This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Seiðr workshop offered by Laurel Mendes in Columbia, MD. While I won’t go into specific details to protect the privacy of those who attended, I thought I’d give a general outline of what’s covered for those who may be interested in attending this ritual in the future.
The workshop is scheduled to run from Friday Night through Sunday afternoon. On Friday night we gathered, had dinner, and she set down the “rules” for the weekend and our location. Fairly reasonable stuff. We then had an hour long lecture on the history of Seiðr and Norse magical practices in general. She talked about where the current modern practice of Seiðr developed (for her tradition) and what was and was not UPG.
Then we moved on to a what I saw as a fairly basic grounding guided experience (some would call this a meditation). I found it very familiar but it was a good start to the weekend.
We broke for the evening, and returned Saturday morning. In the morning we had breakfast, there was more lecture, this time focused more on norse spirituality in general and did another guided experience which I labeled as centering (as opposed to grounding). This experience was designed to align all the different parts of the individual into one.
Then more discussion, and a guided experience to find a spirit guide. This was important for those who hadn’t gone through this experience before.
Then we discussed a structure for an Oracular Seiðr ritual. This particular form of Seiðr is designed to go to Hellas Hall, and connect to individuals in the hall for the purposes of asking questions. While there were pre-existing structure that had been developed, because this was a first time for this particular workshop on the east coast, starting to develop some “liturgy” was important (That’s how I like to refer to it). A liturgy was agreed upon, and since this was to be a teaching class, roles were assigned (They were assigned by rune draw, for fairness).
Then dinner, and then the ritual for the evening. It lasted about two hours, and was incredibly powerful. Several students had the opportunity to serve as the seeress/seer throughout the ritual. Other individuals served as attendants, and other roles.
After the ritual several students went out for drinks in order to decompress (I however, was exhausted, and went home to my bed).
Sunday morning we gathered at a local restaurant and had breakfast, and then returned to the Hall. Sunday morning was devoted to a different type of Seiðr ritual, a Norns ritual. We started by discussing the differences in the ritual, and there were some very specific guidelines with respect to this ritual. The key element here is that unlike the Oracular ritual from the previous night, where there was one person who served as a seer/seeress, this ritual had three (one for each of the norns) in a chair. This ritual also turned out to be incredibly intense as well.
We then followed up the ritual with some discussions about what to do with this knowledge, now that we have it, and where this community would go from here.
Then we all departed.
The weekend was exhausting, given all the journeying that went out, however, if you have the opportunity to attend one of these, make sure you do!