Sunday was the Big Day; I ran two events in the Asatru Hospitality Suite and one in the main program. I’ll talk about the Hospitality Suite events here, and post about the Facets of Freya ritual in a separate post. The Facets ritual went amazingly well, and I learned a huge amount from participating in it and talking with people afterwards about their experiences at that ritual. So, much processing still to do before I do the write-up! (I also have a post in the works about the various hospitality suites, which were awesome this year; I was proud to be a part of them.)
I started the day with a Myth Embodiment activity based on the Þrymskviða (The Lay of Thrym)–i.e., that one myth in which Thor’s Hammer is stolen by a jotun and he has to dress up as Freya to get it back. Good times 🙂 The myth embodiment was a bit different than the ones I had run previously, which were always with my Vanir-focused group who are a close-knit group who know the lore for the most part and are comfortable making fools of themselves in front of each other. The mix of people we had at the Suite for this activity was pretty varied, and I only knew a few of them personally. I started off with my usual explanation and went right into my favorite translation of this myth. Then I recruited a Thor (who was actually played by a woman), a Hammer, a Brisingamen, a Freya (a guy; ), a Loki (pa woman); a Heimdal (also played by a woman); and a Thrym (moi). (All sorts of gender role shenanigans happening in this myth embodiment, boy howdy.) As usual, the activity was hilarious and brought up a variety of perspectives on the Gods involved. I think it also made a good icebreaker and drew in some passersby from the hallway. So: success!
I followed this up with some amber shopping (a new ring! sold to me by a local amber-dealing Freyasman!) and then I led a traditional blot for Freya, just like I did last year. Blots–at leas the way I run them–are short and sweet. I intro the deity of the hour (Freya) with some of Her mythology and share about the different aspects of Her that I have experienced. Then I pass the horn and encourage others to share something about their experience with Freya and/or give a generic “Hail Freya!” Last year, we have a really strong turn-out, which included quite a few Freyasmen; up until that point, I had only known of one Freyasman (the friendly local amber dealer), so I was pleasantly surprised to find so many more of them hanging around.
This year we had a different mix of people for the blot, including several people who were dedicated to Heimdal (or just really close to Heimdal), so the link between Heimdal and Freya got discussed quite a bit. There are several places in the lore where Heimdal is clearly seen helping out Freya or support in her in some way–in the Þrymskviða, for example, He is the one to suggest that Thor suck it up and dress up as Freya instead of attempting to convince or coerce Her into becoming a jotun’s new bride. In another myth, Loki steals Brisingamen and Heimdal goes after him, shapeshifting right along with Loki several times before finally nabbing him and reclaiming the necklace. Heimdal really has a strong, legitimate connection to my Lady, and I should probably recognize and honor him in this role more often. 🙂 It was great to get that reminder. It’s one of the many reasons I do this work.
After the blot I ended up chatting with a lovely Freyasman from SoCal named John, whom I had known on and off for several years but had never really bonded with. He ended up offering to help ward the Facets ritual later that night, and he turned out to be a solid, great addition to the team for that ritual. (Thanks, John!) He also convinced me to at least check out ADF, as apparently that organization is filled with Heathens and Greek Recon people. As I’m currently hanging out with a bunch of Druids back in the Midwest, it seems time for me to bite the bullet and do so. 🙂
All in all, the Asatru Hospitality suite presentations went smashingly. A big hail for the Carlsons for keeping the Suite well-organized and going year after year.