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2015 q3 Newsletter

September isn’t over, but the kindred has wrapped up its business and considers the quarter closed.

Oh, what a quarter it has been!

Heretofore we had had our founding celebration/private retreat in July.  Call us wimps, if you wish, but the heat and insect activity of the July weather was detracting from our camping experience.  Thus, we moved that event to fall, of which more will be said below.

Instead, for July, we have now instituted a blot to Tiw (Tyr).  In kindred thew, Tiw is the deity who presides over our oaths and the mores of the tribe.   Our first blot to him went well.

August saw our Thunor blot as usual, called Hlafmas, or Loafmass.  Thunor (Thor) is associated most strongly in Norse lore as the god who smashes giants with his hammer.  Certainly he is that.  But he is also the god of rains, and in cult, a deity connected with the common farmer and the well-being of the fields.   August was thus our first harvest festival of the year, with Thunor as the presiding deity.  The food for these harvest festivals is always mouth-watering, and this was no exception.

Loafmass also saw formal additions to our Kindred.  We had met the Heaths at Winter Nights at Thor’s Hollow two years ago, though we didn’t have especially close interactions with them. But when they moved to the Mid Atlantic over a year ago, we invited them to our Loafmass blot.   A year later, they decided to pledge themselves as Gildan (members), an intermediate step between Friends of the Kindred, and Elders. They now belong to our inner councils and have dedicated parts in opening liturgy. More importantly, they are our friends, and we are happy to have them.

In August the kindred also attended Summerstow, a Heathen event organized partially by our own Crystal Groves, but largely by Brian Smith of White Marsh Theod.  We facilitated networking with the Heathen community and attended two worskhops. I have to say, for the record, the food at this festival was excellent.

Finally, September saw us at Thor’s Hollow for a private kindred retreat, our Founding Ceremony. The six members attended and had a grand old time.  The Four Elders renewed their oaths of Frith at the campground’s Ve.  Frith, it must be said, is a very sacred thing and not to be taken lightly.  But within the bonds of Frith, happiness and security find solid root.

And that is it with official business from us.

So what are we doing outside our religious lives?  Donald continues with his new career as Turd-herder extraordinaire. He celebrated a birthday at the founding ceremony, and has taken an interest in farming.  Crystal’s home business has blossomed, and she continues singing at local events with her amazing voice. Josh French is ever a family man, a counselor, and is kicking ass with his career-oriented classes.  The Heaths moved recently to a much better location. Josh is taking a heavy workload of classes this semester. Cat is building a cultic practice centered on spinning magic and its goddess.  Me?  I continue with my lore studies.  A lot of us are also into weightlifting these days.

Next quarter will see the nuptial celebrations of Donald and Crystal. We wish them nothing but connubial bliss!  We will be attending Winter Nights at Thor’s Hollow, always a highlight of the festival year.  Woden will get his due in November.  Yule in December is dedicated to the Mothers, the female ancestral spirits.

Thank you, as always, friends of the kindred, for your fellowship. GVK has always felt blessed to be part of a wider community of decent people.

Hail the gods. Hail the ancestors. Hail the folk.

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