Meeting took place on Tuesday 14th March 2017
It’s been a while since we saw Thorsson (aka D2) and we also had a large attendance with:
Danceswithweasels, Teller and Vyvyan, Cyberdragon and Velvet, Greenfingers, Strider, Dumbledore (welcome back!), Briseilid (also welcome back!) and myself.
Thorsson did tell us that his plans to construct a talk about all things Viking and Saxon had actually gone under, but instead we settled into an Q&A session instead, with Teller leading the questions (this came about naturally, might I add).
Thorsson began by explaining a ‘thing’ was an old term for a community meeting, especially one where people could discuss matters to be presented or even solved. Laws could be made at these also. An ‘Althing’ was a similar meeting on a larger scale, as attendance from all surrounding areas and neighbouring counties would be present. He then touched upon how Iceland was the last Scandinavian island to become Christian, not because of submitting before the Christian God, but because all neighbouring folk were now Christian and they would not trade with Pagans. Makes you wonder how many other people took on the newer religion because of trade…..
More importantly, Thorsson, told us the tale of how he started doing a course on Druidry and asked how he would know who his god is. After numerous pieces of advice, it wasn’t until Thorsson was one day driving his car when there was a storm raging outside, with the clouds thick and black and lightning flashing that he thought ‘Thor’. He bought a hammer pendant (Mjolnir) to wear and it has felt right to do so ever since.
Thorsson also explained that he doesn’t see Thor like the superhero in the movies, he sees him as a god of the community. And seeming that Thorsson does a lot of work in Nottingham’s Pagan community, this is rather apt indeed.
Other discussions (as inevitably happens when the GOC get together- Thank you Teller for keeping us on topic!) included:
How would our Germanic ancestors dealt with anger in a situation of being wronged?
Do Pagans need a path to follow?
Is the reason that certain stories from a people (Norse, Irish, Native American, For example) which don’t make sense is because when written down, we have lost or don’t have the cultural meaning as a modern audience?
Aren’t cathedrals brilliant? Especially the engineering thought that goes into building them!
Ceremony originally took place on Sunday 19th March 2017
Ever had that feeling of time running out when you thought you had plenty? Yeah, that’s how I felt when, at the above meeting, I was reminded about the ceremony….. I was convinced there was another week! So, in answer to Strider’s question of “Whose run is it?” I consulted the Oracle (my smartphone with the appropriate diary entries entered) and patted his shoulder as I said “My friend, it’s you.”
The marking of the Equinox (speaking of smartphones- I’ve just had to program in the word ‘Equinox’ despite it recognising “equinoxes” and “equinocti”. Anyhoo….) Was indeed led by Strider, whom had split the ceremony into three parts: me to lead the opening, him to do the middle and Vyvyan to lead the closing bit. I felt that worked very well. Especially as, besides us three, there was only Cyberdragon and Greenfingers and they each took on a quarter. Something for everyone!
As we stood around the fire, we could see how far it’s light stretched. And in the distance to the East was the pink glowing horizon of civilisation. Compared to the palpable darkness of Imbolc, we actually could feel the shifting of the year and the heralding of the lighter nights to come.
Strider spoke of the awakening of Spring and how our ancestors must have looked forward to its return. With food stocks beginning to dwindle and the buds beginning to sprout, now was the time for planting and sowing for the harvest to come. The return of the birds, and the population boom of the hares at this time of year also. Strider spoke of the country ways when his father would take some moorhen eggs to eat, but would always leave some behind for the population to remain. I couldn’t help but wonder if a city-dweller (of which I am one) would have had the same consideration.
He also gave the West Country story of the Goddess who came to visit animal kind and was so taken by the gift of a hare’s decorated egg (it was the only possession it had, y’see?) That she took on the hare’s form to be her sacred animal guise.
Even the light rain around us felt more like a blessing, for without the rain can no growing thing be.
We discussed many things about what Spring meant for us; what struck me was how energised we all were by it. Exciting and rejuvenating times indeed, especially after the long and dark winter we have just had.
On the subject of giving offerings:
Me: I give tobacco, or milk and honey if I can.
Greenfingers: I use birdseed.
Cyberdragon: I give alcohol.
Greenfingers: Well, birdseed isn’t cheap!