By Frigga Asraaf and others
A bit more than a year ago, a virus entered our lives and al of a sudden a lot was very different from what we were used to. We found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. Words like social distancing, quarantaine and lockdown were suddenly on our lips. At the time, we could not have imagined what it would all entail and that it could take a few years.
Thinking about an online Flame of Frith ritual I saw a message on FB from Dan Coultas about a healing ritual for Covid-19. I asked him how he felt about combining our ideas and the online Flame of Frith COVID-19 healing ritual was born. On March 22th 2020 we performed for the first time what is by now mostly referred to as the Online Flame of Frith Healing Ritual, with eight speakers and a handful of supporters. We prayed to the ancestors to support us, to Eir to take care of the sick and guide the hand of health care workers, to Odin for mental strength and to Hell to welcome the dead.
Soon the ritual began to grow bit by bit along with things happening in the world, like the death of black American George Floyd because of police brutality. The protesting of people around the world against police brutality against black Americans under the name of the international movement Black Lives Matter found its way into the ritual naturally:
If we want all lives to matter
we have to speak up
and do something about lives
that still matter less than other lives:
Underneath the pandemic was and is the climate crises, and this regular subject for Flame of Frith rituals was added to, just like peace weaving:
We call to Freyr and Freyja, shining twins,
bestowers of peace and plenty. The World cries
out for your example. Show us the ways of peace!
One moment, the realisation came we pray for cures and vaccines, and generally this means testing on animals. The thought so many animals suffering for us is heartbreaking, and we feel the need to pray for them as well:
Kenaz help us to separate fiction from facts.
Mannaz show us how to be empathetic with ourselves and others.
Ansuz help us how to hear others: people and planet.
Hail Geri and Freki
Hail Bygul and Trigul
Hail spirit of rats
Hail spirit of monkeys
Hail spirit of mice
Hail spirits of all animals suffering and dying in
laboratory’s all over the world for the health
and beauty of humankind.
Spirits and frith keepers ward their souls.
Carry their burdens,
take all pain and suffering from them.
Most likely the Online Flame of Frith Healing Ritual will continue to grow along with our needs and the needs of the earth. One of the things the world needs is justice: climate justice, social justice:
We call upon Tyr! We call upon Forseti!
Bring justice for laboratory animals!
Legal rights for nature!
Legal rights for the planet!
For the Spring Equinox Online Festival of the Pagan Federation March 20, 2021 I was asked to talk about what frith means to me. Pondering on this it dawned on me that it has become a philosophy for me which expresses itself in Flame of Frith rituals. Every second of each day we could choose to be and create the change we want to be, through praying, through our magic, through our deeds:
We are weaving a mighty web!
We work our way through weft and warp.
May our thoughts and deeds
be a loving contribution
for all living beings.
I would like to thank all people who joined the rituals in all these months. I am grateful for the dedication of Sarah Kerr, Suzanne Martin, Dan Coultas and Rich Blackett who became the core of our ritual speakers team, Herman de Roos who returned after months and Jochem Verdonk who recently joined. I am deeply touched by the dedication of all these persons to keep going to feed the Flame of Frith. Four people of the online Flame of Frith speakers team now tell themselves what the ritual means to them:
I was invited to take part in the Online Flame of Frith Healing Ritual back in the spring of 2020. The first time I attended as a supporter rather than a speaker, but I knew from that first ritual that I wanted to be involved. It’s a simple but incredibly powerful ritual that has grown over the last year into something that I look forward to taking part in every fortnight along with the regular group that takes part each time.
It has become a thing that is a part of my life, not just during the ritual but during all the time in between too whenever I see or hear about things that we work on during the ritual. I feel honoured to be a part of it, especially alongside this group of lovely people.
Herman de Roos
The time we started the Online Flame of Frith Healing Ritual marked the beginning of an uncertain period in my life. I didn’t know what the Covid-19 virus was going to do and who it would or wouldn’t hit. As for myself, I felt physically unwell and I was almost sure that when I was going to get infected with the virus I wouldn’t survive. I am never that lucky. Despite that I felt honored when I was invited to participate in the ritual, at first I took a wait-and-see attitude. I started as a listener. As time went on I learned to appreciate the rhythm of the recurring ritual and I felt a tremendous admiration for Frigga and Dan who found the time and energy to organize the ritual every week and later every two weeks. I also thought the different themes that were addressed in the ritual were very important and they made it more than worthwhile to keep participating.
That fall my mother passed away. This event together with the arrival of autumn made me withdraw into myself and also away from the ritual. However, the invitations kept coming and when I felt better I happily returned to the familiar rhythm of the ritual. It supported me and I think it’s more than a great achievement that it’s been running for a year by now.
I joined the Flame of Frith speakers almost a year ago, atumbling over unfamiliar words then that now bring comfort to my mental health and strengthen my faith. Since that first time, the regularity and ceremony has evolved in response to the developing world situation and news events that changed how we as inclusive heathens collectively think about community, race, and our relationships with all living beings in a time of isolation, restriction, sickness and sudden change.
Gathering first weekly, then fortnightly, the Flame of Frith has become a treasured part of my faith practice, I hope to continue to be an active part of this ongoing ritual in the future.
I heard about the Online Flame of Frith Healing Ritual through the grapevine. It sounded interesting, but unfortunately it was always on a day I already had another regular appointment. Luckily that changed this year and I could finally be at the online FoF healing ritual. And I was hooked immediately! I am impressed by this seemingly simple ritual. This small group of people knows to generate great power. Every person has their personal focus, and together we have our group intention. The ritual touches many (if not all) aspects of our lives during this COVID-19 pandemic. It moves me to be part of this larger entity, and to be able to contribute my (magical) part in this.
Our one year jubilee on March 28 was a good moment to have a look at the ritual again, and two more things have been added. The first one is #poorpeopleslivesmatter and the second one:
We hail grandchildren!
We hail grandchildren’s grandchildren!
Hail to the next nine generations!
The last, to express our awareness of the responsibility we have towards generations that will follow, and hopefully once will inhabit a healthy and thriving planet.
From the first time onward, nearly each time I was present. Not as a speaker, because I only have one screen, and can’t print the text. I am grateful for the possibility to partake in the Feeding of the Flame, even if only to call hail, hopefully at the appropriate moments.
Thanks to Frigga, Dan and all other speakers! Hail to the Flame of Frith!!
The milestone of one year online rituals was marked by a three round sumble, added for this occasion just before the closing. The first round was dedicated to the gods and spirits, followed by a round to mourn what the pandemic is doing to us and the losses we suffer. The last round was to celebrate one year Online Flame of Frith Healing Ritual.
The reflection and sorrow expressed in the second round brought tears to my eyes. After a moment of silence, words of joy were spoken, like being grateful for the technology that enables us to gather online. How also some good things come from all the madness of the pandemic. For me, this sumble has deepened the connection with the Flame of Frith and with the lovely dedicated speakers team and supporters. The wish to continue, also after the pandemic, with online Flame of Frith rituals is alive!
Hail to the earth! Hail to all frith keepers! Hail to the Flame of Frith!
Please, join or FB group or sent an e-mail to Frigga Asraaf walkure::@::aanhet.net or Dan Coultas kin::@::heathensofyorkshire.com if you would like to stay in touch.