Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Hunt Party

It's that most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! Samhain! All Saints! Walpurgisnacth! Raise the dead, joke with the damned, walk the Paths of Hel, Hella, Hades, shudder in dread in the shadow of Cromm, and dance to the maddening beat of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes!

I suggest a Hunting Party. Gather up some heathens, a couple of coolers full of ice, and camp out at a farm of an accommodating friend of similar beliefs, or who will at least turn a blind eye and deaf ear to a night's revelry. You'll need a bonfire, and some hay bales to sit on. You'l need sparsely wooded "wild" areas to wander through in the dark, and a shallow stream someone can fall into and laugh about later. You'll need shadowed hidden places near enough to see the fire, but secluded enough for lovers to have their quality time together without intrusion.

Conjure up the Master of the Hunt. (Did I mention the Master of the Hunt?) You'll definitely need some Hunt Master. Also known as der Jaegermeister, this charming concoction must be stored in the coolers with the ice. Shot glasses are optional, because alcohol kills germs. Figure a minimum of a pint per attendee, and a chaser per person, and you'll bring about enough. I prefer Fraoch Heather Ale as the chaser. So good.

Meet at dusk and pitch the tents. (Did I mention the tents?) Note: pitch the tents BEFORE you start drinking. For serious.

Light the fire, cook some bratwurst on sticks. (Did I mention the bratwurst?) Crack the Ale, pour the first round of shots, and together toast the Spiritus Mundi, the Spirit of the World. Pour one shot on the ground. Another round is poured, and together toast the Genii Loci, the Spirits of the Land. Pour one shot on the ground. A third round is poured, with great solemnity, in silence, and the final toast is made to those who have come before, the honored dead who have passed over. Pour one shot on the ground.

After a moment of contemplation and somber reflection on the dead (which gives the alcohol time to permeate the blood stream), break out the fiddle and the bow, the flute and the drums, and let the drunken revelry commence! (Did I mention the fiddle and the bow and the drum and the flute?)

Note: At no point should anyone perform a conjuration as part of the Hunt Party. This ritual honors the Spirits, but is primarily a celebration for the living. Raise an army of the dead on your own time, with no booze involved.