An Original Rite by
Carla O'Harris
Siegfried Goodfellow

  [Open the Vé.]  
Gemini, bright light of the twins, one of the Asvins amongst the Hindus, the Dioscuri amongst the Greeks, the Alcis amongst the Suebi, the saviors whose sky-vigilance saved those in distress. They were the Guardians of the Sun, keeping wolves away from her everyday pageant across the heavens, her wedding procession to the West, escorted by the Eastern elves. With the twins present there, there was nothing to fear. If they saw something awry down below, their swift ship swooped down and corrected the snag and turned the tide. Luck and chance ran as they ever do, but one had hopes for betterings. One saw that misfortunes could, and did, turn good. For they were there, Baldur and Hodur, the healers, the harpers, the fair and wise judges, left hand and right hand of justice, mercy and severity in brotherhood and peace. Baldur was accounted the wisest -- his word alone could settle feuds with the might of his mildness. Even his foes admired him, for ever was he fair, that none could gainsay his judgements, for they looked into the heart, and spoke the truth there. He and his brother Hodur were the first, original embodiments of chivalry: ever were they ready to lend a helping hand to any in trouble; ever were they ready to assist the innocent, help the needy, and fight for the rights of all, but most of all, those still growing into their strength and sophistication who were still tender and precious, and needed assurance against the wolves. And as long as they were here above in the day world, such assurance was ready, even in this imperfect world.

But an anxiety has taken over the lands. No longer are gambles insured as they once were. Peril has taken on new meaning; corrections are not so clear as once. The innocent are assailed, and so soiled sometimes is the world that few come to their aid. This has been since Justice fled, since Mercy was driven from the land by strife. For Strife, in its love of division, turned Stern Judgement against Clemency, and with a single shaft, the world's hopes fled. Great was the weeping, and greater might have been, if greater, though was great -- for if the world entire would have mourned, they say that Baldur would be amongst us again. Yet even still, we can gather his essence amongst us. Even still, we can be his stewards in this world till he returns.

There was a time in your life -- there may have been many, but this one stands out -- where there was someone or something so innocent and pure that you felt in that moment you could give your life to protect that precious unsoiledness. And you did protect. It may have been the first time you held your child in your arms. It could have been an animal knowing no guile but only pure trust. It may have been only someone you just met, and yet they had that quality about them -- not naive, per se, but unstained by the monstrosities of the world. Go to that moment. Drink it in. If you recall, you felt right then and there if that quality could rule the world, then all would be all right in this strange and often mixed-up place. And you felt if others would pledge, as you did in that moment, to guard and protect that quality, that even the necessary misfortunes and injuries of life could pass by and one could pass over, bigger than them. Share with us that moment, if you will, and how it made you feel, as we go around the circle. There Baldur touched your heart.
There was a time in your life, and there may have been many, but this one stands out, where you were so big-hearted that forgiveness came easy, whether deserved or not, not out of weakness or capitulation, but because your heart was bold and in that moment, in command of your destiny. Your heart was able to chew up that injury or insult and spit it out again as cud that fertilized the earth. You had soul-power in that moment. Peace followed naturally, because what could possibly knock you off your balance then and there. You felt strong. You felt good. Mercy flowed from that place. You too are human, have made mistakes, and have suffered, and thus you could feel compassion, and even a desire for the other not to be weakened -- for it was weakness that led to the problem to begin with -- but to be strengthened. You were so strong, so filled with the gusto of life, that that wave rode you over your own desire for vengeance, and your clemency came from those mighty billows, and not a place of being a sucker. You felt resilient and righteous; ease it was to let things go. Bygones are bygones, with no hard feelings. You knew how to set it aside. Just set it aside. Look back. This may have been the high point of magnanimity in your life. What honor you felt in feeling it! How noble! Share with us that moment, if you will, and how it made you feel, as we go around the circle. There Baldur touched your heart.

There was a time in your life, and there may have been many, but this one stands out, where you felt cool and calm, collected and clear, where the light of reason and good sense and enlightenment shone particularly clear. Your ability to make sense of all the confusion was so clear in your mind, that you were able to see beyond all the flaws and foibles of those around you, and imagine how they could be if they really aligned themselves with that innocence and verve and bold spirit within. It was so crystal clear. So much so that in the vortex of life it may have been difficult to hold into, and it faded. But it was a vision of possibility, a vision of how to transcend all the thorns and briars that lower our sights and keep us trained to the filth and fury, and instead to lift our vision higher to those canopies our roots, however caked in soil, truly portend. There the roots themselves drink in the sun! In that moment, you felt so mild. A divine kind of mild, a mildness borne from strength and clarity, meditativeness and wellsprings of inner peace. Share with us that moment, if you will, and how it made you feel, as we go around the circle. There Baldur touched your heart.

Let us take these feelings and let them glow in our hands. We will choose one amongst us to receive this benediction, to be amongst us today the representative of Baldur, to carry that powerful healing energy, that energy of chivalry and clemency, broad-heartedness, and bold innocence. We shall lay hands upon and this one shall walk with for a few moments with the luck of our kindred, the charge of where Baldur has touched us.

[All lay hands on the Representative, who closes eyes to receive this gift.]

We have shared some powerful moments where Baldur touched our hearts, and he is here with us in this space. He stands strong alongside us. And yet, there is some place in each of you still that remains cynical. There is a grizzled place where the battle was too hard, and the scars ring still. Whether you were victorious or defeated, that injury still cries out and accuses the world, accuses your trust in things, accuses your sense of possibility. In that moment, the grime and grit touched you, and you have yet to shake it. Don't go all the way there -- you know where that place is, and we will not rub you up against it again. It already has too much power. Simply note it from a distance. Stay calm and cool, and acknowledge it. No need to relive it or scar the grooves deeper. Here is a place where trust needs healing. And we are heathens : we are earthy and realistic. This place may or may not heal today, though it may. It may be a long while in healing. But the jaded place within says it will never heal, no matter how long. Baldur -- who we have gathered here amongst us today -- is that one who says, one day, the darkness will be gone. One day the earth will wash clean its filth and sorrow. One day, all the banes shall be soothed. Close your eyes. Baldur-Amongst-Us will walk around the circle, and place hand below your neck at the collarbone, where your chest begins, wherein your heart resides. As this touch happens, allow yourself to be filled with the light of Baldur. There allow the possibility -- even if you can't feel it right now, although you may, you very well may -- that hope may reemerge, that clouds may give way to sun, that trust someday shall be possible again, and that day will be forgiveness itself.

[Baldur-Amongst-Us goes around the circle and lays on hands.]


If any would like to share their experiences, please do so.

They say that Baldur, like a seed, rests in the earth, and like a seed of the chaparral, awaits cleansing fire to awaken again and germinate. There, beneath the earth, he is free from taint and mar of all monstrosities ; and they say, in clear and Apollonic symposia, there he trains the savvy innocence of the future holders of the fully-cleansed earth. Thus, he is dormant and active all at once, dormant to the playing out of mischief and malice, here in the land of the fallen, and active in preparation of strong hope and new possibilities. And so, let us plant our seeds of hope with Baldur. We know the world, unfortunately, still has bad wyrd to work out before this age is ended, and thus, battles, often hard and long and bitter, still remain, with all their gore and sorrow, for the clouds still remain and shadows are still amongst us since that Sun of Baldur set. And thus our hopes are better kept, and well-protected, in the roots, the down-below with that bright, nether-warder of truth and faith in the goodness in things, let us share such hopes with the roots. I am passing around a cloth of white linen, and some markers. Please glyph out a sign of your hopes -- in a picture, in a rune, in a short phrase or poetic prayer. When all have done so, we shall dig the earth and bury it, investing it in Baldur, where such hopes will nurture his spirit and brighten his day to know there are still humans in the fallen world who still believe, who hang on to their faith in original possibilities. Let us do so. Baldur-Amongst-Us shall plant this seed, and that aura and charge we invested shall go with the seed, and refreshed, the person restored to us as one of us and no longer delegate.

[Pass the cloth and markers around. Shovel the earth and bury it, saying, "We invest these hopes and dreams with Baldur. May the earth arise anew again, refreshed and ready for the ripening of a new golden age."]

Hail the Holy One in Hel! Hail the Hope of Men and Gods below! Hail the Sun's Hope, the Bright Light, the First, Original Paladin, model for all who followed! Hail Beloved of Frigga! Hail He who Odin placed the ring upon, and whispered into ears! Hail Baldur! Hail Baldur the Brave, the Bright, the Bold!

[Close the Vé. Optional Sumbel.]