This evening, as dusk turned to dark and only the crackling of a campfire glowed behind us - the tribe gathered to raise the horn to three very special concepts - Love, Health, and Wealth. The sky was moving clouds and the farm animals were asleep, but in our space lit by hanging lanterns the God Poles glowed in warm light as words were shared. It wa a beautiful Yule ritual.
The day was mostly study and a romping goat. I threw bells around the neck of Dash, the buck who is here at the farm to breed my dairy goats (Freyr willing!). He jumped and romped around the farm a bit and I understood why so many Norse cultures adore their Yule Goats.
In our Kindred we tend to use the word blot all the time in place of faining. Unless you count the chickens harvested from this farm for the feasting earlier, this was a faining (per usual). We filled the horn with mead brewed right here in Washington County by a good friend. We took turns passing it aroud three times, once each to speak out loud about love, health, and wealth. It was an optimistic and lovely time and exactly what a tribe needs to focus on going into the darkest time of the year. After that we sang a traditional Wassailing song, all of us! Tim handed out sheet music and we sang there in the dark forest. We were a little rowdy, and I was glad I visited my new neighbors earlier with a card and bottle of cider and told them there might be some merryment in the woods. Indeed, there was!
The tribe managed to collect a nice pile of donations for the food bank here in town. On Wednesday I'll deliver our gifts as well as a note offering any other services in the form of future donations and volunteer time. So far our group has offered community service at local Conservation Parks, and it was fantastic, but being able to feed and serve those who need it most is fitting for the season. It's a time of selflessness. I'm proud of all we are able to donate, celebrate, and gain as a new Kindred going through its first year.
A Happy Yule to you all. Wassail!
P.S. This update was made by a very tired Chieftain, so excuse the poor writing!