the woman in charge (her little people seemed terrified of the idea of actually speaking to an "outsider") — nothing like communication. "Are you interested in religion?" she asked uncertainly, her vocal cords rusty. "Of course," I replied, wondering if I should explain the basic IDIC concepts and ask if she had Affirmed the Continuity. [9]


Afterwards we went upstairs to a Kraith party, where we Affirmed the Continuity. It was a lot of fun, and as usual my camera was busy, providing me with a series of very good pictures, even one of Jim Rondeau. [Jim Rondeau interjected: "HUH? Now wait a minute." — J]. After that party ended some of us went to Doris Beetem's room where we ran into one of the odd people of the convention, one who really thinks she's a Vulcan. [10]


Part of the reason that we had so many eager would-be collators [to help created the zine The Cage] hanging around was because there wasn't anything else going on. The art auction Sunday had lasted an interminable length of time and the Kraith affirmation held later on was a definite turn-off for some people. Others had left just to find something more interesting and wound up at the con suite. [11]


The next day I met Jacqueline for the interview. Her many and varied interests came to light -- including her Tarot and astrology interests -- as well as her early writing attempts. It was here I was formally introduced to House of Zeor (though I remember hearing about it someplace before), and to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series. Later that day I was "drafted" to work the Star Trek Welcommittee table for Jacqueline and AZ, as well as run some errands here and there. The following day I was invited to lunch with Jacqueline, her husband, and the rest of her entourage. That evening I attended a Kraith Affirmation as well. [12]

[from "What's an Affirmation?"]: Have you read Kraith? Kraith is the view of Vulcan culture by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and her associates. It started off as a few stories and has become a mammoth undertaking comprising many stores written by different authors but all conforming to the Kraith view of Vulcan and the Federation. One of the early stories in the series was Spock's Affirmation. This states that all Vulcans must attend an Affirmation Ceremony every fifty years and renew their commitment to the Vulcan way of life, thus assuring a continuity of Vulcan thought and philosophy. This idea has so caught on in America that "Affirmations" are held when enough STAR TREK fans who wish to be "Affirmed" get together. There has never has been an "Affirmation" in Britain because the Kraith creators have not visited here. However, this could change. At the end of August 1979, Brighton is the venue for the World Science Fiction Convention. Many U.S. STAR TREK fans plan to attend... Among our American guests will be Jacqueline Lichtenberg herself. Jacqueline is keen to meet as many British STAR TREK fans as possible while she is here. She has offered to hold an "Affirmation" ceremony for those wishing to be "Affirmed." Jacqueline will be staying with me in Bedford from 16th to the 20th August 1979. According to the numbers wishing to meet her and/or be "Affirmed" depends on what plans are made. If more than 20, I shall plan a small minicon in Bedford. The minicon would consist of video showings of episodes, a sales room, perhaps an auction and the "Affirmation." [13]


Kraith depressed me. It contradicted some of the aired trek info and some of it was dark, nasty stuff. I can't help it, I think affirmations not practical and the attitudes presented in connection with it illogical. The only thing about it that made sense at all was the idea that Spock might have an older half brother or sister. Kraith took itself seriously — a step beyond fun into "authorized" stories and Kraith Affirmations at conventions. [14]



  • The Disaffirmed by Ruth Berman, a Kraith story in which Uhura contemplates marrying a Vulcan castaway named S'darmeg. A Federation scout who crashed on a planet, S'Darmeg missed the Affirmation and is now a non-person on his home world. Printed in T-Negative #15, 1972)
  • Equity by Joyce Yasner, printed in Interphase #4, 1977)





  1. ^ from Kraith Photos
  2. ^ from Where Sime and Gen Meet, Creativity Happens. Where have you heard of Kraith before?
  3. ^ from Kraith Photos
  4. ^ from Where Sime and Gen Meet, Creativity Happens. Where have you heard of Kraith before?
  5. ^ According to Joan Verba, fan writer Joyce Yasner asserted a firm belief that this word was pronounced "katydid".
  6. ^ In Diane Duane's Spock's World, which has some influence from Kraith, the arranged marriages began as a way of breeding for "The Eye", the protective inner eyelid from the TOS episode "Operation: Annihilate". Some time later arranged marriages were also used to breed for certain telepathic traits.
  7. ^ from a comment in Warped Space #18
  8. ^ thumbnail photos are here
  9. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #7
  10. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #11
  11. ^ comment by M.J. Fisher in The Story of The Cage, the Se-Kwester*Con Too Conzine... or... How Not to Publish a Fanzine
  13. ^ from Star Trek Action Group (newsletter) #32 (December 1978)
  14. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) (1982)