Fall 2021 Freeholder Call for Submissions

Hello again!

This is Kristy, your BCHF Editor. Been a while.

It’s been far too long since we saw an edition of The Freeholder. No surprise, given we’ve all been contending with the plague (aka Covid-19) for the last year and a half. Although we’re not quite back to “normal” as yet – if ever – let us use the technology available to us to re/connect and maintain our community ties.

Let’s get The Freeholder up & running again! My plan is for a smaller reintroductory issue to be released in late September/early October, then a larger Yule Edition for December.

I hereby invite everyone to offer a contribution to the Freeholder, if you wish to do so. I doubly encourage our new & probationary members of the Freehold to offer submissions – we’d love to hear the perspectives of those new to Heathenry!

“What kind of material?” you ask?
“What have you got?” is my reply.

Do you have an article, short story or a poem you’d like to share?
Do you have a art or craft project you’d like to showcase?
Any boasts to proclaim or reaffirm?
Any online events coming up in the next few months?
Do you have news you would like to announce?
Any other thoughts, essays or the like to share?

If yes, please send an email to editor@bcheathenfreehold.org.

Deadline for submissions is 9pm on Friday 10th September 2021.

Althing 2021

Depiction of a community gathered for a local Thing or Moot in antiquity.


It is with great pride I get to announce this third Althing since my election as Freyr. We will be holding the British Columbia Heathen Freehold’s Althing virtually this year, on our Discord Server. The date will be the 2nd of August 2021, with the meeting beginning at 2:00 pm.

We will begin with a faining to the gods to thank them for their blessings, and ask that they continue to grant our community success and prosperity. Following the faining we will attend to the business meeting portion of the Althing. After the business meeting we will have a virtual symbel, including the swearing of any oaths that need to be sworn by new officers or members. That will conclude the planned activities of the Althing.

The business meeting will handle setting the budget and operating plan for the coming year, electing the Ombudsman and considering candidates for thanes, as well as handling any business that members wish to bring before the Althing. As this is the third Althing since my election, we will also have the Witangemot elect the Freyr. I intend to run again as I wish to continue serving my community to the best of my ability. I welcome nominations of other candidates, if you know of someone you feel could perform the role better please nominate them so the Witan may choose the person best suited to the role.

Attached below you may find the agenda for this year’s Althing. Please consider it over the next two weeks, so that you may make the best possible nominations for awards and offices of the Freehold. Also please consider anything else that you may wish to bring before the Althing, it is helpful for all of us that business from the floor be thoroughly considered in advance.

In Frith and Service,
Aaron Brookes
Freyr of the BCHF


Hail and welcome!

It is a true pleasure to announce that the BCHF has established another venue through which Heathens can network, discuss, and share knowledge. We have created a Discord server which is open to all that wish to join. It is hoped that Heathens and interested others will be able to learn and grow as a community.

As it is a fairly new endeavour, any feedback or critiques you may have are welcome so that we may better serve the community.

In Frith and Service,
Aaron Brookes
Freyr of the BCHF

Winternights 2020

Winternights marks the end of the harvest season. This is the time of year where the last crops are brought in to help our communities survive the winter. The British Columbia Heathen Freehold celebrates this festival at the same time as Thanksgiving here in Canada. We will be hosting a Live-streamed faining to celebrate the harvest and give thanks for the bounty that has been provided to our communities. Like most of our fainings this year, it will take place in the shadow of COVID-19. So it is especially important to remember those things that we are grateful for, in order to bolster our spirits as we move into the long cold dark of winter.

Historically, Winternights was the final harvest festival. The community would gather for a great feast, honouring the land and spirits that aided in the success of the crops. In Scandinavia this festival was called Winternights, it marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter in their two season calendar. The Anglo-Saxons held a festival in the month of Winterfylleþ on the full-moon to celebrate the beginning of Winter. This is considered one of the historical major fainings, when the Norse would hold their Things and the English their Moots, the other two being Yule and Eastertide in our modern calendar.

This year we will be honouring Ingui-Freyr and the elves, to thank them for ensuring the success of our harvest. We hope that you will all be able to join us on October 11th at 4:00 pm.

BCHF Awards 2020

Each year the British Columbia Heathen Freehold makes awards to recognise those within and outside of our community for their achievements. This year’s award winners were an amazing crop of nominees that we believe embody the spirit of our awards.

Freeholder of the Year

This is the only award that the Freehold must make every year. The Freeholder of the Year Award is to recognise the member of the Freehold that was most outstanding in a given year. The achievements can range from exceptional volunteer work for the Freehold to gaining widespread recognition for themselves and the Freehold in the wider community. John T. Mainer was this year’s recipient. His skaldic and galdr related contributions to the Freehold and wider Heathenry are exemplary every year, but this year we believe his activities were truly outstanding.

Frigga’s Loom

Frigga’s Loom is to recognize an individual who has rendered exceptional service to the creation or maintenance of Frithful environments. This describes Paula Maylin as she spearheaded the creation and operation of the BCHF Slack server. She also makes great effort to ensure that people feel welcome and safe in any environment where she can.

Shield-Maiden Award

This award is to recognise an outstanding woman in Heathenry. This year’s recipient certainly fits that description. Lorrie Wood has been a prominent member of the inclusive side of Heathenry for a very long time. Her achievements should serve as an inspiration to all Heathens, but especially other Heathen women. It is unfortunate that her recognition is even more noticeable due to her gender. While the BCHF does not condone discrimination in any form, we must recognise that it exists. One of the intentions behind this award is to raise the recognition profile of women in Heathenry, so that hopefully sexism in Heathenry will be a thing of the past.

Tyrbold Award

This award is to recognise those who best represent the virtues of Tyr, by standing fast in service of the values of justice and honour. Aviation Electrician’s Mate Second Class Joshua Wood is one such. Through hard work and dedication he is now certified as a Heathen religious lay leader aboard a ship of the United States Navy. It is through efforts such as his that Heathenry can come to the attention of government and media in a positive light.

Wyrd-Spinner Award

This award is to recognise excellence and significant contribution to the esoteric practices of Heathenry. Once more Lorrie Wood is nearly peerless in this regard. She has been involved in the development of modern Seiðr for decades. Lorrie has such a familiarity with the runes for both mystical and mundane uses as to be dizzying. Her mastery of Galdr is complete. In short Lorrie Wood may be the most proficient practitioner of Heathen magic alive today.

Althing 2020 Results

Yesterday the 2020 BCHF Althing came to it’s conclusion. We have many exciting announcements to make. The Freehold has adopted a new constitution, amended our by-laws, and made awards and presentations.

The constitution was adopted as proposed by the Witangemot (Board of Directors) without amendment by the Althing. This new constitution clearly states our community’s purposes and beliefs. There is also a very loose organisational structure around which we can adapt to changing circumstances without re-writing our constitution every decade to keep it current.

The amended by-laws reflect the new structure of our constitution and provide for clarification of the structures and beliefs found there. The most drastic change in the by-laws centres around our former Ritual and Lore Council which has been amalgamated into the Witangemot. The Ritual and Lore Council was responsible for setting the Freehold’s Religious Calendar and training those who wished to become priests. The following positions were members of both the Ritual and Lore Council and the Witangemot, the Freyr, the goðar(priest(esse)s) of the kindreds, and the Keeper of the Council. With this level of overlap in positions that must be both, and a near identical overlap in other witan and members of the RLC, it was determined to take the lead of most other religious bodies in Canada and amalgamate our administrative and religious oversight bodies. The other aspect of this was the need to create he new office of Jarl of the Freehold, who serves as the deputy of the Freyr.

You may find a complete summary of all decisions made by the Althing here in the minutes.

If anyone wishes to express concerns, questions, or opinions about these matters, I invite you to contact us either here or through our social media.

In frith and service,
Aaron Brookes
Freyr of the Freehold

Lammas 2020

Today the Freehold will be hosting our Lammas faining online through Facebook.We hope that you will all be able to join us as we celebrate Thor, and honour the gods, goddesses, elves, dwarves, and ancestors on this bright sunny day.

The term Lammas is Old English for “loaf mass” where the first loaves of bread made from the current year’s grains were shared and eaten by the community in early Mediaeval England. Though not directly attested from pre-Christian sources, the customs and practices associated with Lammas strongly imply pagan traditions carried forward into Christian times. The Freehold has chosen to participate in this practice.

For Lammas we will be honouring Thor, as he is very active in BC at this time with a significant number of Thunderstorms in our province around this time every year. It is also at this time that farmers harvest their major crops in BC. As such Thor is the obvious choice for associating with this time of year in our community.

Those who wish to join us for a livestreamed faining can do so on this Facebook event. We will be going live at approximately 5:00 pm PDT, the faining will last approximately 15 minutes. We will open with a brief prayer to Thor, then recount a tale about one of his many adventures, make our offerings to him, and finally we will have a symbel. Those who wish to participate are encouraged to grab a drink, and possibly a small offering bowl if you want to pour out your own offerings. During the symbel any toasts you wish made publicly on your behalf can be entered in the chat for the stream.

As usual, the symbel will consist of 3 rounds. The first round, or bedes, is for making toasts to the gods and goddesses. The second round, or myne, is for toasts to ancestors and nature spirits whether elves, wights, dwarves, or other friendly spirits. The third round, or bragafull, is for making oaths, boasts, and toasts about what you or another member of our community has accomplished.

In frith and service,
Aaron Brookes
Freyr of the British Columbia Heathen Freehold

Empaths: Service Message from Thor

Excellent advice from our second Freyr John Mainer.


I have been listening to a whole lot a people who are suffering right now because of a gift that they have, empathy. The gift of empathy is nominally a very important one for those who serve their community, but right at the moment, it comes with a huge drawback.

We have a perfect storm of negative emotions right now. Covid 19 pandemic brings with it risk of death, loved ones in danger, loved ones lost. It brings with it loss of social outlet, loss of community, loss of connection. It brings with it HUGE political division, and the threat of persecution no matter what course of action you take, someone is going to see this as an attack on their way of life, freedom, and even faith. We have the simmering racial tensions that have been accumulating since the election of a President who endorses open racism in a…

View original post 1,439 more words

Althing 2020

Hail Members of the Freehold!

The Witangemot is proud to announce the dates and format for our 2020 Althing. We will be using a private Facebook group that is invitation only to ensure that all members have the opportunity to voice their opinions and cast their votes on the important items on our agenda. Members of the Freehold should ensure they have been added to the Althing group by the 1st of August so as to prevent delays. Members who do not wish to join the Facebook group may ask for an absentee ballot to vote on matters that are on the agenda, or they may designate a proxy to cast a vote on their behalf.

The dates and schedule for the Althing is as follows:

  • August 4th
    • reports submitted by the guilds, councils, kindreds, and officers of the Freehold
  • August 5th
    • motion to accept reports
    • Discussion of item 2.1 Proposal to adopt the new constitution, last chance to recommend amendments be made
  • August 6th
    • Vote to accept or reject item 2.1 the proposed Constitution
    • Discussion of item 2.2 by-law amendments to reflect the new constitution, other amendments may be suggested
  • August 7th
    • Vote to accept or reject item 2.2 amendments to the by-laws
    • Discussion of item 2.3 grant a two year grace period for current Goðar to meet new requirements
    • Discussion of item 2.4 budget for 2020/2021
  • August 8th
    • Vote on item 2.3 Goðar grace period, if item 2.2 by-law amendments was passed
    • Vote on item 2.4 budget
    • Discuss any new business brought forth by members
  • August 9th
    • Vote on any business brought by the members
    • Nominations for awards
    • Discussion of probationary members eligible for acceptance as full members
    • Nominations for Ombudsman, up to three Thanes, and the Freyr (if necessary)
  • August 10th
    • Vote on award candidates
    • Vote for acceptance of probationary members
    • Vote for Freehold Officer elections
    • Confirmation of Jarl, if necessary
    • Instruct guilds, council, and Kindreds to conduct elections, and report the results
    • Motion to close the Althing

This format was chosen so as to enable maximum participation by our members. We desire your input on how our community should be run, what our goals should be, and how to implement them. If you don’t speak up, you can’t be heard. All members of the Freehold are entitled to be heard at the Althing, so do not hesitate to let us know. You are encouraged to read the Agenda, draft Constitution, and draft by-laws before we begin so that you are prepared to discuss, ask questions of clarification, and make any suggestions you might have.

If you do not receive an invite to the Althing group, and you are a member, please contact us at contact@bcheathenfreehold.org

In Frith and Service,
Aaron Brookes
Freyr of the BCHF

Midsummer 2020

Midsummer is a common folk celebration throughout Germanic countries to this day. It is a time to mark the pleasantries of summer and the recreational activities it affords us. While there are no surviving attestations of the ancient Germanic peoples celebrating Midsummer, the Freehold has chosen to include it as a modern celebration, due to it’s prevalence in Modern and Mediaeval Germanic Countries. The likely reason there was no major Faining during Summer in ancient times is that most of those who could vote in a Thing/Moot would have been away, raiding, trading, or exploring during the season of war and commerce.

Our modern Freehold practice has designated Midsummer as the fourth major faining. Midsummer is usually a great time to gather in the sun and commune with the gods, goddesses, and wights outside of the home. Sunna is a frequent choice for the deity to honour at Midsummer, this is the time when she is most felt in our world. We will be offering Sunna our worship as we gather online this June 21st at 4:00pm PDT.

We invite all to join us in reverence and worship of the goddess of sun and summer.

In frith and service,
Aaron Brookes
Freyr of the BCHF