Rain King

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The Rain King is the hereditary king of the micronation Kingdom of Bethsaida, a developing model country project. The Bethsaida Kingdom consists of a number of small groups tied together by their king. The Rain King is the head of state and head of government, with ultimate executive, judicial and legislative power in the Bethsaida kingdom. The succession to the postion of Rain King is patrilineal, meaning that one of the King's sons is the heir, and that females are not entitled to inherit the throne. Every October, the Rain King presides over the annual rain-making ceremony which partially consists of offering up prays to the Almighty.

The current ruling Rain King, Jesse I, ascended to the throne on 3 May 2009 at the age of 19.


Styles of
The Rain King
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Chief or Sir

The title of Rain King is the foremost title of the Bethsaida monarch. Other titles in use include Ruler of the Day , King of Rain Kings, Great Chief, Elect of God and He Who Must Be Obeyed.

The Rain King is usually styled as Your Majesty.

The consort of the Rain King is referred to as the Rain Queen-consort.

The Rain King's children, the princes and princesses, are often referred to by their order of birth, e.g., Eldest Prince, Third Princess, etc. The expression "born in the purple" is used to refer to the royal children.


Succession to the Bethsaida throne is always patrilineal. Agnatic Primogeniture is preferred but the Rain King may choose which of his sons to be his successor if he so chooses. The name of the designated heir must always be placed in a sealed box, only to be opened after the Rain King's death.

History of the Rain King

1st edition cover (Viking Press)

The basis of the Rain King comes from Saul Bedlow's 1959 novel, Henderson the Rain King. The title is also based on the Rain Queen of the Balobedu people of the Limpopo province of South Africa.

Responsibilities, powers and customs

The position of Rain King is highly honoured, exalted and ceremonial; he traditionally has absolute power over all matters, big or small, under heaven. However, in preactice, the Rain King is a quasi-absolute monarch. He must obey the words of the Holy Bible. The ministers of the Rain King are not allowed to listen to the king if he commanded to break any laws. The Rain King had certain laws that he has to follow over and above the rest of the nation, such as having to always have a torah scroll with him, and having limits on the amount of money he is allowed to have.

The Rain King's words are considered "sacred" edicts only in a traditional sense. In theory, the Rain King's orders are to be obeyed immediately. He is elevated above all commoners, nobility, and members of the royal family despite their chronological or generational superiority. Addresses to the Rain King are always to be formal and self-deprecatory; his subjects are to show the utmost respect in his presence, whether it includes direct conversation or otherwise. Anyone speaking to the Rain King is to address him as Your Majesty or Chief. The Rain King refers to himself as We (Pluralis majestatis), in front of his subjects, a practice reserved solely for himself.

The Rain King is the "fount of honour", the source of all honours and dignities in the Bethsaida Kingdom, and are bestowed at his discretion. The kingdom has developed a very complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. By convention, all hereditary titles are to be inherited by the eldest son of its holder, but always one grade lower. There are instances, however, where the Rain King grants the title to be "inherited through every generation" by rule of primogeniture. When this happens it is always regarded as an honour. Twelve degrees of nobility (in a descending scale as one generation succeeds another) are conferred on the descendants of every Rain King; in the thirteenth generation the descendants of the Rain King are merged in the general population.

One of the highest honours bestowed by the Rain King is the granting of ancestral rank, which is the ennobling of one's ancestors. This honour is retroactive and is considered a very great honour. Other orders include: the Order of the Golden Tulip, the Peacock Feather, and the Red Button.

One of the traditional marks of special favor that the Rain King can bestow is a scroll bearing a good-luck message.

The Rain King has a adopted the Byzantine tradition of wearing akakia, a pouch filled with earth that reminds the king he's dust and is the same as everyone else. The four gospels are placed on an empty throne as a symbol of the living presence of God. The Rain King chooses his bride by giving her an apple. There is an ancient tradition where a king points his sword north, east, south, and west which makes him the protector of the people of those directions. The Rain King Crown is considered to be on "loan from God." The Rain King must take off the crown when entering a church. This is considered more important than a coronation. It signifies that the Rain King's power ended where God was. It signifies the power being gave up on Judgement Day by the Rain King.

Anyone in the kingdom has the right to approach the Rain King and cry out for him to listen. The Rain King is obliged by tradition to stop and listen to his subject and help in whatever way he can. Even though the Bethsaida monarchy is highly ceremonial and has many rules of protocol and etiquette, the Rain King can be easily and regularly approached by the simplest people in the lands and converse with them in this manner. All people have the right to send petitions and memorials to the throne suggesting certain changes within the kingdom.

One of the official formulas used for appointing a high official by the Rain King is thus: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, my kingship given by God promotes you to [name of office or dignity].

A customary greeting on the day of the Rain King's coronation is the following: "May God grant you the blessing of reigning for a hundred years in peace and of celebrating for a hundred years the present day of your accession."

According to custom, the King must abstain from public functions, creating a mysticism fuelled by isolation. He communicates to his people through his royal councillors and village headmen and chiefs. Annual rainmaking ceremonies are meant to take place every year at his royal compound.

What the Rain King does to evoke rain is a matter enshrouded in the greatest secrecy. It is doubtful that anyone other then the king is in possession of the secrets as they are bound up with the title and power to succeed to the throne. The secrets are always imparted to the successor just prior to the death of the chief.

When a member of the royal family dies, the entire Bethsaida nation mourns.

Visitors to the Rain King or those seeking an audience traditionally bring gifts to present to the King. Visitors are usually required to remove their shoes and approach the soveriegn on bended knee while clapping their hands.

See also