Chieftainship and Folkship, some thoughts
and Luck All,
What is Chieftainship?
and its compliment:
What is Folkship?
For me, a chieftain is someone who is in some measure of authority over
me; through my agreement with the bylaws of a group I wish
to join (at first) and/or by virtue of my recognizing the quality
of their chieftaincy as of Worth to my life. I see in them, a
leader amongst our folk, and a person who would be a leader in any
There is something, a Touch of the Holy, I believe, about them, though
they may not be the Holiest of men or women. I
further believe that a Trú chieftain does act as a warden of the Luck of
Land and Folk, and does nothing to endanger the Luck or
the Orlay of the Folk.
I think they are more servant than served.
I prefer one who is able, reluctant to be at the fore, but recognizes
the Duty and Doing.
In my world view, a chieftain has earned that place by word and deed.
A chieftain earns that place by word and deed.
A Trú chieftain Knows the Earning, and required Worthiness.
A false chieftain looks to their own Name (and needs) as being above
that of the Folk and sees not the Need to Prove their
Worth each day.
Those I acknowledge as chieftains whom I will follow, have returned the
honor, respect and courtesy with which I treat them.
They have never abused my willingness to help.
They have never taken me for granted and have thanked me for even the
smallest thing I have done for the community, or them
They understand I misspeak sometimes, see that I know my errors and that
I self-impose wergild of some sort.
They also understand that I disappear sometimes, "going to the
woods," as my Theodish friends are wont to say.
They know that my wife and family come before any other man or woman.
They understand we may sometimes disagree, but will never be out of
Frith with each other.
Chieftainship, to me, stems from a Bond, without Hold Oath.
No words I say, can take the place of my Wyrd being Woven with theirs,
or that of others, by sharing Life.
No words a chieftain says can forge and strengthen that Bond, without
the sharing of Life.
I am, unlike others, an Oathfree heathen, in large part.
I know the significance of Oaths, and being human and fallible, do not
createthat which I do not know I can upkeep.
I have one Hold Oath to another person, my wedding vows, and I shall die
before breaking that Oath.
I do have outstanding Boasts of things I shall try to accomplish, and
sometimes it takes longer than I like to accomplish them.
A good chieftain handles the reins of leadership lightly, for the folk
are not draft animals.
A good chieftain listens and laughs more than he scowls and dictates.
The majority of his Deemings should be the words of the Folk, not his
But, there do exist times when he muct act for the good of the
community, and face the folk afterwards.
A good chieftain builds a Good Name on these times, both of being the
Folk's Voice and that of being the Folk's Hammer.
A good chieftain is as at ease with a 6 month old child or a gangly,
uncertain teenager as he is with his shield companions or
a grey-haired elder of the folk.
There is really so little to being a good chieftain, but it is so many
things, to different people.
There is also very little to good Folkship.
Do the best you can day by day, with what you have for strengths.
Do that which is right for family, folk and community.
Seek to improve something about yourself, just a little every day.
Listen and read more than you speak and write.
Give your words the weight they deserve before your fellows.
When you do speak or write, the words should be the best you have,
building your Name, bringing Fame to your Kinline,
bringing Wisdom to the Community.
But, also know laughter and song, tears and terse prose.
We are given life, mind and will by the Holy Ones, but we know joy and
sorrow, anger and reconciliation.
Be as complete a man or woman as possible.
Acknowledge that there are those lesser than you, as well as greater,
but be in frith under troth with all.
Tis no shame being different.
Tis a shame to have shame from it.
Not all are leaders.
Not all of the rest are followers.
Acknowledge the "stand asiders."
They too do contribute in their own way.
They too are of the folk.
We are all of us here willingly, seeking some measure of community,
within our various religious expressions of that inner
Faithway, which leads North, and Home.
A few kroner...
In Frith under Troth, may the Gods see you!
- Piparskeggr skjaldberi Ullar
AFA - AA - ORV - VTA
Builder for the Future and
Traveler within the Northern Folkway
Willing to work with all who
advance Our Faith and Folkways.
River Wood Samfélag - Ćldorman
Forest City Hall of the Vinland
Lodge - Steward