Raven Moon Hearth is back home after an amazing weekend. The Heathens came, saw, and had a Hel of a time. This year, like all those before at Pagan Unity Festival, was a weekend full of great memories, seeing old friends, and making new friends.
We arrived at our encampment on Thursday. Unpacked, and hung our banners and headed out to see the vendors, and look for our friends. It didn’t take long to find them. Soon it was time to head down by the fire for the nights activities. With plenty of mead to share we made our way down to the fire circle. to the announcement of “THE HEATHENS ARE HERE!” The fire was blazing, the drummers were doing a great job, and the mead was a flowing.
Friday was another day of PUF awesomeness. We met some very cool Heathens from Chattanooga. It was a hot, sunny day, so a lot of time was spent down in the shade of our encampment. Some ventured out for shopping on vendor row, others took in some workshops. NOTE, we’re definitely gonna have to help get some Heatheny workshops going for next year. Once again, spent a lot of time catching up with many friends we’ve made at PUF throughout the years. Then on to the fire we went that night. You can guess the rest of that.
Saturday was the big day. We spent a lot of the day prepping for the main ritual, which we were performing. With supplies gathered, we headed up to the pavilion to do a dry run of ritual. Went to dinner, then headed back to camp for final preparation. We gathered the folk in front of the pavilion in order to address them about the reason and goal of the ritual. Odin Blot. Since this year’s theme was Lord Of The Rings inspired, we figured that it would be fitting to make offerings to the god that inspired Tolkien to create the character of Gandalf.
So the sounding horn was blown. The people assembled. The procession started. The chant rose up in the crowd.
“Wodan, Wanderer, Wise One, We Call To You
Hanged One, Hidden One, High One, We Call To You”
We made our way down to the ritual site. Raven banner, flower bearers, then spear bearers, godpole bearers, Valkyrie, then Gothi, followed by at least 60 other folks. The ritual space looked amazing. Torches lined up across the back, on either side of the altar. The spear bearers split off and ushered the attendees into the proper areas. The raven banner was placed. The godpole was put in it’s resting place. The chant then stopped. The Gothi addressed the folk one last time. Then a simple Hammer Hallowing took place. Next came the invocation of Allfather, Odin. An offering of mead was poured to Him. Then the offerings began. The folk came up, two at a time, from either side of the “Heathen Horseshoe” They laid their offerings on the altar cloth in front of the godpole. Next the Gothi handed them an asperger in order for them to splash some red wine upon the Godpole. Next the Gothi took some of the blessed mead to sprinkle them and bless them in the name of Woden. Afterwards they were handed the drinking horn by one of the two Valkyries. Odin was hailed, in many heiti. Afterwards the Gothi and Corvin, one of the PUF staff members, sang Karl Donaldsson’s Song To Odin. Followed by the Hearth’s Skald reciting the Runatal. Next came the taking of omens. Three Hearth members drew runes to see if the offerings were accepted by Odin and the landvaettir. Afterwards the rite was ended.
Overall the ritual was a smashing success, and one of the highlights of the weekend. A lot of time and energy was placed into prepping for it, and it paid off. This was the third year in a row that Raven Moon Hearth has performed the main ritual at Pagan Unity Festival. We look forward to the opportunity to help out with PUF for many years to come.
Special thanks to the friends of the Hearth who helped us with the ritual.
Tish Owens, The Hostess With The Mostest, for helping with the roll of Valkyrie.
Jeanelle and Amanda B. for helping with the roll of Valkyrie as well.
Corvin, for helping with the song.
Dragon, for helping tote the godpole.
Kyle and Jarren from Chattanooga, for helping as spearbearers.
Roo, for helping with the drumming.
Amanda and Kate for helping with the flowers.
Amanda B. also for taking some photos.
Thanks to all of the PUF staff for being so helpful and welcoming to the Hearth. Your Heathens love ya!