In the days of the Viking explorers, time was not hectic. Time was paced in the manner of seasons, of night and day, hot and cold, dry and wet, windy or calm. Voyages often took years. Explorations were well prepared for, including lumber, food and livestock, because houses were often built upon final arrival. These were not the days of quick vacations and rushed schedules.
Clothing, when beginning from the very beginning – planting the seeds to grow the flax, harvesting the flax to make the linen, sewing the linen into garments by hand, adding intricate designs – was a well thought out labour of love. No rash shopping decisions, no purchasing the wrong size and demanding a refund. Leather meant hunting down an animal or killing one of the cows and utilizing the skin. Furs were likewise a way of benefitting from the protein sources they had hunted down. Nothing was wasted; there was no garbage.
Farming was something that was much more than a hobby or business enterprise. Farming was survival, evolution of mankind’s journey from prey to predator to intelligent survivor. Plants and minerals were studied, utilized for their abilities to provide food, warmth in the manner of houses, fencing, weapons and tools. Designwork allowed an object to be recognized, to be made special, and to pass away the long evenings by the firelight.
There is something about the sea, that to this day, manages to make time stand still, even in our manic, minute-obsessing, modern world. The rocking of the waves against the shore is a like a lullabye that transports us back to the time of our ancestors. The salt and sun lighten our locks and tan our skin. Our souls can drift away upon the waters of time and return to us, ready to tackle anything.
Ironically, one of the best makeup brands for staying put can be the most affordable. Masquera and eye liner must not smduge under duress or is best left on the shelf. Lipstain should not distract you with dried out lips. Foundations will be ridden with sweat and sand. Keep this is in mind. Colors for eyes and cheeks may try to escape as the day goes on. Test powders on your hand, lightly smudge away and hold upside down. If the color is still there it has cling.
I realize as I am attempting to line up artists and art judges for this year’s premier LARP Plein Aire Competition, that judging art is much different than say, judging boxing or highland dancing. The latter have clear point systems. Art is completely subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the ability of an artist to convey mood through brush strokes and colour is of course subjective and relative to how the judge perceives mood and color.
So how do we have a fair art competition? Well, selecting judges from different art backgrounds, adding in LARP participants and local or visiting celebrities will give us a variation of opinions. Experts in the world of art will recognize certain techniques, but, who is to say that one artist’s choice of technique is more worthy than another’s?
Publicity for the artists, the joy of painting, the camaraderie of open competition, the beauty of the natural surroundings, the imaginative creativity and energy of the participants will bring artists to this fun competition. Judging is a way to interact with the whole experience even if you haven’t been able to commit to an entire week of painting. There is no point system. What moves you, what gets your attention, what makes you want to say “wow, look at that” – that’s the criteria for making your decision.
I cannot help but envision the boys from Hell’s Angels coming to play at LARP Gros Morne 2020, particularly entertaining would it be to witness them at the Fairy Bells and Elvish Spells LARP as members of the Fairy Clan and Elvish tribes, with stock market brokers joining the battle as Vikings. It would be such great advertising and the posters would be so fun to create.
It was suggested to me rather innocently – in the way only a person not realizing a Celt is very different than a Christian, can do – to hold some LARP events at the campsite which is to this day run by the Anglican Diocese and called Killdevil Camp, near Lomond in the Gros Morne National Park region. (I kid you not) They also recommended Lomond on the other side.
Now don’t get me wrong; I was actually a brainwashed Anglican myself for many years, attending church services and trying to convert the lost sheep to Jesus. Then it came time for my first communion and I had a very serious discussion with my mother and grandmother. To them I was about to make a pledge to a terrifying and horrific entity.
They considered this conscious devotion to a god that would throw a child into a lake of fire for not being baptized to be something to avoid or protest against. Look what the Christian god allowed his human creations to do to Jesus? And for what? So future generations could murder, steal, commit acts of violence and treachery and be forgiven if they spoke to a priest and confessed their sins…he had his son die – be tortured and die – for that? And where was his wife? In the beginning there were two of them, creating men and women in their own images….by the time he’s ready to kill family members to save his creations, she’s long gone from the equation. Needless to say, the logic of Celtic women saved me from my first communion.
All that aside, I still have the nagging, inquisitive part of my soul aching to go out and see whether the camp would be a good LARP location. People have told me good things…like the beach is nice and there are fields and inside eating areas…..But could you get proud pagans or a bunch of bikers to show up at a Church Camp? And what would the owners think of events based on the writings of a different god and his family of gods and creatures not recognized or mentioned in the Bible?
I am also terrified I might not make it back to the road. After all, I am the Boss Mama. I am the Canadian Ambassador for The Asatru Community in Atlantic Canada. In the eyes of the Anglican Church, I may be the devil. And they called their camp Killdevil.
I wanted to donate a portion of the profits from the Fairy Bells & Elvish Spells LARP to the Make A Wish Foundation for sick kids, during LARP Gros Morne 2020, this August. So I will be brave, perhaps take a look. Bring my notebook, arrange an informal meeting with the caretaker and just have a look. What harm could it do? I could bring my Italian Mastiff and my son’s Pug, Amara ( named after the Goddess of Darkness). Its 2020. I’m sure I will be okay. And if for some reason Marmalade’s tires don’t make it back onto the road, someone please send in the drones.
I’ve noticed a trend amongst historians lately to dismiss the old, pagan religions as merely stories that explained natural happenings. Some dare to say Odin, The Allfather was not a powerful Asir god but three different men bearing the same man, ruling countries in Russia and Scandinavia and declaring themselves deities. The nine realms were nothing more than the nine planets observed from the sky and given personalities from their color and size in relation to one another. Some also say the realms could be explained as places vast expanses from one another, here on this planet….what we would call continents or perhaps merely nations that existed separately from one another. Way to downplay, eh?
A lot of this theorizing stems from the fact that we have never yet met Elves or Fairies or Vanir or Asgardians or Trolls so how do we know they really exist? There are plenty of tales of these creatures but they are fables, stories told by people with imagination or drinking habits. The fact that there are Giants amongst the human populations is dismissed as gene mutation. It would seem, that while NASA scientists excitedly explore Saturns moons in hopes of Earth meeting intelligent life within their lifespans, our modern historians are steadfast in proclaiming humans are the only intelligent and self aware beings out there. What’s up with that?
Biologists are your friends if you are pagan because they support the legends with scientific facts to back up their opinions. Of course some gods could be invisible….invisibility is just the inability to be seen, which can happen when an object is too bright or too dark … look at chameleons….at one point in time the entire human race may have been vampires and just gradually became omnivors….people being created from trees makes more sense than making people out of clay…well so far using plants vascular systems for support networks we can generate new organs by adding blood and tissue cells…back from the dead….well look at frogs who seem frozen all winter and then thaw in the spring….crocodiles and snakes who go into an involuntary state of dormancy when they get too cold….oh and karma exists….if we make it impossible for our friendly honey bees to thrive in our modern environments, their carnivorous counterparts will regain control of the area – they don’t need flowers to survive, just meat.
I began this morning in a motivational mood thanks to an email from Jack Canfield #motivationalcoach offering to interview me. I was pulled from an undersea army bunker to partial consciousness with the question: what are your goals for today?
My goals of course for LARP Gros Morne 2020 involve getting props ready, having Elvish lesson manuals prepared, ordering Viking chess boards, sewing up tons of linen costumes, placing a list of weapon favourites into Calimacil, ensuring I’ve got First Aid volunteers and staff ready for the LARP battles in all six locations. My preparation goals are extremely complex and stressful.
You, the partaker, in this amazing week of LARP in a spectacular part of the world known as Gros Morne Mountain Range and Gros Morne National Park (for some activities) can focus on a few less stressful things, like booking a flight or ferry to Newfoundland, deciding where to stay and where to eat, while attending our fun events. Hopefully, Aviking By Hoof can take care of the rest.
Yes, I am offering warrior workouts in the summer BUT, it doesn’t hurt to start now. Some of you will only be in the area for the week of LARP Gros Morne 2020, so those Fridays from May through October won’t do you any good anyway. You don’t need to order a $150 LARP weapon to begin your training either. Getting into a buff bod for the summer season can be done with bath towels and water jugs for weights. I kid you not. So, in order to ensure my guests will be comfortable donning their warrior attire and taking up the foam sword to charge into battle I will add FILMING AND SHARING PRE-SEASON WARRIOR WORKOUTS to my agenda.
Because in Newfoundland, right now, there is a lot of snow down and its very cold outside….I know not all of you will follow along outdoors. For some I may stay indoors as well, to protect the camera. Your mission to begin, is to clear out a space and or find a clear space where you can prepare to become a Viking, Elf, Fairy, Vanir, Giant, Asgardian, Troll, Nymph, Pirate or Hel Devoted.
So goal for today number one is letting you all know that there will be workouts on video coming – beginning this Friday – which will be free to tap into whenever is most convenient for you. She shoots, she scores! Goal accomplished. Go out and have an awesome day folks. Think fitness thoughts. #fitforlife #LARPon #motivation #warrormentality #TAC #paganpride
I began my morning bright and early, with the sun, ready for the day. My first hurdle was the requirement of a company logo to advertise with The Asatru Community, of which I am a Canadian Ambassador. I doodle little horseshoes wearing horned Viking helmets on most of my stuff, so I automatically felt this was the best logo for Aviking By Hoof. I would spell the company name in Runes for extra oomph.
I’m not sure why this morning, a horseshoe and set of horns proved to be illusive to draw or why there weren’t any available images of ones I used before readily available to me. I will blame borderline personality disorder – I’m almost 100% convinced that’s my mental woe, and be angry with the little demon inside my brain. I googled over a hundred types of horns, debated on whether Thor’s horns are goat-like, sheep-like or ram-like, realized I’d been drawing female horns on my Viking helmets for the last two years (which is not really a bad thing, I suppose, being a woman entrepreneur who lists her small business with NLOWE – Newfoundland Labadrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs) and then wondered if I should even be using a horseshoe shape in my logo.
This led to a succession of goat hoof searches, drawings, debates over whether Thor wore boots or actually have cloven feet, the discovery of an adorable goat named Rasputin who has record length horns that extend sideways instead of tapering to the back in a half swirl. I noticed that ram horns were those of the character Angelina Jolie portrayed in Malificent and the same that adorned Satan in an old movie whose title I cannot recall. The horned god and the Catholic Church’s attempts to make horns a symbol of evil then overran my thoughts.
Luckily the Jehovah’s Witnesses were out today, so I went searching for my Pocket Havamal. they come about the neighbourhood in pairs, trying to convert those they notice do not attend the regular churches. I, in return, attempt to convert them to my Celtic faith. We usually have interesting discussions on gods, goddesses, the ideas of afterlife and current life purpose for mankind. One usually looks at me like I am The Anti-Christ, while the other attempts to no avail to prove their god is better than those I pray to. Today, they did not knock at all.
I went back to scribbling my company name in Runic. That should have been the simple part, but today I found Old English Furtharks and German Furtharks and could not decide whether I should spell it as I pronounce it or as I would spell it in modern English. I am teaching workshops in Runic Magic this spring through fall, so I realize now I must decide exactly which Furtharks we will be using for classes….that too many choices just lead to confusion.
The sun is beginning to set here in Newfoundland. I have planted four containers of pepper, apple, grapefruit, pear, grape, flower bulbs and ginger roots. I walked both dogs separately, one to the frozen Trout River Pond, tried to notice while out anything that might be inspirational for my designs, kept my feet as heavy into the snow as possible and managed to keep from being dragged by Ralphie. I realized once again that I live in the most beautiful part of the world. I tended to our chickens and ducks, the housework, discussed the disappearance of dragons, Greek and Scandinavian mythologies with my son, found a neat diagram on Sign Language for Runic and here I am, back at the computer again.
I daresay it is not impossible to create a catchy logo. I realize that historians have proven Viking helmets did not have horns, but I like to interject that their gods did. And while Thor was pulled about by two mighty goats, Odin rode on an eight footed stallion name Sleipnir. (oh and spiders, who also have eight legs, have adorable little paws, I saw that on Facebook last night), so having both a horned helmet and a horseshoe is not out of whack for the logo. The irony of it all, is that I found a photo now, typing this, in the WordPress Gallery, from where I saved my sketch of one I liked two years ago.
Don’t you absolutely love learning about Nordic Mythology? The lives of the gods and goddesses are better than any soap opera on Netflix, Cable TV or Satellite today. Take for example the three love triangles above.
Legends say that Njord fathered (with his sister) the two children named Frey and Freya, who in the midst of the war between the Asir and Vanir, got kidnapped and taken as hostages by Odin’s family. Instead of using the babies as bargaining tools however, the god family becomes smitten with them. They even give little Frey Alfheim “The Realm of the Light Elves” as a first tooth gift. Little Freya, the most beautiful little creature they had ever laid eyes upon next to Baldur, was given Folkvangur.
But, I interject, was it possible that these babies were Odin’s children all along? Could Njord’s wife Skada be the true mother of the twins? Was their relocation to Asgard not a military tactic but the product of an affair with Skada, Njord’s wife, a giantess both Odin and Njord had feelings for? Skada and Njord’s relationship was so strained that they lived in two separate kingdoms and eventually, she left to live in Asgard with Odin and the adopted babies of Njord.
Skada is not officially credited with being the mother of the twins, however Odin wrote: “Night was the child of a giant who fell in love with an Asir named Delling and had by him a son the Day.” Now Freya is called Queen of Night and Baldur’s nickname The Morning Star. Delling translates to “the dawn”. Hel is indisputably the child of Loki. This leaves two possibilities for parentage of the famous “Vanir” twins: one, that Njord’s sister Nerthus is their mother but their father is Loki; or that Skada is their mother and their father is Loki.
If you journey to Trout River and pop into the local Interpretation Centre, a small museum and hosting place for the popular “Passing the Time in Trout River” annual musical production, you might hear a story of a brave woman who risked life and limb to save a mother and child in a brutal winter storm. The small school that holds grades right through from primary to grade twelve is named after Nurse Jakeman who really was the Florence Nightingale of this outpost fishing village. The setting of this gripping story is a passageway between the coastal communities, Trout River and Woody Point, known as “the Gulch” or “Route 431”.
Si vous vous rendez à Trout River et que vous entrez dans le centre d’interprétation local, un petit musée et un lieu d’accueil pour la populaire production musicale annuelle « Passing the Time in Trout River », vous entendrez peut-être l’histoire d’une femme courageuse qui a risqué sa vie et ses membres pour sauver une mère et c hild dans une tempête d’hiver brutale. La petite école qui détient des notes jusqu’à la 12e année est nommée d’après l’infirmière Jakeman qui était vraiment le Florence Nightingale de ce village de pêcheurs avant-poste. Le cadre de cette histoire captivante est un passage entre les communautés côtières, Trout River et Woody Point, connu sous le nom de « Gulch » ou « Route 431 ».
It is ironic, pardon the pun – for the hills are laden with iron and copper – that the most breathtaking stretch of hiway in western Newfoundland is also dangerous enough to keep even police and ambulance away on stormy nights. You might notice long poles marked with reflective tape along one or either side of the pavement. These are to guide the way for those who venture through on nights when the road is a sea of snow and the wind a vengeful spirit out to mesmerize and confuse the way of the winding road. Mountains may loom on either side but in the midst of the pelting hail, drifting snow or engulfing fog the mountains disappear altogether.
Perhaps it is the spirits of the dinosaurs at play. In the summer you can get acquainted with their geological remains – or at least the rocks known as Serpentine, which look very much like lizard scales, and crumble into yellow powder when touched too roughly. There are also local tales of horses and Newfoundland ponies who perished because their owners failed to build them shelters, expecting them to instinctively find a place to hide from the cold and wind like the moose and caribou. Perhaps it was because they drank from a stream too full of minerals or nibbled on a plant too strong of poison.
Peut-être que ce sont les esprits des dinosaures en jeu. En été, vous pouvez faire connaissance avec leurs vestiges géologiques – ou du moins les roches connues sous le nom Demétine, qui ressemblent beaucoup à des écailles de lézard, et s’effondrer en poudre jaune lorsqu’il est touché trop grossièrement. Il y a aussi des histoires locales de chevaux et de poneys de Terre-Neuve qui ont péri parce que leurs propriétaires n’ont pas réussi à leur construire des abris, s’attendant à ce qu’ils trouvent instinctivement un endroit où se cacher du froid et du vent comme l’orignal et le caribou. Peut-être était-ce parce qu’ils buvaient d’un ruisseau trop plein de minéraux ou grignotaient une plante trop forte de poison.
Il est ironique, pardonnez le jeu de jeu – car les collines sont chargées de fer et de cuivre – que le tronçon le plus époustouflant de l’autoroute dans l’ouest de Terre-Neuve est aussi assez dangereux pour éloigner même la police et l’ambulance les nuits orageuses. Vous remarquerez peut-être de longs poteaux marqués de ruban réfléchissant le long d’un ou de l’autre côté de la chaussée. Ceux-ci sont de guider le chemin pour ceux qui s’aventurent à travers les nuits où la route est une mer de neige et le vent un esprit vengeur à hypnotiser et confondre le chemin de la route sinueuse. Les montagnes peuvent se profiler de chaque côté, mais au milieu de la grêle, de la neige à la dérive ou du brouillard englouti, les montagnes disparaissent complètement.
Only hikers and wild animals dot these hills now. They seem empty, except for the rivers; those are off limits to fishing, however. Gros Morne National Park has made it a UNESCO World Heritage site and it draws people from all over the globe. No photograph can do it justice. It is a spectacle you must breathe in, touch with your hands and see with your own eyes. To say it is valuable and remarkable merely because the earth’s mantle rises up through the ground here, is to understate the magnificence of this corridor between mountains.
Seuls les randonneurs et les animaux sauvages parsèment ces collines maintenant. Ils semblent vides, sauf pour les rivières; ceux-ci sont toutefois interdits à la pêche. Le parc national du Gros-Morne en a fait un site du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO et attire des gens du monde entier. Aucune photographie ne peut lui rendre justice. C’est un spectacle que vous devez respirer, toucher avec vos mains et voir de vos propres yeux. Dis-le est précieux et remarquable simplement parce que le manteau de la terre s’élève à travers le sol ici, c’est sous-estimer la magnificence de ce couloir entre les montagnes.