Graveside Service for William and Erik Garrison
10 August 1996
Goði Dave Haxton of the Kindred of Ravenswood, Sheridan, Indiana
Gyðia Winifred Hodge of Frigga’s Web, Champaign, Illinois
Goði: < does Hammer Signing with the Kindred Hammer over the coffin>
As the Hammer of Thor blessed the pyre of his brother Baldr, may this hammer hallow the resting place of William and Erik against all baneful forces.
It is said in Havamal – “Cattle die, kinsmen die, and you yourself shall die.”
One thing I know which never dies – the memory of those who are truly loved.
Although everyone dies, these young folk left this Earth untimely. We who remain behind must remember that although Willie and Erik are gone from us in body, they will always live in our hearts. Even as their spirits wend their way to Asgard, the cycle of rebirth begins again, and the wonder of their presence is not lost to us. Let us remember Willie and Erik all the days of our lives, remembering their youthful energy and zest for life. In our remembrance of the joy brought to us, let us make their lives have meaning for all the children of Asatru. May the Gods of our people grant us the wisdom to find meaning in their living, as well as in their passing – Life From Death, Light From Darkness, Joy From Sorrow.
Gyðia: Great Frigg, Mother of us all, send to us the Lady Hlin, refuge and comfort: She who wards us from despair and loosens the grip of grief.
Frigg and Odin, well you know the scathe of parents’ loss: Grant us your deep wisdom of the workings of Wyrd, to temper now the raging of our hearts.
Holda, Berchta, Frigga – Great Mother, gentle Keeper of the Well of Souls, of the blessed Grove of Apples: By your hands the souls of William and Erik were brought forth. Now again they return to your loving care, given to your wise warding until their time to fare forth comes again. You wove their beings into the great web, and they are there to stay: woven before, woven now, to be woven yet again.
The Funeral Blót for William and Erik Garrison
10 August 1996
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.
Gyðia: 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.
Goði: “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.
Gyðia: 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, Suzanna wrote a story, a story of two children who wished to know the gods. Let the Suzanna that was speak from her heart to the Suzanna 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 a 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 the safest for children. Things started to slow down and it reminded the children of how the world spins after you twirl yourself around and 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 ways 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 awhile,” 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 grain field. “At sometime 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 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 the 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 all 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 that these endings and beginnings go smoothly,” Freyr told them.
Gyðia: And now hear some rede from me: As all things have their beginning and their end, so let also grief, now so bitterly begun, reach it’s 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 children’s souls to fly free & unburdened toward the bright realm of the gods.
Goði: 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.
Gyðia: Know that we speed you on your road, and That we are still your kin. The wheel turns, Balder’s bane triumphs; but the Kin is eternal, and springtime will come again.
In this world and the next,
In Asgard or Midgard,
In life and in death,
Beyond all time and space –
You will always be remembered,
You will always be loved,
and 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.