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Funeral Rite for Willie and Erik

 The following rite was held on August 10, 1996
  and presided over by Godhi Daithi Haxton of 
 Ravenswood Kindred and Winifred Hodge of 
 Frigga's Web.
 
 Godhi:  Odin, drighten of the dead, ferryman,
  I call thee - show the way to the worlds beyond.
 Frigga, in thy sunken hall, hear my voice.
 Thor, Warder, Friend of men, be with us - lend 
 your Hammer's holy might.
 Heimdall, open Asgard's gate; worthy steps 
 shall sound soon on thy bridge.
 Frey, bring frith to the mound: fair lives within 
 and friendship to the living aye.
 Freya, bear the mead forth:  well should you 
 greet these guests, and roomy seated is your 
 hall.
 Idunna, here are two worthy to eat of your 
 apples:  I ask you to grant that food freely.
 Disir and Alfar, greet your kinsmen kindly.
 All ye holy ones, gods, goddesses, and 
 wights, hail William and Erik who come 
 among you; help them to the hall of their souls.
 
 Gydhia:  We have come here to speak farewells 
 to our beloved kinsmen, William and Erik, who 
 go forth from us now on the farthest of farings -
 that need-faring which all must make in time.  
 Far is the faring to the halls of the holy ones; 
 long is the way, and there are many who wait 
 for the travelers.  William and Erik, Thor's 
 Hammer hallows you and your pathway.  
 
 
 Godhi:  "Cattle die, kinsmen die; you yourself 
 shall die.  But fair fame shall never die, for the 
 one who gets it well.  Cattle die, kinsmen die; 
 you yourself shall die.  One thing I know that 
 never dies - how each man dead is deemed." 
 Now let those speak who knew William and Erik; 
 say what shall be remembered of them by kin and
 friends in the days to come.
 
 Gydhia:  I hallow this horn to our kinsmen.  Drink 
 to this in friendship and frith:  That they come well 
 to the hall of Frigga, and be reborn into Midgard in 
 time.      
 
 
 Winifred's Rede:  Not long ago, Suzana wrote 
 a story, a story of two children who wished to 
 know the gods.  Let the Suzana that was speak 
 from her heart to the Suzana that is, and give 
 good rede and counsel:
 
 Frigga said "I have known the two of you for 
 a long time.  Perhaps if you knew my name, 
 that would put you at ease.  It is Frigga."
 "Look!", he called to his brother, "she 
 answered my call.  She's come to answer 
 all our questions."
 Frigga said, "I would like to take you on a 
 trip. A trip where you can ask the gods 
 themselves all ye wish to know so you 
 can choose your patron yourself."
 "What's a patron?" the children asked.
 "That is your god of choice, and that is 
 what you said you wanted."
 Suddenly the children felt a pull, like when 
 you ride the roller coaster and your body 
 gets stiff and it is hard to move.  Then they 
 saw light flashing all about them in all the 
 colors of the rainbow.  Frigg told them as 
 they moved along that this was the fastest 
 way and safest for children.  Things started 
 to slow down and it reminded the children of 
 how the world spins after you twirl yourself 
 around then stop.  As things slowed down 
 they could see the rainbow colors were now 
 one big rainbow spreading out before them.  
 The children were amazed.  The rainbow was 
 very beautiful, and not only that, it was a bridge!  
 They had been told about the rainbow bridge 
 before, but never had they imagined it to be 
 so big and so real.  They could see a house 
 near the top of the bridge and a large man 
 was standing before it.
 "Here we are,"  said lady Frigg as she walked 
 to the foot of the bridge and the children 
 hurried to catch up.
 "Bifrost bridge:  the way to Asgard and my 
 good friend Heimdall.  Come and meet the 
 guardian of Asgard..."
 
 A bit later in the story-
 Freyr stepped out into the sunlight and he 
 seemed to shine like the grain.  When the 
 children looked at him, they felt warm all over, 
 like when you lie in tall grass and the sunbeams 
 pour over you as you lie half asleep in a 
 daydream.  All drowsy and warm, that was Freyr.
 "Let us walk for a while,"  Freyr said as he 
 picked a piece of grain and chewed on it.  
 "I want to tell you about beginnings and 
 endings.  I wish for you to understand the 
 way of it.  Children, do you see that flower 
 over there?"  He pointed to a small flower 
 in the field of grain.  "At some time a seed 
 was planted for that flower to grow there.  
 Maybe a bird dropped it as it flew by.  Then 
 the seed grew, and as it grew, bees came 
 along and collected it's pollen.  Someday it 
 will wither and die, but it can never really die.  
 The bees have used it's pollen and it lives on 
 through them. And another flower will grow 
 from the seeds that flower left behind.  Do 
 you see what I mean', he asked them?
 "I think so freyr, you want us to know how a 
 flower can live on even after it dies.  Is that it?"
 "That is it exactly.  I want you to know that there 
 are ends and beginnings but it is all put together 
 so nothing ever really dies.  It just begins again 
 in other ways."
 As they walked together in the field, the sun 
 was starting to set.  Pink and orange color 
 filled the sky.  "That is one of the things 
 that i do.  I make sure these endings 
 and beginnings go smoothly," Freyr told them.
 
 Gydhia:  And now hear some rede from me: 
  As all things have their beginning  and their 
 end, so let also grief, now so biterly begun, 
 reach its ending in good time.  Many tales 
 of our folk speak of how overmuch grief 
 burdens the souls of our children who 
 have fared forth.  Some tales tell of a jug, 
 full of tears, which bears down the soul of 
 the child.  So let not grief grow overmuch, 
 cling not to it, but leave your childrens' 
 souls to fly free and unburdened toward 
 the bright realm of the gods.
 
 Godhi:  William and Erik, even as Balder, 
 fate has laid you low.  And even as the 
 gods, our hearts weep at your passing.  
 But Balder beckons, the cycle turns again, 
 and your reward is rebirth.  Balder 
 welcomes you, death's master, Odin 
 and Frigga's best loved son.  Evil he 
 wipes away, courage and comfort he brings.
 
 Gydhia:  Know that we speed you on your 
 road, and that we are still your kin.  The 
 wheel turns, Balder's bane triumphs; but 
 kin is eternal, and springtime will come again.
 
 Godhi:       In this world and the next,
              In Asgard or Midgard,
              In life and in death,
              Together always,
              Beyond all time and space
 
              You will always be remembered
              You will always be loved
              You will always be our kin
 
 Farewell, William and Erik, until we meet 
 again.  In the names of Family, Gods and 
 Kin - Bright Blessings!
 The rite is ended, the folk go on.
 

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