Posted: Mar 15, 2022
In our last issue of RTACTN, we explored the importance of ritual, and provided a glimpse at an example of what a Winter Solstice rite could look like.
The Gauntlet recommends maintaining a ritual calendar around the Equinoxes and Solstices because these events signal major endings and beginnings in the year, keep one in rhythm with the natural world - and, because they were important to our ancestors.
This mix of practicality, organic growth, and maintaining a grasp on the past while the eyes are fixed on the future is an integral aspect of this project. What we do must not only function from a mythopoeic standpoint, but from a practical one as well: rites performed around these times will suggest 4 major “feast days” a year, for your community to gather around.
They will provide you with your very own structure of viewing the year, the community, and the world around you, as these things will all be points of focus in your rituals.
The examples we provide are designed to transcend any area-specific folk tradition and instead evoke a kind of pan-European esoteric knighthood, with a distinct flavor that is our own expression of this new order being built.
We include both men and women in our rites, and these are written with that in mind, as well as being written specifically for this knighthood we see rising. This alchemy between male and female is wholesome, and provides an important aspect to the rituals. It is not included in this fashion out of some kind of modern egalitarian perspective, but from the belief that healthy interaction between worthy men and women is a critical element of a healthy society.
One of the most deleterious aspects of the New Dark Ages is that of the “war of the sexes,” which rips men and women apart, and away from their natural roles and duties toward each other and one another, and it is one of the goals of this order to re-establish these.
SPRING EQUINOX RITE
The ritual space is hallowed at the four cardinal direction points by invoking a legendary weapon or protector. This places the ritual area outside of mundane time and space, and sets it into “mythic time,” inside of which events and actions happen everywhere, at all times, simultaneously.
In this way, it is possible that a ritual can affect both past and future - strengthening forebear and descendant alike, and sending ripples throughout all that is.
Ours is performed in an ancestral tongue, from personal preference, and invokes the legendary spear of Wotan, or Odin, lord of the host and leader of the Wild Hunt.
We envision these spears braced outward, against those aspects of the world we stand in resistance to, as well as seeing them as the axis mundi, the shaft of the spear as the World Tree itself, rising upward through all layers of reality, and sending its roots down through all layers of time.
In one of the old tongues of our people, we say at all corners, “Gungnir, make holy this circle, and hold ward.”
The ancestral spirits and legends are invoked, especially those with an aspect tied to Spring. This is a poetic calling to witness the work, an invitation to the ancestors to join the fire, and the revel.
It is also a somber and sober realization that this work is being done under the watchful gaze of those who have come before, and done for those who will come after.
If possible a female present will perform a traditional song relating to the season as the wine and bread is prepared for the rite. Or, all can sing together in unison. Learning the traditional songs of one’s line is, in itself, a righteous act.
During this preparation, one of the women present will hand the man leading the rite the Grail, a cup set aside for the purpose of these rituals, and a plate with bread prepared for the evening.
He can use a makeshift or permanent altar, or none at all.
The one leading the rite now speaks on the nature of the Grand Campaign, the community, and the season. This should not be demeaned with jocularity or irony, but kept as a serious charge - it is to inspire and to elevate, and drive those participating oneward to right action.
The celebrant speaks over the bread and wine, making it clear that this bread was prepared to feed the body with sacred energy. It is best if the bread comes from a known source, and is prepared by the women with a clear understanding of this.
The wine is the blood of the ancestors and heroes, and is drunk to empower all men and women present to a higher expression of themselves, and to establish the Grand Campaign as both a grim and a joyous endeavor.
The use of holy symbols, especially those in line with Spring, the solar power, and victory can be held or “signed” over the bread and wine - the might of the land, and the blood of the blessed.
Those present now all approach and eat bread dipped in the wine of the Grail. Another song is sung here is possible.
At this point the rite can be ended with another song, or simply with a joyful procession to the feast area.
Eating together should be seen as a living part of the ritual as well, and used to establish and strengthen the bonds of friendship, brotherhood, sisterhood, and marriage.
It is encouraged to recite inspiring words, tell stories, exchange gifts and make toasts to one another.
The Grand Campaign finds its strength and resolve through honor, loyalty, and joy.