Rules and Contracts
It’s going to depend on the specific devotional power dynamic that a person enters into with a Deity as to what rules may be present and if there will be a contract. The Godslavery dynamic is more well known for having contracts and rules, but that doesn’t mean other dynamics may not include them. While the human world of BDSM can be helpful when figuring out how to incorporate D/s into a devotional relationship, this can be one of those times when the devotional power dynamic deviates from human expectations. Human-human dynamics can include more specific information than a Deity is interested in, such as rules that the Master picks out the slave’s outfits.
Specific outfits may be desired for certain occasions (holy days, sex, etc.), but a Deity may only show interest in guidelines that let the devotee still make the day to day decisions. Deities may operate more along the guideline idea for other areas of life as well, and They may want to have a larger reach than some human dynamics – general guidelines for eating, profession choices for the devotee, ultimate say in major life decisions like moving, etc. Some devotees may find that rather than giving a lot of what is allowed rules, Deities focus on what isn’t allowed (what food to avoid, for example).
If a Deity intends for this dynamic to be present all the time within the devotional relationship with this devotee, these rules as to what to avoid may be geared towards the human’s health or have some long-term advantage (not smoking, or not consuming a lot of sugary foods/drinks). The ground rules that are intended to be in place long-term are less likely to include something for the lulz, though that’s not a guarantee. From what I can tell, the ground rules typically don’t change a lot, and from one renewal point to another, they are more likely to still be included in a contract.
A certain amount of the rules are likely to change in order to accommodate changes in the dynamic and situations that pop up in the devotee’s life, so it’s typically suggested to have a renewal point to check in on how the rules still apply. I don’t know if it’s easier to remember, but I’ve usually seen the suggested renewal point of once a year, on the anniversary of starting (rules going into effect, simply accepting the offer, doing a Collaring ceremony, whatever marked the start of the dynamic).
When constructing the contract with any applicable rules, it’s advisable to make sure the devotee knows about negotiation. Particularly in devotional power dynamics that are 24/7 and involve giving over a lot of control (such as Godslavery), the devotee needs to be aware of how they can negotiate decisions with the Deity. Are some rules completely non-negotiable? These are likely to be minor rules, but that’s not a guarantee. Are some rules flexible with some negotiating for circumstances that may pop up that are beyond the devotee’s control? Do rules directed at major life decisions have time allowances? The devotee may not be allowed to refuse the decision, but they can ask for X amount of time in order to do it, or they can ask for Y amount of research / planning time before officially going along with the Deity’s decision.
Can the devotee seek outside help, whether that’s with research, planning, or a divination session to make sure they’re interpreting what the Deity wants correctly? At a certain point, the devotee may need to just trust their gut and exercise their trust in their Deity, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t give serious consideration to these decisions. Letting their Deity have final say in where they will move, for example, will affect the devotee’s life in a major way and gives them some room to present choices.
There may be some rules or circumstances that crop up that the devotee can refuse. This may come up in situations where the Deity is lending the devotee to another Deity, or this may come up when other Deities ask to do something with the devotee. The devotee may have to negotiate from the start as to what happens in lending situations, and it may turn out that they can’t entirely refuse. It probably wouldn’t hurt to come up with some sort of protocol for lending, if the Deity indicates that it’s a possibility (devotee gets to meet Deity B before being officially lent to Them, devotee cannot be lent to another Deity for X reason / occasion, devotee can be lent for Y reason / occasion, devotee cannot engage in Z activities with Deity C, etc.).