Friday, May 18, 2012

Religious Activities at Lightning Across the Plains 2012

Lightning Across the Plains is a heathen gathering held near Kansas City on Sept. 20-23, 2012.  At LATP heathen kindreds, families, and individuals from across the Heartland come together to honor our Gods, our Ancestors, and the Vaettir as part of a larger regional community.  Toward his end, there are a wide variety of religious activities that take place at LATP, and they are described below.  To learn more about LATP or to register for the event, visit

HOF - To the west of our main camping area, there will be a Hof established at Lightning Across the Plains 2012. It will include images and statues of Odin, Thor, and well as areas within the Hof for honoring other Gods and Goddesses, our Ancestors, and the Vaettir. If you have statues or objects you would like included in the Hof throughout the weekend, please bring them along. When you check-in at the registation table, please provide us with those objects. We'll record your name so that we can make sure you get your items back at the end of the weekend. Sacrifices to the Gods, our Ancestors, and the Vaettir can be offered at the Hof, and we will ensure these items are properly sacrificed.

OPENING & CLOSING RITUAL - At the start of Lightning Across the Plains there will be an Opening Ritual, declaring grith and frith over the gathering. Tyr will be honored, and the perimeter of the gathering area will be walked in procession, with gifts given to the Vaettir of the land to ensure their goodwill and protection from baneful wights. The help of the children at the gathering will be enlisted, and they will have the honor of distributing gifts to the land wights.

VISITING THE VE - Jotun's Bane Kindred has established an outdoor Ve at Gaea Retreat. It is a cleared circle in the woods, at the roots of a large powerful oak tree named Forn Halr ("old man" in Old Norse).  This is our holy tree, and the Ve has a large stone harrow, a firepit, and benches around its perimeter. It is a beautiful and peaceful place, and it is where our kindred takes our kindred oaths. On Saturday morning we'll lead a walk over to the Ve for those that would like to visit it. And we will honor Forn Halr...and leave offerings for the land wights.

ODIN BLOT - Friday evening after dinner, we'll gather for an Odin Blot led by Mjolnir Kindred and Fimbul Winter Kindred both from Colorado.  This celebratory event leads directly into Friday night's Folk Symbel.

FOLK SYMBEL - Friday night after dark, we'll gather around a fire and have a Folk Symbel. A horn will be passed, and we will toast the Gods and Goddesses, our Ancestors & Heroes, and then boast of our accomplishments. As a gathered Folk, we'll put our good words and deeds into the Well. If you know a good poem or a song worth singing, please share it with everyone during this Symbel.  While this Symbel is more informal in its structure, every year it is one those events that has a lot of impact on everyone participating.

SATURDAY NIGHT FAINING - After dinner on Saturday night, we'll gather as a Folk and celebrate with a large Faining our relationship with our Elder Kin.

SATURDAY NIGHT HIGH SYMBEL - After the Faining, we will enter the Hall as Tribes, Families, and individual heathens and conduct a High Symbel. At 2011's Lightning Across the Plains, 109 adults sat in Symbel and spoke good words over the horn. This is a formal event, and if you have garb to wear and are so inclined please wear it. But garb is not required. This is a night for bold and Tru words, gift-giving, and the forming of bonds among the Folk.

THOR FAINING - On Sunday morning, prior to the Heathen Auction, there will be a Thor Faining led by Hridgar Folk Kindred from Texas.  Asa-Thor is honored and asked to grant his protection to everyone in attendance on their journeys home from Lightning Across the Plains.

In addition to these activities, there are 15 workshops throughout the weekend about various topics within Heathenry.  We'll be announcing these workshops in detail in the next week or so.  To learn more about LATP or to register for the event, visit

Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods