Equinox Rites

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

HALLOWING:

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.”

CALLING:

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. 

SINGING:

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. 

SPEAKING: 

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. 

LOADING:

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.

SYMBEL:

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. 

FEAST:

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.

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Brutal Chivalry

Posted: Mar 10, 2022

In the New Dark Ages, the ancient idea of Chivalry must be, like a good steel, blended and hardened with a certain kind of brutality.

In the days of our forebears, they were dealing with a largely similar culture across Western Europe - the concepts of honor and virtue were, if not entirely universal, generally understood and applied by men of worth.

In our day, this is not so. Virtue is an uncommonly used word, and even more rare to see for oneself.

Honor is a vague idea, and defined by many in a loose way that allows for its general application as nothing more than a story a man likes to hear about himself. “I am honorable. I have honor.”

But we know that honor can only be had through loyalty to an ideal, and proven with the right action of a life lived in service to it.

We also know that chivalry and courtesy are wasted on many, and are even foolish to utilize in certain scenarios and situations that a man of these New Dark Ages might find himself.

In these cases, we must rely on our brutality.

Brutal is defined in these works by its older translations and meanings as: “punishingly hard or uncomfortable.”

“Direct, and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness.”

“Harsh, severe.”

The original Roman name “Brutus” meant someone “heavy” or “masculine.”

Truth is often ugly and harsh.

A life lived without compromise can often be hard, uncomfortable and direct.

Without hardship, without trials and pressure, a man cannot become something more than he is now - and those who flinch in the face of severity or discipline are not worthy of being counted among our new ranks.

Chivalry is critical - but a man must be able to switch between this chivalry and brutality when it is needed or called for: gentle to the weak and merciless to the wicked.

His honorable treatment extends to those who understand it - and even an honorable foe can be shown this courtesy, this chivalry…

But to those who despise the very idea of honor, and spit on the concepts of chivalry, truth, loyalty, and tradition, we extend no such kindnesses. 

The hand that in one moment extends to assist and offer aid closes into a fist in the next, and the smiling face that is loved by our friends and families, our brothers and allies - swiftly becomes a snarling visage, a symbol hated and feared by our enemies. 

This is the armor that will serve us in this age.

Our hearts are a fortress, entrance granted only to the few, and to all others, a grim and forbidding place where they can find no solace.

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The Gauntlet: A Concise Guide to a Life of Brutal Chivalry

Posted: Mar 4, 2022

In the New Dark Ages, it seems all men are, themselves, perpetually looking for something new. 

A new belief, a new manual on how to become wealthy, a new way of doing things or looking at the world. 

Leaflets, manuals and codices abound, each one of them purporting to be “the latest and best instruction” on how to live life. 

This is not that. 

It is my belief that modern problems require ancient solutions, and as such, this brief work does not say anything “new.”

Instead, it looks to the men of worth who have gone before, and in a short fashion, it answers a few questions and makes a few statements about the different aspects of a man’s life. 

Everything today has become needlessly complex, those who make it all the more complex only doing so in order to sell some new “expertise” that isn’t really required for a life of value. 

What, then, is required for a life of value, to be a man of worth, to become ennobled? 

One thing, and one thing only:

The attainment of honor. 

This short work will, in simple terms, define what honor is, and how it is gotten. A man can think and do many other things with his life, but the fact remains that it is only this that need concern him when answering the question: does my life have value?

If he is in the steady and earnest pursuit of honor at all times, regardless of shortcomings that can and will occur along the way, his answer will be a resounding yes. 

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