If so, check the Händelsar Page and
come join us (or email us for directions to our off site gatherings).
Let’s bang heads over a cold one first before lifting the
Blood Eagle Kindred Report Autumn- Winter 2010
The coastline of the Ocean State was the location for September’s Njorð Blót. A small replica of a Viking ship was set to sail as a gift the bow-wife’s husband. Sunny clementine melomel was consumed as Sunna hovered overhead, her rays glinting off the waves like diamonds, evocative of the riches of the Sea. Folk returned to Karon’s for feasting and planning for the upcoming Florida trip.
In November, Amy and Ashley flew to Florida to attend Feast of the Einherjar weekend, hosted by South East Kindred. On Friday, Amy honored the bow-wife in Blót; the earliest attendees were present, making the smaller gathering quite powerful. Of note was the gratitude expressed to Amy for blessing a baby that was present and held in his father’s arms, which was a first experience for the young parents. Please see the South East Kindred report for a full accounting of the weekend’s events. For the travelers, it was a chance to renew the ties with South East Kindred as well as meet some of the fine Folk of whom Justin had been speaking so highly. We believe that the Alliance was well represented with the Alliance kindreds on the furthest points North and South the East Coast. Some misconceptions about the Alliance, particularly its structure, were clarified. Of special note was a request to discuss the role of the World Tree Ministry. Many people are still ill-informed about the purpose of the ministry, which is *not* a salvation-type ministry or a handout. Amy was asked to give a talk on the role of the ministry at the next Feast of the Einherjar so that more people would have the correct information. I’d like to lift the horn to Brooke for her intense work as head cook all weekend, keeping us all well (and deliciously) nourished. Hail Brooke!
Later that month, the kindred’s beloved Sydney was diagnosed with lung cancer. Sydney, more than once, alerted us to potential intruders when we were on public land. She participated fully in Blót and sumble, receiving the blessings of the gods on her forehead and, on more than one occasion, from the Old Bear in the form of whisky on his fingers, earning her the affectionate moniker Whiskey Lips. Her diagnosis allowed Karon to make every moment meaningful, as she and George nourished Syd in body and spirit.
In early December, Justin and Brooke flew to RI to attend Skaði Blót. Thursday nite, Justin & Brooke arrived late, so ritual drinking lasted far into the nite. He and Brooke were great help in the kitchen preparing for Friday dinner ~ baked ziti, salad, garlic bread, and setting up the buffet station, as well as helping inflate mattresses and getting beds ready for the Great Bears of CT. As we all know, once contact with the visiting tribe members starts, all work can go right out the window, so we try to get as much done in advance. Karon arrived midafternoon and stayed through dinner for good face time with South East Kindred. We went downstairs to the Ratskeller early in the nite and closed the place. Saturday was busy prepping the pork & vegetables, making cranberry sauce and apple crisp, and making the proper mead selections (always a very serious business). The wild juniper (harvested by Karon and Amy at Yule at the ShooFly reservation in AZ) metheglin was selected for the blessing and gifthorn, along with blackcurrant (abundant in Northern Europe) made from fresh berries. For the god's round, apricot melomel made with Sonora Desert honey (a gift from Valgard) was offered. The memory round was conducted with Alpine honey and Datura blossoms ~ a plant not to be trifled with but often used for journeying to the ancestors. Bog Blood Cranberry melomel (as we approach Yule) was used for the inspiration round, and the last bottle of pomegranate was consumed during the bonus inspiration round. This has been a rough year for most of us, so heartfelt words were spoken ~ and tears shed ~ over the horn. The Tribe's collective losses over the years have left the kindred with an unmistakeable intensity that many would find uncomfortable. We're not Kumbayasatru, that's for sure. Justin presented Jenna and Doug with the $75 towards the Greene's CD production. This brings our total donations up to close to $300. Thanks to all who donated to the Greenes; the kindred has had Blót there since the early days and it's gratifying to reciprocate and support their venture in turn. We returned here for feasting, beer, and beestings! Everyone felt drained from the intensity of sumble, so we all felt pleasantly full and sleepy, hence retiring (by our standards) early ~ not long after midnite. The Bears and Richard left soon after breakfast for the long ride home and work. While Brooke helped with dishes, Justin resumed his work in the parking lot moving debris. After a very enjoyably lazy afternoon of South East Kindred business and planning, Karon arrived to visit. We sumbled with the remains of the prior night's melomels and were inspired to blood Justin's horn and my antler gandr.
Later that month, Yule was held on the frozen peninsula that holds so many memories of Sydney, who by this time was approaching Bifrost with calmness and grace. A fine, freezing sleet added to the layers of snow sheeting the peninsula and pond; the early hour and overcast day lent a grey chill. At the close of Blot, in recognition to the Morrigan and her stark and terrible beauty, Karon gifted a bottle of Tropical Raven melomel in toto, tossing it far onto the ice until that time the ice would decide to thaw and receive her gift. We returned to Amy’s for one of her signature pasta dishes and wine, although the mood was decidedly subdued and contemplative. Within two weeks, Sydney would join the ancestors; the Skull Splitter answered a heartfelt call over the horn to make her crossing a quick one. Hail Sydney! Hail Þórr!
Sydney was hailed at Ostara, This past Winter has been extraordinarily harsh (the snowiest on record) and seems to have reflected the financial, emotional, and spiritual conditions of many in the tribe. Sonntag, however, proved to be a clear, Sunny day...a most auspicious day. Karon provided the naturally blue eggs, which are customary, and also in keeping with custom, kept the eggs unboiled. This keeps the handlers mindful at all times (in this age of mindless distraction, multitasking and resultant inattentiveness, very important, we think). We'd painted bindrunes for ourselves, kindred, and tribe, and purposely left some blank for inspiration as Blót got underway. Karon also provided comb honey, fresh organic cream, and Panzerfrau bought tulips. All were nestled in a shallow basket that the Valkyrie passed during Blót, as inspired Folk selected a blank egg. After a full rotation, the Valkyrie revisted the Folk and all spoke of their wishes before placing their eggs back in the basket. The flower represents the sexual expression of the plant, so we wanted to include fresh cut flowers. The cream represents the very richest that Audhumbla has to offer; indeed; we all wished for her warm tongue to melt the rind off our hearts and minds and bring into being that which we desire. Wilder (Fury) was kept *sheathed* during Blót, symbolically representing the reign of Nerthus. Panzerfrau wore Brisingamen and traveled to the house to bring the tribe to the place where we'd set out the goatskin (which has amniotic fluid on in, from the first baby born into Blood Eagle Kindred) and ritual items. The strophes spoken were less martial than is customary, but more evocative of releasing fetters, since most of us seem to be verklemmt in our personal lives...often from our own making. Freyr had a major presence there; the gandr which was gifted to me last year at the Alfar Blót was used to bind and send the runes after the Folk had departed to the house. We poured a small bottle of magical runic mead which was brewed by Valgard and me to bring into being what needs to be...
For Blót, the only mead in the mead hoard which has been brewed by a child was fittingly consumed. For sumble, we consumed Red Baron's Strawberry Blonde Melomel. As you may know, strawberries were considered sacred to Frigg and the circumstances of this melomel's brewing were most fitting to Blót. Karon was inspired to make an oath with me about setting a deadline for the first draft of the Bifrost Book. We took our oath on the same oath ring we were blooded on and by AlÞing, the first draft will be reviewed with Valgard. I wish my kinsmen could have been there to support Karon and me in this oath taking, but the gravity of our oath is no less. Afterwards, the tribe feasted on roast pork, twice baked potatoes, assorted vegetables, sweets, wine, and beer. Plans were laid for Midsummer in CT, among other things. It was hard to tear ourselves away, between the full stomachs and warm and fuzzy feelings, but we all had to get back home to our families and work. The new Folk in attendance found much in common with the tribe; as of this writing a Pub Moot is planned, possibly in CT, to accommodate other Folk interested in meeting us.
Blood Eagle Kindred Report Issue 78
In October, Karon's beloved father, Jack Klotz died unexpectedly
from an accident at home. Her whole family was there at Jack's bedside
as he passed. While Amy and Valgard were in OH with World Tree Advocacy
Business, Steve represented the Kindred at Jack's wake in CT, and
all Kindred members provided Karon with much needed support. A memorial
service for Jack is planned for October.
In mid-November, Karon got word that the nursing home that her ex-flapper
great aunt wanted to go to had a bed ready and within two days,
Auntie moved there. With only one weekend to clear out Auntie's
apartment, Panzerfrau gathered the troops, garnered a vehicle and
all made for CT to join Karon's sister and husband in cleaning the
apartment. Within a few hours, all was cleared out and Auntie's
belongings were safely stowed at Karon's mom's house. As luck would
have it, there was time before the massive roast pork feast Beverly
had prepared would be ready and the Kindred quickly gathered up
rakes, tarps and other implements of destruction to rake the yard
and garden free of leaves. Everyone had their fill of the pork roast
dinner (even Richard!) and many plates of leftovers made their way
home with the Kindred. Rumor has it of a new business on the horizon
– BEK Moving, Cleaning and Landscaping!
Later that month, Ýdalir was the site of a farewell to Summer
cookout. In addition to the usual grill fare, we were treated to
venison brought by our deerslayer and extreme martial artist Badger.
Richard brought assorted growlers from Trinity Brewhouse which were
savored by all. Matt brought a Polish-born friend, who shared bits
of his Folkish spiritual tradition with us, providing interesting
and stimulating conversation long into the evening.
In November, Feast of the Einherjar was held in the Veteran’s
Cemetery. In the past, this has always been held in a secluded pine
grove set back from the well-traveled paths. A toppled pine lays
at rest at the base of the lone, slender birch tree, so like a fallen
warrior at the feet of a shield-maid. This is where Blood Eagle
Kindred has always honored the warriors of our ancestors. Since
last year, another mighty tree had fallen, as if in a sympathetic
fashion to the scores of veterans dying daily, as a younger generation
rises to take their place. This time, the kindred stood before the
Vietnam memorial, leaving a red rose at the final plaque. A shrouded
crescent moon was barely visible through the tangle of leafless,
fingerlike branches, seeming to float above the granite memorial.
The staccato yammering of a dog, a fitting symbol of fidelity for
the fallen, echoed the hailing of a lengthy list of kindred members’
kith and kin. All returned to Amy’s, who had prepared gulyàs
in a nod to her maternal line, which had suffered a deep loss this
year with the death of her uncle, a doughty warrior who had richly
earned fame from combat. Heil dir, Sgt. Maj. Louis Stak!
December was the busiest month of 2257 for the kindred. The first
weekend we attended a Pub Moot in MA hosted by Nine Kindred of the
Northeast. The second weekend, Amy returned to OH to join Valgard
for the third time in almost as many months on World Tree business.
Following the day’s legal proceedings, evenings were spent
working on content for the pending World Tree Ministry website.
The following weekend, Hel was honored at the horse farm with Nine
Kindred of the Northeast.
The following week, Amy and Karon flew to AZ to join the Arizona
Kindred for Yule at Roosevelt Lake campsite. Karon delighted all
in attendance with her folkloric-style Irish fiddling. The Old Bear,
Clayton, Keldan, and Tasha accompanied the music by dancing jigs
and reels. The next morning, Sloe-Eyed Raven proved to be a quick
study as an aspiring Spam Gyðja under the guidance of Valgard
and Helgi. Resolutions were taken on the Spam can. The return flight
was delayed in Cleveland, but the World Tree volunteers arrived
safely home one day late.
Nine Kindred of the Northeast joined us for Jøl. Richard
hailed the Terror of Giants most fittingly with his hammer won in
a Þorian feat by his own hand at the Hammer Toss at Alþing,
while his lady Brandi served as Valkyrie. Richard’s intuitive,
fluid rapport with the landvættir was evident and felt by
all. Brandi spoke clear, strong words of the High One at the start
of each round. She had arranged the drinking horns within the snow
prior to our ascent to the grove. As the Valkyrie retrieved each
and poured the mead, the image was suggestive of promised Spring
thaw to come after this longest night—the melting of mountain
streams and the sap rising.
Skaði was honored on the horse farm in January, when we were
joined by Nine Kindred of the Northeast and Great Bear Kindred.
Panzerkatze Mead was sacrificed to the bow-wife, and Blood Orange
and KirschKuß melomels were enjoyed in sumble. As the horn
was passed, the crunching of snow and rustling of foliage could
be heard; dusk had just fallen and a deer was spotted through the
trees most auspiciously. Ingvi gave special sacrifice to his patron
for hardships recently averted. Hail Freyr! All returned to Amy’s
for Danish meatballs, stuffed chicken, roasted roots and tubers,
and other food and drink brought by all. Þhrymheim was rocking
late into the night with Patron, Anspach, and inspiring sing-alongs.
In February, deerslayer and graphic artist Badger took on the reconstruction
of the Odin’s Folk T-shirts. Shirts are navy blue with white
ink; orders and payment can be placed directly with Valgard. Plans
are in the works for fundraising T-shirts for Valhallapalooza. Karon
has begun the long process of scanning the complete library of Vor
Trú; plans are under discussion for reprinting this historical
record of the Alliance. The next issue of Heimdall’s Horn
will feature interviews with Valgard, Amy and Karon about the work
of the World Tree Outreach Ministry. In addition, Amy is scanning
the complete collection of Heimdall’s Horn; all issues will
be available in pdf format at that website in due course.
As this report goes to deadline, the redesigned Blood Eagle Kindred
website is nearly complete, constructed by Karon’s husband,
George Hartshorn of Downcity Digital. Hail the Hitman! Work will
begin shortly for the World Tree Publications website. All of the
work last year spent revising and reformatting the educational literature
will be evident, as most of it will be available for downloading.
To expedite the project, Matt has stepped forward to assist in typing
all of the remaining World Tree booklets and flyers for redesign.
Hail Matt! We’d like to boast that Matt has launched (via
World Tree Publications) the premiere issue of Ancestral Folkways:
A Journal of Indo-European Myth, Culture and Religion, which is
dedicated to profiling reconstructionist and Folkish European Pagan
traditions. You can check out the Ancestral Folkways MySpace page
or email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on acquiring
a sample copy or better yet, purchasing a subscription. The second
and third issues are in the making and will feature a two-part,
in-depth discussion of the Wolf Binder and Forseti, not to be missed!
Matt will be reviewing Viking metal CDs in future issues of Vor
Trú as well; musicians are invited to send their CDs to Valgard
or to Matt directly.
Blood Eagle Kindred Report Issue 77
Walburganaht provided a chance for old friends from Maine to return
and renew their ties to the kindred. The Bennetts offered Egil’s
Braggot, strawberry melomel and raspberry leaf mead, symbolic of
the Gold Weeper’s gift of passion and safe carriage, as Sarah
approached her first Mother’s Day. Pork tenderloin and an
abundance of grilled local vegetables and fresh breads were served.
In early June, we attended a Frigg concert (reviewed in this issue)
held at Johnny D’s in Somerville. The band definitely lived
up to their reputation of passionate, energetic players; the guitarist
popped a string on the final song! Best of all was a chance meeting
with Dr. Michael Strmiska, Professor of History at Cape Cod Community
College who approached our table and asked Amy to send him some
of the pictures she was taking. In the follow up email, Dr. Strmiska
mentioned his research work on our people and culture, so an interview
with Valgard was arranged for late Summer. The following week heralded
the arrival of Vinland Raids, an annual SCA event on Cape Cod. Valbiorn’s
period tent added to the atmosphere of the weekend. Marion played
her recorder on the sidelines as Sean battled on the field. Later
in the month, Amy and Karon attended the Blackstone Theater Irish
Festival to enjoy the open Irish session and step dancing.
For Midsummer, Great Bear Kindred joined the kindred at Ýdalir.
Upon the walk up the hill, a rabbit bounded across the path of the
ascending Folk, which would later be confirmed as a very auspicious
sighting. Blood orange melomel from Mädchens Meadery was offered
to the Beautiful One, while ten year old mead from Valgard was savored
in sumble. Valbiorn was Fleischmeister, grilling pork and bratwurst
to perfection, while Italian-by-injection Panzerfrau brought pasta.
The Bone Collector’s absinthe was sampled with gusto by many
in attendance. Roy and Lise brought strawberry plants from their
garden, which have settled into the sunnier parts of the land.
In July, we traveled to Joe Black’s in Hartford to watch Calley
McGrane and the Exiles perform their newest material at a Pub Moot
hosted by Great Bear Kindred. The band inquired about playing again
Valhallapalooza and gladly took advantage of Richard’s muscle
in moving equipment to and from their van. Newest developments to
the band are a set drummer and keyboard playing by Calley, giving
the band a harder sound as the night progressed. The bodhran player
dedicated “Whiskey in the Jar” to Valgard, which was
recorded in its entirety by Richard.
In August, Valgard spent a very productive week in New England.
In addition to the local World Tree work, the Old Bear was interviewed
by Dr. Michael Strmiska. During the interview it quickly became
apparent that more time was needed; the Professor asked for future
interviews for the various topics that emerged from this initial
meeting. The talk spanned several hours, beginning with the initial
meeting in a coffeehouse and concluding with lunch in a nearby bistro.
Over the weekend, the local Heathenry joined the kindred for a party
wrapping up the week of work. The H-D shot glasses came out and
tradition was upheld; and fine cigars supplied by Rick Oberg of
Raven Kindred were smoked. We were treated to Morris dancing and
singing by Ron Branga, recorder playing by Marion, Irish fiddling
by Karon, and a Chevy Chase impersonation from the Seagull. The
Bennetts brought a keg of their home brew to round out the variety
of beers brought by partygoers, and many in attendance met Jack
for the first time, who is growing to Thorian dimensions. A special
treat was a gift basket from the Brangas which included fertile
eggs from Othala Acres. These were scrambled the very next morning
for the overnight guests (served with Tabasco, of course).
Freyr was honored in a Blót moving in its simplicity as the
end of Summer was felt in the cooler evening air. The gift of a
good grape harvest – a homebrewed wine and a first –
was offered to the husband of Gerðr.
In early September, PFC Ryan McSweeney and PFC Melissa Gauvin were
hailed in Ýdalir in advance of their deployment to Iraq.
Richard carried the POW/MIA flag aloft during the climb to Ýdalir
as Brandi told the assembled Folk the stories of her brother and
cousin. Brandi fittingly served as Valkyrie during Blót in
a black linen tunic with red runic embroidery, every inch the stout-hearted
shield-maid as all offered words of praise and protection upon the
Bone-Sailor. Karon wore a fitted, flowing black dress and served
as Valkyrie in sumble, hovering around and beside each person like
the Mórrígan in her stark and terrible beauty. Mead
from Valbiorn and raspberry melomel from Mädchens Meadery was
offered for Blót and sumble, respectively. Everyone present
was able to name a relative who had served in combat. Family military
medals and Reed Pelletier’s field jacket lay on the white
goatskin; these men were likewise hailed in the memory round. Kindred
members and intimates asked for the protection and skills of Ullr
so that the warriors may remain canny, cunning and strong. Hail
Clan McSweeney! Later, all feasted on homemade kielbasa, bratwurst,
fresh local vegetables, pasta, and an assortment of sweets. Beer,
cider, Jägermeister and more absinthe were in good supply as
burning cedar lent warmth and scent to the gathering.
The following weekend, Richard and Brandi left for AZ for a week
of sightseeing before AlÞing. Richard served as Delegate of
Record at the Þing and later related his feats in the Viking
games to all assembled at the following weekend’s meeting
at the German-American Cultural Society. The Oktoberfest was a celebration
of beer and birthdays of kindred members, with Steve as the designated
drinker. After meeting in the Ratskellar for food and pitchers of
beer, we trooped upstairs to hear the live quasi-German band. Amy,
though not in Tracht, participated in a traditional dance. Later,
some of us returned to Amy’s for birthday whiskey and a viewing
of the expanded version of The Wicker Man.
On the World Tree front, Amy met Valgard in Ohio in August for a
legal case involving the rights of Ásatrú prisoners
(Miller vs. Wilkinson). Sixteen people attended the meeting, representing
the OHDOC, the OH Attorney General, and a pro bono legal team. Amy
took detailed minutes of the meeting for the OH case files. A return
trip to OH is set for mid-October.
Karon (“Huginn, Muninn and the Mórrígan: The
Symbolism of the Raven in Norse and Irish Culture, Lore and Cosmology”,
this issue) has offered to shoulder some of the workload for the
advocacy of prisoners’ First Amendment rights. In general,
Karon will accrue pending cases; Amy will retain those which she
has been working on already; although there may be some crossover
(in those cases, inmates will be advised by one of us whom their
Liaison will be). In addition to serving as a World Tree Liaison
to facilitate some of Valgard’s correspondence, Karon recently
reformatted the Ásatrú Alliance informational flyer
and assorted World Tree flyers and pamphlets (which were brought
to the OH meeting). As these are completed, they will be uploaded
to the Alliance website. Hail Sloe-eyed Raven!