On October 31st, 2009 the membership of Keeper of Seasons Hall met to celebrate Winternights.
We met at a trailhead in the Sandia foothills at about noon, and after exchanging some pleasantries and my slinging the bag full of horns and mead over my shoulder, we departed on our short hike to a rocky outcropping well-known and loved by the Hall.
Our hike was oft punctuated by eruptions of laughter, evocative of the high-spirits of the gathered folk. Topics ranged from the misguided attempts of certain nameless cable networks to characterize the nature of the gods to the discussion planned for the next monthly Hall meeting. All told, a great deal of cheer was to be had.
When we arrived at the outcropping there was some lament as it became obvious that recent housing developments were pushing further and further into the foothills and how encroached upon the privacy of our oft-sought blot site. We made an attempt to achieve a bit more privacy, but were much thwarted. That aside, in the relative silence of the sun-drenched foothills, as the cool breezes and the sight of the patches of snow on the neighboring slope greeted us, a more solemn note was quickly achieved.
I led the Winternights blot, reading from a text changed little over our years together, spelling out the purpose of our gathering and hailing the gods, goddesses, and ancestors in good time. Thereafter, I opened the floor to personal hails.
These members were present, in order of their hails:
The hails were well said, with an exceptional poem entitled “Red” delivered by Sorn in honor of Thorr. All in all, many of the mighty Aesir and Vanir were hailed, as well as departed kinfolk of the KoSH members present and the wights of land and home. Also notable among the hails were the words carried by Sorn at the behest of our deployed member Pete, who bade him make his hail here at home. On Pete’s behalf, Sorn hailed the honorable dead who perished in service of their countries and their ideals, giving great respect to those who are so dedicated to that in which they believe.
Thereafter I presented a hail on behalf of the Hall as an entity itself. Though it has undergone many changes and weathered far too many fierce storms, it has remained now for 12 winters. I extolled our virtues, and yet left us with the admonishment to remember our legacy, and to maintain our mission to help heathenry grow hale, well, and wealful.
Sorn and Debbie brought the mead that I then offered, and a great sacrifice was also made by Sorn in reverence of Ullr thereafter.
The right rightly done, we spoke briefly on several matters, inspected the area somewhat for signs of ones who once had camped there, and then made our way back to the trailhead, lost in our speech once more until we parted, having determined that we should pursue further meetings before Yule was upon us, and that we should open our topic for the next meeting up for a wider discussion not just pertaining to “Heathenry and the Workplace,” but to “Living as a Heathen among Non-Heathens.”