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Trothmoot ‘97
a report by Lavrans Reimer-Møller

Once again this year, the Ring of Troth held another of its annual celebrations called Trothmoot. This year’s event was held at a place called Martha’s Orchard near Indianapolis.The place of the gathering was almost perfect- a functioning apple orchard, with plenty of room for those who chose to camp out, and a big barn to use as a function room- we especially came to appreciate the hall, as the weather was not the best- we had cloudy skies and chilly winds for the entire 4 days.

This year, I had the chance to again greet old friends such as Bill Bainbridge, Diana Paxson, Winifred Hodge, Alice Karlsdottir, C.L. Hankins, Rod Landreth and so many more. I got to finally meet Jordsvin and Kveldulf Himself, plus a lot of new friends as well. As I told all, I can remember the names of the folks I met last year, but the new faces would have to wait till next year before I could remember their names!

There were a number of tables with a variety of wares from all over- Griffin had his usual table full of an astonishing variety of stuff,and what seemed to be an endless supply of excellent mead as well, along with his own good-spirited companionship.

At a story-telling circle, I sat in with Jenny Blain, Diana Paxson and several others who all took turns telling stories. I contributed my own “Jack and the Hopsack” to the circle, although I couldn’t tell it from memory and had to read it. A young man from Canada named Gus told some great stories, and it was a wonderful experience to see him discovering in himself the talent and gift that he has for telling stories. Upon further conversation, it turns out that Gus has a lot of cousins named Reimer, which makes us possibly distant cousins as well.

We held a series of Blots and sumbels, each of which had its own particular merit. An especially moving event for me was the Odinsblót led by Kveldulf. It grew so intense that I became very much aware of the valkyries circling in the grey clouds overhead. I even had a strong impression of my personal female-guardian ancestral spirit hovering nearby, and was so shaken that I had to hang onto Winifred and Jenny for support.

As Rod Landreth reported, “the safest place to be during the spear-throwing competition was as close to the target as possible. That target, a gallon plastic milk jug, was last seen running off toward the orchards, jeering at the competitors!”

I brought my usual Marklander stuff with me, plus two of the lyres I’ve built. One of them was sold to Laurel Olson, who sang at SeidhR with such power and glory that I can hardly wait to hear what she does with the lyre!

98% of what took place at Trothmoot was very good and positive- the other 2% was mostly caused by an individual known as Heimdahl Thorvinn. Based on his reaction to a questionable book about heathenry by Jeffrey Kaplan, he got all huffy and decided that we were a bunch of immoral degenerates and that he should be a good shepherd and get out, taking his flock, the garth of Northern Georgia, with him. He talked, looked and acted more like a southern-style Christian preacher than any heathen I’ve ever seen. He wasn’t content to just mail in his resignation- he decided to make a grand gesture by actually showing up and proceeding to disrupt the proceedings as much as possible. For the most part,we were able to ignore him and his protestations of “this is horrifying” and get on with the good times. But he then disrupted the sumbel on Saturday night by reading a letter attacking the leadership of the Ring of Troth. Mind you, many of the people he slandered are no longer with the organization, and others can hardly be held accountable for long past allegations of indiscretion, but Heimdahl had to have his moment. Considering the manner in which he breached the Frith by entering our friendly mead-hall and attacking us, I don’t think that it is inappropriate to refer to him as “Grendel.”

This Grendel was asked to leave, and did so, but some equally scurrilous handbills appeared on the windshields of parked cars in the area, an act he denies. But enough about him. The event was a success, and we look forward to another next year.

Finally, I was paid the honor of being elected to serve on the high Rede of the Troth, and took the oath along with C. L. Hankins. I believe that the Ring of Troth, under the guidance of Bill Bainbridge and Diana Paxson in particular, is fulfilling its mission, and I am proud to be a part of that work. The work of continuing to build Ásatrú into a more widely accepted and well-practiced religious movement is certainly a worthy goal, and I believe that the Ring of Troth is a good means of achieving that goal.


© Marklander 1997