It has very much snuck up, but my vigil is this weekend. I’m looking forward to the advice and really, just seeing people’s faces again. There may even be a bardic circle that breaks out!
What am I doing to prepare?
The vigil is obviously a bit different from typical SCA vigil, simply because it’s all taking place on Zoom instead of at an event. For me, that means I have to dress up and prepare my space all on my own. And we can’t provide people with food.
The best advice I got from my mom in all this, was to make sure I bring meaning to it. Yes, little about this is typical. But by striving to find meaning, I am making my vigil and the elevation ceremony special. My team also gave great advice on items to add for myself to help my mindset during the vigil, and to help remind me that I am not isolated, but connected to all my kith and kin. And to help compensate for that glaringly modern screen I’ll be staring at. 😉
And of course, I will have the essentials of water, snacks, notebook, and tissues!
To help make the space special, I’ve chosen a part of the house with wood paneling. I’m bringing in a comfy chair, which unfortunately means a modern chair with a high back. I’m going to cover it with a sheep skin. On the floor, which only I can see (alas!), I am putting the cow hide that was used as a prop at the Njáls saga event of Tóki skaldagörvir, which I had the pleasure and honor of attending out in Æthelmearc. (The road trip with Master Dahrien Cordell was so fun!!) I will also have a cup that my Laurel gave me on the table, and a pitcher I bought through the Northshield Online Auction. I have a loaned wooden plate with a beautiful laurel wreath on it. And I am placing my bone comb that I bought last Pennsic from Boots by Bohemond on it, with some other trinkets. It reminds me of sitting and getting to know Mistress Þóra Sigurðsdóttir.
I wish I could do more to emulate the Norse sacred spaces. (That being said, perhaps this is less necessary for the vigil, but more so for the ceremony. And I have some time to think it through for that.) Being near water — like rivers or a lake (see Julie Lund’s article, of the University of Oslo and Anne Irene Rissøy’s article, of Buskerud University College) — that actually feels similar to a tradition Master Owen told me about, that is more common in other kingdoms: ceremoniously washing before the vigil. (The carpet is blue, so I’ll have to pretend that’s my brunnʀ! 🙂) Another Norse sacred space tradition, is hazeling the area (see VAL article), and marking out the area with ropes or poles or even just being on an island. (The cow skin will be marking out the area. It kinda makes it a little island in the middle of the blue carpet. 🤔)
To mentally prepare, I am going to reread the Admonishments and the oath I will say at the ceremony.
A friend also gave me a link to The Dialogue of Chivalry and to Ælflæd of Duckford’s thoughts on Humility and Formality, and he posed a few questions to help me think through these texts. These are on the to-do list still, and probably won’t get checked off before my vigil.
※ I found a blog post about the Njáls saga event by Lilie Dubh inghean ui Mordha of the East Kingdom. I might need to do a write-up of my adventures of that trip at some point, of what I can remember. (I cannot believe it’s been so long since the event!)