Irminsul Ættir

Althing `98

[Photo] Althing 1998 has come and gone, but new friends and old are already planning and looking forward to next years gathering.

Participants began gathering on Thursday evening as the Norse encampment of frame tents began to appear in the misty evening field and banner poles were raised in preparation for a modern Althing.


The opening ceremony and hallowing on Friday evening began with assembly before banners raised to Tyr as God of the Thing and Thorr as Guardian of the Holy boundaries. Using flint and steel, David Asplin struck a need fire and lit the cauldron representing Nerthus in the ceremonial wagon, a replica of the Oseberg cart by Mark Cook.

[Photo] The torch lit procession was led by Gydhia Susan Granquist of the Irminsul Aettir who did a traditional calling as the procession circled the around the center pole.

Yves Kodaratoff and Paul Siebern, both dedicants of Nerthus pulled the cart.

[Photo] Returning to the altar and banners Godhi Hraesvelg Odinsson of the Eagles Kindred of Utah did a hammer hallowing in Old Norse. Heimdallr Thorvinn read the Sigdrifumal prayer, then Gydhia Susan Granquist read the charge of frith for the Althing which was witnessed by the gathering in the following blot. Godhi Odinsson blessed each with the blessings of Týr as each person in the assembly drank from the horn passed by Gydhia Granquist.

[Photo] Friday's workshops featured special guest and author Yves Kodratoff's instruction on Hand Healing and seidh.

Friday night everyone gathered around a campfire where James the Obscure told the story of Beowulf battling with Grendel, and the story of Loki's Spirit Children among others, to a spellbound audience. Heimdallr Thorvinn told a story about the alfur and Mark Cook sang songs in the Bardic tradition.

Saturday morning again found people involved in visiting and workshops,and browsing the merchants' tents. Yves Kodratoff's clasess on Galdor and healing were again the highlight. Sam Bennett and his lovely lady taught a class in traditional clothing construction. Thorwald demonstrated fire starting with flint and steel and oversaw the very popular Viking Games.


The activity packed weekend also featured axe and spear throwing lessons and friendly competitions in the Viking Games. Tafl lessons and a hard-fought round of games on Sunday morning ended with Jackal winning the Mead Making Kit in the final round.

[Photo][Photo] First prize in the Mead Tasting Contest was taken by Einar with a lovely pyment, while second and third prize were awarded to Mark Cook for his great blueberry melomel and his grapefruit melomel respectively. Mark gave a brewing demonstration afterwards.

[Photo] Dinner on Saturday night was followed by a boisterous auctioning of items donated by merchants and sponsors. Auctioneer Thorwald was so popular with the crowd that people were looking for things to donate just to keep the fun going. Sumble was conducted by Gydhia Susan Granquist. Participants riased their horns to their gods, their ancestors, their heroes, made oaths and shared songs and special stores about the lore.

[Photo] We are very grateful for Misty Desoto and Cal Christensen who generously supervised the children's activities throughout the weekend, and watched over the children's construction of a cardboard castle decorated with runes and original art.

The closing ceremony on Sunday morning came much to soon. The camp began breaking up as new friends exchanged addresses and goodbyes said.

Irminsul Ættir