Workshops & Classes 2017

Vikings in Context: The World in 1000 – Annie Cúglas Humphrey

Thursday, 8/24, 10:15am – 11:15am

The Norse emerged from their Scandinavian homeland to raid, trade with, and settle Europe, Byzantium, Greenland, and beyond. But what was the wider world that they encountered?  What trade routes were already flourishing, and how did the Vikings contribute to world trade?  How did a silver Buddha end up in the Swedish trading town of Birka?  This is an introduction to the civilizations that were contemporary with the Viking Age, from Song Dynasty China to the Abbasid Caliphate to Paleo-Eskimo Dorset culture, and how the Norse interacted with and perceived these foreign peoples.


Successful Characteristics of Long-lived Kindreds: a facilitated discussion – Burt Johns, et al.

Thursday, 8/24, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Group organizations are aligned in many different ways.  Successful/long lived kindreds share certain key characteristics.  What are these characteristics?  What do you think has contributed to your Kindred’s success?  What advice would you like to pass on to other people who might either be new to Heathenry or who are thinking about starting a Kindred?


Pomona’s Lost Children: A Book of Antique Fruits – Jay Stratton

Thursday, 8/24, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

This cookbook and farm memoir profiles a dozen antique fruits and is dedicated to Idunna.  Quince, currant, gooseberry, pawpaw… recipes and lore.


New Wounds, Old Weapons – Stephen Ausband

Friday, 8/25, 10:15am – 11:15am

In this session we will review modern case reports and descriptions of injuries sustained by patients from swords, spears, axes and hammers and discuss the potential ramifications and treatment of such injuries both in an historical and modern context.


Returning to Yggdrasil’s Roots: Cosmology, Reconstruction, and the “World Tree” – Ned Bates

Friday, 8/25, 11:30am – 12:30pm

The nine worlds in the tree are well known among modern heathens and dutifully listed and diagrammed in every Asatru 101 book.  But did our ancestors conceive of Yggdrasil in the same way as we do?  A close reading of the lore and contemporary research in archaeology and literature reveal significant differences between ancient cosmologies and modern interpretations of them.  In this presentation we will take a fresh and more informed look at Yggdrasil and heathen cosmology to try to bring ourselves closer to our ancestors’ understandings of their world.


Hafa þat Feoh and Heald þat Feoh: Poetics and Power in Old and New World Germanic Charming Traditions – Ristandi

Friday, 8/25, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Charms against sickness, charms for love, charms to settle a swarm of bees or banish the restless dead – ours is a tradition that recognizes other-than-ordinary power inherent in spoken, sung, or chanted words – in sounds and rhythms of powerful speech.  While we’ve had a number of excellent workshops in the past at ECT that have examined the traditional meters and structures of Old Norse Poetry, this workshop takes the conversation in a slightly different direction by focusing on the corpus of vernacular verbal charms that exist throughout the Germanic world – old and new.  In the first half of this workshop we’ll identify and explore particular sonic and structural patterns employed in traditional spoken charms from various parts of the Germanic speaking world, and explore the ways these patterns exert conscious and subconscious influence on the Self, and by extension on subjective and objective worlds.   In the latter part of the workshop, we’ll explore the ways in which these patterns can be adapted to create powerful liturgical and ritual speech acts, to compose uniquely compelling poems or song lyrics, or to experiment with personalized charms crafted according to traditional models.


The Future of Heathenry: Passing the Torch – Rev. Caryn MacLuan

Friday, 8/25, 3:15pm – 4:15pm

How are we working to ensure the continuation of heathen worship and practice in the next and following generations?  We will look at some of the ways this was done in ancient times, how the things that were taught were involved with small rites of passage through different ages and any patterns that emerge and then discuss what we can do in home, kindred, and festival settings.


Urban Nature – Paul “Gage” Mercurio

Friday, 8/25, 4:30pm – 5:30pm

In 2014, the UN documented that over half the people on this planet live in urban areas. Our world-affirming faith focuses on nature and connecting with the landvaettir.  Yet for most of us, we do not live in untouched natural areas.  How can we connect with the built environment in addition to the natural one?  What analogs to natural features can be found in urban environments?  What does community mean when does not know one’s neighbors?  And what do the terms “urban” or “natural” even mean?  Utilizing concepts from environmental psychology, economic geography and landscape architecture, we will train ourselves to see natural connections is some of the most built up places.  The ultimate aspiration of this workshop is to have people feel as connected with nature in Times Square as in the Adirondacks.


Mead from an Eagle – Eirik Westcoat

Saturday, 8/26, 10:15am – 11:15am

Eirik recites the best of his award-winning poetry in traditional Germanic meters, including all of his past ECT Skaldic Competition entries and never-before-heard-at-ECT pieces from his first book, Viking Poetry for Heathen Rites.  If there is sufficient participation, one of the three ritual dramas from the book will be recited also, with members of the audience taking on the various roles.


The Blood Eagle: It didn’t happen that way – Stephen Ausband

Saturday, 8/26, 11:30am – 12:30am

The “blood eagle” was a supposed form of torture and execution, often described in lurid detail. It is, however, physiologically impossible that the “blood eagle” would result in the manner of death as is often described. In this session, we will briefly review several historical sources of this procedure then attempt to replicate the process as described on preserved fetal pig specimens while discussing relevant anatomy and physiology.


Blot Mechanics and ECT Main Blot Workshop – Josh Rood

Saturday, 8/26, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

This is a two-part workshop. First, Josh will discuss some aspects of blot, with the intent of helping people with designing and running blots. Second, Josh will give a brief overview of the Main Ritual for this year’s ECT.  ECT is a coming together of various groups with our own way of doing things, so we hope that by presenting a basic description of the event, participants can know what to expect, and can understand the implications behind the ritual actions, and symbols. Our goal is to allow for everyone participating to feel comfortable and enjoy the ritual to its fullest.

*Note: The workshop is mandatory for those who are playing a designated role in the main blot, and a meeting will follow the workshop.



Click here to find the bio for each presenter.