Irminsul Ęttir

Althing 1999

[Photo] As the sun slipped behind the horizon people began gathering for the hallowing procession. Flint and steel were used to light the cauldron representing Nerthus in the ritual wagon. Torches were lit by the escorts who took their place around the wagon as the invocation of the gods was made.
Hail to the day, hail to the sons of day,

Hail to the night, and its daughter!

Gaze upon us gently, grant us success

and your blessings on our undertakings.

Hail to the Aesir, Hail to the Asyniur!

Hail to the all giving earth!

Wisdom and lore, as long as we live,

grant us, and healing hands.

The wagon began to roll forward, and the invitation to gather was called out three times.
Come those who would come,

Stay those who would stay,

Fare those who would fare,

harmless to me and mine.

[Photo] The music began with Bil Linzie playing a traditional walking song on his fiddle, and others drummed as they joined the procession. The wagon was pulled in a circle around the ritual area, then around the altar coming to a stop beneath the banner raised to Tyr, the ancient Germanic Sky Father, and god of Thing The torches were placed in a circle about the area and the participants stood solemnly to accept the invocation of Tyr, and the declaration of peace. A sumble was performed and offerings made to the deities and land spirits.

[Photo] Bil Linzie, the guest of honor at this year's Althing started off the evening's entertainment as people gathered around the central fire, demonstrating traditional songs. Bil Linzie plays "The Mason's Apron" (186K .mp3). Mark Cook sang some old favorites and fulfilled a boast to perform six new tunes on the harp that he'd made.

Saturday dawned clear and bright, and workshops and classes began right after breakfast. Bil Linzie's discussions on seidh, the rune-making and galdoring workshop, and the discussion about the gods and goddesses were among the activites. There was also plenty of time for individual discussions and meeting new friends.

[Photo] After the evening feast, folks again began to gather around the central fire for announcements and in anticipation of the auction. Among the items that had been donated for the auction included a hand made harp by Mark Cook, a set of green marble runestones donated by Cal Christiansen, more of the distinctive Thor's hammers made and donated as site tokens by Walt Sprowls and Del Kaufmann were auctioned. Del also contributed a hand forged oath ring that inspired some particularly lively bidding.

James the Obscure, a well known and much in demand storyteller in the Pacific Northwest, told stories of the old North, of Freya's Brisingamen and her long search for Odhr, and of the ending of the world.

"The Northmen tell of nine worlds,

and the world of men is Midgard.

Above Midgard lies

the city of the gods,

Asgard it is called,

There lives Odin, of the one eye,

Wise he is..."

[Photo] Further entertainment was provided by members of GlamR Folk, a Norse recreationist clan that presents Norse Learning Days, and other demonstrations including the Poulsbo Viking Fest, Scandinavian Heritage Festival in Puyallup, and participates in SCA events. A spirited demonstration of Norse legal haggling ended with handsal witnessed by the Lawspeaker of the Glamr Folk and the applause of the assembly. The evening continued with Bil Linzie again playing and volunteers from the audience singing songs as the evening continued into the early morning.

Sunday morning Bil Linzie did a workshop on healing techniques and discussed his philosophy and studies of Saami shamanism.

The closing hallowing came all too soon as the Tyr banner was lowered and weapons symbolically taken up again and a hailing of the proceedings of Thing on Sunday afternoon.

Irminsul Ęttir