How do you pronounce Selohaar and what does it mean?
SEE-low-har (Sorry, HTML does not allow for the special characters used in a dictionary style pronounciation key). Selohaar is a word, of our own device, that is a part of our ritual language. It means 'defender' or 'guardian'. We are Guardians of the Nine Sacred Inborn Rights.
How is the Order different from other medieval societies such as the SCA or Markland?
The Order is a serious modern chivalric tradition, rather than an attempt to recreate the past. We do not assume personae and we often integrate influences from periods other than the Middle Ages and Renaissance without reservations about being out of period. Also, we are an initiatory order: members progress through a system of degrees as they experience and learn our tradition. Finally, our study of the mystic arts and our use of ritual magic are quite unique among organizations using a medieval motif.
Where are you located?
We are a non-profit corporation headquartered in Oxford, Connecticut. We also have a chapter in Florida, our Southern Preceptory, plus several chapters of our fighting school (the Selohaar Fechtschule), located in Topeka, Kansas, the Great Plains Fechtschule, in New York City, the Staten Island German Martial Arts, in Moses Lake, Washington, the Veritas Swordplay Academy, in upstate New York, the Lake Ontario Fechtschule, and the Historic Recrudescence Guild in Anchorage, Alaska.
You use ritual magic - are you Wiccan?
No, but both the wiccan practitioner and ceremonial magician would find some of our ritual familiar. We differ strongly from most other magical groups in that we invoke our deities purely as aspects of our collective energies; they have been created by us and we do not believe that they are separate and independent intelligences. Thus, Selohaar is a magical system, not a religion, drawing from the wide ranging canon of Western magic and mysticism. We do, however, exchange ideas with various neopagan and ceremonial magic organizations and always welcome new friends.
Why do you wear medieval attire?
Despite our eclecticism we are drawn to the nobler aspects of the age of chivalry. While we are well aware of the abuses perpetrated by many knights throughout medieval history, we recognize the powerful symbolism within the archetype of the chivalrous warrior. Further, the underlying mysticism of the romance cycles of the middle ages hints at how the knightly tradition can be coupled with philosophical and magical systems. Our attire is a statement of our dedication to the vision of a new gallant age: we call ourselves knights and ladies and we dress accordingly.
What kind of fighting do you do?
The practice of the warrior arts takes several forms in the Order. We have a multi-faceted training program, based upon the teachings found in the medieval German Fechtbücher (fight books), for medieval weapons skills. This includes drilling with replica weapons, practice cutting at targets, and one-on-one fencing. We also hold tournaments during our warmer weather gatherings to test these skills and to celebrate the spirit of chivalry. These tournaments employ blunt weapons which are relatively safe for both armoured and unarmoured combatants.
Is is possible for me to start a chapter of the Order of Selohaar?
That is not possible at this time. We feel that the classic blunder made by both magical and martial traditions is to branch out too soon. Because there is so much to learn in our system, only a senior officer of the Order could possibly start a chapter. We have to date created only one such full Order chapter, our Southern Preceptory, headed by a long-time Selohaar Knight. As our system of fighting is based in surviving documents from the Middle Ages, we feel that transfers more readily; with this in mind, we have fostered the creation of several chapters of our fight school. While the future may allow for more full chapters of the Order, right now the Order convenes primarily as a single unit. This of course limits our membership, but we feel strongly that the growth of our members should always take precedence over the growth of our membership.
What are the Order's goals for the future?
We intend to improve ourselves, to learn and grow, and to disseminate the values of mystic chivalry. We feel that our system of values is a good model for the kind of thinking that will become more and more necessary for our species to survive its own deficiencies in the potentially perilous next millenium. We are dedicated to the creation of a more evolved human through self improvement and excellence in matters martial, mystic, and philosophical. We welcome to our crusade those with the dedication to set forth upon the path of Selohaar.
Last Updated January 27, 2011