Membership and Titles

Chase Hill Membership

Members
Guests may ask to become members of Chase Hill Folk after attending six or more rituals. A good measure of their understanding of Chase Hill tradition is whether they are familiar enough with Chase Hill ritual practices to be able to host guests themselves. Potential members must both express their desire to formally join the community and also gain the agreement of the community through attaining the sponsorship of the Goði (in consultation with the membership).

A member is considered part of the Chase Hill community and may bring guests to ritual with the approval of the Goði. Members may take on roles during ritual and may be called upon to help set up and take down ritual. Members are expected to contribute at least a minimum of effort to all rituals they attend – to bring a contribution to potluck and to contribute financially if and when they are able.

Þegenas (Thanes)
In parallel with other pagan and Heathen organizations that distinguish between an “Outer Circle” of members and an “Inner Circle” of members, Chase Hill will designate each of those core members of its community as a þegen. Historically a title of nobility, the root of this word means “retainer” or “servant,” and is fitting in both senses as an indicator of the increased rights of the Chase Hill þegenas, and their increased responsibilities. In order to attain the rank of þegen, a member of Chase Hill must distinguish themselves in two ways:

  • They must contribute substantively to the Folk and to the execution of rituals beyond that required of members
  • They must develop personal relationships with the current Chase Hill þegenas such that the community feels their wyrd has tied with that of Chase Hill Folk

A member may express to the Goði the desire to become a þegen and, as with membership, the Goði, in consultation with the current þegenas, must give their sponsorship to the member for them to attain the rank of þegen.

Þegenas of Chase Hill are the core members of the community who are committed to helping enact the mission and values of Chase Hill, put on rituals, occupy ritual roles, and oversee the continuation of Chase Hill Folk and its tradition. Þegenas are the only members who are able to attain titles in Chase Hill, occupy ritual offices, or put on Chase Hill rituals, and they may bring guests to any ritual without seeking approval of the Goði. Any þegen who feels that they are not able to continue to contribute to Chase Hill in the substantive way required by the rank may voluntarily set aside the rank and return to the general membership of the folk. A þegen who does not attend ritual for a full year will be involuntarily removed from the rank of þegen and will also return to the general membership of the folk. Revoking the rank of þegen for any other reason should follow the same procedure as that outlined under Revoking Membership. Any titles held by a former þegen will be considered emeritus. A former þegen may regain their rank in consultation with the Goði and, upon doing so, any titles emeritus they hold will become  active again.

 

Chase Hill Titles

Chase Hill, as a community that organizes regular gatherings, performs rituals within a specific and evolving Heathen tradition, and relies upon individuals within its membership to undertake the execution of these tasks, has found it advantageous to grant titles to those members in recognition of their contribution to the community, as well as to clarify the community’s expectations of the person who undertakes such a role within the kindred.

Organizational Titles:
These titles designate individuals who support the basic functioning of Chase Hill as an organization – scheduling and planning events, overseeing specific organizational items such as membership, finances, ritual and seasonal traditions, and ensuring the continuation of the community’s mission and values.

Goði (Priest)
A title that indicates both ritual and organizational leadership, extensive knowledge of the tradition – of both the kindred and the wider Heathen community – and an instrumental role in the functioning of Chase Hill Folk. This title indicates the individual’s responsibility to oversee the organization and leading of regular rituals, to witness oaths, represent the Chase Hill community to the public, and the duty to preserve and perpetuate the community’s tradition.

Blot-karl (Ritual Leader)
A title that bestows the community’s sanction to lead official rituals within the tradition of Chase Hill, to witness oaths, and the responsibility to aid in preserving and perpetuating the community’s tradition.

Lawspeaker
A title bestowed by the membership upon a þegen who is responsible for representing the voice of the Folk to the Goði and their Witenagemot, for acting as a mediator and advocate for all members of the Folk, and for assisting the Goði in planning and leading the Folkmoot.

Reckoner (Treasurer)
A title that designates the person chiefly in charge of collecting, recording, managing and disbursing any funds that Chase Hill Folk has in order to continue the functioning of the organization.

Ritual Offices:
These titles designate offices that are occupied during the practice of particular rituals – functionaries within the temporal space of ritual, whose presence are necessary for the ritual to be properly enacted.

Ealubora (Ale-bearer)
An office performed during both blot and symbel. During blot, the Ealubora cares for the communal offerings of drink, carries the horns during the godfulls, and pours out the hlot-bowl to signify the end of the ritual. During symbel, the Ealubora pours drinks for the assembled community and is allowed to speak out of turn during the ritual.

Symbelgifa (Symbel Giver)
The Symbelgifa is the leader of the symbel, whose duties include determining the manner in which the toasts will proceed, beginning each full (round), appointing the various other officers of the symbel, maintaining the frith and/or grith of the ritual, and concluding the final full of the ritual.

Thyle (Speaker)
An office of symbel occupied by a person of good character, eloquence, perceptiveness, and assertiveness, who aids the Symbelgifa in watching over the maegen (might) of the symbel. It is the Thyle’s duty to challenge individual participants who violate the rules of the symbel, as well as those whose toasts are unworthy, as an aid to both the individual and the community in keeping frith, grith, and building the maegen of the ritual. The Thyle, like the Ealubora, may speak out of turn during symbel.

Titles of Honor:
Heathenry as a whole places great value and honor upon individuals for their deeds and work throughout their lives As a community commited to the embodiment of this tradition, Chase Hill Folk should especially recognize those individuals whose deeds and work consistently and substantively benefit the community in the pursuit of its mission and the maintenance of its values.

Individuals who consistently offer their labor, knowledge, and energy to the community over an extended period of time (a year or more) in any one particular aspect of the community’s business or practice, especially above and beyond the usual expectations of members, or any Organizational Title or Ritual Office they hold, should be recognized and honored by the community for the benefit that Chase Hill Folk as a whole has garnered from their efforts. A ritual formalization of the work – such as the completion of an oath of service – might be the catalyst for the community to examine the individual’s work and worthiness of such a title.

No specific requirements exist for attaining a Title of Honor other than the agreement of all the þegenas that Chase Hill Folk has consistently and substantively benefited from the individual’s work. Such titles that have been awarded in the past include Harrowdis (Lady of the Altar).

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