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By-Laws of the Bilskirnir Hearth



	Name
1. The name of this organization shall be Bilskirnir Hearth

	Purpose
2. The purpose of Bilskirnir Hearth is to be a cultural and religious organization for those who
     Follow and honor the ancient ways, beliefs, and traditions of our ancestors.

	Rights and Freedoms
 3. All members shall have equal rights and the freedom to follow the paths they choose.

	Formal Matters
4. Policies concerning Bilskirnir Hearth shall be voted on by all members that are present, majority rules.
        The leadership cannot make unilateral policies or decisions without majority membership vote
      majority rules. 

	Diplomatic Relations
5. All members will vote on policies regarding Diplomatic Relations With other Asatru/Heathen/
    Pagan groups and organizations of the making of allegiances. 

	Organizations and Offices
6. As an organization a chain of command is necessary to ensure that things run smoothly and that
    Policies are adhered to, and that conflicts are solved as quickly as possible.

	Offices
1. Chieftain, the administrator, work leader of Bilskirnir Hearth responsible for overall
              leadership
2. Lawspeaker, the Lawspeaker keeps the peace at all times and presides over Thing. 
3. Assistant Lawspeaker, assists the Lawspeaker in keeping the peace and assumes the duty of
                         the Lawspeaker when the Lawspeaker is not available.
4. Warder, the Warder protects the honor and name of Bilskirnir Hearth and enforces the bylaws
           of the hearth.
5. Assistants to the Warder, the Assistant Warders also protect the honor and the name
                             Bilskirnir Hearth and also enforce the bylaws of the hearth and assume
                             the duties of the Warder when the Warder is not available.
6. Scholar, the Scholar compiles the saga's and knowledge of our ancestors so that all can have
            access to all of the stories of our people.
7. Godi/Godia, the spiritual and religious leaders of Bilskirnir Hearth and are responsible for
               the training of the priest and priestess the spiritual well being of 
               the hearth and its members and to make the rituals of our
               ancestors as pleasant as possible for all who come to this hearth.
8. Priest/Priestess, are responsible for the spiritual well being of the hearth and its members and
                     to make the rituals of our ancestors as pleasant as possible for all who
                     come to this hearth, and will also assume the duties of the Godi and 
                     Godia when they are not available.
9. Wordsmith, the Wordsmith keeps the records of all events within the Hearth.
11. Scribe, the Scribe puts all of the Wordsmith's records on file and prints out the events so that
                   all may have a record of the event/rituals.
11. Cleric, administrator of the act of healing the physical body. 
12. Assistants to the Cleric, Assistant Clerics are responsible in helping the Cleric administer the
                              healing arts.
13. Photographer, Photographer is responsible for taking pictures of and keeping a photographic
                  record of the hearth.
14. Bard, Bard is responsible for singing the songs and stories of our ancestors

	Responsibilities of Offices
7. All offices will be voted on by ballot vote. Majority rules.
       Every two years offices will be reviewed by the membership to determine that the persons of
    the offices have maintained and distributed their duties in a responsible manner
       If the majority of the membership votes that this has not happened then a ballot vote on the
     affected offices will be taken to correct the problem.
        (A). In no way does this reflect on a persons honor or ability.
        (B). Ridicule or personal attacks on a member that this has happened to will not be tolerated at
                all.
        (C). The purpose of this is to be democratic, and open and honest with one another.

	Houses
8. Houses will be set up to find new members and to share our beliefs with those who are seeking
    our path.
       All Houses will be free to follow their own religious convictions and make policies, provided
    they do not violate the bylaws of Bilskirnir Hearth
       Founders of Houses will be known as a House Drighten, House Drightens will be responsible
    for teaching the lore and traditions of our ancestors.
       Houses will be known by the last name of the House Drighten.

	New Membership
9. New members must attend three consecutive rituals to be oathed in as a friend to the hearth.
    They must attend another three to be eligible for full membership.
       All members must vote on the approval of a prospective new member, the vote must be
    unanimous.
       If one member votes (NO) then that member must explain their reason for a (NO) vote.
          If it is decided by the other members as a valid reason then the perspective member in
       question will be put on a period of probation to give both parties an opportunity to see if the
       reason is of merit.
          If the membership agrees that the reason is without merit or of unsubstantial claim then the
       majority vote carries and the prospective new member is accepted by all members.
              
	Initiation of New Members
10. New members that have been voted in shall be oathed in within thirty days of the vote of
         acceptance.
      Their initiation should fall within their attendance of their next ritual.
      Within that period of time the members of Bilskirnir Hearth shall take up a collection for the 
              purpose of buying an initiation sword as a gift of welcome from all the members of the hearth 
              to the new member.
     This is a gift from the hearth if at a later date the member wishes to sever ties with the hearth
      No Member shall ask to purchase back or for the return of the member's sword. This action is not one
         of honor or friendship of this hearth.
      This is a gift from the hearth as a whole and not to be used as a person's individual gain.
         Any member doing this shall be looked upon with disfavor and may stand to be voted out of
         the Hearth.
      Persons who become members of Bilskirnir Hearth who later feel that they cannot live up to
         the responsiblities of their oaths and the by-laws, and wish to relinquish their oaths as family
         and member of this hearth, but wish to attend as a friend of this hearth, will have to return 
         their initiation sword to this hearth for the reasons as follows:
           (A) The initiation sword is a benefit of membership.
           (B) Friends of the hearth have no voting priviledges but are required to uphold 
           their oaths of frienship and responsibilities covered in these by-laws.
           (C) The iniation sword shall be held in trust for sixty days to give the individual
           time to consider his/her choice to either remain a member or become a friend of the hearth.
           (D) If the person chooses at the appointed time to remain a member and uphold the
           responsibilities of oaths and by-laws then the sword shall be returned.
           (E) If the person chooses at the appointed time to still remain as a friend,
           the iniation sword shall raffled off to the current membership.
           (F) Raffle of the sword shall be that all members donate a dollar to the hearth fund.
           The money shall be used to purchase hearth related items. The person who wins the 
           raffle shall then be excluded from the next raffle. 
 
	Termination of Membership
11. Members of Bilskirnir Hearth retain the right to deny membership to any parties applying to 
       join the Hearth whose policies, actions, and attitudes directly conflict with the standards or
       policies of the hearth.
          Membership may be revoked with a majority vote by all members, except in instances
        covered elsewhere within these bylaws.

	Persons Under the Age of Eighteen
12. Persons not known to a hearth member must be accompanied by their adult parent.
         Persons known to a hearth member may attend only with the full approval of the hearth.
      If a member plans to bring a guest not of age, they must inform the hearth at the ritual before 
      to get approval to bring their guest.
         Their guest shall be treated as their conduct merits, If a members guest becomes disruptive
      that hearth member will be informed that if their guest wishes to attend again it will have to
       be with the presence of their parent.
      THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS

	Oaths, Blots, Rituals, and Ceremonies
13. Oath breaking is a serious crime and will be treated as such . Breaking an oath will result in 
      loss of membership and the dishonorable party will be wolfs-headed (banished).
         Sumbels can be held whenever a house chooses to hold such events.
         Rituals will be held in accordance with the dates prescribed by our ancestors.
         Other rituals can be held whenever a house chooses to hold such events.
         Births, Namings, Weddings and Funerals will be overseen by any members who wish to
         attend.
      The Priest/Priestess will be responsible for scheduling events and organizing and performing
      rituals, blots, and ceremonies of Bilskirnir Hearth.

	Disputes
14. Disputes between hearth members will be considered hearth business.
         Disputes within the hearth will not be taken outside the hearth, to do so will result in
      probation of a period of one year and the loss of any offices held at the time.
         Disputes of personal natures outside of the hearth will stay as such, unless one of the persons
      asks for mediation.
         This is an informal meeting to find a solution to the problem.
         If the problem carries over into the hearth another attempt to mediate will be made.

            At this time it will be considered formal hearth business and will be treated as such by all.
            If the dispute is still not resolved then a panel of five members will be chosen at random by
          ballot.
            Both persons will present their sides of the dispute with witness' if it happened in more
         than one persons presence. The mediators involved will also inform the panel of their
         attempts to solve the problem.
             The panel will render a decision to both parties., if the parties agree to the decision then all
           will be put in the past and the disputing parties will shake hands and apologize to each other
           for the incident.
              If the parties cannot agree to the panels decision then it will go to personal combat
              (Holmganga).

	Holmganga
15. Personal combat shall be in the traditions of our ancestors.
          A specific area shall be measured out and the disputing parties will choose weapons of
       equality. (ex.-broadsword vs.broadsword)
          Combat will commence and the person who scores three killing blows first shall be
       considered absolved of all wrong doing in the situation By the Gods. 
          The five member panel will judge the Holmganga.
         After the decision is made the disputing parties will shake hands and apologize to each other,                 
      the dispute will be considered over and no more will be said of it ever again.

	Thing
16. Thing is an assembly in which all members will come together to meet each other, make
      policies and laws, discuss matters of importance to their respective houses and the hearth as a whole, to
      settle diputes and create frith for all. 
         Thing is a holy function and will be observed as such. Offending members shall be escorted
       out by the Lawspeaker and Warders.
         Houses of Bilskirnir Hearth should send one representative to Thing.
         Trials and punishment shall be held and dealt out by all at Thing.
         Verdicts and punishments will be passed by majority vote by all present.
         (A) Moots may be called for anytime of the year, bylaw 14 Disputes.

	Personal Conduct
17. No member or persons shall degrade or demoralize another persons appearance or possessions
      (ex. clothing, weapons, armor, helms, etc.)
         All members or persons will be expected to live by the Nine Noble Virtues, the Havamal, and
       the ancient rites of hospitality as set forth by our Gods and ancestors.
          Any member who violates these rules of conducts shall be looked upon with disfavor.

	Hospitality
18. The ancient rules of hospitality are sacred to Bilskirnir Hearth.
         All members or persons will follow them. Treat those as you would like them to treat you.

	Rituals
19. Before rituals begin they shall be discussed with everyone as to ensure that everyone knows
      what to do at the proper times, this is to keep things running smoothly.
         (A). Alcohol
                No alcohol will be used in the horn so that those that do not drink can participate and not
                be left out of ritual.
         (B). Those who do drink must clear it with the owner of the house.
         (C). Those who do drink will limit their alcohol intake, be responsible.
         (D). Rituals that involve theatrical plays will involve all members taking turns at playing the
                 parts when they come about.

	Ritual Feasts
20. The host and hostess will provide the main course of the feast.
         All members or persons attending will bring a food or drink item of sufficient quantity for the
       feast so that there is plenty for all.
       (A). When Feast is ready to be served take enough to eat but please be considerate to others
               when filling your plate, you can always go back for more but make sure everyone gets their
               share of food and drink.
        (B). After the feast is finished, please help clean up (dishes trash etc.). Many
                hands make for light work.
        (C). After feast is over, sumbels shall be held to honor the Gods, Heros, and ancestors,
               there will be a two round free for all after this has been done. 
       (D). After Sumbel is over, for those interested at each ritual a book shall be read
               with each member reading a passage and a short discussion of what it meant to them and
               the others. (ex. Poetic Edda-Volspa, Books of Myth, etc....)

	Illegal Activities, Racism, Drugs
21. Racism, Bigotry, Fascism, and Neo-Nazism will NOT be tolerated by this hearth.
      Substance abuse will NOT be tolerated by this hearth.
      Anyone caught doing so will be banished without probation.

	Ratification of the Bylaws
22. New bylaws may be submitted at any gathering but the majority of members must be present to vote.
      (bylaw 4 formal matters)
         The purpose of these bylaws is to ensure that we are all examples not exceptions to the law,
      all are accountable to these laws.


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