Zanaryans have the genetic potential to control either of the four Elements (Air, Earth, Fire or Water), but they are born 'disconnected' from that potential. The Bonding Rites snap that connection into place, like plugging in an appliance that first needs a power source to work.

The Shrine Lords are able to 'power' the connection, forging a bond between Zanaryan and element, but they can only 'plug in' to one power 'socket' at a time and that bond is permanent.

Officially, only the Shrine Lords are permitted to learn and perform the Bonding Rites, and then only at the Shrine of Farahij? at the Naharar's Temple? (as part of the ritual involves testing the oath-taker's commitment, which is represented by the journey they must undertake, and the Temple is relatively central to all six nations so no one element can be easier than the rest).

"Farahij" comes from Zanaryan names that have something to do with each of the four elements, essentially being a word that represents all four at the same time. In texts, it is represented by a single, complex symbol, but that symbol is an amalgamation of all four elemental characters. ((- to be moved to Shrine of Farahij?))

However, while there are relatively few Zanaryans wishing to enact the Rites at any one time, there are still too many for a single Lord to perform each and every one, so they usually have at least two attendants to oversee the Rites in their stead (and, again, they are only permitted to do so at the Naharar's Temple?, and then using only the smaller shrine rooms surrounding the Shrine of Farahij?, each one dedicated to a specific element, that are set aside for this purpose).

Note: Enacting the Bonding Rites without the official sanction of the Shrine Lords is punishable by death. Scrolls regarding the Rites are guarded jealously to prevent the knowledge from falling into unwanted hands, and anyone granted permission to read this information is first sworn to the utmost secrecy (also punishable by death should their tongue slip).