Keeper of Seasons Hall held its eleventh Winternights blót on November 1, 2008 in the Bosque near the Montaño trailhead.
Much like last year’s Winternights celebration, the days leading up to the event were fairly mild; it was only at night that the temperatures dropped below freezing. The day of the blót itself was warm and sunny. Many of the trees had changed their color, but few had lost many leaves yet. Though we had originally planned on using the same place in which we’d held our Midsummer celebration this year, we ultimately ended up in a different area. We at first had difficulty finding the location, and we spent some time rambling through the Bosque looking for landmarks. Our delay turned out to be worthwhile, however, because during our walk we saw a large number of geese flying in formation overhead; had we just gone straight to our planned site, we would have missed seeing them. Soon afterwards we arrived at our intended destination. Others were using it, though, so we looked for an alternate area in which to celebrate the coming of winter. We soon found a smaller, more secluded spot, and here we witnessed many cranes flying that again we would have missed in our initially planned location. We took the sightings of the geese and cranes as auspicious signs for our celebration.
Once we were satisfied with the site, Erich led the Hall’s blót. He explained our purpose in gathering, reflected on the meaning of Winternights for us and our ancestors, and hailed the powers of the season. Other members of the Hall gave their own pesonal hails, and the remainder of the mead was poured in offering on the riverbank.
After the conclusion of the blót, we spread a blanket and sat down to sumble, sharing food, drink, and holy words. Unusually for our sumbles, many oaths were made during the third round of hails. After everyone had made what hails they desired, the rest of the mead in the horns was poured out by the river, and offerings to the landvættir were made. We spent some time enjoying each others’ company, pushed out a large tree limb that had fallen into the branches of a smaller tree, packed up leftover food and other belongings, and then made our way out of the Bosque. We determined to meet next at our public meeting in one week’s time; during that week, the first of the season’s serious cold fronts visited the city.