Holy Guild: Our Story

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Þórbeorht Ealdorblótere swearing his hold oath to Gárman Lord Cyning (Þrimilce 2019)

Belief in the Gods, Love for the King

Anglo-Saxon Théodish Belief began on the night of July 4th 1976 in Watertown, New York, when the god Wóden made himself known to Gárman Lord. Soon thereafter, Gárman founded the first Théodish fellowship, the Witan Þéod.  Over the years Theodism grew around Watertown and, by Hallows of 1989, the Wínland Ríce (Vinland Kingdom) was established with Gárman as its Æðeling (noble heir). Between 1992 and 1995, Theodism began to grow well beyond the bounds of Watertown as sundry théods (tribes) sprang up within the Ríce.  So blessed by the gods was the Ríce that, in 1995 Gárman Lord was crowned with the boar-helm, set upon the shield, and raised as the Cyning (sacral king) of the Wínland Ríce.

Theodism continued to grow but, as it did, so did its difficulties.  The Ríce’s théods were all based upon the warband of the Folkwandering Tide (Migration Era).  While this made for an authentic Retroheathenry, it also attracted nonserious Neoheathen sorts who, once within the Ríce, wreaked havoc.

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Gárman Lord and Þórbeorht at the Sahsisk Thiod’s hall (2003)

Thus it was that, in 2002, Gárman Lord sought to rethink the framework of Théodish fellowship.  To help him in this, Gárman established the Wisdom Roundtable and welcomed to it sundry heathen sages, both within and without the Wínland Ríce. The charge that Gárman gave to the Wisdom Roundtable was this: to search through heathen lore and Anglo-Saxon history and to find another framework for Théodish fellowship.

Among the members of the Wisdom Roundtable was a new Théodsman, known now as Þórbeorht.  Though the Wisdom Roundtable disbanded before its charge was fulfilled, Þórbeorht took the king’s call to heart. And so, after reading through sundry Anglo-Saxon laws and charters, Þórbeorht founded the Ealdríce in 2010 as an Anglo-Saxon holy-guild.  By 2014, Þórbeorht and Gárman both felt that the Ealdríce’s holy-guild framework showed enough promise that the Ealdríce could begin to call itself a Théodish guild. And, at Þrimilce 2019, after the Ealdríce had proven the steadfastness of its guildship, Gárman Lord heard Þórbeorht’s hold oath and the Ealdríce became the first holy-guild of the Wínland Ríce.

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Þórbeorht and Gárman Lord and at Gering Theod’s hall (2018)
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Þórbeorht Ealdorblótere and Gárman Lord Cyning following a faining to Bælddæg/Bealdor (Þrimilce 2019)
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