Before the Witan

When it is time for a Leornere to pay his or her entrance fee and make their pledge to become a Gilda, they must first come before the Witan and correctly answer the following questions.

1. What does the Ealdríce  mean and what is the significance of the name?
Ealdríce is an Anglo-Saxon rendering of “Old Dominion,” which is the byname of the Commonwealth in which our fellowship was founded. Yet, like so much that is Anglo-Saxon, Ealdríce has more than one meaning. Rendered as “old kingdom,” it hearkens back to the tribal origins of our trow (belief) and thew (practice). It reminds us of the mystery of sacral kingship, which lay at the heart of the old religion.

2. What is our token and what does it represent?
Wóden’s sceatt, the king’s coin, the Théodish pence.

3. What is our motto?
With a Right Good Will

4. Who is the founder of Þéodisc Geléafa and when was it founded?
Þéodisc Geléafa, more commonly called Théodish Belief, is a religious movement rediscovered by Gárman Lord on the night of July 4th, 1976 C.E, in Watertown, New York.

5. What are the Three Wynn, and what do they mean?
The Three Wynns are thus:
Wísdóm – Wise-doom, Wisdom
Weladæl – Wealth-deal, Generosity
Weorðmynd – Worth-mind, Honor
They are named the Three Wynns as each begins with the wynn rune and each brings wynn, joy, with it. Together they guide the Right Good Will of Théodsmen.

6. What does Right Good Will mean?
Right Good Will is the pure intention that fellow gyld members have toward one another. For the gyld to prosper, it is essential that its members’ deeds and actions toward one another are free of ulterior motive and selfish interest.

7. What freedom is afforded to all gyldfolc and what does it mean?
Fréoriht, or Free Right, refers to what is often called “freedom conscience.” Free Right is essentially the affirmation that no one may be compelled to do or take part in anything that they believe to be wrongful or unseemly.

8. Who are twelve of the gods and goddesses as they are known to the Anglo-Saxons and for what are they known?
Of the ése, I name:
Wóden, the All-Father
Fríge, his wife
Þunor, his bairn
Sibbe, wife of Þunor, goddess of family
Wuldor, stepson of Þunor
Bældæg/Bealdor, bairn of Wóden and Fríge
Nóþe, the daring goddess, wife of Bældæg
Fositie, the presiding one, son of Bældæg
Tiw, the one handed
Hengest and Horsa, the twin horse gods
Hamma, who wards heaven
Weland, the Smith
Wade, father of Weland who wades the seas
Edunne, goddess of orchards
Geofon – goddess of the plough, and possibly Neorþe.

Of the ylfe, I name:

Ing, god of the wain
Geard, the wife of Ing
Frowe, the lady
Sæturn, who is oft called Njordr
Erce, who if oft called Neorþe or Nerthus
Béowa, god of barley
Béole, goddess of bees
Scéaf, god of wheat

And of others, I name:
The Wyrde, who weave the threads of wyrd
The Módru, the Mothers
Gársecg, known as Égor, giant of the seas
Mundelferend, the miller who turns the year-wheel
Móna, god of the moon
Sunna, goddess of the sun
Hréþe, the goddess of late winter and early spring wind and hailstorms.
Éastre, dawn goddess of spring

9. What are the holy tides of the year as we hold them and what is their significance?
Of the holy-tides we hold:
Módraniht – Módraniht (Mothers’ Night) marks the first of the twelve nights of Géol (Yule), falling on the eve of the winter solstice.  ‘Tis at this time that worship is given to the Módru (Mothers), tribal goddesses akin to the Norse Disir.
Twelftaniht – Twelftaniht (12th Night) marks the last of the twelve nights of Géol (Yule).  It is upon this night that we give worship to Edunna (Iðunn) the goddess of our orchards, wassailing the apple trees with cider and toast.
Solmónaþ – By Solmónaþ (Sun month) the days begin to grow longer.  ‘Tis at this tide that the plough is charmed, the Æcerbót (Acre Remedy) is performed, and worship is given to Scéaf.
Hréþe – At Hréþemónaþ worship is given to the storm goddess Hréþe as the last of winter is driven away.
Éaster – The first of the three fire festivals, Éaster marks the blooming of spring.  ‘Tis upon this tide that worship is given to the goddess of dawn and spring.
Bældæg – Akin to the Celtic Beltaine and the Old High German Pholtag, Bældæg is celebrated with May Pole dancing and other such revelry.  Worship is given to Wóden’s bairn, known as both Bældæg and Bealdor (ON: Baldr).
Midsumer – Upon the summer solstice, the last of the fire festivals is held.  A bonfire is lit and worship given to Þunor, that we may be well warded against dragons.
Hláftíd – Hláftíd (Loaftide) marks the first of the three harvest festivals.  To Béowa, the god of barley, worship is given.
Hærfest Hám – Hærfest Hám (Harvest Home) begins with Haligmónaþ (Holy Month).  The goddess Neorþe is worshipped in her holy wain and all weapons are set aside at her begoing.
Winterfylleþ – The full moon of Winterfylleþ (Winter-full) marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter.  ‘Tis at this time that we give worship to Ing as the sacral king beneath the barrow.
Blótmónaþ –  Blótmónaþ (Sacrifice month) is a tide wherein those who have livestock cull them for the winter, making blót to the gods with their slaughter.