Hail, Friends! It’s time again for a quarterly wrap-up!
- January: As we always do, we honored Woden for the creation of the world. We ritually reenacted the sacrifice of Ymir by creating a bread simulacrum and dismembering him.
- February: The Charming of the Plow was observed on an unseasonably warm day. Ing was honored and gardening tools ritually blessed. We planted seeds which will be cultivated through the year and eaten later at one of our harvest blots.
- March: The weather turned cold, sadly. We enacted our first rite to Eorthan Modor, the Anglo-Saxon earth goddess. Members brought gardening dirt from their homes which was ritually blessed.
- April 9th: Hretha and Eostre Daeg. Celebrate the dark half of the year transitioning into the light half.
- May 14th. Flower Festival. We honor our tribal mother, Frige and the brilliance of spring with floral offerings.
- June 18th: Litha /Midsummer. To be held at Thors’s Hollow campground. An outdoor festival to Sunna and the Elves.
- July 9th. Tiw Blot. Honor the god who guards our tribal mores.
- July 23rd. Pubmoot. Our first pubmoot in a while. Details here: http://greatvalleykindred.com/pubmoot-72317/
- August 12th: To be held on a Saturday, for a change. Honoring Thunor as hallower of the fields. The first harvest festival of the year. Honored with loafs of bread!
September is a private retreat, and October is a semi-private event. Thus, that pretty much concludes the public ritual year till the onset of winter.
This quarter we added two members to the ranks of Gildan, an intermediate stage on the way to becoming Elders (full members). Please welcome Jen and Kim to our ranks, two honorable Heathen ladies! We continually enrich our ourselves with slow but quality growth. We hope to add more members in the future.
In this volatile time of Heathen politics, it behooves us to iterate our core values as a kindred.
Our primary cultural influence is Old England, not Scandinavia. A lot of us have ancestral and cultural ties to the Saxons rather than the Vikings.
While so much of mainstream Asatru is concerned with Viking warrior values (as they perceive them), we are a more peaceful lot. We observe the tide of seasons, the agrarian mirth of coaxing greenery from the earth mother’s bosom. We tread mindfully the cycle of the year as the light half transitions to the dark half, and then back again.
While much of Heathenry tears itself apart with continual wars over the supposed dichotomy between Lore/History and Experience/Gnosis, we have managed to blend both seamlessly. Our ranks admit some very well-read people who teach workshops on the historical reality of Heathenry. But nonetheless we are modern Americans rooted in modern culture and climes, taking our Heathenry into a new era suitable for cotemporary life. Likewise, our ranks admit plenty of members with esoteric experience and interests. We know the gods both through crusty old books as well as direct personal experience. We blend both into a meaningful votive relationship of GIFTING the holy powers.
We are serious about what we do, but we are also laid-back. Food and drink and laughter grace our tables. We are friends united in fellowship and mirth. It’s best to have a sense of humor when you enter our halls.
We in the kindred have watched in horror as Heathenry tears itself apart over wars of identity and inclusion. Our kindred has always taken the position that an interest in the gods and ancestors admits you to the table, and diligence in study combined with a worthy character lets you remain at the table. We do not hold with those who have ethnic or gender/sexuality requirement for admittance to Heathenry.
Further, we have no desire to associate with those who articulate such lurid requirements. We are not a public church, but a private brotherhood, and we have no qualms about vocalizing our preferences and ideology. While some groups seem to think there is something to be gained with trying to establish a polite dialogue with Nazis over high tea, our unanimous sentiment is that people who misuse Heathenry for racialist agendas can eat shit and die.
That’s it from us. Here is to wishing to a nice summer ahead!
— Jeremy and GVK