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Sigrdrífa the Priestess

[Temple of Love] Baby Welcoming of Thorstein Noah and Audun Joel

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It is early in the morning. Dawn is about to break above the Temple of Love, one of the thirteen Fulltrui Temples.

 

The Temple of Love is a large temple complex consisting of humongous buildings and is located in the Imperial City of Haraldsborg. It is dedicated to the Lady Divine Freyja, the Vanir Goddess who is one of the three Fulltrui and Sacred Queens of Stormark as well as the Fulltrui of the House of Ettlingar Freyu. The aforesaid temple complex is situated on a large estate on a holy island in the sacred river called Fulltrui Flow which is known as Hnossa Isle.

 

The gallery above the altar area of the Lady of Life and Love Chamber of the Temple of Love was filled with robed and hooded figures, who were all silently and intently watching the scene below them.

 

Her High Holiness Forn Siðr Fúrstafrúa Sigrdrífa the Priestess of the House of Vanadís Yfirstormarksgythia and High Priestess of the Thingeyri Temple was standing behind the altar. The aforesaid Princess of the Ancient Ways was dressed in magnificent ritual robes and leading a age-old ritual known as Baby Welcoming.

 

The altar was carved from a solid block of ancient Valtian stone, by hands that were not human but Elvish. Hundreds of green and red candles provided flickering light, which reflected off the altar area's Worship Water, a small pool near the altar, and the thirteen brass gongs spaced equally around the outside of the sacred perimeter.

 

The purpose of the ancient ritual is to welcome the Storjarls Thorstein Noah and Audun Joel, the newborn twin boys of His Imperial and Royal Highness Storjarl Hallbjörn Haraldsson of the Houses of Ayreon-Kalirion and of the Descendants of Freyja and Her Imperial and Royal Highness Storjarla Esther Maryam Amirdokhtar of the Houses of Ayreon-Kalirion and of the Descendants of Freyja, into the world.

 

The Yfirstormarksgythia and High Priestess of the Thingeyri Temple shouted the last words of an ancient incantation in a strange and enchanting tongue, and the lady temple attendants around the altar then strike the brass gongs in unison.

 

Immediately after the sounding of the gongs the newfangled parents Storjarl Hallbjörn, who is carrying his infant son Thorstein Noah, and Lady Esther, who bears her baby boy Audun Joel, enter the chamber of worship.

 

They are followed by the twins' half siblings Storjarla Fjǫrleif Hallbjörnsdóttir and Lord Jonathan Merlingsson, their paternal aunt Storjarla Æsileif Haraldsdóttir, their paternal grandparents High King Harald and Storjarla Geirbjörg Gefialdrsdóttir, and their paternal great-grandparents Jarl Gudrödar Grjotgardsson and High Queen Mother Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir.

 

The company of Imperials solemnly walks to the pool and halts near its edge, where they are joined by the Yfirstormarksgythia and High Priestess of the Thingeyri Temple. A single flute starts playing an ancient romantic tune and Her High Holiness raises her arms high up in the air and chants aloud:

 

"Thorstein Noah and Audun Joel,

you are Freyja's sons,

you are our sons,

sons of Hallbjörn, sons of Esther."

 

"You are our sons,

born to the Storish Siblinghood,

born unto mankind,

born into Reikistjarna."

 

"We welcome you to this world.

May you live a good life,

protected by the Disir,

blessed by the Mothers."

 

"May the Lord Odin grant you wisdom

of the World that he shaped.

May Thought and Memory

be your companions."

 

"May the Lord Thor grant you strength

to walk your way steadily,

courage and health,

strong shoulders, strong feet."

 

"May the Lord Freyr grant you growing

from sapling to tree,

each year to unfold

the leaves of your life."

 

"May the Lady Freyja teach you

love in all ways,

its joys and its sorrows,

to feel and to heal."

 

"May the Lady Frigga protect you

and whisper to you

the mysteries of family,

of kith and of kin."

 

"Be strong as a stone,

and noble as gold,

true as steel

and radiant as fire."

 

"High Ones, You have given

a child to our care,

a treasure to hold,

a pleasure to watch."

 

"Now grant Your gifts

to the gift of this life,

Your blessing and friendship,

O Bountiful Ones!"

 

With a sprig from the birch Bosom Tree of the Godsgrove of the Temple of Love the Yfirstormarksgythia and High Priestess of the Thingeyri Temple then traces several protective signs over the bodies of the twin boys.

 

Meanwhile a lady temple attendant has drawn water from the altar area's Worship Water with an ancient Valtian chalice and offers it to Her High Holiness. The Lady Sigrdrífa then sprinkles Thorstein Noah and Audun Joel with the sacred water from the altar pool while solemly uttering an age-old blessing:

 

"Urd has spun the threads of your lives,
Verdandi weaves your tapestry bright,
Skuld will measure the fabric's length,
And Frigga stitch for you runes of strength."

"May you be clothed in these Goddesses' Grace,
May you walk safely on Reikistjarna's face,
Have courage and steadfastness, vigor and health,
Honour and bounty, wisdom and wealth."

Two other lady temple attendants appear and walk up to Her High Holiness. One of them is carrying a bow and a quiver, the other one a burning torch. The Yfirstormarksgythia and High Priestess of the Thingeyri Temple takes the bow and an arrow from the first attendant, and nocks the arrow to the bowstring. The second attendant holds her torch to the oil-soaked rag behind the arrowhead, and hungrily licking the flames go up. The Princess of the Ancient Ways lifts the great bow, draws the string to her ear, and lets fly. With a deep thrum, the arrow speeds away.

Breathlessly the crowd watches the flames trailing through the humongous chamber of worship, a pale orange pennon. Then the audience sees the arrow fall in the gigantic open hearth on the other side of the Lady of Life and Love Chamber, and a red bloom flowers. The logs take fire, a wall of flames roars upward, licking at the air with their blazingly hot tongues.

 

The fire in the open hearth shimmers and flows higher and higher in a column of light. In a burst of golden magic the fire flares outward, shaping itself into the form of an inhumanly beautiful woman whose body glows and whose hair whirls up like flame. It is the Lady Freyja!

 

Love flares outward, filling every person present it touches. With Her arms the Lady of the Vanir mimics the motions of a mother cradling a child and smiles assuringly to Lady Esther, Storjarl Hallbjörn and the others present.

 

The Lady Freyja's image then slowly fades away, leaving all those present with feelings of joy, warmth, and contentment.

 

After the newborns have been presented with gifts, including a miniatiure ark for Thorstein Noah and an age-old message scroll for Audun Joel, Storjarl Hallbjörn and Lady Esther leave the Lady of Life and Love Chamber with their baby boys, walking towards their new joyous life with their other children: Lord Jonathan and Storjarla Fjǫrleif.

 

The paternal grandparents of Thorstein Noah and Audun Joel, High King Harald and Storjarla Geirbjörg Gefialdrsdóttir, as well as their paternal great-grandparents Jarl Gudrödar Grjotgardsson and High Queen Mother Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir depart for their apartments in the Vanadísarhall.

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What a beautiful ceremony!

 

A High Priestess wishes to convey her gratitude to the Lady Esther for her kind words of appreciation and complimentation!

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