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Imbolc Gather, February 4, 2017

Although the weather was cold and bitter, it was the exact opposite inside the manor for this first gather of 2017. A gather that finds all of us inside is the perfect time for Sir Christian to present a revised version of his seminar "The Three and the Four", a survey of numerical symbolism in the Middle Ages. With the newest members and guests of the Order interested, and the eldest members wanting a refresher, it was well received.

In attendance for this gather were: Sir Christian, Lady Maureen, Sir Carl, Sir Mark, Lady Paula, Sir John C, Lady Justine, Lady Veronica, Lord Chris, Lady Liz, Lord Mike D

Guests: Mistress Ariana, Mistress Tarin, Lady Katie, Lord Dan, Lady Jessica, Lord Eric, Lord Rob, Lord Nathan

Feast was prepared by our master chef Lady Paula. Pot roast with carrots, mashed potatoes, turnips, haggis (American-made, from Cameron Foods), and a spring mix salad was silently devoured by everyone, with seconds for some. Sir Christian read the entire poem by Robert Burns, the bard of Scotland, "Address to a Haggis".

Circle was devised by the lovely Lady Maureen. On the altar we had a gift from Lady Stephanie: a handmade red crochet doily. The altar was decorated in proper Selohaar colors. The bell was rung by Lord Michael; quarters were called by Lady Paula, Lady Veronica, Lady Justine, and Lady Elizabeth. Sir Mark traced while the ladies called the quarters. The grail was passed by Lady Paula. Sir Christian spoke in the north east part of the circle, symbolizing the time between winter and spring.

Dessert was served with court - Black Forest Christmas pudding with vanilla ice cream. Right before dessert we sang happy birthday to Lady Veronica. She is officially 30 years old!

Details of court are thus:

- May 20th is the next hospital visit to CCMC
- Treasury money will be used for archery targets and new folding tables for the feast hall.
- Lady Maureen suggested a archery refresher for those who would like to practice.
- There will be a training day soon, time and date TBD.
- Sir Mark and Mistress Tarin have been giving away Sir Mark's coveted Star Wars accessories.
- There is another visit that will soon be announced to Yale New Haven hospital.
- The festival of trees was a success; money was raised for Seasons Hospice.

At the close of court, Mistress Tarin sang "The Parting Glass" which is sung after a gathering of friends.

By my hand,

Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Chronicler


Autumun Equinox Gather, September 24, 2016

The leaves are ever so slightly changing and the cool breeze promises that autumn will be here soon. The combatants were anticipating the last fight of the season and all energy was put into keeping the weather stable.

Attending this gather: Sir Christian, Lady Maureen, Sir Mark, Lady Paula, Sir Robert, Lord Mike D, Lord Janusz, Lady Justine, Lady Veronica, Lady Elizabeth, Lord Christopher, Lord Mike A, and a brief visit from Lady Sarah

Guests: Mistress Ariana, Mistress Tarin, Lord Nathan, Lady Christina, Lord Daniel, Lady Katie, Lord Josh

Archery Tournament Results:
3rd place: Sir Robert with 70 points
2cnd place: Mistress Tarin with 71 points
1st place: Lady Sarah with 74 points

The combatants should be very proud of themselves. Rob took several punches to the face, Mark fought another match despite getting a hit to the nose and Janusz's stamina after fighting three boughts in a row against Mike, Rob, & Mark was something they have permission to boast about. Sir Christian was extremely happy with the spirit of the fight between himself and Sir Robert.

Lady Paula truly is an artist in the kitchen. There was no talking as the dinner was devoured quickly. Dinner was harvest vegetables with roasted chicken, and bread with maple butter.

Lady Maureen jumped in to save the day by crafting circle at the last minute. Lady Elizabeth had some family obligations to see to and was unable to fill in for Lord John. The main focus on circle was the balance between light and dark. Lady Elizabeth rang the bell, the quarters were called by Lady Paula, Lady Veronica, Sir Mark and Sir Rob. The archetypes were invoked by lady Maureen, sir Christian and Sir Mark.

Before Apple pie with cheddar cheese was served for dessert, Lady Veronica collected money for feast. The details for court were thus:

- The next hospital visit is on October 15th. Please let Sir Christian know if you are able to attend. Time: TBD.
- Christmas tree event (festival of trees) looking for a local charity. Connecticut children's medical center, in town woman's shelter, and the local library are some interest.
- There will be an open manor night after the hospital visit on October 15. We will decorate ornaments for the tree and watch a period movie. After the movie, there will be a discussion. Please let Sir Christian or Lady Maureen know if you can attend.

- Lady Elizabeth's grandmother passed away on Wednesday, September 21st. There will be a memorial service for Angie Nash on October 8th at 10am, at 302 Hackmatack St, Manchester, CT. Her family from around the country will be there and she would love the support from her chosen family on that day as well.

By my hand,

Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Chronicler


Lugnasadh Gather, July 30, 2016

The weather for the gather once again played a foul game of not clearly forecasting it intentions for the day. For days before it declared rain and thunder. Then a day or two before it declared mixed plans of sun and thundershowers. The night before it rained and the morning shone brightly to mock us. As the time for the gather to begin, the clouds moved in and the humidity rose to create a sauna with promises of storms. Vexed by these weather annoyances, the Grand Master and the Quartermaster declared that there would be no setting of the field and no formal tournaments. Contrary to the predicted weather, the members and guests that gathered were in a much sunny mood.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir John
Sir Mark

Lady Paula
Mistress Ariana
Mistress Tarin
Master Nathan (G)

Sir Robert
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Elizabeth

Lord Christopher
Lord Michael
Lady Veronica
(Sir Kirk via phone for court)

Lord Michael came to the Manor three days early to assist the Lord and Lady of the Manor with Manor repairs. At the last gather, there was an offer to have people give service rather than financial remuneration to the Order. The Garage is being repaired and organized and a young strapping squire made short order the work. Laborers were able to make great strides in the labor because of Lord Michael's assistance. The garage is still in a chaotic state, so not having to set up and break down the pavilion and tournament field was perhaps a good thing. There will still be opportunities for members to offer labor in lieu of treasure. This fall and winter, there will be further renovations made to enhance the comfort of the gathers. Please contact the Lady Maureen if you wish to be of service.

Lord Christopher brought his new sword acquisitions for the martially inclined to inspect. This past year he created a northern Connecticut chapter of the Selohaar Fechtschule, Laurel City German Martial Arts. These swords will aid him in his instruction at the chapter as well as enhance his recent educational presentations in area town libraries. Sir Robert and Lord Janusz have been active in the formation of this new chapter, bringing with them their weekly trained skills from the Oxford.

The Gather was held on the Lugnasadh, or Lammas weekend. Its historical significance is a celebration of the first harvest of the year. A successful harvest of grains would ensure that the family and community would be sustained throughout the winter. Grains are the easiest food stuff to preserve and would create bread, the Staff of Life. It has become a tradition in the Order to dine on a cold supper of meats, cheeses, hearty breads, and salads. We can partake of food when the combatants have concluded their exploits on the tournament fields. Their bodies are sure to enjoy the cool foods after the "heat" of battle and the heat of the season. Ladies Paula and Maureen and Mistress Tarin prepared the plates of food. It was a small gather so we were fortunate to have the rare opportunity to have all the tables together so that we could all be gathered at "one" table. Conversation was pleasant with sisters teasing each other, and young squires making playful comments around the room. Sir Mark led a wonderful conversation asking each member to share how they each came to the Order and what they were in the mundane world. People shared tales of how their paths led to Selohaar and how long many of us were in the Order

Ritual was crafted by Lord Michael. Lady Veronica rang the bell. Lord Janusz called the quarters as Lady Justine traced. Sirs Christian and John and Lady Maureen invoked the Archetypes. Sir Christian urged each member to remember the reason for the Order's existence. We were to bring forth the noble nature of chivalry and knighthood into the world. We are to quest for a higher quality to our lives and to the world around us. Lady Paula passed a dagger of intent and red candle of guidance to each member as they took a moment to focus on the personal quest that they should take up. Following this meditation, Lady Elizabeth passed the grail. The circle concluded with Lady Justine banishing the quarters as Lord Janusz traced.

Invocations for Lugnasadh

O Boul, Most strong-
Who holds sway over the regions of the West,
Whose Terrestrial kingdom endureth unto the ages,
We invoke thee for the protection of this circle on this day of Lugnasadh

O Eltzen, Most glorious and graceful-
Who holds sway over the regions of the cold North,
Whose dominion is over all the waters,
We invoke thee for the protection of this circle on this day of Lugnasadh

O Oriens, Most inspirational-
Who holds sway over the regions of the East,
Seated upon a throne of wind and cloud,
We invoke thee for the protection of this circle on this day of Lugnasadh

O Amemon, Most noble-
Who holds sway over the regions of the South,
Clothed in all thy power and splendor,
We invoke thee for the protection of this circle on this day of Lugnasadh

We enjoyed freshly made Key Lime pie as we attended court. All of the discussion was focused on the charitable activities that are in the works. Firstly, on August 6th, noon to five PM., Lord and Lady Valli are conducting a Pokémon Go inspired can food drive, Poke Aid, at the East End Park in Winsted, Connecticut. There will be a radio DJ, games and refreshments as Pokémon enthusiasts bring food donations for the Open Door Food Pantry.

Please stay tuned for a date to be announced for an Open Manor Night in Mid September. The Order will be working on making the Yule tree decorations for the Oxford High School charity drive. Lady Paula and Lady Maureen will have the materials and directions for the making the ornaments and people will bring food to share as we work together on this task.
Sir John conferred with the members on a possible date for the next Children's Hospital visit. Please let us know if you will be able to assist in the dance, storytelling or armoring. If you wish to come and are "rusty" in regard to the Moresca Dance, there is a video on our website to assist in your practice.

Mistress Tarin is leading a "Hat Donation" project to aid people with cancer at the Griffin Cancer Center in Derby, and the Smilo Cancer Center in New Haven. She, Lady Maureen, and others have been making hats to donate. Please bring a warm hat or two to the Manor on your next Gather visit. Mistress Tarin hopes to be able to make 100 people's lives a bit brighter with the gift of a handmade or purchased hat with well wishes for their recovery.

Sir Christian spoke with delight of the charitable nature our members in the Order. Largess and service are two of the noblest characteristics of a knightly person. We are making meaningful change in the world around us. We should be proud in the best sense of the word.

The next Gather is September 24th. We look forward to seeing you and your fine guests.

By My Hand,


AOS, Co-Chronicler


Yule Gather, December 12, 2015

Although the weather outside for our Yule gather did not seem like December, the inside was surely festive with a beautiful tree and trimmings all around. It was decided that we would have a fourteenth century meal and with lots of help from Lady Veronica, it was made possible.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lord Chris V
Lady Sarah
Lady Paula
Lord Matthew

Lady Maureen
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Mike A
Sir Mark
Lady Veronica

Sir Carl
Lord Janusz
Lord Kyle
Lord Blair
Lord Mike D

Sir Robert
Lady Justine
Sir John
Lord Bryan

Guests: Lady Noreen, Mistress Ariana, Mistress Tarin, Lady Kat, Lord Cody, Lady Christina, Lord Ryan, Lord Josh

To start our Yule Gather off right, Christian led us all to sing the 'Wassail Song' while the amazing brew was being passed around. Many thanks to Lord Matthew for the bowl that it was served in and Lord Blair for crafting this year's beverage.

Our first course was Peeres in Confyt (Pears poached in liquor) that was made by Lady Maureen. While the course was being served we were entertained by Lady Maureen as she sang three silly songs that was 'Hark the Herald Witches Sing', 'Hamlet the Danish Princeling' and "Good King Henry V' and, by Lady Veronica who sang "the Holly & the Ivy".

Course two was Salat (English Herb Salad) that was made by Lady Sarah. Lord Mike D read an excerpt from Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Carl gave a toast to the great Edgar Allen Poe. Course three was Chicken Endore (Roast Chicken with glazing) with Saffron Rice that was made by Lord Rob.

While the squires carved the chicken, Sir Christian, Sir Carl and Lord Kyle sang the 'Troubadour Song'. After the song was beautifully sung by the three, a challenge was given from Lady Maureen to Sir Christian to write up another verse to the song. He accepted the challenge. Lord Mike A fully entertained us by acting out Macbeth Act 5, Scene 4. And, Mistress Tarin read the poem 'Birches' by Robert Frost.

Course four was Sambocade (Elderflower Cheesecake) made by Ladies Justine and Liz. Sir Rob lead all of us in a round of 'Deck the Halls', Mistress Arianna and Lady Liz sang and Lady Sarah told us of the rejected quarters that some of us might have thought of once or twice.

Hamlet the Danish Princeling

(to the tune of "Rudolph the Red- Nose Reindeer")

Hamlet the Danish Princeling
Ruminated with a skull
and if you ever heard him
you might think him rather dull
all of his friends and family
thought he was a bit insane
they never guessed that Hamlet
planned to see his Uncle slain
Then one foggy Danish night
Hamlet fought a duel
And when everything was said
all (save Hamlet's friend) were dead
Then all the Danes said: Hamlet
You have slain your family
Hamlet the Danish Princeling
You'll live on in infamy!

Before circle, Lord John and Lady Maureen took the passage for the Third Degree. Sir Christian and Sir Carl gave both a palm up meaning that they will now sit on council. Circle was prepared by The Lord John Whittemore and the altar was prepared by Lady Sarah. The details of circle are thus: Lord Kyle rang the bell, Lady Paula, Lady Veronica, Lady Sarah and Lady Elizabeth called the quarters, Sirs Christians and Carl and Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes of Vorthr, Verena, and Volnar. The Lord John passed the grail.

There was no court that was held this evening but with the contributions from everyone we were able to raise $119 for Heifer International. Thank you to all that helped!

By my hand,

Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Chronicler

 

Samhain Gather, November 7, 2015

Present for the day were:

Sir Christian
Lord Mike D
Sir Rob

Lady Maureen
Lord Janusz
Lord Christopher

Sir Kirk
Lady Justine
Lady Elizabeth

Lady Veronica
Lady Paula
Lady Sarah

Guests: Mistress Tarin, Mistress Ariana, Lady Noreen

Sir Rob crafted this gather's feast. Served in bread bowls was venison stew. Lady Justine assisted by making Hubbard squash with apples.

Circle was crafted by Lady Sarah. Lady Liz rang the bell, Lady Sarah called the quarters while Sir Rob traced. Lady Maureen and Sirs Christian and Kirk called the archetypes. Circle this gather was based on the final harvest and the passing of those we have recently lost. Sir Christian's mother and Lady Elizabeth's grandfather were the most recent souls lost this year. Looking forward, we cherish the memories that we hold dear.

Court was held as the formal conclusion of the day's event. Lady Paula has asked for assistance planning feasts for the next few gathers. The last children's hospital visit went very well. Going room to room made the children very happy. We will be taking donations for Heifer international at Yule Gather. Next year we hope to donate to Trees of Hope. As a reminder, please square up with gather payments. Master Parker won the fire truck ride to school; Lady Sarah thanks all of those who bought tickets! Lord Chris will be collecting for shoes that he can get for wholesale.

Lady Veronica will be starting a Facebook page for the Yule feast. The Moresca open house visit will be the Saturday after thanksgiving. A trip to Yankee Candle will follow the next day.

By my hand,

Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Chronicler

 

Autumn Equinox Gather, September 26, 2015

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lord Christopher V
Lady Veronica

Lady Maureen
Lady Liz
Lord Mike D

Lady Paula
Lord Janusz
Lord Mike A

Sir Robert
Lady Justine
Lord John W

Guests: Mistress Tarin, Mistress Ariana, Lady Christina, Lady Noreen, Lady Ronnie

The archery match results were:

First Place: Lord Chris Valli - 62 points
Second Place: Sir Robert Kelly - 49 points
Third Place: Lady Elizabeth - 41 points

The tournament this gather was 'Fortune's Favor'. The fighting this gather was excellent, clean, and safe from all. Most memorable were a poleaxe v. spear match fought between Lords Christopher and Janusz that got wrestled to the ground, and the dagger v. long sword match between Sir Robert and Lord Christopher in which Sir Rob was shown the gate.

Lady Paula prepared an excellent feast. An apple nutmeg Pork with creamy butternut squash pasta with parmesan cheese. Dessert was a glazed apple bunt cake. Circle was crafted by Lady Maureen. Lord Bryan rang the bell, Quarters were called by Lady Elizabeth while Lord Mike traced. Lady Paula passed the grail. Court was held as the formal conclusion of the day's event.

Lady Sarah invited all to Master Parker's birthday party on October 4th at their new house. The hospital visit is scheduled for October 17th. This year, we will also be collecting for Heifer International. During the winter gathers, there will be indoor seminars about artifacts and more! Please make sure that you square up with dues as the Order will be investing in some new equipment for the new season next year. Please let Lady Sarah know what you have harvested for the year for next gather to put on the white cloth. The Yule gather is quickly approaching. If you would like to "sing for your supper" please contact Lady Elizabeth via email or Facebook.

By my hand,

Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Chronicler

 

Lugnasadh Gather, July 25, 2015

I have returned to put pen to paper, so to speak, as our young chronicler has been away this recent gather. I wish to record more than the events of the day but also to express my gratitude to the Order as a whole for what a vibrant and strong, perpetuating force it has become over the past few years. Everything both good and bad is dealt with so handily by the members that it feels more like a family than a group of revelers celebrating a holiday.

Before an outdoor gather, there are many trappings that must be set-up to bring the expected ambiance of a Selohaar tournament into being. It is more than one man, even if he is the Grand Master, to do. There have been many, many members of the Order that has held a tent pole, pounded down a stake, or put up the field barriers, however, it was Lord Christopher, who for this gather and last, came from the north to do such work with the Grand Master. It sets the Manor's household mind at easy to know that the lion's share of the work is done two days before the gathering.

The gather's feast was directed by the Lovely Lady Paula. This also occurred days in advance. Many of the current members know the yoke of taking a turn at preparing feast for so large an assembly. So we know how blessed we are to have the Lady Paula take up this task with competence and gladness. The Mistress of the Manor most certainly love's her guiding hand as she keeps the production so tidy and frugal. With Lady Paula comes a small staff of lovely daughters who take the same joy in cooking. Observing Lady Paula direct her daughters through the preparations made the Mistress of the Manor most jealous of the bond they share. It was easy to see what a loving connection has blossomed in the Keller family over such a common place thing as cooking. Mistresses Ariana and Tarin beamed with satisfaction at the confidences that were put upon their young shoulders as they worked side by side with Lady Paula and the Lady Maureen. It is well known that Lady Maureen feels her weak spot is in cooking, however, during the making of the desserts and the chopping of vegetables, a little glimmer of cooking pride swelled in her bosom and all insecurity was absent for the time being.

On the 25th of July, the weather was superb for an outdoor tournament gathering. It was 80 degrees with gentle breezes, and many song birds to charm the ears. People began arriving at noon. With each embrace and welcome, the knight, lord, or lady would inquire what work they might take up to make the day's festivities run smoothly. It can honestly be said each query is like a golden gift to the Lord and Lady of the Manor.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Kirk
Sir Robert
Sir Mark

Lady Paula
Mistress Ariana
Mistress Tarin
Lady Noreen
Lord Michael D

Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord Christopher
Lady Sarah
Master Parker

Mistress Emelia
Lord Ryan (G)
Lord Joshua (G)

 

Sirs Carl and John sent their regrets as they were tethered to their occupations. The Lord John had an obligation that barred his attendance and the poor Lord Kyle was prevented from coming due to a last minute car travesty.

This gather did not have an archery tournament. Lord Matthew was not able to attend our event and he has become the defacto archery leader because of his extensive research in the historic archery styles, and his bowery work with arrows and long bows. Lord Matthew was attending the Nutmeg Games which is the Connecticut State Olympics so to speak. In the evening we learned that he received the bronze medal in the men's Olympic style archery division. The Gold was won by Butch Johnson, the US Gold winner at the 1996 Olympic Games, and the US Bronze winner at the 2000 Olympic Games. It is quite an honorable company that Lord Matthew competed in and we are all amazingly proud of him.

Six combatants took the field this tournament, three knights and three squires. Sir Christian and his squire Janusz played a very technical bout, having warmed up with some slow, unprotected freeplay earlier in the day. Sir Robert gave the Grand Master a wonderful half-sword fight, and many feats of arms were performed with spear, sword, dagger, and axe.

The gallery looked fondly on Sir Robert's attention to his young squire, Lord Michael. He was keenly conscientious oh his squire's actions on the tournament field, guiding and encouraging him from the sidelines. When not engaged in mentoring, he took time to engage the youngest attendees ensuring they enjoyed the tournament as much as he was. There is strength in a knight such as Sir Robert. He is so strong and unyielding in matter marshal, but then he will be attuned to the needs of others, both young and old; of high and low station. Even if he is discomforted by the matter at present, he can look beyond his own needs and put others' wishes before his own. Such is the way of the nobleman; such is the way of the knight. As Captain of the Guard he sets no task to his guards that he would not be willing to do himself. He is following the ways of knighthood in franchise, largess and hospitality.

The gallery was most jovial during the tournament. The "Cold Feast" tradition makes it most enjoyable for the Chatelaine and her assistances. There are no worries of feast and the time can be focused on cheering on the tourney combatants. Lady Maureen's guests Lords Ryan and Joshua shared their witty stories which made the Lady Paula and her lovely daughter ring with laughter. Some commented that Lord Ryan's effect on the Lady Maureen's jocularity was akin to that of the Lady Bonnie. Sable the Manor Cat reclined elegantly in his mobile kitty palace unconcerned by the attentions of the youngest gather guests. Mistress Tarin was an eager governess to young Master Parker and Mistress Emelia. Lady Sarah was able to relax her motherly duties and was able to capably assume the duties of scorekeeper. Master Parker assisted his mother from time to time by calling out the score to the gallery and the marshals. Mistress Ariana was attentive to the refreshments being sure the combatants remained hydrate.

Following the tournament, the crowd returned inside; some to clean the armor and themselves, some to make ready the feast hall, and some to do the final plating of the Cold Feast. Our Guest Lords Ryan and Joshua assisted Ladies Paula, Maureen, and Justine in the kitchen which was most appreciated. Lords Janusz and Joshua were attentive to Lady Noreen which gave the Lady Paula the liberation necessary to coordinate the provisions. All hands were on deck, including knights freshly returned for the tournament. Sir Kirk took on the task of carrying chairs to the feast hall. Lady Justine put down the camera and worked with Lady Sarah to set the tables and plan the seating. Many folks were hungry and eager for the feast.

At the beginning of feast Lady Maureen thanked all those who worked to create the Lugnasadh meal. Lugnasadh is the celebration of the first harvest which traditionally is that of grain. The feast began with a Cantaloupe and Basil soup made by Mistresses Ariana and Tarin. There were whole grain, semolina with sesame and sourdough breads, turkey, ham and roast beef, wheat berry , faro and barley salad accompanied by dill pickles, tapenades and salsas. But as important as the people who prepare the feast are, so too are the wonderful people who time after time step forward to do the clean up. Lord Christopher has lead the way for each feast clean up. The hands that sent the tournament field, and had wielded a sword, were also ready to collect and wash the dishes. Dish duty is an honorable service and to see a senior squire do this speaks to the deeper understanding of service to the Order. The Order is grateful for his example as he leads the young ones to do the same. No one is too high or too humble nor is there a task too noble or too menial for anyone to take on to make the day a success.

During the time between feast and circle, the Lady of the Manor expressed concern that Sable the Manor Cat had not been seen for some time. Without hesitation the entire group rose to search for the sweet mascot of the Order. His favorite spots were searched as were the under bed hiding spots and the closets. Sir Christian located the missing feline in the downstairs closet perched keenly upon the luggage. We have no idea how he was ensnared in the closet or for how long. Sable has declined to answer any questions on the matter. As for the sincere support of everyone to seek the missing parlor panther, The Grand Master and his Lady Wife are moved with appreciation at how people responded. A large gather with many comings and goings between field and feast hall and great hall can unknowingly allow for the escape of our beloved Manor Cat.

The Lady of the Grail was most indebted to young Lord Michael for assuming the last minute duties of preparing the Circle. The theme of Lugnasadh is a reminder that hard work, as an individual or as a group like Selohaar, will reap a bountiful reward. The first harvest is the grain harvest which is a food stuff that has the ability to be stored for seasons, to be a multitude of foods and to be seed onto its self.

The work of the Order is like wheat in that it readily nourishes itself, and can be molded to the many "tastes" and needs of the Order. A sword hand can be a hand that stirs a pot, strums a guitar, or cares for children and the elderly. The change of duties provides another member the respite from their usual tasks to explore new and invigorating experiences within Selohaar. As was demonstrated throughout the day, there were many willing to step into new roles such as cook, scorekeeper, feast dues collector, and care give to the very young and to the very old. Like the wheat that is harvested, this unity of purpose is the "Staff of Life" to Selohaar. As the Lady of the Grail said as she bid Verena adieu, each person who has pressed their lips to the grail is a gift. Circle was convened at the Kelly fountain. Lord Michael crafted the circle and gave sage words that inspired the message from the Grand Master. Lady Justine rang the bell, Lord Janusz called the quarters while Sir Robert set the wards. Lady Maureen and Sirs Christian and Robert invoked the Archetypes.

Court was called together in the pavilion as people got their special desert of Cloufuti. This is a French cake baked with a topping of sweet juicy cherries. Lady Maureen was beaming with pride and satisfaction and was most grateful for Lady Paula's supervision that made this dessert a success. It was "the cherry on top" for a wonderful gather day.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Beltaine Gather, May 9, 2015

A pleasant Spring day fell upon the Manor for the Beltaine celebration of the fresh greening of the earth. The weather was temperate in the mid-seventies. The sky was only partly cloudy which was so hoped for after a long period of indoor gathers.

Present for the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Kirk
Sir Robert

Sir Mark (for dinner)
Lady Veronica
Lord Christopher V
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine

Lord Kurt
Lady Stephanie
Lady Paula
Lord Michael
Lord John W

Lord Kyle
Mistress Ariana
Mistress Tarin
Lord Bryan (G)
Lady Noreen (G)

There was no archery competition for the Beltaine Gather as Lord Matthew could not attend, and the Lady Maureen had a union commitment for the first half of the gathering. The assembly of members and guest chose to keep their bows unstrung until the archery mavens were present to assist them, especially since it has been many months since many had bow in hand.

The field of arms was consecrated as it is at the beginning of each tournament season. The Acolyte, Lady Veronica, stood in for the Lady of the Grail and guided other in the Circle of the Grail. Following this, the combatants took the field, knelt, and received the blessing of protection from the acolyte. It was apparent that the fighters were a bit rusty after such a LONG winter; however, they quickly found their rhythm (measure) and presented a well fought tournament for the enjoyment of all in attendance. Notable to this chronicler were the spear match between Sir Christian and Lord Kyle and the poleaxe match between Sir Robert and his squire Lord Michael. Also especially notable was the Lord Janusz's prowess in the tournament, including a memorable bout with longswords versus Sir Robert.

The feast was prepared by the Order's Chatelaine Lady Paula. She created a Spanish theme to match the expectations of heat returning to the region, and to the tournament field. The meal consisted of White Chicken Enchilada with Lime Cilantro Dressing, Mexican Salad also with Lime Cilantro Dressing, and for dessert there were Apple and Apricot pastries with powdered sugar.

Lady Veronica, with the support of Sir Carl, composed rhyming couplets to summon the quarters. The bell rung by Lord Kyle, the Quarters were called by Lady Veronica with the wards being placed Lord John W. The Grail was passed by Lord Kurt. The Beltaine altar was dressed with a light green table cloth, blue tea lights at the quarters and the antler candle holders for the Archetypes. The symbols of the elements were creatively different from Circles in the past. A sprig of newly unfurled leaves was placed in the west for Earth, a sand dollar was placed in the north for Water, a bird's feather was placed in the east for Air, and a lit candle stood in the south as usual for Fire.

Court and Announcements:

Sir Christian announced that the Memorial Day weekend visit to the Connecticut Children's Hospital was cancelled. We understand that the hospital has many issues to contend with when planning an activity for the young patients. We understand that the children's health is the paramount consideration. We informed the staff that we would be open to a future visit when they deem it fitting to which they were most appreciative.

Grand Master hoped to plan a couple of days in which Order Members could attend to maintenance of Order equipment and the Manor itself. It has been a while since we attended to armor, weapons and furnishing. Specifically mentioned was the tournament barrier and the pavilion. A call for volunteers was made and a date will be arranged.
Lady Maureen expressed her pleasure at how large the gathers had become. With that however, accommodating the larger numbers has become difficult. It was hoped that people would put their mind to the matter and suggest some ways that we can make gathers more manageable for everyone. We also have to consider adding to the feast equipment such as plates, coolers and cooking utensils.

Lord Bryan was asked to become a member of the Order and he gladly accepted. He will be inducted at the next Selohaar gather.
All the adult members of the Order were invited to a cocktail party which will be held on Sunday, May 24th. The soiree will be catered by our talented friend Lord Karl the Younger.

Lady Stephanie and Lord Kurt announced that they will be moving to Grand Junction, Colorado on June 4th. Lady Stephanie plans to attend the University of Colorado's School of Park Management. Lord and Lady Jagielow plan to spend a couple of years there but assured us that they would return for visits and would love to have us visit them.

Sir Robert announced that he has accepted a job with Quest Industries. This affords him both an easier commute and a better standard of living. Huzzah!

We were please to hear that Lord Kyle has successfully attained his Masters of Arts degree in Holistic Counseling. We all wish him the heartiest of congratulations.

Ritual Calling of the Quarters

Invocation:

Boul, Regent of the West,
We ask that you join us in circle and bestow the verdant gift of spring,
Your fruitful soil with you bring.

Eltzen, Regent of the North,
We ask that you join us in circle and bestow the revitalizing gift of spring,
Refreshing waters with you bring.

Oriens, Regent of the East,
We ask that you join us in circle and bestow the soothing gift of spring,
Gentle breezes with you bring.

Amemon, Regent of the South,
we ask that you join us in circle and bestow the dynamic gift of spring,
lively spark with you bring.

Banishing:

Amemon, we thank you for the radiance of your presence this night, Hail and Farewell.
Oriens, we thank you for the inspiration of your presence this night, Hail and Farewell.
Eltzen, we thank you for the grace of your presence this night, Hail and Farewell.
Boul, we thank you for the might of your presence this night, Hail and Farewell.

By our hands,


AOS, Chronicler
&
Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Co-Chronicler


Yule Gather, December 13, 2014

The Order came together on the second weekend of December to celebrate Yule and the winter holiday season. Spirits were high and a day of fine fellowship, feasting, and diverse entertainments marked a day illuminated by candles and Christmas lights.

Present for the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lord Chris V
Lady Sarah
Lady Paula
Lord Kurt
Lord Mike D
Mistress Tarin
Mistress Ariana

Lady Maureen
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Chris T
Sir Mark
Lord Matthew
Lady Lana (G)
Lady Noreen (G)
Master Tristan (G)

Sir Carl
Lord Janusz
Lord Mike A
Lady Jessica
Sir Kirk
Lady Jillian (G)
Mistress Sophia (G)

Sir Rob
Lady Justine
Lady Stephanie
Lord Blair
Lady Veronica
Mistress Emelia (G)
Master Brayden (G)

To start our Yule Gather off right, Christian led us all to sing the 'Wassail Song' while the amazing brew was being passed around. Many thanks are due to Lord Matthew for the white maple bowl that it was served in and to Lord Blair for crafting the beverage.

During the first course of Cranberry Brie Delight, Ladies Veronica and Ariana sang 'Going Over Home'. The second course was minestrone soup. While that was served, Mistress Tarin recited a poem, 'Christmas Pipes'. The third course was Caprese Salad. During this course Lord Janusz prepared a special song for Sir Christian. The Fourth course was Milt Julep Sorbet, next was Shrimp cocktail, the sixth course was pepper Wine tenderloin of beef with asiago & sage scalloped potatoes. Dessert was Christmas Figgie Pudding.

Circle was prepared by Lady Veronica and the altar was prepared by Lady Elizabeth. The details of circle are thus: Lady Sarah rang the bell, Lady Veronica called the guardians of the west and east, Lady Elizabeth called the guardians of the north and south. Sirs Christians and Carl and Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes of Vorthr, Verena, and Volnar. Lady Stephanie passed the Grail.

After circle there was a small court held. We have decided again to give charity to Heffer international.

On December 27th, Lady Elizabeth's grandfather passed away. She would like to thank the members of the order for being there during this emotional time. Her grandfather was a World War 2 veteran and will receive the highest honors in the spring were he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

By my hand,

Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Chronicler


Autumn Equinox Gather, September 20, 2014

Present for the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lord Chris V
Lady Paula
Lord Matt
Lord Blair
Mistress Ariana
Lord Kurt (G)

Lady Maureen
Lady Elizabeth
Lady Veronica
Lady Sarah
Sir Mark
Master Parker (G)
Lady Stephanie (G)

Sir Carl
Lord Kyle
Lord Mike D
Lord Janusz
Lord John W
Lady Noreen (G)
Lord Lenard (G)

Sir Kirk
Sir Rob
Lord Mike A
Lady Justine
Mistress Tarin (G)
Mistress Emelia (G)
Lord Bryan (G)

The archery match results are:

First Place: Lord Matthew 128 Points
Second Place: Lady Sarah 126 Points
Third Place: Sir Kirk 73 Points

Lady Paula prepared an excellent feast. Dinner was Shepards pie with the loaded sides. During feast, we were all enthused to hear Mistress Ariana's beautiful voice sing a song for us. Dessert was a fall favorite; apple pie. Paula's family tradition was to have a piece of cheese with pie.

Circle was outside. The altar was decorated with simple fall accents crafted by Lord John. At its culmination, Sir Christian bestowed the honour of Honourary Knight of Selohaar upon Lord Lenard, Lord Kyle's renowned grandfather. Huzzah to Sir Lenard!

Court was held as the formal conclusion of the day's events. Lady Sarah invited all to Master Parkers birthday party on October 5th at 1pm. If the weather cooperates, the party will be at Burr Pond. If not, we will all meet at Lady Sarah's church. The next date for the hospital visit is October 25. If anyone is interested, please contact Sir Christian. Lady Veronica is inviting anyone that wishes to accompany her to the Kings Fall Harvest Festival on September 27th. That day is also pets weekend so feel free to bring your furry friend! The Yule gather is quickly approaching. If you would like to "sing for your supper" please contact Lady Elizabeth via email or Facebook.

By our hands,


AOS, Chronicler
&
Lady Elizabeth N. Valli NOS, Co-Chronicler


Beltaine Gather, May 10, 2014

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring? Another indoor gather… that is what. The early part of the day teased us with partial sun, but the Grand Master wisely foresaw rain that would strike and called the day as an indoor gather. The Order has been aching to meet outside in the garden like atmosphere that is the Manor. We want to test our strengths on the field of honor, casually munch on refreshments under the pavilion, and have the young people run and gambol across the yard. The winter was hard and the spring season was wet. We wanted very much to feel the sun on our skin for this gather. Alas, once again it was not to be. The short opportunity was relished until the rains forced us indoors.

Though our plans were "dampened" by the weather, the Order soon rallied to the reality of an indoor gather as people began to arrive and conversations began to enliven the indoors. In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Kirk
Sir Robert
Sir Mark
Lady Paula
Lord Blair
Lord Michael D
Lady Veronica
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord Scott
Lady Stacy
Lord Matthew
Lord Christopher V
Lady Sarah
Master Morgan
Mistress Ariana L
Mistress Tarin

Mistress Emelia
Lady Noreen
Lady Stephanie

The day began to shine inside the Manor. Ladies Stacy and Paula built bonds over feast preparations, and Ladies Veronica and Stephanie and Mistress Ariana secreted themselves away to rehearse songs with a guitar. Knights and lords assembled in the garage to discuss armor, tournaments and alterations to mark out fight techniques. Lady Maureen arrived from a union meeting to find the Manor in full hustle and bustle.

A portion of the afternoon was a CPR and First aid training of the Guard Corps by Sir Mark. There is wisdom in having many in the Order prepared to offer assistance within Selohaar and in the world at large. We have been very fortunate to have so many medical experts as members of the Order, and never having a serious illness or injury befall us on a gather day. Sir Robert, Lords Janusz Michael, Christopher, and Matthew were certified in CPR for adults, children and infants. They also completed the first in a four part series for first aid certification and the use of an EpiPen.

Circle of the Grail members met for a review of the circle ritual, and to do some "housekeeping". The Order has been building its ritual supplies and décor over the past few years, and no proper organization has been made for its storage. Ladies Sarah and Maureen will work together to cull through the old and the new and make a plan to store items by use and season. The will also discard used up items that have been stored inadvertently. Once things are in their proper place, Lady Sarah will advise the rest of the Circle on the maintenance of the stored items.

Two more items were discussed in the Circle of the Grail. Firstly, the Order has grown so large since the restructuring and the ranking system may be too contracted for the existing membership. Sir Carl briefly discussed how the martial and non-martial ranks paired in the old system. There was the title of Counselor that paired with the title of Knight. How There were questions on how a high level mystic would be noted. Lady Maureen and Sir Carl will bring this forward to discussion with the Grand Master. Also discussed was preparing a training program for the children of the Order. There was some speculation on how children could participate in ritual, and whether it was appropriate for them to attend Circle of the Grail meetings.

Feast was in a word - SCRUMPTIOUS. We had Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. With four chickens cooking, this meant the Manor was perfumed with 160 cloves of sweet roast garlic that melted into the bread like butter. The chicken was also served with green salad and roasted asparagus. Our squires, Lords Christopher, Janusz, Michael, and Mathew, practiced a part of the historic duties of a gentleman striving for knighthood, carving for their table. Sir Robert took that honor for the head table. Dessert was served after circle and was a concoction of lemon meringues, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Ladies Veronica and Stephanie, and Mistress Ariana entertained the assembly with the song "Scarborough Faire", beautifully performed with Lady Stephanie playing the guitar.

The Beltaine Circle was crafted by Lady Maureen and Sir Carl. Lady Justine rang the bell, Lady Sarah and Lord Janusz called the quarters and Sir Carl passed the Grail. Even though Mother Nature kept us inside for the day, it is a reminder that there is much to grow on the inside, before it can be enjoyed on the outside. There will be time enough for gallant deeds of the Field of Honor. The magic of the outer world is fully realized when the mystic within is mature and ready to cast energy out to the four quarters of the earth. This spring has been a lesson in patience and growing.

Court was held as the formal conclusion of the day's events. Everyone was invited to a formal cocktail party on May 25th - "come as dashing as you wish". June 7th will be the first of two yearly visits to the Connecticut Children's Hospital. Those attending should inform the Grand Master and his Lady Wife. A brief rehearsal of the activities is recommended if possible. Lady Sarah is doing then New York City Walk for Liver Cancer Research on June 8th. She would gratefully accept donation for the cause. The manor will host the Annual 4th of July picnic on July 5th. Lord Christopher will be acquiring the materials for the entertainment. All those wishing to contribute should contact him directly. Lord Christopher and Lady Sarah reminded everyone of the annual appearance of the Order of Selohaar at the Annual Mud Volleyball fundraiser for Epilepsy. Those interested in being on the team, or contributing, please contact Lady Elizabeth.

Before the news is concluded, the Chronicler would like to thank Ladies Veronica and Sarah, and Lord Blair for their assistance in keeping detailed accounts of the gather's activities. It has been a great aid in the drafting of the News of the Realm.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Spring Equinox Gather, March 29, 2014

The belief in the Equinox is that it brings more than just a balance between day and night. Its apparent meaning brings a spiritual and emotional balance as well. It is the threshold of new beginnings to stir internally and to appear externally. This can be said to be true about this particular gather. Outside was a cool, grey and dreary, with a steady drizzle outside. Inside was warm and inviting and a time of sharing the old and the new of the Order's history. This gather was momentus as it saw the long awaited return of Sir Kirk, noble knight of the Order. He was embraced warmly by "older members" and eagerly engaged by the "younger members". It was a day filled with nothing but renewing friendships and creating new ones.

Present at the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir John
Sir Kirk
Sir Robert
Sir Mark
Lady Paula
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord Kyle
Lady Stacy
Lord Scott
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher V
Lady Veronica
Lord Michael D
Lady Noreen (G)
Mistress Ariana (G)

Master Morgan(G)
Mistress Emelia (G)
Mistress Tarin (G)

A significant event to the gather was the return of the Clan Goodspeed. They have been laboring to erect a magnificent dwelling in rural New Hampshire. In early February, the Grand Master and the Mistress of the Manor visited Lord and Lady Goodspeed and attended the Birka Market Day. The Goodspeed home is wonderful. Much of the internal details off laying the floors and detailing the rooms have been a labor of love by the couple. Along with the Lord and Lady, young Master Morgan was in attendance as well.

The gathers activities were low key. Members spread out throughout the manor to have quiet conversations regarding summer tournaments and activities. "To-Do" lists were discussed and made. Lord Janusz, the Order's Quarter Master will be in need of support in the preparations. Sir Robert is holding a Guard Corp Training Day on April 13th. Part of the day can be directed in fine tuning the list of preparations that need to be made

During this Fall and Winter season, many members have been directing their energies towards archery skills and bowery. An outstanding archery range has open this past year conveniently situated in Winsted, just minutes from the Zordans' and Vallis' homes, as well as the college. People have been going on a near weekly basis to improve their skills and to tune their equipment. Frequently, Order Members encounter each other unexpectedly on the range. Lady Maureen and Lord Matthew have been studying archery twice a week under the skillful instruction of Walter Moore, a renowned instructor in the Junior Olympic Archery Development program. He has been an inspiration for creating a more historic and enjoyable tournament for the Order.

Several members conducted their day of conversation and relaxation with a board game of chess, backgammon or dice before them. Since the Manor acquired these historic games, several members have become quite practiced in these games. In particular, Lady Veronica and Lord Michael D have put many enjoyable hours to the game of chess.

This gather's feast was adroitly prepared by Lady Paula Keller and her two lovely maids, Mistresses Ariana and Tarin. Lady Stacy of course also happily offered a hand to the preparations. They make a wonderful team and we are grateful that they are working together as co-chatelaines. The feast consisted of several types of meatloaf, roasted potatoes and mixed vegetables. For Sir Christian's birthday, the dessert was his favorite, Lady Paula's Apple pie.

During the feast, an exceptional bestowment of arms was conducted by the Knights of Selohaar. Since Sir Kirk's last attendance at a gather, much of his garb and equipment was lost to him, and his fellow knights and brothers and sisters of the Order worked to correct that. When he arrived, Sir Christian and Lady Maureen provided Sir Kirk clothing befitting an esteemed knight. At feast before his brothers and sisters, his fellow knights gave him a belt, a scabbard, a long sword, and a hand painted shield baring Sir Kirk's noble arms. As Sir Christian remarked, "we are all glad to see the Swan Knight returned to the Order". It was not possible for Sir Kirk to speak his appreciation, but his emotion was palpable and reciprocated by one and all.

Ritual was conducted shortly after feast in the Feast Hall. The ritual celebrating the balance of the season was crafted by Lady Veronica. Lady Stacy rang the bell, Sir Robert traced the wards and Lady Veronica called the quarters. Invocations were made by Sirs Christian and John and Lady Maureen. The Grail was passed by Sir Kirk.

Court continued the idea of shifting and balance. Sir Robert, Sir Mark and Sir Christian discussed the agenda for the Guard training day which will be held on April 13th. The next gather will have archery, and Lord Matthew and Lady Maureen shared the concept of a changed target and scoring system. It is closer to the historic tournament and will be more rewarding for the skilled and novice archer alike. Announcements were made that Lady Paula's sister in law was in the hospital and hoped we could all keep her in their thoughts. The Kellers and some Order armor will be in a play on April 25th through the 27th at the Quaker Farms Church. Lady Sarah will be collecting any information on changed addresses for the Order.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Imbolc Gather, February 1, 2014

Members came together after what felt like a long absence from the Manor. The Yule gather's snow, kept many away, but the bitter cold and grey skies of February 1st could not keep people away from this event. The finery and high jinks that could not be donned at the Yule gather were brought out to enjoy for this gather instead.

Present for the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir John
Sir Robert

Sir Mark
Lady Paula
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Elizabeth

Lady Jillian (G)
Lord Christopher T
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Lord Christopher V

Lord Blair
Lady Veronica
Lord Michael D
Lord Michael A
Lord Kyle

Mistress Sophia(G)
Mistress Emelia(G)
Mistress Tarin (G)
Lady Noreen (G)
Mistress Ariana (G)

From the Island of Staten, The Torres family and Lord Michael A made the great trip to revel with us. Mistress Sophia was very happy to make the acquaintance of Mistresses Ariana, Tarin and Emilia. The three elder young ladies played the afternoon and evening away. They enjoyed the Order menagerie of stuffed animals and each toy received a long debated name. The animals were purchased as a part of a UNICEF funding event. It was gratifying to see them bring joy to our children, and to the children under UNICEF's care. Lady Jillian was glowing with happiness as she approached the final months of carrying her soon to be born, twin sons. She chatted and crocheted with the ladies of court and caught up on the details of the Torres family's new home. The lord and lady have been putting a great deal of work in on the home.

Circle of the Grail had a very informal meeting to discuss the plans for the Pas de Senses which has been crafted by Lord Kyle. The elements, quarters and corresponding senses will be explored through meditation and therapeutic action. Like the Pas d'Armes, it is to test people's knowledge and comfort, but for the internal as opposed to the external arts. Like the Pas d'Armes, the timing is in flow to ensure that the members are readily present for the activity. If we should have a summer season gather which is forced indoors, this will be an exceptional comfort to attendees.

Also a part of the Circle of the Grail meeting was the planning for the rededication ceremony. Attachment to the Circle of the Grail is not a permanent obligation, but rather, a time of growth, learning and teaching for intervals of a year. People are encouraged to seek what they can gain and contribute within the Circle, and come and go, as they journey on the Selohaar path. For those considering becoming a participant in Circle planning, the Circle of the Grail will be holding the next open conscription at Beltaine, hopefully out of doors at the Kelly Fountain.

Sir Robert held the first Guard Corp meeting of 2014. Sir Carl attended in his capacity of Order Constable. Also in attendance were Lord Janusz, Lord Christopher V, Lord Matthew and Lord Michael D. The purpose of the convened meeting was to induct Lord Michael D into the service of Guard Corp. It was indeed a proud moment for Sir Robert to see his squire join the ranks of martial service to the Order.

Feast was prepared by Lady Paula. The cold winter's day was soothed by the warm and hearty beef stew in bread bowls. It was accompanied by a Caesar salad.

Following feast, all in attendance came together in Circle to recognize the turning of the season towards brighter days. Though the weather was not to reveal the change to us this day, we rejoice in knowing that the world will yield to more temperate climes. The Bell was rung by Lady Sarah. The Quarters were called by Lord John, Lady Veronica, Lord Michael D and Lady Elizabeth. The invocations were made by Sirs Christian and Carl, and lady Maureen. The honor of passing the Grail was performed by Lord Christopher T.

A brief court was held. Lady Veronica extended an invitation to her upcoming birthday party. Lord and Lady Zordan arranged an Order archery training day at Northwest Sporting Goods. It was also announced that Lord Matthew had participated in the New England Archery Tournament and did very well for his first Olympic style tournament.

Birth Announcement

Lady Jillian was safely delivered of twin boys on March 20th at 9:48 and 9:49 AM. The fraternal twins are Master Brayden Christopher and Tristan Michael. They were both over 6 pounds and near full term. We are grateful that all three are in good health. Mistress Sophia is now a very proud big sister.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Yule Gather, December 14, 2013

Much goes into the arrangements for the Annual Yule Feast. The Master of the Manor spends weeks resurrecting and creating the holiday decorations. Lady Maureen meets face to face and in the virtual world with the chatelaine and our dear friend of the Order Lord Karl the Younger in the planning of the courses. Even the production of the meal begins days before the meeting day. Clothing is purchased and songs and skits are rehearsed. But when Father Winter chooses to cover nature with heavy, slick snow- many plans alas must be changed.

Many members and guests wisely called to send their regrets a few hours before the gather was to begin. Several others pressed on to the Manor, making slow but careful progress to a day which promised warmth and uncertain entertainments. Even our dear chef, Lord Karl the Younger had to send a message that he could not make it to the festivities. It is times like these that we are appreciative of the planned and executed details that already took place.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Sir Carl
Lady Maureen
Sir Robert

Sir Mark
Lady Paula
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine

Lady Veronica
Lord Michael D
Lord Kyle
Lady Stephanie (G)

Lady Noreen (G)
Mistress Ariana (G)
Mistress Tarin (G)
  

When word came in that our chef and servants were not able to make it through the snow, Lady Maureen went into disaster control mode. She chose humble attire, and she initiated the cooking of the main course. She was blessed that the lion's share of the work was already done and outlined by Karl the Younger, and she knew the most capable of cooks, Lady Paula, was four minutes down the road and would soon be guiding the kitchen.

The theme for the feast was cuisine cooked in wine. The first course was a salad crafted with champagne dressing. The second course was French onion soup in a chardonnay wine base. The third course was a seafood quiche with a butter wine sauce. The main course was beef burgundy and the final course was port wine cheese with fruit. Ladies Maureen and Paula and Sir Mark deftly served the courses between the night's entertainment. There were the traditional songs that are always expected at Yule, the Food Song, the Wassail song and several group carols. Lady Veronica graced us with several period English carols during the feast. Mistress Tarin recited "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost and Mistress Ariana sang "Walking in the Air". Both young maids assisted their father Sir Mark in singing a witty song of his own creation. Lord Michael D was quite hilarious with his slap stick antics and during his recitation. Lord Janusz is always dependable for a song. Ladies Justine Veronica and Mistress Ariana joined together to share more musical faire to fill in for the missing members who planned to contribute to the night's entertainment. Lady Maureen sang the song "Solace" by Connecticut Poet Laureate Dick Allen and composer William Bolcom which was created to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Ritual was completely adlibbed by the Lady Maureen who stepped in to call the quarters in the absence of the assigned member of the Circle of the Grail. Everyone added their voices to the chants that welcomed and bid farewell to quarters. The energy was focused and unifying. It is very gratifying to be put to the test for creativity in the absence of the whole and finding the strength greater than the sum of its parts. It reminds us that no matter how many stand together in circle, it is always enough.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Samhain Gather, November 2, 2013

With each turn of the wheel, there are stark changes to the environment at the Manor. Plants and temperatures change. But, at the Samhain gather, it is the change in the sun's Zenith that is most noticeable. All day, the temperatures are pleasant for outside activities, but the sun seems to hover not far from the southern horizon. The rays are quite intense this time of year, and martial activities are limited to non competitive play due to the sun's glare.

Present at the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Mark
Lady Paula
Lady Bonnie

Sir Robert
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah

Lady Veronica
Lord Kyle
Lord Blair
Lady Justine
Lord Janusz

Lord Michael A
Lord John W
Lady Noreen (G)
Mistress Ariana (G)
Mistress Tarin (G)

Mistress Emelia (G)
 
 

 

Sirs Carl and John were unable to attend due to work duties, and young Lord Micheal D was off on an exciting internship at a Spanish Island excavation of ancient dwellings.

The excitement of the day was twofold. Firstly, Lord Michael A was able to come to the gather for a long awaited visit. It was wonderful to see him. He came smartly dressed as a penitent friar. Our dear Brother Michael has nothing for which to serve penance, but it made for a witty return to the Manor. He came baring news of Lord Christopher T who is much involved in the renovations of his new home, AND, the preparations for "two" new family members that are due at the beginning of the New Year. We wish His lovely lady wife, Jillian, love and support for the adventure to come. Congratulations to the Clan Torres.

The second celebration was the return of Sir Mark and Lady Paula after 10 years away from the Order's gathers. They had recently returned the North after making a life and a Preceptory in Florida. There are no words at how happy the Lord and Lady of the Manor, and the other senior Order Members were to have their dear friends back. The first day back to a gather was very familiar and comforting because the newer members since the Kellers moved south have been making strong bonds with the Knight and his family as was reported earlier in the News of the Realm. A person who helps with an arduous move is a friend indeed.

The day was very pleasant and found that the majority of attendees relaxed out of doors soaking up what might be one of the last outdoor days of the year. Several members and young guests tested their skills with the javelin, spears and archery.

The feast of venison stew with turnips and squash was prepared by our dear Sir Robert. His brother once again was a generous contributor to the feast by offering a portion of his successful hunts this year.

The Circle of the Grail met to discuss the assignment of the circles. Each person asked for and was granted a date in which to lead and plan for circle. Lord Kyle shared his most excellent idea of a Spiritual Elemental Pas for the indoor season. He will be developing the proposal and have it ready for the beginning of next year.

The Circle was created by Lady Maureen and carried the concept of the final harvest which is the harvest of meat for the winter to come. The altar was set up in the tournament field with antler candle holders. Lord Kyle rang the bell, Mistresses Ariana and Tarin lit the candles, Sirs Mark and Robert called the quarters, Sirs Christian and Mark and the Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes. Mistress Ariana added to the ghostly time of year by singing the haunting song "The Wild Geese" during circle and Lady Paula passed the grail.

The conclusion of the formal activities of the gather was conducted during court. A hearty huzzah was called at the return of the Kellers and Lord Michael A. The final details for the following weeks Children's Hospital visit were discussed and finalized. People were reminded of the coming gather's bardic circle during feast and all were strongly urged to make plans to contribute to the entertainment. People were to contact the Mistress of Ceremonies, Lady Elizabeth prior to Yule to notify her of their plans to perform. Also people were reminded that a collection for Heifer International would take place during the Yule gather and people should plan to have funds for that.

Lady Elizabeth thanked everyone for their support and good energy that was sent to her mother. Her medical test results were negative and the family is much relieved. Lady Veronica asked for the support and energy to be directed to her mother who is experiencing some serious health concerns. Our dear friend Lord Peter, aka Telf (a portmanteau of 'Tent Elf'), from the Chicago Swordplay Guild had a significant health concern occur but seems to be on the mend. We ask for positive energy to also be directed his way.

Future plans were discussed. The Order will be attending the Moresca Open House in Ulster New York the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and Sir Christian and his lady wife invited friend to join them for that event and the trip to Yankee candle for the purchase of many, many bees wax and bayberry candles. Lady Sarah volunteered to plan an archery training day at a new archery range in Winsted. It would be a great opportunity for people to shake the cobwebs from their bows, and enjoy each other's company.

Ritual Calling of the Quarters

WEST INVOCATION
Final Harvest is at hand
The archer stalks the forest and land
From life to death to life again
The mighty stag's strength is rend

NORTH INVOCATION
The water of life-blood does flow
With gratitude for flesh we show
Eltzen has shared the mighty beast
And we bow our heads before we feast

EAST INVOCATION
The air is chilled as death come near
And through air we cast our spear
The stag gives up its final breath
And with it he takes our death

SOUTH INVOCATION
Life to death to life once more
From the hearth light does pour
From husband to mother to babe is fed
And the winter hunger is shed.


SOUTH BANISHMENT
We bid our souls to life anew
To be ever grateful for the life we slew
With the life lost we will aspire
To pass life on when we expire

EAST BANISHMENT
We bid thanks to Lord Oriens
For the many offering thee sends
The gift of a kind hunter's insight
That sees the hunt as a sacred right

NORTH BANISHMENT
We bid the cleansing water thanks
As it flows within it banks
Eltzen has met our need
Life continues as decreed

WEST BANISHMENT
We bid the strength of earth adieu
With confidence of life renewed
Boul your work here is done
Another turn of the wheel is won

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Autumn Equinox Gather, September 28, 2013

The members of the Order were pleased to reassemble at the Selohaar Manor on a picture perfect day to celebrate the return of balance between day and night. The weather was picture perfect for many who would take the lists, the temperature was excellent.

Present for the day were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Robert
Lady Bonnie

Lady Veronica
Lord Michael D
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine

Mistress Emelia (G)
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Lord Blair

Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher

Last minute difficulties prevented our dear fellow members, Sir Carl and the Lord John W from making the get-together, and they were sadly missed.

The outdoor activities began with Lord Matthew testing several bows, many of which he crafted with his own hands. He has been directing his carpentry skills to complex art of bow making. This makes Lord Matthew the Order's first bowyer. Before attempting to make a bow, Lord Matthew has poured over many resources to discover the necessary attributes of a good bow and the techniques that are needed to imbue wood with the balance and strength to successfully project arrows as a bow. He also tested our current equipment for safety and accuracy.

The highlight of the day was of course the tournament. All the combatants were most pleased to see the return of Sir Robert to the field of honor. He was sidelined for most of the season due to a neck injury. He was still in training throughout the year, but was wisely advised by his physician and peers to restrict his combat until he was fully mended. Sir Robert's joy was most apparent to the gallery who watched him challenge his comrades with gusto. Once again it is remarked by the Grand Master and the Order at large, what great progress our tournaments have made due to the dedication and practice of those who can attend the Fechtschule on a weekly basis. The strikes and counters are swifter and more decisive. The people on the field are more confident and are enthusiastic about attempting aggressive techniques.

Feast was prepared by Lady Sarah. The feasters clamored many raves for her homemade meatballs and sauce. Desert was apple crumb pie to honor the local harvest of apples this time of year.

Due to Sir Carl's inability to attend at the last minute, the Circle of the Grail had to convene to draft a ritual for the evening's circle. Lord Michael took the lead and other member of COG collaborated. The Circle of the Grail has been working on creativity and collaboration amongst the members, and it came in handy with this last minute surprise. Equinox is the second great harvest of the year. It is a time when corn, apples and vegetables where brought from the field and the art of food preservation was done to secure the community's food supply for the coming winter. For this gather Lady Veronica rang the bell, Lady Veronica traced the quarters as Lord Michel invoked them. Lady Maureen and Sirs Christian and Robert called upon the archetypes and Lady Bonnie passed the grail.

Following the Circle, people drifted to the White Pavilion of the Grand Master to relax after a day of high activity and merriment. Some light business was discussed. The coming schedule of Fall events were reviewed. People examined their calendars in order to finalize dates for trips to the faire and to the Higgins museum. People also discussed their enthusiasm for the return of the Keller Clan which was to occur the following day. Many of the Order would be at the manor again to prepare for assisting in the Keller's move in day.

September 29th The Kellers' Return

The Order turned out in strength to welcome The Keller Clan back to the Northern Realm. The Clan arrived the day after the gather. They had been on the road for three days and were sorely glad to see so many old and new friends at the ready to assist in the unloading of their worldly possession. For the month previous to their arrival, Lady Maureen had served as Sir and Lady Keller's eyes and ears as they scoped out potential homes in the area. Devine providence interceded with a home 4 minutes from the Manor. A lovely 5 bedroom home which once was the Rectory for the Quaker Farms Church was the best suited to all their needs. What took days to pack was unloaded and assembled in 4 hours. Each room had its boxed deposited, and all the beds were ready for each weary head that night. Ladies Sarah and Elizabeth had made food for the unpacking crew, and for many meals to follow. Sir Christian, Robert, Lords Blair, Matthew, Christopher and Michael (many of which met the Kellers for the first time) became a blur as boxes moved out of the 26 foot long truck. Ladies Maureen, Elizabeth and Sarah awaited direction from the Kellers as to where boxes should be deposited and emptied.

On October 19th, Selohaar member traveled to King Richard's Faire to take in fine and colorful Autumn gathering amongst friends. Lord and Lady Goodspeed have once again merchanted at the faire and were happily surprised to see such a strong number of Selohaar at the faire to visit them. Sirs Christian and Robert, Ladies Maureen, Bonnie and Veronica, Lords Michael and Matthew and Lady Sarah with Master Parker and Mistress Emelia were present. This year there was no Hercules, the world's largest Liger in captivity. He has retired and remained in South Carolina whilst his fellow menagerie travelled to King Richard's to educate the masses as to the need for land conservation and preservation of habitats. He will me missed, but we are glad he has a long and leisurely life ahead of him.

On October 26th, Members of the Order of Selohaar traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts to say a melancholy goodbye to a historic location in New England and to armor enthusiast worldwide. The Higgins Armory Museum, which was established in 1931 housing steel industrialist John Woodman Higgins' armor collection, will close December 31st. Fortunately the collection will ultimately be moved to and displayed at the Worcester. Still, the building itself, which housed the collection was an attraction in itself. It had been featured as a cover of Saturday Evening Post by the famed artist Norman Rockwell. Sir Christian, Sir Mark, Lady Paula, mistresses Ariana and Tarin, Lord and Lady Zordan and young Master Parker, Lord Michael D, Sir Robert, and Lord Kyle were assembled to see the last days of this fine establishment.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Lugnasadh Gather, August 10, 2013

Fortune smiled upon the Order of Selohaar for the Lugnasadh Gather and for the Elemental Pas which was long delayed due to weather and knights' schedules. It has become a custom of the Order for the Selohaar Knights to take on mantels of the Elements in a tournament of arms. The dry warm summer breezes were well worth waiting for. Nothing could be better for an out of the ordinary tournament such as was prepared for the day.

Present for the day were:

The Elemental Champions:

Sir Christian (Fire)
Sir Carl (Air)
Sir John (Water)
Sir Robert (Earth)

Venans & Gallery:

Lady Maureen
Lady Bonnie
Lord Kyle
Lord Blair

 

Lord Christopher
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine

 

Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Lord John
Lady Veronica

 

Lady Maureen/Aesa (G)
 
 
 

We rejoiced in finally, after more than two years' delay, being able to hold our Pas d'Armes (Passage of Arms) in honour of the Four Elements. Four knights acted as 'elemental champions': Sir Robert wielded the poleaxe, representing Earth; Sir John fought with the German messer, as the companion of Water; Sir Carl strove with the longsword, as the champion of Air; and Sir Christian fought with the spear, representing the element of Fire. Four passes were fought, with the first and third comprised of single combats, with formal challenges made by the venans (challengers). The second pass was a melee fought at the barrier, with the fourth and final pass being a melee in the open field. Ladies Elizabeth and Veronica provided the performance of a song at 'half time'. From start to finish, the Pas was a tremendous success.

After many challenges and fine examples of martial prowess on the field, the gathering adjourned to the feast. It has become a tradition to have cold meats and salads with crusty breads this time of year. It cools the body, and is ready when the labors of armour polishing and clean up are over.

In conjunction with the symbolism of the Elemental Pas, Circle began with an elemental quest. Attendees strode from West, to North to East to South to encounter the Elemental knights who proffered some wisdom of the quarter to the pilgrims. The gifted the members and guests with items representing the element which was carried with them as they arrived at the Circle. Lady Elizabeth rang the bell, The Elemental Knights called forth their quarter, Ladies Maureen, Sarah and Veronica invoked the archetypes. Lord Michael D passed the grail. The lessons of the tournament, quest and circle came together well as the bell tolled the end of circle.

Post circle was in the White Pavilion and conversation was dramatic retelling of people's experiences of the day, and enthusiasm for another day on the tournament field.

This gather was a highlight of the year and a testament to what this current incarnation of our fellowship is truly capable of.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Summer Solstice Gather, June 22, 2013

ENDLICH, ENDLIG, ENFIN, FINALMENTE, FINALLY! At last the Order of Selohaar had a day that permitted us to revel in the sunshine. It has been a long time since a sunny day and a gather date coincided, and with this date, the winds were gentle and constant and the temperatures were only moderately warm. The yard was awash in color with the gardens at their finest of the year. The pennants fluttered around the tournament grounds and the pavilion was decorated with the Manor's period furnishing, beckoning the attendees to relax and enjoy the first of the year outdoor event.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lord Kyle
Lady Veronica
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord Michael D
Lord Christopher V
Lady Elizabeth V
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Master Parker
Mistress Emelia
Lord Erik (G)
Lady Margot (G)
 
 
 

The day began casually as members and guests arrived. Lord Kyle has been very busy with his master's degree, and with some travel. During the Spring he attended an event in the San Francisco area, assisting the presenters with his field of study in counseling. Once classes ended for the semester, Lord Kyle and his esteemed grandfather took a trip to Scotland for Maestro Paul MacDonald's Highland Challenge. They attended an entire week of martial training, physical challenges and social sessions, all in the glorious setting of the West Highlands of Scotland. The country side was breathtaking and the martial and mental challenges were very rewarding for Lord Kyle. Paul MacDonald is a good friend of Sir Christian's on the Western martial Arts circuit. Lady Maureen recalls his presentation at the Higgins Armory Museum several years ago.

One would expect people to be rusty after almost a year away from the Archery field, but several members have committed to practice outside of the Selohaar tournament. Seven people participate in the competition including our guests Lord Erik and Lady Margot. Ladies Maureen and Elizabeth acted as judges and young master Parker acted as arrow retriever.

The archery match results are

First Place: Lord Christopher
Second Place: Lord Erik
Third Place: Lord Matthew

Lady Maureen would like to note that though it was Lady Margot's first time with a bow in her hand, she demonstrated excellent stance and technique. It is rare for a person to seem so comfortable with shooting on the very first day. We suspect she is a born natural.

The day's combatants were delighted to take the field after having the Beltaine Gather's tournament rained out. Lord Erik showed himself to be a valorous, courteous, and skilled combatant - he fenced most of the other fighters present and with a wide range of the weapons available. Lord Kyle, our newest member, also delighted the members of the gallery.

Lord Erik wore an early 14th century harness of his own creation, including a pair of very promising "Wisby style" gauntlets, which he plans to ultimately make a regular offering of his armoury. Sir Christian was most impressed with their quality.

Ladies Maureen and Elizabeth prepared a feast with a French theme. Members and guest gathered in the feast hall to dine on Poulet Cordon Bleu with Vegetable Cous Cous and salad. Desert was a cold Chocolate Éclair.

Circle was convened outside under a lovely sky of twilight. The altar was decorated in simple red black and white. Upon the alter were items that Lord Kyle brought back from his Highland Challenge trip to Scotland; a coin, a corves feather , and blue strip of fabick. Before ritual he explained the significance of each item and how they equated to the elements. and The circle began with Sir Robert ringing the bell. Lord Kyle called the quarters he crafted and Lady Sarah traced the wards at the elemental points. And Lady Maureen passed the grail. Sir Christian raised our energies with vivid images of the season's balance and the vitality that has been growing within the Order.

Following Circle, the knights, lords and ladies retired to the pavilion to relax, revel in the day's accomplishments and to dine on cream éclairs. It is so good to have a moment to gradually return to the mundane state of mind. It makes the memory of the day last, and the transition to the world much easier.

Before closing, the chronicler who is also the Mistress of the Manor wishes to point out some extraordinary actions of the members. Often, our service to the order appears to be over looked or underappreciated, but she wishes to let people know that it is not the case.

Firstly, she wishes to acknowledge the Grand Master's two weeks of effort to assemble enhanced gauntlets for Sir Carl. This was extensive and tedious work but the motivation was one of esteem and affection. In Sir Christian's eyes, Sir Carl, who is a long time friend and co-founder of the Order deserved this gift. His support and input has been essential to what the Order has become. Each combatant has a piece of garb or armament that was bequeathed through the generosity of Sir Christian. His passion is the martial study and practice, and it gives him far more happiness to aid a fellow combatant to full participation in the knightly arts, as the recipient. And his largess has been contagious to the other members who have passed on armor and clothing to those who have followed them into the lists.

Next, it should be noted what a great deal of work is conducted by the Quarter Master Lord Janusz. The praise of him does not diminish the work of the Quarter Masters before him, but reflects the high level of service the person in this position holds. Every gather, and every season, Lord Janusz sets up the event's equipment. He happily steps in to aid in the feast. He appears tireless in his leadership and performance of these vital tasks, even though all know he is indeed tired from his missed sleep schedule. We depend on him for so much.

Sir Robert is a versatile man within the Order. He has been quartermaster, squire, man at arms, knight, champion, and at this gather, the Chief Marshal. He relishes every assignment placed before him. A neck injury didn't cause him misery because it kept him from the lists. He sought a new role and performed it admirably. He also took great satisfaction in giving Lord and Lady Zordan respite from caring for their offspring. There is nothing so gracious as seeing a knight with a babe in his arms. He makes the Order feel like a family whether it be a gather or a training night.

Lady Veronica has been so generous with her talent for flowers and her love of children. There isn't a gather that goes by when a guest of a member doesn't remark about the beauty of the flower arrangements. Fresh flowers make the Manor feel more special, and the gather more celebratory. She also joyfully takes up a great deal of her day playing governess to the children of the Order. It is a wonderful gift to the members with children. It gives them time to enjoy the day and fulfill their duties within the Order.

Lord Matthew has brought a stronger interest in the Archery Tournaments. His skill with wood has turned naturally to the crafting of bows and arrows. His interest has become contagious. The sport of archery allows all members to participate in a competition. The Manor is better decorated inside and out with period furnishings. The kitchen is more useful. The pavilion is bedecked with a proper table. The wear and tear on the Manor is repaired with his skill and his largess.

Ladies Sarah and Elizabeth are ever present to assist in preparations of feast and ritual. The Mistress of the Manor can not turn around without finding one or both of them taking on a household task or coordinating people to set up for circle. Because of their ever present support, the gathers are enjoyable to all including the Mistress of the Manor. They are the right and the left hand of the Lady of the Grail.

Lady Justine has given her talent with the lens to every gather. It makes it possible to remember the details, and to share them with the members and the world. There is not a portion of the day that is not chronicled in images. She takes so many that it is almost like a movie. This work she gives to the order is most appreciated, even if Sable the Manor cat calls her a Paparazzi.

There are others to be included in this list to be thanked, but it must wait for a future report of the Realm.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Beltaine Gather, May 11, 2013

The gather convened on May 11th, to a day of pouring rain. It is hard to complain to Mother Nature about rain on a gather day when the region had been experiencing near drought like conditions for the first part of the year. Though it was needed to quench the thirst of flora and fauna, it was a torrential amount and made the commute to the Manor difficult. Of course the Elemental Pas was alas cancelled due to the domination of the element - water.

The numbers of attendees for the Beltaine festivities shrank some from the original plans, but those who were able to venture out in the rain found everything to be comfortable and pleasing. The hardy travelers were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lady Elizabeth

Lord Christopher
Lady Justine
Lord Janusz
Lord Michael D

Lady Bonnie
Mistress Emelia
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah

This was Mistress Emelia's first visit to the gather post partum. She was most pleased to be the next child to wear the Order Garb and to rest in the Moses basket. Of course all the ladies of the manor cooed to have a lovely little lady to cuddle. Sable the Manor Cat, however, was vexed to see another baby human join the clan.

The evening before the gather, Lord Michael official joined the ranks of learned men and women. He received his bachaloriate in Anthropology from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is still ruminating on his future plans, but further study is a strong possibility.

During the day, there was a brief meeting of the Circle of the Grail, to discuss the original ideas created by Lady Sarah and Sir Robert, and to alter the ritual to be an indoor, stand alone ritual. Sir Carl and Lord Michael offered some poetic phrases to the ritual as well.

Feast was prepared by Lady Maureen with the kind assistance of Ladies Justine, Elizabeth and Bonnie. It was a hearty meat sauce over pasta with garlic bread and Caesar salad. Dessert was ice cream and cookies.

Ritual was prepared by Lady Sarah and Sir Robert. Since it had initially been planned to be a part of the Elemental Pas, it was done in collaboration with Sir Christian and Lady Maureen. It was sad not to be able to use the original draft, but the nicely adapted to a regular ceremony. The altar was adorned with a new floral altar clothe. It was hand printed in a historic manor and brought the colors of nature to us who were forced to shelter the whole day indoors. Lord Christopher V. rang the bell, Lady Elizabeth called the quarters while Sir Robert traced. Lady Sarah and Sirs Christian and Carl invoked the archetypes, and the grail was passed one to the other as equals. During a the ritual, Sir Carl sang a ballad of his own composition "Within Our Reach".

June 8th, Connecticut Children's Hospital Visit

This year has been a hardship for the children at the hospital because of a virulent and unusually lengthy flu season. Even with vaccinations, the hospital had to put off our bi-annual visit due to the increased precautions put in place. Many of the children who are extended patients at CCH have compromised immune systems and we certainly understood the hospital administration's concerns.

Sirs Christian, John and Robert, Ladies Maureen and Elizabeth, and Lord Christopher V comprised the cast of dancers, story tellers and armor demonstration team that diverted the interests of the young patients and their families. The routine for the visit has developed into a very smooth operation made up of three segments. Each segment is short enough to keep the younger and more ailing patients engaged, while also being flexible for the hospital staff to bring in and remove children for various reasons. The segments can also easily be traded among the cast as needed. During the ride home from the visit, Sirs Christian and John and Lady Maureen discussed the need for an alternate story or activity. The story Stone Soup has been very well received, but may not meet expectations if the audience was comprised of adolescents. This should be discussed at the next gather with interested parties.

June 14th and 17th, Visit to the Southern Preceptory

The Grand Master and his lady wife made their annual visit to the Southern Preceptory. The Keller clan was recently visited in May by Lord Blair who was very pleased to share the news of how grand the new home of Sir and Lady Keller. But it was indeed even grander than reported. The home is a place and the family is busy in their decorating. Upon entering the front doors, the Keller arms, and the charter of the Southern Preceptory, are in a place of prominence for all to see. The family recently adopted to kittens named Jack and Charlie. They are both black with the only discernible difference being the color of the foot pads. They are extremely tolerant and docile. They will make fine Manor Cats of the Southern Preceptory.

The visit began with the Kellers coming to Sir Christian's parents home for dinner. A recent tradition of exchanging Holiday gifts was continued with the two Santa bags that Lady Veronica had given to the members of the Order. The next visit was at the Keller Estate a few days later. We toured the area seeing the flora and the fauna which included peafowl. After dinner Lady Maureen gave the young mistresses décor for their bedrooms. A final gift was a book called "How to Live like a Lady" which is an etiquette book. Lady Paula has been reading the book for the girls and enjoying the conversations that it derives. While the ladies indulged themselves in decorating, the knights took swords in hand and dallied with new techniques that Sir Christian has been researching. It is remarkable how quickly the two men fell into the sparing as though no time has passed since they tested each other's metal. Each visit makes us all wish that we were able to see each other more regularly. Each visit is far too short.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Spring Equinox Gather, March 23, 2013

The Order came together to celebrate the beginning of the Spring season even though there were few signs that Old Man Winter was loosening his grip on the land. The "glacial sheet" in the back yard was still covering three quarters of the back yard the day of the gather. This winter had delivered many, many inches of snow on the realm, and it may be a few more weeks before the Manor lands begin to green.

Present for the gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir John
Sir Robert

Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher
Lady Justine
Lord Janusz
Lord Michael D
Lord Blair
Lady Veronica
Lord John W

The date of the gather had many demands on the members. Lady Maureen, for one was away for the middle of the gather. She went to a surprise party for her sister's 50th birthday. The Goodspeeds were alas once again unable to travel down for the gather. They still are creating the dream home, and are obligated to make progress to satisfy their lenders. And Lady Sarah and her Lord Matthew chose to remain in the north for her confinement. She is due to deliver a daughter very soon.

The day began early with Lady Elizabeth arriving to set the feast in motion. She prepared the fixings for the crock pot, while Lady Maureen procured the bread bowls. Once the crock pots were set, Lady Elizabeth and Sir Christian met for a final discussion of the presentation they prepared for the day. Sir Christian and Lady Maureen acquired the Grand Medieval Bestiary: Animals in Illuminated Manuscripts by Christian Heck and Remy Cordonnier while visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lady Elizabeth hoped to take on a project for the Order, and Sir Christian thought that her artistic interests would be best used with researching in this fine tome.

During the day, Sir Christian and Lady Elizabeth lead a seminar on the elemental qualities of the seasons and the animal symbols that are emblazoned on Order members' coats of arms as described in the medieval bestiary manuscripts. The latter portion allowed Lady Elizabeth to share her ongoing research into the bestiaries, in particular her exploration of the great tome described above.
Following the seminar, Sirs Carl and Robert convened the Circle of the Grail to discuss the plans for ritual. Lady Veronica was the designer of the Vernal Equinox ritual.

Sirs Christian, Carl and John had a meeting to discuss the progress of the Carcosan Mythos. Over the past two years, members of the Order contributed recreation of the tales of Carcosa. The project is now entering its final phase. Sir John, who headed the rewrite is now making the final revisions which with be given to the originators of the lore, Sirs Christian and Carl.

The small number at this gather drew together in the feast hall to partake of the Pork stew made with apples, sweet potatoes and carrots. It was indeed a hardy feast for the sill wintery Spring Equinox gather. It was a merry meal as the tables were drawn tightly together so that all would dine as one surrounded by candle light and flickering fireplace. Since it was a cozy assembly, an informal court was held. Now that the season promises a diminishment of the respiratory illness, it will soon be acceptable for us to attempt a visit to the Connecticut Children's Hospital. Sir John proposed a date in May. We hope that many will be available to dance, tell tales and educate the young patients. Our past visits have brought much relief to the dullness of convalescence.

The evening concluded with the friendly competition of backgammon. Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. Excavations Iran have shown that the game existed there around 3000 BC.The jeux de tables (Games of Tables), predecessors of modern backgammon, first appeared in France during the 11th Century and became a favorite pastime Tables games were played in Germany in the 12th century, and had reached Iceland the 13th century. In the sixteenth century, Elizabethan laws and church regulations prohibited playing tables, but by the eighteenth century backgammon was popular among the English clergy. In English, the word "backgammon" is most likely derived from "back" and Middle English "gamen", meaning "game" or "play". Lady Maureen and Lord Christopher taught interested competitors on their Christmas gifts. Lady Maureen had a lovely inlaid wooden board, and Lord Christopher had a substantial and elegant Asian board.

Since the gather, the Order has been exceedingly busy, none so much as our dear Lady Sarah who was safely delivered of a healthy daughter Mistress Emelia. Mistress Emelia came into this world on March 31st to the loving arms of her father, and big brother Master Parker. Master Parker is most determined to teach his baby sister to talk and to play, though that might be a while from now.

Sirs Carl and Christian did the annual memorial service for weird fiction author H. P. Lovecraft on April 9th. It was held at Providence, Rhode Island's Ladd Observatory, and concluded at the nearby Swan Point Cemetery, where Lovecraft is buried.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Imbolc Gather, February 2, 2013

The sun skirted the horizon for this bitterly cold Imbolc Gather. Snow was crisp on the ground which made the attendees grateful for the comforts of the hearth and friendship. Each year at this time of Candlemas, the Order huddles together and enjoys the rest afforded by the season's pressure to turn inward for warmth.

Present at this season's gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir John
Sir Robert

Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher
Lady Justine
Lord Janusz
Lord Michael D
Lady Bonnie
Lady Sarah
Lord John W
Lord Kyle

Lord Kyle brought along armour, gifted to him by his renowned grandfather, Lenard Voelker, for fitting and alteration. After some counsel among our knights, it was deemed best the armour be left at Selohaar Manor for minor reworking.

An informal seminar was conducted in the living room. Sir Christian led a lively discussion on "what's new in Selohaar research". This included a talk of the use of the elemental qualities; hot, cold, wet, and dry. These quality have interesting meaning in the quarters and counter-quarters of our gathers. Near the conclusion of the seminar Sir Christian premiered the new acquisitions for the Manor library. While at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, He and his lady wife purchased an exquisite bestiary and a tome of the Book of Kells. Both have magnificent illustrations and will be invaluable for Order learning and entertainment.

Prior to dinner, the Circle of the Grail held its rededication of its members. Each member decided to recommit to another year of service and learning and were joined by a new and eager member, Lord Kyle. Lady Veronica, who was ill, made her dedication vow via a phone call.

The feast was arranged by the Lady Maureen who appreciated the assistance of Ladies Elizabeth abd Justine. The feast was a traditional Scottish Burns supper held at the end of January. The traditional meal consists of roast beef, haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes) The meal began with a performance of the Robert Burns poem "Address to a Haggis" by Sir Christian. The meal was served by Sir Robert and Lord Christopher using the antique stag horn cutlery gifted to the Order by Sir Robert. Table service was a revered duty of the squire to his knight, and we are happy to have our able squires and knights attend table for us.

Prior to ritual, young Lord Michael took the oath of Neophyte, the first degree of the Order of Selohaar. It was very rewarding to seesomeone so young, but soskilledat the various aspects of the Order. Case in point, Lord Michael was the crafter of the Circle ritual that followed. It included the innovative inclusion of the archangel names for the quarters. As a part of the ceremony, each member lit and placed a candle into a receptacle. The individual candles joined together to create a strong and true light. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas to the people of the Middle Ages. For both the Pagan and the Christian aspect of this holiday, it is a time of purification. It is for the British Isles the first day of spring and a recognition of light returning to the world.

The week prior to the Equinox Gather, members of the Order and friends of Sir Christian's joined together to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the Grand Master. Sir Christian's birthday was celebrated in grand fashion with a Tapas Soiree. Lord Karl the Younger was the chef for many fine finger foods and our favorite bartender concocted many fanciful drinks for the well wishers. Sir Christian was as dapper as ever in his fine tuxedo. It warmed his heart to have such a fine event thrown in his honor, and to receive the fine two-handed sword that so many dear friends contributed towards.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Yule Gather, December 8, 2012

This year's Yuletide brought concerning news followed by relief. The Lady Stacy's father had a heart attack. He had collapsed in the night, and his wife revived him with CPR. Our chatelaine called us a week or so before the gather to tell us that she was not able to come to our event and was worried about the plans for the grand feast. She and we as an Order are blessed to have a fine friend in the person of Lord Karl the Younger. He has been assistant to Lady Stacy for the Yule feasts, and without hesitation, he took on the mantle of leadership in the kitchen. He met with Lady Maureen and was able to carry out the period feast plans laid out by our dear Chatelaine.

We wish to state early in the news that Lady Stacy's father made for a speedy recovery and was released from the hospital in a few weeks after his attack. He is a blessed man to have a knowledgeable wife and a daughter for a nurse.

The evening before the gather, Sir Christian and Lady Maureen hosted a dinner at Longwood Inn for our special guests from far away. We had our most honored friends Lord Gregory and Lady Tasha from Chicago and Philadelphia, and the Lord and Lady Finley and their lovely children Mistress Scarlett and young Master Brian. We also had Sir Carl and Lord Blair to break bread with and to initiate our revelry early.

The next day, the manor was a bustle with preparations for feast as the merry makers arrived and donned their fine fashions. In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lady Bonnie
Lady Veronica
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord Michael D
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Lady Jessica
Lord Blair
The Lord John W
Lord Gregory M
Lady Tasha
Lady Jessica F
Lord Frank F
Mistress Scarlett
Master Brian
Lord Karl the Younger
Lord Bryan
Lord Jesus

Lord Gregory was well attired in a new cotehardie made by his lady, who is well-known for her research on period clothing, particularly that of the 14th century. We are hopeful of having the Lady Tasha someday present a seminar at Selohaar Manor on her reconstruction of the famous pourpoint of Charles VI, preserved in France to this day, and of which she was able to made a detailed study in person. In fact, Lord Gregory's cotehardie was constructed from the same fabric, albeit un-dyed, that she used in this painstaking reconstruction.

The Yule feast that was designed by Lady Stacy and executed by Lord Karl the Younger was the highlight of the day's activities. Lady Stacy did extensive research for the courses and sent the recipes and the Medieval rational for the order of courses. This year's feast began with a Salad with Fruit and a Tart dressing to open the digestion. The next course was chicken and cheese ravioli in a spiced chicken stock to warm and cleanse the body for feasting. This was followed by white bean potage with Swedish whole grain dark bread to begin feasting with humility. The main course was spiced chicken with rice and roasted winter vegetables for celebration. The conclusion of the feast was a leisurely fruit and cheese platter to bring the digestion to rest. This was not all the food to be consumed of course. The day had many delicate sweets throughout the day, and after Circle, everyone enjoyed a Figgy pudding with brandy butter sauce.

A feast like this takes many hands and extends beyond the food. Our dear brethren and guests all happily came together to make our feast. The Guard Corps carried tables and chairs to the feast hall. The ladies of court made haste to decorate the tables with bright linens and flowers. Even the youngest among us aided in setting the tables and assisting in preparations. Mistress Scarlet and Master Brian needed only the slightest supervision while they lit the table candles just before we came together to dine.

A tradition of the Manor's Yule feast is the presentation of entertainment between the courses. This of course means there is even more work that occurs amongst the Order prior to the serving of the food. We were all most pleased with Lady Elizabeth's role as Mistress of Ceremonies for this year's bardic portion of the feast. Lord Blair once again made the Wassail that is shared by the Order during the singing the Wassail Song led by our Grand Master. Sir Christian also sang the Food Song. This year, Sir Robert lead everyone in the singing of Deck the Halls. Lady Maureen once again shared a pair of witty tales that offered those gathered a pearl of wisdom to carry home with them. Ladies Veronica, Elizabeth and Justine and Lord Janusz blessed our ears, each with their own song. Our dear guests, the Finley family lead the assembly in singing, "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer." All of the feasters agreed that the highlight of the evening entertainment was the recitation of an original macabre story by Lord Michael D. His tale will be posted in the essay section of the website shortly. We would like to thank Lady Sarah for being the interpreter for the performances.

The Winter Solstice or Yule was a time of inner reflection at the time when the sun was lowest on the horizon and created the shortest days of the year. The long nights kept the family by hearth side and focused on the repair of the things from last year and the preparations for the year to come. Sir Robert crafted the Circle for Yule. Lady Elizabeth rang the bell; Lady Sarah called and banished the quarters, with the Lord John tracing the triquetras. Sirs Christian and Carl and Lady Maureen invoked the Archetypes. Lady Maureen passed the grail.

Future activities were also discussed at the feast. While a visit to the Connecticut Children's Hospital was planned, it regrettably must be delayed. The hospital is concerned about the respiratory ailments that are on the rise and thought it prudent to reduce exposure from the community to the children. We will be glad to reschedule the visit when the hospital deems it fit. The Order once again contributed $150 to Heifer International. We will request that the money be used for the donation of a lamb and a bee hive to a needy family.

Sir Christian was most happy to announce the request by Lord Gregory of being formally knighted by Sir Christian himself. He attended the knighting of Sir Robert and was moved by the ceremony. He also feels such high regard for our Grand Master that Lord Gregory felt non-other was suitable to elevate him.

Please check the Order's website for the new schedule of events. The Imbolc gather will see the annual initiation of the Circle of the Grail. Please think on your interest in serving this body of the Order and if you see it as a path you should follow, please come to the ceremony.

New Year's Celebration with our Selohaar Brethren

It has become the custom of our Selohaar Brethren who live in state, to gather together to ring in the New Year. It is also a time for the exchange of the seasonal gifts. Sir Robert made a grand gift to the Lord and Lady of the Manor of four sets of antique stag horn carving sets. These are of course a gift to the whole Order for the enhancement of our feasts.
The revelers feasted on the strange meat concoctions, Turducken. This is a boneless turkey stuffed with a boneless chicken and duck. The Lady of the house was perplexed by this main course which was generously provided by Sir Robert. She was most indeed grateful that Sir Robert's sister-in-law roasted the turducken.
The ringing in of the New Year was toasted with Jones Tree Farms Strawberry Serenade sparkling wine. We highly recommend this sweet wine made in our home state of Connecticut. We also recommend going to this lovely farm for a tasting.
Please note that the 2013 gather and events calendar has been updated. It will bring us much joy in the New Year to have you share in our society and merriment.

Birka January 26, 2013

It is a rare opportunity for Selohaar to dress in fine attire for a public event in the winter, but we are blessed to have the SCA's Market Day at Birka hosted by the Barony of Stonemarche. This year it was the twenty-fourth year they have held this escape from the winter doldrums.
Sirs Christian and Robert, and Ladies Maureen and Bonnie donned they cold weather attire and sojourned north to New Hampshire. The event is reported to be the biggest indoor event for the society and has many venders hawking their wares. The day began with the breaking of bread and imbibing of spirits at the onsite tavern. The serving woman made the day most worthwhile by affording the Selohaar party the highest compliment for our garments.

While there we met with our dear friend the Lady Catriona. She has been busy with mothering her fine lad and studying with OBOD. We also met with some of our favorite guests, Lords Erik Schmitt and Sean Hayden. There were many familiar SCA faces, and, we were pleased to see so many wearing fine garments from our friend Lady Nicole Allen's business, Revival Clothing.
With the good company and the temptations of the venders, it was a full and pleasing day.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Samhain Gather, November 3, 2012

Autumn is one of the most favored of season for those who reside at the Manor. The vibrant colors of the maples and oaks are an early compensation for the season soon to come which is clad in grays and browns. It beckons our souls to venture out into nature while the weather is still kind. One of the best experiences out of doors is to join brethren in the annual journey to King Richard's Faire in Carver, Massachusetts. The smell of fallen leaves, the festive venders and performers are entertaining, and the attendees get the rare occasion to wear warmer garb to an event. Ladies Maureen and Bonnie and Sirs Christian and Robert were most pleased to see our dear friends and Selohaar Brethren, Lord and Lady Goodspeed with young Master Morgan. They too were there for the last day of the faire, but to work rather than play. Much of the day was spent catching up with the Goodspeeds on their progress with their home. They were happy with what has been accomplished but admit there is still much to do. The rest of the day was spent strolling the grounds. Lady Maureen was most thankful for the attention her fellow travelers gave to her. She is newly recovered from a badly sprained ankle. The grounds are fairly treacherous when one is walking with an injury, with many roots and muddy patches that can be problematic while limping. The day concluded with scrumptious barbeque at a local restaurant.

Mother Nature gave us a Goliath of a storm that wreaked havoc on the East Coast and at the Manor. Sir Christian and Lady Maureen were cast into darkness from Monday to Thursday before the gather. Many of the members of Selohaar also experienced power outages the week prior to the get together. But once the power was returned the Manor was set into motion to make ready to welcome those that could attend. Our brothers in Staten Island survived the terrible storm, but were without power for many days. We hope that they and their Island recover soon.

Sir Christian set Sir Robert to the task to alert the members that there would be a gather. The refrigerator needed to be completely stocked anew. Fortunately the large quantity of snack foods, holiday candies and beverages were perfectly suited to bedeck a snack table buffet. With the last minute disappointment that our Chatelaine would not be able to cook for the gather (Lady Stacy had taken ill), Lady Maureen once again took charge to plan the day's feast. Sir Christian put the house to right, and also had to deal with a tree that crashed down into the Kelly Fountain. It spared the house and the fountain, but it crushed a cement bench by the fountain. The Grand Master was amazed at the force of the falling limbs that both shattered the bench's cement and bent its rebar substructure.

Sir Carl and Lord Michael D arrived at the Manor the night before and aided in the last minute preparation. Lady Maureen recruited Lord Michael to accompany her to a Red Cross blood drive. She had been called the night before appealing for a donation during this urgent time. The state had a decrease of donations prior to the hurricane, and many hospitals lost power that refrigerated their supplies. It was quite gratifying to see the numbers responding to the Red Cross Appeal. The site was backed up with Good Samaritans. Sir Carl has been a model of regular blood donation. On October 6th, he made 100th gift of life. It was too soon for him to join the two members of the Order for this worthy cause. If you wish to take up the chivalrous act, you can go to www.redcrossblood.org to locate a blood drive near you.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Sir Carl
Lady Maureen
Sir Robert
Lord Blair
Lord Christopher V
Lady Elizabeth
Lady Veronica
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Master Parker (G)
Lord Michael D
Lord John W
Lord Kyle

Much of the day was spent out of doors. The weather was cool and the clouds were moody. Members in warm attire tested their arm by the toss of spear and the friendly competition of archery. The new arrows newly bought at Pennsic greatly pleased Lord Matthew. The javelin casting was sociable, with several members showing much improvement over the last year.
Lady Maureen regrettably spent a good deal of the day in transit. With the last minute decision to hold the gather, she had many last minute purchases for feast and Circle. She was truly grateful for the Lord Michael's help in shopping and the eager assistance to cook by Ladies Elizabeth, Justine and Veronica. It was to be a simple feast, but with the frenetic nature of the last minute complications, she had felt overwhelmed. Silly Mistress of the Manor; the current Order has many people who are keen to be of service.

A new game to the Order was enjoyed at the gather. Several members enjoyed playing at Hnefitafl, an ancient game of strategy. Tafl games were a family of ancient Germanic and Celtic board games on a checkered or latticed board with two armies of uneven numbers. Although the size of the board and the number of pieces varied, all games involved a distinctive 2:1 ratio of pieces, with the lesser side having a king-piece which started in the centre. The objective of the game is for the King escape to board's edge row or corners, while the larger army of stones' objective was to capture the king. Tafl spread as the Viking migration and aggressions spread across Europe. It can be found in Iceland, Britain, Ireland and Lapland. The Game was popular across Northern Europe from the Third through the Twelfth centuries until it was supplanted by chess.

The snack table was embellished with interesting assortments of cheese and seasonal salsas. Lord Janusz brought the well enjoyed spiced pumpkin, sassy apple, and the sweet potato and cranberry salsas. Feast was cheese ravioli with freshly made meat sauce. It was served with a crisp spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers with Caesar dressing. Desert was pumpkin ice cream sandwiched between ginger snap cookies.

It was announced at feast that Lady Jessica Finley, a Free Scholar student of Sir Christian, and her husband Frank, were in Sweden during this year's Samhain gather. She was an honored guest instructor at Swordfish, an annual European historic fencing event. She offered a few courses and competed in the tournament. She did Selohaar great tribute in that she came in second in a field of women's longsword tournament; her combination of athletic prowess and fidelity to the historic fighting arts we study earned her plaudits from several quarters. We look forward to the presence of the Finley family at Yule.

Prior to Circle, the Circle of the Grail met to discuss the final arrangements for ritual. Sir Carl was the author of the Samhain ceremony and he wished to include some divination to the proceedings. He was most appreciative of the scrying mirror that Lady Maureen purchased for use by the Order. His intent for the ritual was to invite each person in circle to gaze into the black glass and to peer over their left shoulder. Rather than seeing what may occur, he intended the members to project their will for the future. Lady Veronica graciously typed up the invocation of quarters and Lady Sarah recorded the assignment of quarters and other duties. Before the altar was completely set up, Lady Maureen and Sir Robert with the assistance of the acolytes Sir Robert and Lady Sarah cleansed and dedicated the scrying mirror for the work of the Order.

At Circle, the bell was rung by Lord John, The Quarter was traced by Sir Robert as called by Ladies Veronica and Elizabeth, Lords Matthew and Michael called the Regents forth. The archetypes were summoned by Sirs Christian and Carl and Lady Maureen. Lady Sarah was the bearer of the Grail. Sir Carl walked the scrying mirror around circle while Lady Veronica sang "All Souls Night" by Loreena McKennitt. Sir Christian was moved to speak about the beautiful tradition of the "Last Harvest" table cloth in which Lady Sarah inscribes the members' achievements that they have "harvested" over the past year.

Circle was followed by court. There was a reminder for those attending the Connecticut Children's Hospital Visit must have a flu shot in order to participate in the autumn event. There has been some difficulty in contacting the Ronald McDonald House regarding the donation of a holiday tree for the "Trees of Hope" hope event this year. We have a tree which was donated by Lord and Lady Valli, and a stash of supplementary ornaments from Lady Bonnie. The construct of the elaborate ornaments will be on hold until we are confirmed with the charity. Lord Matthew has a possible contact which may help us out in this matter. Once we are sure we are able to participate, we will have a weekend craft day to assemble the jeweled decorations for the tree. Lastly, Ladies Veronica and Elizabeth motioned that the Order should once again collect a donation for Heifer International during the Yule Feast. Typically we donate a bee hive and a lamb. Each of these affords the recipients sustenance for many years (honey, wax, quadrupling of crop output, wool, milk, offspring, and eventually meat) Lord Christopher Valli added his witty two cents to the discussion. He tossed out humorous suppositions that our donations could wreak havoc when the bees became Africanized. It is good to have such charitable members of the Order and comic relief during our gatherings. Finally, the court was also delighted to hear that Lord and Lady Zordan are expecting their second child in March of 2013!

On November 24, members of the Order made their annual pilgrimage to the Moresca Clothing and Costume Winter Open House in Ulster Park, New York. Our dear friend Lena Dun once again created a beautiful ambiance for people who are beginning to miss the festive ambiance of the Renaissance Faires. Ladies Maureen, Bonnie and Veronica were escorted by Sirs Christian and John, and Lord Michael. Some early Yule gifts were purchased as usual. Sir John also bought the last of the white wool capes so that knights in the Order could have a signature look amongst the members.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Lugnasadh Gather, July 28, 2012

We had been so fortunate during the warmer season to conduct our revels out of doors, but this gather it was not to be. We had plans for a special tournament of arms, but the prognosticators had foretold of foul weather for days in advance. The remnant of the hurricane that had swept up from the gulf was to visit us that very weekend. We chose to retreat to the cozy indoors.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lady Bonnie
Sir John
Lady Bonnie
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher V
Lady Veronica
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Stacy
Lady Melanie (G)
Mistress Violet (G)
Master Morgan
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Master Parker
The Lord John W
Lord Sean (G)
Lord Thom (G)


We were in equal measure happy and sad at this gathering. Our Mistress of the Kitchen and beloved chatelaine came with her son, sister and niece, but could not have her husband Lord Scott with us. He is in the heat of battle with the evolving homestead. Many things must be conclude by the time cooler weather arrives or the work will have to be laid aside until next year. Lord Scott is a man now fixed on the building of his home and we understand the need for his absence.

The time was passed with conversation, chess matches and storytelling. Children frolicked under the watchful eye of mothers and Order folk, and Master Sable kept out of sight and out of mind of the toddlers. Lady Stacy shared news of the successes and foibles of her home construction. The ladies listened with envy about the design of the Goodspeed kitchen. They also offered sympathy while listening to the trials of home construction with a helpful toddler in the house.

All in attendance dined by candlelight snug in the warm and dry abode as the rain picked up intensity after sun set. Music mixed with laughter as merry attendees shared jokes and witty jabs. The spiced chicken prepared by Lady Stacy was savored along with the friendship.

Due to the change of plans caused by the remnants of a hurricane, the elemental ritual created by Ladies Maureen and Elizabeth was altered slightly so as to reserve the planned ritual for when the actual Elemental Pas and quest occur.

A brief court was held in the evening. There was a discussion about the rest of the Order calendar of planned events. We will hopefully have the Elemental Pas at the next gather so all were encouraged to maintain their armor at the ready for the event. Sir John will be in contact with Connecticut Children's Hospital for our biannual visit. Lady Bonnie sought the support of the members for a re-institution of the donation of a decorated tree for the Trees of Hope. This is a charity that funds the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven which houses the families of critically ill children at Yale New Haven Hospital. People were eager to support both efforts and more details will be forth coming.

Pennsic 2012

This year we had great expectations for the annual visit for Pennsic. The weather forecast promised better than the usually seasonal heat and passing showers. Our contingent of attendants was expanded to include the Lord and Lady Zordan with young master Parker and our Order companions from last year, Sir Robert and the Lord John Whittemore.

Upon arrival, Sir Christian and Lady Maureen were dismayed that the room reservations were bungled. The hotel was full and would not have space for the knight and his lady until the next day. Fortune favored them as Lady Nicole of Revival Clothing had a double room and was more than happy to accommodate the weary travelers.

There were several changes to the event this year. Lady Maureen's dear friend and most favorite merchant, Mistress Gwen of Palace Gallery was not at Pennsic. She had injured her leg and could make the journey. There are few words to express Lady Maureen's disappointment. Sitting and conversing with Mistress Gwen is a special occurrence at Pennsic.

Another sorely felt absence of the war was Owain Phyfe. He was gravely ill. All in attendance were down hearted and many benefits were performed in his honor. It is with great sadness that we learned of his passing a few weeks after the war. Each year of Pennsic was magical due to this bard's sensual voice and charismatic performances.

This was the first year for Clan Zordan at Pennsic. Though there were a few absences from the event, they were assaulted with the sights, battles and shopping to be had at the war. They were blessed with the good nature of their young son. He was pleased to toddle along with his dad, his mother or his Uncle Sir Robert. Lady Sarah took a few dance classes and Lord Matthew scrutinized the arms and armor of the merchants and did the preliminary scouting for wooden arrows for the Order. Lady Maureen was most pleased with the arrows that he had finally selected and opened the treasury purse for their procurement.

The Lord John Whittemore was once again the Beau of the Ball so to speak. He also made several fine purchases this year. In particular, he bought fine boots that were custom altered to insure a most excellent fit.

Some highlights of the event were the visits to the Inner Vagabond for refreshing drinks and Middle Eastern fare with the Order and Sir Greg and Lady Tasha. Sir Robert and Ladies Maureen and Sarah attended the Ball. Sir Robert and Lady Sarah did the Order great credit with their dancing. Lady Maureen had the pleasure of many dances that evening. In particular a kindly old gentleman from Australia did her the honor of dancing several dances. He said he was most eager to dance with Lady Maureen because of her beautiful gown and grand hat. It had been a great ambition of his to attend the Pennsic War at least once in his life and to dance with a grand lady.

Our dear friend Master Jason the glass blower was there at the event as well. He was doing demonstrations and affording special patrons the opportunity to work with him on the creation of period glassware. Sir Gaston, the master of the great villa on the lake was assisting when Lady Maureen and Sir Christian had chance to visit. We were pleased and honored to purchase the glass that they created together.

Our new friend Lady Tasha was the toast of the Art and Science display this year. She created, completely by hand a painstakingly research reproduction of the famous Charles V pourpoint. Many of the historic fencers crowded around her display to examine the minutia details of the fine garment. Also of note at the Art and Science display was an embroidery, 60 feet in length, reminiscent of the Bayeux Tapestry. This needlework depicted the history of the Society of Creative Anachronism. The creator was an excellent docent of the work and talked the Lady Maureen through each panel of the work.

Freelance Academy Press had its wine and cheese revelry, hosted by Lady Nicole Allen at her Revival Clothing booth. Sundry books were signed (as was a block of cheese!) and the revelry and good fellowship continued well into the evening.

At the conclusion of the trip, Lady Maureen and Sir Christian spent the weekend with Doctor, Sir John Coates, Lady Rose and Masters Jack and Eduardo. They were joined by Lady Bonnie who was going to partake of her first visit to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. The weather could not be more perfect. The butterfly bushes were in full bloom and as the name of this plant implies, full of butterflies as well. This sojourn was filled with many firsts and some sad absences. We hope that the memories of the past Pennsic Wars, the recent one and the ones to come will be ever special to us and our dear friends.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Summer Solstice Gather, June 23, 2012

It is often difficult to schedule gathers a year in advance. It has its pluses and minuses. It affords all our members information for long range planning so we are sure everyone can attend. However, the weather can be unpredictable. With fear of jinxing our streak of good fortune, this year has had an unprecedented run of wonderful weather. In years past we have had rain, heat, and humidity that has dampened the comfort for our outside gathers. But this year we have had sunshine, low humidity and comfortable temperatures. This gather was no exception.

Solstice is also referred to as Midsummer. In the Celtic tradition, Druids, the priestly and diplomatic ranks of society celebrated Alban Heruin or Light of the Shore. It was midway between the Vernal Equinox Alban Eiler (Light of the Earth), and the Autumnal Equinox Alban Elfed (Light of the Water). This midsummer festival celebrates the apex of Light, and was a fertility holiday commemorated with bonfires, and the collecting of medicinal wild flowers.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lady Bonnie
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Jessica Finley (G)
Lady Sara (G)
Lady Veronica
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Master Parker (G)

Lord David (G)
Lord Robert (G)
Mistress Elizabeth (G)
Mistress Abigail (G)

Lord and Lady Nash sent their regrets. They were celebrating the very special occasion of Lord Christopher's grandmother's 90th birthday. Lord Michael D missed his first gather since his first attendance. He was whole heartedly celebrating his brother's high school graduation. Alas also our dear members Lord and Lady Goodspeed could not make the long journey south. They have many things still uncompleted in the building of their new home.

We were fortunate to have the return of our dear friend Lady Jessica Finley replete with new armor and her charming sister Lady Sara. We were most happy to test her new arms on our tournament field. This was the first time that she had the pleasure of formally crossing steel with us at the Manor.

The day began with the typical hustle and bustle of setting up the pavilion and two tournament fields. The members and guests gathered at the archery range for the first contest of skill. Lord Matthew has crafted several long bows of various weights and they are quite well crafted by our novice bowyer. The results of the tournament are thus:

First Place: Lord Matthew
Second Place: Lady Veronica
Third Place: Lady Sarah

The tournament began with something new: Lady Sarah performed the Blessing of the Fighters for the first time. As the Order grows and more members learn our ways, we feel it is important they be given the chance to stretch; this has the added benefit of there being more members capable of filling important roles as needed. Lady Jessica got to fight everyone of the day's other combatants, beginning with a spirited poleaxe bout with Sir Christian. Lord Matthew showed his growing confidence with several weapons on the field, most especially the axe. But the day's best combatant must surely have been Sir Carl, who shone in every encounter, to the gallery's delight.

Centuries ago, hot meals, particularly in the summer did not occur every day. There was a day for baking breads, and a day for cooking fresh game. As in the old days, the Order has a cold supper to avoid heating the Manor and to allow the cooks and the fighters' avoidance from more heat during the Midsummer. Lady Maureen laid out cold meats, cheeses, and artisanal breads. This was served with a cold quinoa salad and a cold pasta salad with asparagus. Dessert, which was served after circle, was fresh strawberry short cake. Lady Maureen wishes to thank Lady Justine for her preparation of the strawberries.

As the sun began to set on the longest day of the year, the Manor folks' attention returned outside to prepare for circle. Sir Robert took the reins for the preparation for ritual. It was set in the tournament area to emphasize the joining of the spirited tournament and the spirit of fire on this holiday. Lady Veronica rang the bell, Lady Sarah called and traced the quarters and Lady Bonnie passed the grail. Sir Robert graced us with the recitation of a seasonal poem right before Sir Christian shared his thoughts of the importance of the season. The energy raised was sent north to Lord and Lady Goodspeed as they endeavor to complete their home.

At the conclusion of circle people momentarily went to the Manor for dessert and then gathered in the pavilion for an evening of revelry and frivolity.
We are also pleased to relay that the Order completed another children's hospital visit on June 2nd. Sirs John, Robert, and Christian, Lord Christopher V, and the Lady Elizabeth visited the Children's Medical Center in Hartford, CT, where we were once again well-received. A hearty huzzah to Sir John for continuing to arrange these worthy missions for us!

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Beltaine Gather, May 12, 2012

During the intersession between The Equinox and Beltaine, the Lord and Lady of the Manor visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Cloisters to take a rare opportunity to view the Isle of Lewis Chess Piece exhibit. The Order has been expanding their diversions for winter and inclement gathers. Chess has been the game of kings, nobles and men of intellect for centuries. In 1831, an archeological dig unearthed more than 70 chess pieces and belt buckles and ends, all made of carved walrus ivory and dating from the 12th century on the Isle of Lewis off the west coast of Scotland. The Lewis Chessmen comprise at least four distinct but incomplete sets. They are considered the most famous chess pieces in the world. The Cloisters received them on loan from the collections of the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The game of chess is believed to have originated in India in the sixth century A.D., and to have spread west first through Persia, and then through the Islamic territories, until it reached Europe. As played today, chess is an important legacy of the Middle Ages. The Lewis Chessmen are generally believed to have been made in Norway. At the time that the chessmen were carved, the seat of political and ecclesiastical control of the Isle of Lewis was in Norway, and shipping lanes from Norway to Ireland went past the Outer Hebrides. The Order is fortunate to have a replica of the set, and two other sets on loan from Sir Robert and the Lord and Lady Zordan. We hope that we will not need to depend on them for diversion until the winter returns to the Realm.

On May 13th, the Order of Selohaar could at long last go out of doors to frolic in the lush gardens of the Manor. It had been a turbulent winter and spring season and it was a relief to have warm and dry weather for the Beltaine celebration. In medieval and renaissance times, Beltaine was considered the beginning of summer-hence the Sumer Solstice being referred to as Mid-Summer. The warmth of this time of year was sufficient for earnest tilling of the soil, and even the harvesting of early vegetables and herbs. The farms around the manor have rich dark soil turned and ready for seeding. Farmer stands have herbs, spring peas, asparagus and flowering plants for sale. The green fields have sturdy calves grazing beside their mothers.

Anticipation of the outdoor gather had many knights and squires strapping, riveting and polishing into the night for a week. Sir Christian finished the construction and painting of two shields for armoured judicial dueling. The yard's foliage cooperated and was near full bloom by the time the gather day arrived

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Sir Carl
Sir John
Lady Maureen
Sir Robert
Lord Blair
Lord Michael D
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Veronica
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Master Parker (G)
Lord Kyle
Lord Christopher V
Lady Elizabeth
The Lord John W
Lord Sean (G)
Lord Justin (G)
Lady Ana (G)
Lady Bonnie
Master Jack (G)
Master Eduardo (G)
Master Joel (G)

Lord and Lady Goodspeed called in from the North Country to send salutations and best wishes for the tournament events. They are still in full swing on finishing their home. They feel the need more keenly now that they are able to reside in their new abode. The money lenders are also prodding the noble couple to complete the cosmetic touches. Sir Mark and Lady Paula called from the Southern Preceptory earlier in the week to send best wishes for Beltaine and to extend a hearty happy birthday to the Lady of the Manor on her momentous birthday. The Grand Master and his Lady wife will be in progress to the Preceptory in June. Lord Christopher T and his lovely wife were on the high seas enjoying a well deserved holiday.

There was and added excitement for this gather as Lady Bonnie made a return to the Order after a few years away. Members who were added since her absence could well see that she lived up to reputation as an instigator of bawdy humor. Lady Maureen was in rare humor even before her cohort arrived at the manor.

The first activities of the day occur long before majority of members arrive. The field and pavilion were erected the morning of the gather by Sir Christian, Carl and Lords Blair and Michael D. Lady Maureen saw to the indoor amenities. The first event of the day was archery. Lord Matthew arrived with many handcrafted long bows for participants to use. Lord Kyle a soon to be member was intrigued with archery and hoped to try his hand. Lady Maureen gave a mini lesson prior to the competition and allowed him to use her own equipment. The three young masters had their turn after the formal tournament was concluded. Lady Maureen also gave them a lesson. The first archery tournament of the 2012 season was thus.

First Place: Lady Sarah
Second Place: Lord Christopher V
Third Place: Lord Sean

It is important that the young get their fair share of the tournament activities. It falls upon us to teach them the basics, and most importantly the protocols for safety. The Order has long since been strict about safety in both the archery and field lists. Our forebears in history made training and safety a priority along with the knightly virtues. The young lads enjoyed Lady Maureen's attention for archery, and Lord Kyle's playful sparing with the sword.

As we have done for many years, the first tournament is also the annual blessing of the field. Ladies Sarah, Bonnie, Veronica and Justine joined the Lady of the grail for this task. Following blessing, Sir Christian selected the Champion for the Order. Performing this function at Beltaine began last year and is better fitting to the dynamic symbol of the Champion. This year Sir Christian selected Sir Robert to this office. Dr Sir John has been a formidable Champion over the years, and has been a symbol of loyalty and service to the Order as well as the community at large. There is a need for him at a higher office and once he is elevated to the Third Degree, he will assume the role of Seneschal.

Conventional Selohaar wisdom holds that the first tournament of a new season tends to be one where the fighters need to 'shake off the rust' of the winter's relative inactivity. This Beltaine tournament gave the lie to this notion and featured spirited and vigorous bouts all around. It was especially exciting to have two new combatants on our field - Lord Kyle and Sean - both of whom distinguished themselves with both prowess and courtesy. One fight employed Sir Christian's new shields; an experiment, this bout showed the strapping scheme still needs some refinement. There intense combats involving Lords Janusz and Michael D, as well as Sir Robert, and Sir John showed his 'old school' chops by skillfully manipulating his opponent's timing and distance.

All at the gather were sincerely appreciative of the last minute service several members performed so that we could dine throughout the day on sumptuous foods. Firstly, Sir Robert prepared a snack table of meats and cheeses for sandwiches. Lady Elizabeth was very kind to assemble any Italian banquet of homemade meatballs, ziti with mozzarella, garlic bread and salad. Lastly, but most certainly not least , Lady Justine created a berry poke cake with whipped cream, and a triquetra created with berries. A poke cake, though known by other names does have it origins centuries ago. Food preservation was difficult and stale foods needed to be refreshed for serving. Cakes were lanced and fruit juices, honey or sweetened cream was poured of the dessert. It sounds even better than the original plan cake. This cake was truly delicious as was all the faire this gather.

Prior to ritual, the Order and guests assembled on the tournament field to bear witness to Lady Sarah's induction to the Second Degree of Adept. Sir Robert escorted the inductee to each of the archetypes of the triquetra where Lady Sarah proved herself worth of the elevation in rank. Huzzah for Lady Sarah.

By the Kelly Fountain, Lord Kyle formal took the Oath of Free Brother. It was obvious in a short time, that he embodied the attributes of a potential member of Selohaar. It is wonderful to have an induction for the first outdoor gather. Congratulations Lord Kyle.

Beltaine Circle was crafted by Sir Robert and Lady Sarah and conducted by the fountain. The bell was rung by Lord Kyle. The Quarters were called and banished by Lords John and Matthew. Sirs Christian and Carl and the Lady Maureen invoked the Archetypes.

Court was held in the pavilion on a wonderfully surprising mild May evening. The focus of court for Beltaine is laying out the plans for the upcoming season. Sir John will be elevated to Seneschal and third degree once Sirs Carl and Christian revise the ceremony. Lady Maureen will also be elevated to third degree. There is Children's Hospital visit on June 2nd, and a new retinue of members will be taking on leading roles in the entertainment and education of the institution. We also hope to have another event closer to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Order will once again be forming a Mud Volleyball Team for the Epilepsy foundation. All those interested were warned that shoes will surely be lost in the muck and mire, but for a very worthy cause. The order will continue to explore other charitable ventures.

Before the end of court, Lady Bonnie claimed the floor to say that 50 years and 5 days prior to that gather that her best friend, the Lady Maureen was born. She recounted that when the ladies met, she did not like the Lady Maureen. She thought she was a "know it all". But during a break in the theatrical group, the two ladies chanced to walk out together in town, and she realized that Lady Maureen "did indeed know it all". The Mistress of the Manor was moved by Lady Bonnie pronouncement. Had it not been for Lady Bonnie, Lady Maureen would have never been at the faire where she met the Grand Master. The Order would be quite different than it is today, if fate had not brought these boon friends together.

Sirs Christian and Carl, Lady Bonnie and Lord Blair talked into the wee hours of the night, with the last one tucking for the night just before the sun rose. Alas the Lady of the Manor could not join in the night's revelries as she had a mundane assignment the next day.

The beginning of June saw the Order once more sallying forth to provide entertainment for the patients at the Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, where we have a long-standing relationship and commitment. Sir Christian wishes to once again thank Lady Elizabeth, Lord Christopher V, and Sirs John and Robert for their fine efforts. This is truly chivalry in action in the modern world!

The week of June 10th through the 16th, the Grand Master and his wife visited Florida. It is of course a time to reconnect with the Tobler elders. This year there were two full days to reconnect with the Kellers of the Southern Preceptory. Sir Mark and Lady Paula were once again Perfect hosts and the young ladies Ariana and Tarin were eager to catch up with the ersatz Aunt and Uncle. We were most appreciative of the tactical navigation rendered by Sir Mark while at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. His 10+ year study of these environs made every event experience happen with military precision. Each visit together is as if no time had passed since the last get-together. They are as in sync with the Order as when they were the Captain of the Guard/ Champion and Chatelaine.

There was one extra opportunity to revel together when Sir Christian's parents hosted the Keller clan to a dinner. The young Kellers were charming with their princess manners. Lady Paula and Sir Mark raised some lovely children who know how to kick up their heels like the parents and know when to model the best of courteousness.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Spring Equinox Gather, March 24, 2012

The Vernal Equinox is celebrated in the Northern hemisphere around March 21. This year, the balance of between day and night occurred on March 20th. In agrarian times, early Europeans saw the equinox as another commitment for the divine that life was returning to the world. The world was warming and the earth was greening with new vegetation. The year was viewed as cyclical, and the people of Europe assigned a cyclical divine importance to the season as well.

According to the British and European people, this was the time of year representing the Maiden Goddess taking on a young consort. The fertility of the God and Goddess was reflected in the nature around them.

In New England the weather is always a big question mark this time of year. It can be wet, dry, cold, blustery or pleasant. Though many hoped to venture out to the spring environs, it was still a bit cold to spend the day out of doors.

Present for the gather were:

Sir Christian
Sir Carl
Lady Maureen
Sir John
Sir Robert
Lady Veronica
Lord Christopher T
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Master Parker (G)
Lord Michael D
Lord Thom (G)
Lord Christopher V
Lady Elizabeth
The Lord John W
Lord Kyle (G)

Lord and Lady Goodspeed were still in the throes of home building. They are in the newly built house but still much needs to be done to make it comfortable home. Lord Blair once again was blessed and cursed with overtime at his job. He sent a belated regrets. Lord Michael A was in his Northern Estates and also sent his regrets.

As this was hopefully the last indoor gather of the year, the Order took advantage in order to run another educational workshop for its members. Sir Christian presented a seminar on some swords of the Middle Ages: falchions, messers, and baselards. Fortunately, Sir Christian's vast collection of weapons had several example of each. He reviewed the evolution of each swords style and its values as a cutting weapon.

Dinner was prepared by the Mistress of the Manor, Lady Maureen. She made an Indian inspired Scottish dish - Chicken Tikka Masala, served with basmati rice and peas. Dessert was scrumptious cream puffs.

Ritual was conducted indoors and was crafted by the Lord John Whittemore. Lord Matthew rang the bell, Lords Janusz and Christopher V and Ladies Justine and Elizabeth called the quarters. The Lord John Whittemore passed the Grail.

Following ritual, members of the Circle of the Grail remained behind in order to formally pledge themselves to a year and a day of service. Sir Robert, Lady Elizabeth, Lord John, Ladies Sarah and Veronica, and Lord Michael D took on the mantel of service to plan and implement the gather's circles. Ladies Maureen and Sarah and Sir Robert crafted the new induction ceremony. It was quite solemn and inspiring.

Following the induction ceremony, Sir Christian led a brief court to discuss the upcoming community service events. The Memorial Day weekend will have a visit to the Connecticut Children's Hospital. The work over the last year of creating a large number of options for attendees has paid off. Several of the regular presenters will be unable to attend, but there are several eager new presenters are very happy to step into this noble activity.

Sir Robert went north with Lord Matthew to present a basic longsword seminar for our friends to the north in Vermont. The trip had a dual purpose. Firstly, our knowledge of the Liechtenauer tradition was shared with Erik Schmitt and his students. Secondly, Erik is a talented armourer. He assisted Sir Robert in enhancing his armour and Lord Matthew was able to learn from an experienced armourer.

On May 5th, Sir Christian hosted a lavish 50th birthday party for his lovely lady wife. Members of the Order mingled with other important people in Lady Maureen's life. The event was held at the Longwood Country Inn in Woodbury, with an after party at the manor. Breaking with the traditional roast, Lady Maureen expressed her love for all in attendance. The guests represented the chapters of her life, and were essential in making her the woman she is today. She wishes to thank all who attended and most importantly, her husband. His love and support makes everyday a noble quest.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Imbolc Gather, February 4, 2012

The Season of Imbolc or Brigid's Day, in the Celtic Calendar, was considered the first day of Spring. Most commonly it is celebrated on 1 or 2 February (or 12 February, according to the pre-Julian Calendar). It was also significant to the Celtic calendar as it was directly between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox and was one of the four cross quarter days referenced in Irish mythology. Imbolc is derived from the Old Irish i mbolg "in the belly". The significance of this was that sheep were pregnant during this time of year and promising new life and wealth to the farmers. A medieval glossary indicated the term was derived from oimelc – "ewe's milk". This too was joyous as this would be the first fresh food of the year for many.

This holiday has been adopted into the Christian calendar as Candlemas or Saint Brigid's day. Saint Brigid is the Patroness of Ireland and stands beside Saint Patrick as a bringer of the Christian faith to Ireland. Some claim that she never existed and is actually the Goddess Brigid beatified by the Catholic Church.
The Order of Selohaar came together on a beautiful and mild February to celebrate the potentials of the coming year.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lord Michael D
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Veronica
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Master Parker (G)
Lord John W
Lord Christopher
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Thomas (G)

Lord and Lady Goodspeed had to send their regrets for attending the gather. The home front progress on the house construction could not permit them a weekend away. At the time of the gather they were a mere week or so from being able to occupy their new home. They have as of the publishing of this report, happily moved into the long awaited quarters.

This gather was extremely active for an indoor event. Firstly, Sir Christian presented new research on the historic implications of the Threes and the Fours in the Middle Ages. Specifically, he presented the elemental correspondences found in the Etymologiae of St. Isidore of Seville - a sort of early medieval encyclopedia.

Lady Maureen convened the Circle of the Grail for an organizational meeting. As was discussed at earlier informal meetings, each member was to take charge of planning the gather ritual. As part of that responsibility, the members of the Circle would do research of the history of the Solar Holiday so it may be added to the News of the Realm. They would also confer with the Lady of the Grail for purchasing décor for the altar.

Lady Maureen stressed the importance of the commitment people were making by being a part of the Circle of the Grail. At the Equinox gather, each member of the Circle was going to make an oath of dedication for one year of service. Each person must be able to attend the gathers and participate as agents of the planned ritual. They must also participate in the educational process of the group so that they can strengthen their knowledge and confidence in performing ritual.

As a part of the business meeting, Lady Maureen was happy to announce that Sir Carl would be a part of the group. His decades of knowledge of magick as well as his creation of the foundations of Selohaar ritual are a valuable resource to Circle of the Grail. She also announced that Lady Sarah would be the Prima Acolyte. Lady Sarah has already been Lady Maureen's trusted right hand for making things happen, and the Lady of the Grail wanted to bestow a title to Lady Sarah so that all would know her importance. Lastly, Lady Maureen announced that Lady Veronica was going to be the lead artist for illuminating the Book of Selohaar. Ladies Maureen and Sarah were going to seek out additional information that was to be contained in the tome and once this was done, the illumination project would begin.

Sir Robert convened the Guard Corp meeting. The focus of the discussion was the establishment and review of security protocols. During the gather, the Guard Corp will have ready access to telephone numbers for local and state police, however, they will strive to act as self sufficiently as is practical and legal in addressing situations. Some of the duties that were assigned to the Constable will now be assumed by the Captain of the Guard. The Guard Corps will look into the acquisition of equipment, specifically flashlights, communication devices and sturdy walking sticks. The current guards have Guard Corps surcoats, and one will be needed for the soon to be inducted Lord Michael D.

The induction of new guards will begin with interviewed and require a sponsor. Sirs Carl and Robert will be revamping the induction ceremony. A training day will be scheduled in the near future.

Though Lady Stacy was unable to attend the gather, she made sure that the feast was in good hands. Sir Robert prepared his annual dinner of Venison and Beef stews. The venison was prepared with an Iron Age recipe. Both stews were served in bread bowls. Hearty fare indeed for cold weather! Dessert was ice cream and cookies.

Ritual was created by Lady Veronica. Lord Michael D rang the bell. The quarters were called by Ladies Justine, Veronica, Sarah and Elizabeth will Sir Robert traced the triquetra. Sirs Christian and Carl and Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes. The grail was passed by The Lord John Whittemore. Sir Christian stirred those who stood together in Circle with the words of growth and stimulation. The traditional focus of the growing energy of the season and the facts invigoration within the Order were in sync. The energy raised was sent to Lord and Lady Goodspeed to sustain their energies as they approached the momentous move to their new home.

A brief court was conducted for business matters. The Order intends to do two visits to the Children's hospital this year. We may need to have a preparation day so that interested people can learn the Moresca dance and prepare some educational or entertaining activities for the visits. Our goal is to have a variety of people who can rotate into a visit and not to depend on the same few people to discharge this duty.

Also it has been determined that the feast fee needs to be raised to $15 a gather. The cost of the snack table, beverages, feast and dessert has been running in the red for quite a while. All in attendance felt this was reasonable. Dues will remain the same at $25, and will be due at the next gather.

Ritual Calling of the Quarters

INVOCATIONS:

We ask Boul, Regent of the West, Spirit of Earth
Join us from the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons
May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature.
The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land,
Help us to break the frozen grip upon the terrain.

We ask Eltzen, Regent of the North, Spirit of Water
Join us from the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons
May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature.
The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land,
Help us to melt the icy rivers

We ask Oriens, Regent of the East, Spirit of Air
Join us from the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons
May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature.
The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land,
Help us to tame the frigid gales.

We ask Amemon, Regent of the South, Spirit of Fire
Join us from the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons
May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature.
The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land,
Join with your brother elements to bring Spring forth again.

Banishment:

May the warmth of the assemblage radiate forth and be a beacon towards Spring's return.
Hail and Well Met.

Shortly after the gather, Sir Christian traveled to Leeds, England to attend and instruct at SWASH (Symposium on the Western Arts of Swordsmanship through History). He was one of several international instructors for the historic fencing event held at the Royal Armories. A dear friend of the Order, Lady Nicole Allen, also attended the event and assisted Sir Christian with one of his presentations, originally to be co-taught with Greg Mele, who was alas unable to attend. Sir Christian was most gratified to see his work has grown and has stimulated other talented martial artists to mine the ancient texts for the sword, wrestling, dagger and poleax arts developed by fight masters.

Sir Christian and Lady Nicole were treated royally by their hosts Mark Hillyard and Mark Lancaster. After the SWASH event concluded, they toured Cumbria, Lancashire, and the English Lake district. It was also a pleasure for him to see Maestro Sean Hayes, Rob Lovett, and, after too many years, Mr. Bob Brooks of the Hotspur School of Defence.

While Sir Christian was across the pond, Lady Maureen met with Lady Sarah and Sir Robert to craft the oath for the Circle of the Grail. This will be reviewed by Sirs Christian and Carl and be included in the Book of Selohaar. Lady Sarah has compiled the personal information that was needed for the Book of Selohaar, and it will be passed on to Lady Veronica shortly.

Great news from the Southern Preceptory has just reached us at the Manor. Mistress Ariana, the eldest daughter of Sir Mark and Lady Paula Keller, has been accepted to the State College of Florida's Collegiate School. This is the nation's first college operated charter school with middle school students on a college campus. Students who are accepted to this program are high academic achievers. Those who graduate from this challenging program will receive both a high school diploma AND a college associate's degree. Huzzah for Mistress Ariana! We are indeed very proud of her.

Mistress Tarin, the youngest daughter of the Keller clan has been doing exceptionally well in her academics as well. She called Lady Maureen a few weeks ago to share the results of her report card. Her grades have shot up since she transferred to her new school. Her parents are extremely proud of all the hard work she has done over the past year, and are very pleased with the school's teachers who have enriched the learning environment for their lovely daughters. Huzzah for Mistress Tarin for the hard work she has put forth this year. We are indeed very proud of her too.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Yule Gather, December 10, 2011

The Order of Selohaar was once again honored to visit the Connecticut Children's Hospital during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Only a few children remain over long weekends. They remain due to the nature of their illness and are in need of distraction from their health issues. The Order has developed a set program that is light hearted and age appropriate for a range of young patients. We are fortunate that many in our company are prepared to assume various roles in the performances. This visit had Sirs Christian, John and Robert, Ladies Maureen and Veronica and Lord Blair. We did the Moresca, the participatory Stone Soup story and the Arming of a Knight. The hospital staff was most appreciative and hopes we will return for a future holiday weekend.

Each December the world becomes a hectic one of family and work obligations that absorbs hours of our time. However, the members of Selohaar are willing to take on even more obligations in order to make the Yule Gather a pinnacle of celebration in their holiday season. For some, they take on a monumental feast's preparations, for others, they research and rehearse a song or a story to entertain their brothers and sisters during the feast. It is amazing that for the past five years, people happily take time from their busy lives to make the Yule Gather even better than the year before.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Sir John
Sir Robert
The Lord John W
Lady Stacy
Lord Scott
Master Morgan
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
 
Master Parker
Lady Justine
Lord Janusz
Lord Christopher V
Lady Elizabeth
 
Lady Veronica
Lord Blair
Lord Michael D
Lady Jessica
Lord Michael A
 

Lady Pauline (G)
Mistress Belinda (G)
Mistress Taylor (G)
Lord Kyle (G)
Lord Erik (G)
 

Lord Christopher Torres called with what initially sounded like a Harvey Fierstein impression, but alas, it was his actual voice. He had succumbed to a terrible cold and was most crestfallen to relay that he would not be able to attend the Yule Gather.

These preparations for Yule begin months before the actual day. The Chatelaine Lady Stacy led correspondence with Lady Maureen and our Herald Lord Michael A. The feast was researched for historic accuracy and the budget was plotted out. The number of courses was reviewed so that the evening entertainment could be arranged between each repast. Our dear friend and kitchen maestro Lord Karl the Younger once again was a part of the feast preparation team. Ladies Stacy and Maureen are ever grateful for his expertise and camaraderie.

Months before the Yule gather Sir Christian and Lady Maureen make efforts to find suitable garments for their dear friends and Members of the Order. They are aware that many members do not have to opportunity to shop at Pennsic and other events. These Yule gifts of clothing were given a month or so in advance so that the members could wear their new attire for the festivities. This year there was a focus on gowns for the ladies, and for the men folk, new custom training uniforms by Lady Jessica Finley were commissioned. There were many compliments passed around for the new finery.

Lord and Lady Goodspeed and Master Morgan arrived at the Manor on Thursday evening so that feast preparations could begin the following day. Lord Karl the Younger joined Lady Stacy in the baking, mixing and chopping that took up the bulk of the day. It is a blessing to the Order that Lady Stacy is willing to come two days early in order to prepare the historically accurate meal. This gift of her time makes for a relaxing day for all, and a meal that is timely.

The dessert for the gather was stored on the deck to chill during the day and brought a lot of attention from our four legged, woodland neighbors. A pack of fairly aggressive squirrels were tantalized by the sweet aroma of apples and honey. Some of the Guard Corps and the ladies had to be posted as sentries to guard the dessert. The bold rodents would not entirely flee the deck unless directly challenged. As good Sir Carl's father would have declared: "They are bold individuals!"

The afternoon was spent in revelry, and for some - rehearsal. As was mentioned before, our members perform during the feast between the courses. Also during the peace before the storm of feast, the Circle of the Grail met in the Ready Room to craft the evening's Circle ritual.

Feast began promptly with our dear Herald Lord Michael A calling all to assemble in the Feast Hall. As had been tradition, Sir Christian led the assemblage in singing the Wassail song as everyone passed the Wassail bowl. It once again was filled with the warm beverage that was crafted by Lord Blair. Lord Karl the Younger and Lord Michael Ayala took the role of servers and brought the first course of the 14th century Italian feast was seasonal fruits with sugar and pomegranate seeds. The next course was an herb soup which consisted of beef broth and freshly cut garden herbs. This was followed by the main course of pheasant with rose water and rice. The fourth course was naked ravioli which is essentially the cheese filling of the ravioli sans the pasta wrapping. The final course presented at the table was a squash tart which was a farmer's cheese and butternut squash pie. The truly last course was served after circle and was the envy of every squirrel in Oxford. It was an Apple and Honey Jelly, which was reminiscent of a gelatin-like desert.

The entertainment during the feast had everyone "sing for their supper" by having everyone join in with the Food song and Deck the Halls which our Grand Master led. Lady Veronica graced us with several songs including "Green the Whole Year Round" and "The Bonny Swans". Ladies Elizabeth and Justine sang a humorous song from the Broadway show 'Spamelot'. Young Lord Michael has been studying grail lore with Sir Christian so it was quite fitting that he read a passage from the Arthurian legends. Lady Veronica assisted in his dramatic reading by entering the hall with the Order's Grail; veiled and glowing. Lord Janusz graced the evening festivities once again with an amusing song. Lady Maureen also sang a seasonal song. In conclusion our Master of Ceremonies and Herald did a recitation of the concluding lines of "The Tempest." The feast lasted close to two hours and everyone was fully sated and most entertained.

Quartermaster Lord Janusz led the clearing of the Feast Hall, and Ladies Sarah and Veronica set themselves to the task of decorating the altar table. All happened at a leisurely pace and everyone gradually filled the room as the candles were lit upon the altar.

The details of the Circle are thus- Lady Elizabeth ranged the bell. Sir Robert called the Guardian of the West, Lady Veronica called the Guardian of the North, Lady Sarah called the guardian of the East, and Lord John called the Guardian of the South. Sirs Christian and Carl and Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes of Vorthr, Verena, and Volnar. The season of Yule is a reflection of the darkest time of the year. However, the Order has an inner light of sharing and giving that keeps the light burning bright regardless of the time of year. Sir Christian recounted the many brilliant actions that the Order has accomplished this year, and we can celebrate the gift of light we have been so far in the world. All those who stood hand to hand and heart to heart are determined to continue the enthusiastic service that brings the light into the darkness.

Lady Maureen and Sir Christian made a point while buying gifts for each other, that one of the gifts should benefit the Order. Sir Christian gave his lady wife a beautiful wooden backgammon board which will also give the members of the Order hours of entertainment during the winter gathers. Lady Maureen gave her noble husband a computer projector. This will make presentations on historic fighting and philosophy more enjoyable for the Order at large.

The last day of the year found many of the Order coming together to ring in the New Year. This is the time when members exchange their Yule gifts. First the revelers enjoyed an Indian Style Feast of Chicken Tikka Masala. Contrary to the strong Indian influences, the meal was actually created in Scotland and is considered that nation's unofficial national dish. When the countdown for the year was upon the revelers, they were prepared to toast the New Year with a Connecticut born bubbly. The strawberry sparkling wine was a new find by the Lord and Lady of the Manor. Our local vintner at Jones' Farm has been developing their winemaking skills and has achieved many recent honors. We hope to have more of their fine wines during the new year's gathers.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Samhain Gather, October 29, 2011

The Grounds were thick with the significant snow when the first member arrived at the Manor on October 29th. It seemed the season is eager to push into winter, but at the time we did not know how earnestly it was intent on being winter. Though this was our smallest gather, due to the weather, in many years, it lacked for neither fellowship nor intensity.

In attendance:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Robert
Lord Blair
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Veronica
Lord Michael D
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Master Parker

Sir Carl called in to see how things were developing gather and weather wise. Lord Michael and Lord John of the southern part of the realm called to regretfully, yet understandably, cancel their attendance. Lord and Lady Valli also wisely called to cancel their attendance. They have but one car between them since Lord Christopher's car was destroyed in a recent accident.

We wish to extend a happy Second Birthday to young Mistress Sophia. We wish she and her parents could have joined us, but we understand that Grandparents and cousins outrank Order friends. We also wish Young Master Morgan a Happy First Halloween celebration with his family. When next we meet him he will have completed his first happy year of life.

Usually gather are extremely busy affairs with tournaments, and meetings but this gather evolved into a cozy affair by fireside. Lady Veronica diligently created the flower arrangements while Lady Maureen fussed with table arrangements. Various members tended the fire while others gathered around the chess boards and Cathedral game for a pleasurable afternoon by the fire. Sir Robert was thoroughly impressed with Lady Veronica's strategic skills. Sir Christian took up the book "Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems" and gave three dramatic readings: "The Masque or the Red Death", "The Tell Tale Heart", and "The Raven".

Along with the gaming and stories, the members got playful with masks. Modern Halloween incorporates masks in the festivities, and the Order did as well. Lady Veronica brought a mask she created for the occasion and it made the Lady of the Manor recall some feather masks that she and the Grand Master had in storage. Sir Robert joined in the merry mask wearing with a mask that complimented his fine attire. Lady Maureen wore a mask that looked to have been crafted for her new gown.

The snack table was also down in the feast hall for easy access to the meats, cheeses and sweet Halloween themed cupcakes. Throughout the afternoon, the lights occasionally flickered. The snow was particularly wet and heavy and was clinging to the trees and wires. It was a good decision to move the feast and Circle up in time so that members could leave sooner than later. Fortunately the meal was ready when we were.

A feast of Beef Stew and Iron Age Venison Stew was prepared by Sir Robert and was served in bread bowls. During feast, Lord Michael went up to the kitchen to retrieve a beverage and while there, the power to the house went out. Those of us below were not aware of this since we were enjoying our evening repast by candlelight.

Without the computer, the Circle of the Grail was unable to craft the quarters. Lady Justine rang the bell, Lady Maureen adlibbed the Calling of the Quarters. Lady Maureen and Sirs Christian and Robert invoked the Archetypes.

Samhain is the Celtic New Year in which it was believed that the worlds of the living and the dead were at their closest. At the time of the final harvest there was time to reflect on the success of the past year, the plans for the New Year and to commune with departed family and friends.

Circle's focus was twofold. The members of the circle wrote messages to loved one who had passed or to the universe. This brought a tear or two to several members. But tears demonstrate that there is still a strong connection to our loved one in the hereafter. The messages were sent by flash paper and burst away to the other side after each member spoke briefly of their message being sent.

The second portion of ritual was recognition of the end of harvest. A one word statement of what was not needed in the next year was written down and banished into a bowl of water. At the conclusion of Ritual, Sir Robert journeyed forth into the snow to the edge of the property to pour out what the members cast out of their lives.

Post circle was enjoyed with a collection of pumpkin and various other flavors of cheesecake. Sir Robert, Lord Janusz and Lady Justine departed homeward shortly thereafter. On their way they stopped to assist a stranded traveler. During the good deed, Lord Janusz lost his cell phone but Dame Fortune shone on him, as he quickly found it on the roadside the next morning. Lord and Lady Zordan also left the manor that night and though it was a slow and harrowing journey, they arrived home safely. Lady Veronica wisely decided to stay overnight.

All of the Manor household prepared beds by the fireside, and slept warm and soundly. They awoke to a house still without power. They picnicked by hearthside on cold meats and cheeses. It would be a whole seven days before power would be restored to the Manor. Fortunately, the Manor had sufficient wood for the fire and candles for the evening. Lord Blair played evening host to Sir Christian and Lady Maureen for showering and eating, but the Lord and Lady of the Manor returned to the Manor nightly. They enjoyed many aspects of the week without power, and Sable the Manor Cat remained cozy in the feast hall by the continuously blazing fire.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Autumn Equinox Gather, September 24, 2011

Before this edition of the News of the Realm commences, the chronicler wishes to apologize for the extreme tardiness of the past three gather reports. The summer was a tumultuous season of state-wide union negotiations and pending lay-offs. So much energy was expended in the preservation of jobs and aiding the state in balancing the budget, that there was no brain power left at the end of each day to focus on this task. Once things settled, it was a daunting undertaking to catch up on the reports. Many thanks must be extended to Lady Justine and Lord Scott for documenting the gathers. The pictures refreshed the chronicler's memory as was the assistance of Lord Blair who has taken on the recording the attendants and activities of the Day. Also thanks must be proffered to the Grand Master who supported the effort to catch up on this important job.

The weeks leading up to fall were some of the wettest days in recent history for New England. The week before the Equinox gather had heavy rains nearly every day causing the grounds to be slick, the air to be muggy, and the mosquito population to soar. It was apparent that we would remain inside for this gather whether or not the sun would appear. Mabon, in the pagan cycle of the year, is the second harvest. This year was as afore mentioned, battered with heavy rains that caused the season's harvest to be less fruitful than in years past. There is such a thing as "too much of a good thing". But, the Order's Harvest of good members, merriment and fine guests were indeed plentiful this year, and at this gather in particular.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Sir Carl
Lady Maureen
Sir John
Lord Michael D

Sir Robert
Lord Michael A.
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Lady Jessica
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord John
Lady Veronica
Lord Blair
Lady Pauline (G)
Lady Belinda (G)
Lord James K. (G)
Lady Victoria (G)
Lord Sean (G)
Master Parker (G)
Lady Kat (G)
Lord James T (G)
Lord Gene (G)
Lord Joshua (G)

With the planned activities of an Elemental Tournament "rained out" the indoor activity was readily at hand- an armor discussion. Sir Christian donned his late 14th century suit of armor and did and in depth presentation on the design and function of each piece. Squire Junusz, and Sir Robert assisted the Grand Master in putting on the pieces. It was a very well received presentation by the members and guests.

There was an earnest request by several members to review the dance "the Moresca", and the Lady Maureen acquiesced. Lady Veronica and Sir Robert ably took on the role of dance partners to the Lady Maureen as she walked the members through the portions of the dance. Lady Veronica's parents, Lord James and Lady Victoria had a grand time joining in the revelry and were of course very impressed with their daughter's grace while dancing. Lord Michael Ahrens was a bit of a jester during the dance which caused his lovely daughter much amusement.

Feast was prepared by the Lady Maureen and was Spanish themed. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the chicken tacos, rice, and Dulce de Leche ice cream over pound cake.

Ritual was altered from its originally intended conclusion of an Elemental Tournament and Quest. The members of the Circle of the Grail were swift to draft a ritual even before the Lady of the Grail was present in the Ready Room to convene the meeting. It gave the Lady of the Grail much delight to see how eager and well-versed these members had become in the crafting of the calling of quarters and focusing the intent of the Circle.

Following Circle, Court was held. Sir Christian reviewed some end of year activities for people to consider participating in. The Order will be doing a Connecticut Children's Hospital visit on November 19th, a trip to the Moresca Open House on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, and a presentation for the Pagan conference "Changing Worlds, Changing Times" which is run by our dear friend Lady Arwen. The planned book wrapping fundraiser at Borders Books alas has to be cancelled as the chain of fine book stores has closed. We will keep an eye open for another such fundraising opportunity in the future. There was also a most sincere reminder that people should be preparing their contribution to the Yule performances. Yule is special because of these performance and we want to be sure we have enough since we have special guests from the Chicago Swordplay Guild planning to join us this year.

Following the gather, members came together again to bear witness and to celebrate the nuptials of Lord Christopher and Lady Elizabeth Valli. They were blessed with bright sunshine and temperate weather for their long awaited big day. It is always lovely to have a chance to meet the member's families which happens so rarely. However, the next day, members came together once more at Burr Pond to celebrate the first birthday of Young Master Parker. Lord and Lady Zordan were also blessed with glorious weather for their celebration.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Lugnasadh Gather, July 30, 2011

The weather this summer once again gifted us with glorious sunshine and temperate weather for an outdoor gather. Guests arrived the night before to join the residents of the Manor for a dinner at the fine establishment - Longwood Inn. Its elegant colonial décor is quite apropos for the night before a Selohaar Gather. The tradition is open to anyone who wishes to partake of the "peace before the storm", and to assist in the preparations for the next day's gather.

The full attendance of the gather was:

Sir Christian
Sir Carl
Lady Maureen
Sir John

Sir Robert
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Master Parker (G)
Lord Scott
Lady Stacy
Master Morgan (G)
Lord Christopher
Lady Veronica
Lady Erica D.(G)
Master Jack (G)
Lord Michael D
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine



The pavilion was abuzz with combatants and gallery as everyone eagerly prepared for archery and martial tournaments. Our first time guest, Lady Erica, Lady Veronica's cousin was occupied with the some of the other ladies who gathered around the young Masters Parker and Morgan

The archery tournament's competitors had the pleasure of using several and handcrafted long bows brought by Lord Matthew. His talent in carpentry has successful transferred to the art of bow making. This aided the tournament to run more smoothly as there were less concerns of sharing equipment.

The weather was perfect for sword and spear combat and it reflected in some of the finest clashes of arms to be seen upon the Selohaar field. The many years of research and training were quite evident by all who took the ground. Senior fighters were as happy with the accomplishments of the junior members as they were in their own performances. In particular, and as enthusiastically noted by Sir Robert, Lord Michael Depaola performed many feats of martial excellence on the field.

It has become the tradition of the Order to have a cold meat supper at the height of summer in order to spare the cooks and the house from the heat of ovens and stoves. This year we had Honey Baked Ham and Turkey on freshly baked bread along with condiments and cold salads. It was the right food for a strenuous day, even if the weather was not as oppressive as some summer gathers have been. Dessert was strawberries over pound cake with ice cream and whipped cream.

Post ritual found the gathering cozily seated within the round pavilion jovially conferring kudos to each other for the outstanding fighting of the day. It is amazing how cozy a tent can be when filled with good friends, wine and beer.

Pennsic 2011 Trip

This year, the Lord and Lady of the Manor were joined by Sir Robert and the Lord John Wittemore for the annual trip to Pennsic. The Lady Maureen was quite fatigued by the summer of union negotiations and threatened lay-offs. As a union officer on her campus and a state wide officer she was running full tilt to keep her members calm and the momentum of the negotiations moving in a productive direction. The weekend before the Grand Master and his lady were to depart, Lady Maureen received notification that she was possibly going to be laid off should the negotiations falter. She was never in doubt that all would be well and the ratification of the concessions would succeed, but she is a person of significant superstition. The Lord and Lady decided to be frugal during the trip so as not to jinx themselves with a huge debt and tempt the fates to cause havoc on the negotiations.

This was the Lord John Whittemore's first visit to the War and he was keen on acquiring fine attire and meeting the good friends of the Order from the Chicago Swordplay Guild. Lady Maureen happily played tour guide and fashion consultant to Lord John while Sirs Christian and Robert conducted classes in the WMA course schedule and conducted publishing and Order business.

The members of the Order and Revival were invited to a re-created late medieval home, a stunning crafted villa by Sir Gaston, who used his career talents of set design and building to accomplish this remarkable building. The building is able to be erected in a day and is fully embellished with period style furnishings, drapes, balconies and concealed modern conveniences.

Lady Maureen could not resist one fine purchase from her dear friend Lady Gwen of Palace Gallery. This garment will be revealed at the Yule Gather. She also commissioned a gown from her friend since had already purchased the fabric the week before the layoff notice was received.

The Lord John Whittemore made many new friends within the Society for Creative Anachronism and has already determined that he will return again to Pennsic next year. He made some fine purchases of attire which suited him quite nicely.

On the way home, The Grand Master and his Lady once again broke their travels at Sir John's home in Eastern Pennsylvania. His home's exterior was about to be renovated to reflect the original brownstone structure. Young Master Jack was also preparing for his karate belt test on Saturday which he passed most handily. Following his test, the assembly traveled to the most excellent Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. At the beginning of the day the group partook in the gaming glen where Master Jack did very well with archery, Chinese stars, and the other activities.

The afternoon saw a sudden and heavy downpour which caused the Faire to issue a severe weather alert. The Grand Master and his Lady were already secure in a tavern and waited out the long down pour with beers and meads which were crafted at the faire. As always a silver lining can be found in any situation.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Summer Solstice Gather, June 25, 2011

The Midsummer gather initially looked to be an indoor event with at best a brief foray outside to informally "play" with swords. But the dark predictions of the weather prognosticators did not come to pass. The soggy grounds from a week's worth or rain quickly dried from the pleasant breezes that came with the blue skies and sun. By noon there were no signs of the threatening thunder storms that tracked over the Manor in the morning.

Lord Janusz's leadership in staging the field made the opportunity for both an archery and sword tournament a possibility. He and his able comrades erected the round pavilion and both fields in record time. One would never have guessed there was a night of strong doubt as to whether the tournaments would be washed out. The scrumptious afternoon repasts were happily moved outside once all was made ready.

As reported in the last New of the Realm, the manor became a bird sanctuary for two families of House finches. The family on the deck which had the cow bird egg mysteriously disappeared. All signs of the eggs and the parents disappeared overnight and it was apparent from the last peek into the nest that most of the eggs were not hatched. The Lord and Lady of the Manor were sad for the unsuccessful nesting of this family, but the other family had their birds a flutter all during the gather ready to fledge. The gather attendees could view the commotion through the front window. The morning after the gather they were all fully fledged and gone onto the next part of their lives.

Those attending the Midsummer gather were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Robert
Lord Blair
Lady Stacy

Lord Scott
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Lord Christopher V
Lady Veronica
Lord Michael D
Lord John W
Lord Christopher T
Lady Jillian (G)
Master Morgan (G)
Master Parker (G)
Mistress Sophia (G)

Because this was the first tournament of the season, the Mistress of the Archery allowed the competitors practice ends with the new equipment. Lord Matthew had procured several bows for the Order, and, he crafted two long bows as well. The long bows even had handmade strings. The bows were indeed a wonderful gift. It will make the competitions move more smoothly since less equipment needs to be shared during the event. The results of the tournament were thus:

1st Place Lord Christopher T
2nd Place Lord Scott
3rd Place Lord Robert

The tournament of arms took a different form than usual this gather. The theme was "Fortune's Favour", and the combatants rolled dice not only to determine their opponent for each combat, but the weapons each would wield. Because of this, many bouts featured mixed weapons, which included the longsword, spear, poleaxe, dagger, sword and buckler, and messer. Our stalwart fighters acquitted themselves well, in a series of truly stunning bouts, employing their knowledge of the general principles of medieval martial arts to adapt to whatever weapon they were holding, or facing.

The new mothers of the Order had a wonderful time with their infants and toddler in the shaded area beside the tournament field. Lady Veronica shared her blanket with the young ones and an array of colorful toys. They all played well together, sharing their toys and singing songs. The babies' attire was period of course. Lady Maureen is determined to scout out more children's clothing this year at Pennsic, and perhaps some shoes when more of them become toddlers.
Feast included marinated beef served cold with pasta salad, with marinated roasted asparagus and a crisp green salad garnished with cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh raw peas. The recipes were drawn from a period cook book. The Order appreciates the extensive research and authenticity Lady Stacy puts into the feast preparations. Even the shape of the pasta was carefully considered for its period appropriateness. The dessert of Strawberry Shortcake was prepared by the hands of Lord Michael D and Lady Sarah. The meal was consumed with our last two bottles of Mead which were gifts from the Southern Preceptory.

Circle of the Grail met to create the creation of the evening's ritual. Ladies Maureen, Sarah, Veronica and Sir Robert and Lords John and Michael D have been developing the rituals for the past few gathers. Their collaboration has been rewarding for all as they explore symbolism of the season. The Order has benefited from the creative teamwork during ritual.

This Circle was held by the Kelly Fountain. The torches were each in quarter colors. The Quarter Master, Lord Janusz, once again led the forces that set up the ritual area. He adorned the fountain with luminescent cubes while the Lady Maureen set all the altars with scores of white candles. The majority of the candles were in the south in recognition of the Midsummer solstice.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Beltaine Gather, April 30, 2011

The 2011 Beltaine Gather was a glorious sign of a splendid summer season to come. The weather was temperate with strong breezes; perfect for the first outdoor gather of the year. All was ready for the many activities that were to occur for the day. Tents were and tourney barriers were erected and tables were laid with tasty temptations for the day's merry making.

In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir John
Master Jack
Sir Carl
Sir Robert
Lord Blair
Lord Matthew
Lady Sarah
Master Parker
Lord Michael D
Lady Veronica
Lord Michael A
Lord Christopher T
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lord John
Lord Christopher V

Though the weather was fine, archery was not conducted. In the focus to meet on the tournament of arms, many members did not have time to prepare their archery equipment after a season's storage. Safety is paramount to the order and it was judged best to wait.

The tournament field had its annual blessing, and prior to the blessing of the combatants and the tournament of arms, Sir Christian called Dr Sir John Coates forward to be once again named the Champion of the Order. Initially the postponement of the naming of the champion was a scheduling issue, but after due consideration, the first tournament day has been deemed appropriate to have the selection done at this time of year. Dr Sir John was selected because of his long service and loyalty to the Order, his service as a doctor in our armed forces, and his leadership in community service for the Order.

The first tournament of the year, while showing the occasional "shaking off of winter rust" featured some spectacular feats of arms. Lord Janusz's prowess with the messer continues to grow, and Sir Robert took on two others with poleaxes, fought with sufficient ferocity that the edge of the list was compromised. Sir Christian was pleased to fight for the first time in his new spring steel leg harness, crafted by the amazing Jeffrey Wasson. And, last but not least, this tournament marked the debut of our new herald, Lord Michael Ahrens, as master of ceremonies on the field - an office he fulfilled most gallantly.

Lord Matthew and Lady Sarah took charge of the galley and prepared the epitome of comfort food- goulash. The pasta, meat and tomatoes were plentiful and fed the sword class the following week as well. The savory meal was served with a fresh green salad and bread. Desert was a whimsical concoction called an Easter Egg Nest (made of chocolate and jelly beans) served with vanilla and strawberry ice cream.

Though the day was glorious, the evening turned chilly and Circle was held inside. Lord John and Ladies Sarah and Veronica joined Sir Carl and Lady Maureen in crafting the ritual. With the theme of spring in mind, the group thought of the burgeoning life in nature. The altar was decorated with replica nests with faux house finch eggs.

Lady Justine rang the bell. Lords John and Janusz, and Ladies Veronica and Sarah called the quarters. Sir Christian, Sir Carl and Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes. Sir John passed the grail. Sir Christian raised energy for the life in nature and around the manor that it may have a hospitable sanctuary.

The gather concluded with a court discussion of Connecticut Children's Hospital visit on May 21. It is a busy time of year for many in the Order but several volunteered to participate in this worthy Order activity. Lady Maureen promised to do research on a bee keeping event for the Order.

May 21 Hospital Visit

Sir Christian and Dr. Sir John led a group of Order Members for another visit to the Connecticut Children's Hospital. There was much preparation for this even as there is with all our sojourns of mercy. Sir John took the story teller roll and gave a well received rendition of Stone Soup. He was ably assisted by the lovely Lady Veronica. Sir Christian and Lords Christopher Valli and Torres entertained and educated the young patients with the usual arming of a knight. The children during this visit were particularly ill. It was more important than ever to bring relief from boredom and discomfort. Our knights, gentle lords and lady are sincerely thanked for their generosity of time for this visitation.

The gather ritual to make for an abundant sanctuary for nature was stronger than the Lord and Lady of the Manor intended. Within weeks of the gather, two families of house finches took up residents in inconvenient locations. One family built their nest on the deck in the rose topiary. The knight and his lady were glad to share the space with them, but unfortunately, they did not want to share with the manor folk. An inspection of the nest revealed that not only were there house finch eggs but also a cow bird egg. Cowbirds are 'parasitic breeders'; that is, they lay their eggs in other birds' nests. The other inconvenient local for a nest is in the pendent light fixture over the front door. Sable the Manor Cat can easily sit and view the goings on in the nest which the mother bird does not like. The location of the nest makes the use of the front light problematic when guests come and go. So far our visitors are quite understanding and have happily exited into the darkness unaided by the light.

Another abundance of fauna around us has been to the detriment of our flora. The Manor is teaming with chirping chipmunks and scurrying field mice. Their not-so-little appetites have driven them to gnaw away the roots of the hedge roses at the end of the driveway. The Grand Master has accepted the fact that the roses will have to be replaced and extra measures will need to be done to protect them.

The Grand Master and his Lady had the pleasure of meeting up with Order friend Lady Nicole Allen. She was briefly in New York City visiting with family and friends and had an afternoon to spend with them. They met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for wine and a quick tour through the classic European art display. The dear friend of the Order was her usual merry self and is eagerly preparing for the Pennsic War.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


Vernal Equinox Gather, March 19, 2011

The weeks leading up to the Vernal Equinox gather saw much energy expended in building the ties of the Order and its affiliate members. Lady Jessica Finley of the Great Plains Fechtschule in Kansas flew to the Manor as a guest presenter for the Staten Island German Martial Arts (SIGMA) chapter of the Selohaar Fechtschule. SIGMA has been pouring a lot of energy into the building of their organization. Presenters like Lady Jessica and Sir Christian drew two dozen sword enthusiasts. Sir Christian was very impressed with the quality of training and leadership Lords Michael Ahrens and Christopher Torres have been exhibiting in SIGMA. Lord Michael has a special talent to analyze students' mechanics and communicate effectively on how to correct their technique. Lord Christopher is a fluid and dynamic instructor who creates enthusiasm in his students and models the techniques well. They are building a solid group and following a solid curriculum. The weekend seminar on March 12th provided an introduction to German Medieval Martial Arts, with a large focus on the longsword, but training also provided in wrestling, dagger, and poleaxe. Sir Robert and Lord Christopher V. assisted the SIGMA crew and the presenters. After the very successful seminar, the members of Selohaar adjourned to Killmeyer's German restaurant afterwards.

The following day, Sirs Christian and Robert, Lady Maureen and Lords John W and Michael D took our guest Lady Jessica to the Cloisters. This was her first visit to the museum that features the great art and architecture of the middle ages. Our guest was emotionally moved by the beauty and detail of this fine American treasure. Following the day trip to New York, the Connecticut contingent took our guest to Old Heidleberg Restaurant. After all, German swordsmen cannot have too much German food.

The week before the gather, Ladies Stacy and Maureen collaborated on procuring the feast supplies. It is amazing that a woman as busy as the new mother Lady Stacy would be so adept at whipping up menus, shopping lists and cupcakes in between working, nursing and mothering. The Lady Maureen is most appreciative that there has been a continuity of guidance from the chatelaine. The Lord and Lady Goodspeed arrived the night before with babe in tow to a warm and dry manor. The week before while Lady Jessica was in residence, the warm weather, melting snow and heavy rains breached the foundation and flooded the lower entry and a portion of the feast hall. The sacrifice of Lady Maureen to remain home with the professional restoration people was well worth the relief of having a dry space for guests and feasts.

The gather date was also a dry day with gentle winds. In attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Lord Scott
Lady Stacy
Master Morgan (G)
Lord Blair
Lady Veronica
Lord Michael A
Lady Pauline (G)
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Master Parker (G)
Lord Christopher V
Lady Elizabeth
Sir Robert
Lord Michael D
Lord John W
Lord Kyle (G)

Sir Christian and the Order Quartermaster Lord Janusz convened a meeting to discuss the preparations for the forthcoming tournament season. The quartermaster will look over the Orders equipment and supplies and communicate with those close to the Manor on what needs to be repaired and replaced. Along with this discussion, plans were laid for special tournaments for the year, including a Pas d'Armes based upon the theme of the four elements.

Sir Robert held a Guard Corps meeting shortly after concluding the tournament discussions. Lord Michael D was officially made a Guard Corps ensign. In preparation of outdoor events, there will be a training day on April 22nd. The Order has been a long time benefactor to the Pantheon Temple's Pagan Odyssey Beltaine Festival. The Lord and Lady of the Manor provide the housing for the keynote speaker of the festival, and the Order's Guard Corp provides the event's security. Sir Robert went over the procedures for providing security at this annual event. (Addendum: The evening of the gather, the Lady Maureen received a missive that due to economic difficulties, the Pantheon temple would not be hosting the Beltaine festival this year. We were all greatly disappointed, but have great hopes that this wonderful event will resume next year.)

After much discussion with the Grand Master, Lady Maureen reconvened the Circle of the Grail after a 4 year hiatus. It is apparent that the Order has grown sufficiently to necessitate reformation of the mystic branch of Selohaar. The Lady of the Grail began the meeting with a history of the original COG and how this group, she hoped, will be different and more vital. Some of the duties of this group will be to plan out a foundational liturgy for the 8 gather circles. Each gather a group of interested members have informally met after feast to write the Calling of the Quarters and to discuss the theme with Sir Christian. Now, people create a long term structure for the rituals. Other duties will be to upgrade the decoration of the altar, to embellish the Book of Selohaar and to plan out 8 charities a year in which our garb and other skills can help a worthy cause. The Circle of the grail will also plan educational or craft activities for gathers that have inclement weather. At the Beltaine gather, interested members of Selohaar with pledge a year's service to the Circle and its activities.

The Chatelaine of the Order, Lady Stacy prepared a sumptuous feast of Baked Flounder with herbed bread crumbs, asparagus with lemon butter and Dijon sauce, and Rice Pilaf. Desert which followed Circle was homemade sponge cake cupcakes with butter cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce.

Prior to Circle, Lord Janusz was made one of Sir Christian's squires, swearing fealty before the assembled nobles. The quarters for this gather were crafted by Ladies Maureen, Sarah and Veronica and Lord John W. Ladies Sarah and Veronica, and Lords John W. and Janusz, called the quarters, Sirs Christian and Robert and Lady Maureen invoked the archetypes, Lord Scott passed the grail. With the soon to be greening earth, we dwelt on the seeds that we plant and the work that we are to do that will further invigorate the world we inhabit.

Discussion at court included the year's theme: bees, and bee-related crafts and products. Lady Maureen is spearheading efforts to visit an apiary and other bee-related sites. Consideration was also given to putting a period-appropriate beehive on the Manor grounds. Also discussed were plans for further charitable activities, including another visit to a local children's hospital and gift-wrapping fundraiser at a large bookstore.

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler

 

Imbolc Gather, February 5, 2011

A wicked winter has had a grip on the Northeast since the Solstice. The Manor has had near to three feet of snow on its lands with a significant storm at least each week. The local roads have narrowed over the past month and there were worries that Father Winter had icy plans for us once more. But fortune showed pity upon the weather weary and cast only cold rains on the land for the gather date.

Those in attendance were:

Sir Christian
Lady Maureen
Sir Carl
Lord Scott
Lady Stacy
Master Morgan
Lord Blair
Lord Michael D
Lady Elizabeth
Lord Christopher V
Sir Robert
Lord Cyril (G)
Lady Veronica
Lady Sarah
Lord Matthew
Master Parker
Lord Michael A
Mistress Belinda (G)
Lady Katrina (G)
Lord Christopher T
Lord John W
Lord Janusz
Lady Justine

Dr Sir John Coates was sad to send his last minute regrets for not attending the gather. His home had a tree come down on his power lines. The electricity was reattached to his home in a makeshift fashion, and with a pending ice storm heading his way; he thought it best to remain hearthside with the Lady Rose and young Master Jack.

The evening before the gather, the regular sleepover guests arrived… some after much travel delay. The weather, the narrowed roads and a little bit of miscommunication, made for impediments to the Oxford House plans. But fortunately, the restaurant is like a second home, and the hungry were served in shifts as each group of travelers arrived. Lady Elizabeth took the opportunity to join us for a cozy Oxford House meal.

The Lord and Lady Goodspeed arrived on Friday evening shortly after the Manor lodgers arrived back from dining. This has been a long anticipated return for the Goodspeeds as they had the young Master Morgan in tow for his first ever Gather. You can imagine the amount of supplies packed into their conveyance. The usual gowns, robes and accessories where trumped by swaddling attire, baby bedding and nursing accoutrement. The lady of the manor was amazed when all the supplies melted into invisibility when it was all brought in. It was glorious to have these wonderful people back at a gather once more.

The Imbolc Gather is an indoor occasion which affords the opportunity for cozy conversations, planning of events for warmer days and diversions of board games and merry stories. This gather had the entertainment of two cooing babies and the ladies lined up to take their turn cuddling the wee wains. The babies were like other young guests of the past - so content. The parents of these young guests had many plans to ensure that the wee tikes remained so. Lady Sarah kindly created special garb for her son Parker and for Lord and Lady Goodspeed's son Morgan. We were also happy to have Lord Michael Ahrens' younger daughter, Mistress Belinda, at her first gather. She was a lovely addition to the jovial fellowship, and we hope that she will return often to our reveries.

It was a pleasure to see the men folk hustle and bustle in the kitchen under the leadership of Sir Robert. The men folk prepared a manly feast of venison stew. There were two types of stew. Traditionally, the Celtic, or the Iron Age version had no potatoes and was thickened with oat flour and kale was the vegetable. The idea of stew today incorporates the new world vegetable and is thickened with wheat flour. Because of Sir Robert's brother's generosity, we were supplied with enough venison to be able to serve both. Desert was Dutch apple pie and cherry pie.

Court business was brief and conducted at the beginning of feast. With the Order growing, the Council considers it prudent to reconstitute the Circle of the Grail, the mystic branch of the Order. Lady Maureen will be holding a meeting for interested members at the Equinox gather. She and Sir Carl have been impressed with the unstructured support that rituals have had over the past year or so. Ladies Sarah and Veronica have regularly met with them in crafting the quarters and preparing the visual theme of the altar. It is indeed time to create a structure for interested members to participate in ritual plans, like the martially inclined have in the Guard Corps.

During feast we had a very special performance by Lord Cyril, the Magician. He is a master of the bardic skill of spinning a tale and the craft of "sleight of hand". We were much honored that his tale was about the chivalrous pursuits of the Order of Selohaar. The membership as a whole found Lord Cyril to be a most engaging conversationalist and his presence enhanced the wholes day's reveries.

The altar was stark black with the humblest symbols of the elements and regalia on it. It was a dramatic change from the glowing altar of Yule festooned with gelt and ruby glass votives. The depth of winter has been reached and the longing for the greening of spring is ever present in the minds of all assembled. But, we do see greening in the warmth of the Order's fellowship and a harvest of such was due. Lords Janusz, John and Lady Veronica have shown a dedication to the order and have demonstrated a heart to serve it. Sir Christian began ritual with the happy task of elevating these fine members to the rank of Neophyte. Such a fine harvest bodes well for the coming spring and season of action.

The week following the gather, Sir Christian flew to western Canada to attend the first Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium (VISS), hosted by the Academie Duello. The Academie is headquartered in a gorgeous downtown Vancouver facility, replete with a spacious training area, museum of swords and armour, and a fully-stocked pro shop.

At VISS, Christian taught a 12 hour intensive class on principles of the Liechtenauer tradition over the course of the event's three days, as well as a shorter course on the Glasgow Fechtbuch's messer treatise. It was also a special honor to bout with longtime colleagues Guy Windsor and Sean Hayes for the entertainment of all at the event's Saturday evening gala.

In other Fechtschule news, Lady Jessica Finley will be visiting the Manor on the weekend of March 12th. She and Sir Christian will be conducting a seminar on Staten Island for SIGMA (Staten Island German Martial Arts), our chapter in New York City on that Saturday. Please contact for more information.

Ritual Calling of the Quarters

INVOCATIONS:

We ask Boul, Regent of the West, Spirit of Earth:
Join us here in the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons. May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature. The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land, Help us to break the frozen grip upon the terrain.

We ask Eltzen, Regent of the North, Spirit of Water:
Join us here in the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons. May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature. The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land, help us to melt the icy rivers.

We ask Oriens, Regent of the East, Spirit of Air:
Join us here in the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons. May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature. The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land, help us to tame the frigid gales.

We ask Amemon, Regent of the South, Spirit of Fire:
Join us here in the midwinter snow as we look forward to the transition of seasons.May the warmth of our brotherhood be reflected in nature. The forces of winter have laid siege upon the land, join with your brother elements to bring spring forth again.

BANISHMENT:

May the warmth of the assemblage radiate forth and be a beacon towards springs return . The warmth of our fellowship will pervade the chill outside for we are assured the snows will recede and the land will green again.

Hail and well met.

Finally, we just received news from the Southern Preceptory that Mistress Ariana Keller was a winner of an American Girl Essay Contest. She wrote about the inspiration she received from a fictional historical character. She used the knowledge she received from the character to garner her courage to deal with a bully at school. She then used the experience to empower her fellow classmates. Lady Paula Keller and Mistress Ariana conducted classroom activities to educate the other students on how to deal with a bully, and that seeking the support of the adults around you is the best way to ensure that their personal efforts work. This was indeed a very chivalrous act by one so young in our Order. We are indeed very proud of our next generation of Selohaar to come. Huzzah for Mistress Ariana!!

By My Hand,


AOS, Chronicler


 


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