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  • Writer's pictureFolkbuilder Jessica Lambert

Charming of the Plow

You could have called this an “Odinshof Family Picnic Day”, as “Charming of the Plow” had that feel. The weather was mellow enough to enjoy the filtered sun outdoors as we shared our first meal of the day. Everyone realized that Spring would bring us long-awaited warm days and opportunities to prepare for our annual Midsummer event. Several men engaged in an activity of nailing pine planks to build a wall for our Midsummer's ax-throwing. This all led to plans of scheduling a work-weekend for mid-March of maintenance and repairs.

Children's chatter came to us from the swing-set and play area called Kinderheim. Midday, they filled and hung hummingbird feeders under the guidance of Folkbuilder Ashley Stockton. Ashley also brought planting supplies, which kept the young ones busy filling peat-pots with soil and seeds.

Gythia McNallen invited the ladies to come into the hall for a discussion about the nature of our Goddesses. Contemplation of personal goals and tips for achieving those, using the metaphor of planting sunflower seeds and watching them develop from now until Midsummer. Meanwhile, Stephen McNallen gathered the men outdoors to give his views on the impact of “the plow” on our people and how it has encouraged community from ancient times to today's AFA.

Each monthly event now features a traditional European dish. For February, Krystal spent long hours preparing Hungarian pork paprikash with homemade spaetzle, served with fried cabbage & bacon. A 50/50 raffle to benefit the hof came next. Marc and Deedy donated their winning half back to Odinshof, which was gratefully accepted.

It was now time to gather in the ritual circle for the honoring of the the lesser-known Goddess, Gefjon. In our lore, Gefjon employed her sons in pulling a plow to cut a huge rift that created an island of her own. To this day, Gefjon is the patron Goddess of Denmark. With the theme of cutting the turf to prepare for planting, each person was told to set a personal goal and think about the tools necessary to achieve that. We focused on the rune Mannaz, for achieving balance and excellence in preparing for what lies before each of us. Galdring runes and a mead blessing of “head, heart, and hands” were part of our exchange with the Holy Powers.

A deep chill descended as the day waned and people drifted towards the campfire ring with the bonfire. Many had left for home, but those who remained were ready for the Sumbel. Noble deeds and people were remembered, with many thanks expressed. In his own unique way, gracious and caring words from Victor were expressed to each one of us ~ love of Folk and Family.

The charm of Folk and Family. We all feel that at Odinshof. We invite you to come and experience that, too.


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