The Guild of Forn Sed Hearthfire By-Laws

Ratified by the Council on 12/12/2020

Amended-on 2/1/2021

I. The Guild of Forn Sed Hearthfire’s Mission Statement:

To provide mentoring by teachers that are dedicated to elevating their students to the highest level of their abilities during their time with the Guild, whether the seeker desires to benefit one’s own practice or to rise up and serve their community, in ways that are viable in our contemporary world.

II. The Guild of Forn Sed Hearthfire defines itself as an organization of like-minded individuals that have come together as a part of their personal path with the intention of sustaining and preserving Heathen tradition in our modern world. Any reference to “the Guild” further within this document is hereby understood to reference The Guild of Forn Sed Hearthfire.

III. The Guild defines Heathenry as the spiritual practice of honouring the deities of the past Northern European and Scandinavian cultures, including those spirits and powers of the natural world, as well as our ancestors and ancestral spirits. This can take various forms depending on the personal practice of the individual, who may identify as Asatru, Vanitru, Rokkatru, or other terms that denote a focus on the powers listed above.

IV. The Guild is an advocate of inclusive Heathenry and so the Guild is open to all who feel the call of our Gods, Goddesses, and Divine Powers regardless of their race, colour, religion, sex, age, marital status, handicap, familial status, or nationality.

V. Guild Member – The term ‘Guild member” will hereby refer to an individual who is currently up to date on their annual membership and remains in good standing within the Guild.

A. Membership requires an annual donation of $45 US, in addition to any curriculum fees incurred during their tenure with the Guild.

1. It is possible, at the Council’s discretion, for Journeymen to be exempt from the Guild’s membership donation if they are currently offering a curriculum through the organization.

B. At the time of inception, Guild fees are collected via a PayPal link on the Join page of the Guild’s website.

C. Members are entitled to registering for courses and curriculums offered by the Journeymen and Masters within the Guild.

VI. Joining the Guild – The following is the process to register a member within the Guild:

A. Upon receipt of PayPal payment via the Guild website’s Join page, the recipient of the payment notification will email the Law Speaker the name, email, and payment date of the new or renewed membership.

B. The Law Speaker will then add the information to the Guild’s membership roster, which is reviewed each month to ensure any members that have fallen out of good standing are removed from any curriculum and social media groups that their membership includes.

C. An admin of the Guild’s Facebook Group will add the new member to the Group as soon as is possible.

D. Ivy Mulligan will supply a copy of her book “The 21st Century Seidr: A Workbook for the Modern heathen and Asatru” to a Guild member upon their first payment of their membership donation. Subsequent years of renewal are exempt from this step.

VII. Ranks – The Guild recognizes four ranks of mastery within the organization which denote a level of proficiency and competency:

A. Master – one who excels at their particular area of focus, is recognized by their community, and has spent years developing their proficiency. Attainment of this title within the Guild is accompanied by an oath to continue to serve one’s community.

1. Individuals may apply for the role of Master upon joining the Guild in the form of a written essay explaining their past experiences and work which would qualify them for this title. References will also be required. Upon review by the Council a decision will be made.

B. Journeyman – one who is on the path to the rank of Master and has displayed enough proficiency to the Council to merit being recognized as being capable of mentoring others.

1. Individuals must either have completed Ivy Mulligan’s Year-Long Apprenticeship, or supply an essay explaining the qualifications for this role within the Guild as well as supplying a potential curriculum for the Council to review. The Council will make its’ decision upon having a chance to evaluate the full submission.

C. Apprentice – A member that is in the process of working with mentors within the Guild that seeks to better serve their community and aspires to ascend to the rank of Journeyman.

D. Student – A member that is currently in good standing and is looking to better their personal practice.

VIII.The Council – The Guild leadership will be made up of a group of individuals that are selected from within the Guild’s membership. This group will be responsible for making leadership decisions for the Guild as a whole and steering the course of the organization during their terms.

A. Following the initial Council selection, to be eligible to serve one must have been a Guild member in good standing for a minimum of a year and a day.

B. Terms on Council positions will last three years, at which point the position will become available for applications.

IX. Council Positions – The Council will be made up of multiple positions which denote responsibilities to be fulfilled during one’s terms. It is possible that additional positions within the Guild will become available with growth, but at the time of inception the Council will consist of five positions (A-E listed below). It is the intent that the Guild Council always retain an odd number of seats and should cap at 9 seats in total.

A. Jarl/Jarlskona – This position is recognized the leader of the organization and key responsibilities pertain to maintaining the overall direction of the Guild.

B. Elder – This position ranks immediately after that of Jarl. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, advising the Jarl and maintaining an overarching supervision of the Guild. Should the Jarl be unable to finish their term, the role of Jarl will be immediately filled upon its’ vacancy by the Elder and it is the Elder’s position that would remain to be filled.

C. Moneychanger- This position is responsible for the fiscal matters pertaining to the Guild and is primarily responsible for the monetary management of the organization’s assets.

D. Gyðja/Góði – The responsibilities of this position cover the spiritual matters of the organization, from oversight of the Godperson Training program to being a resource for spiritual consultation for Guild members when needed.

E. Law Speaker – This position will be responsible for monitoring the adherence to by-laws, review membership terms, and ensuring that the message of the Guild remains in keeping with the principles outlined herein and the mission statement above.

F. Scribe – For the purposes of transparency, this position will include documenting the minutes of Tribal Moots.

X. Council Elections – When a Council seat comes to term, and election will be held 120 days prior to the end of term.

A. To be considered for a position on the Council one must be nominated by another Guild Member and seconded by an additional member of the Guild. This nomination will then be forwarded to the Council within 15 days of the beginning of the election (105 days prior to the end of term). A Guild member may only run in the election for a single seat, which must be specified in their nomination paperwork in order to be considered.

B. The Council will then compile all nominations within 15 days from the nomination deadline (90 days prior to the end of term) and will send, via email, a listing of eligible nominees.

C. Guild members may reply to the email with ONLY the names of their chosen nominees in their reply (the text from the original email does not count for the purposes of this restriction). Replies that do not meet this condition will not be counted.

D. Voting will be open for 30 days from the date of announcement (ending 60 days prior to the end of term), and votes will be tallied and ratified at the next Tribal Moot which should be approximately 30 days prior to the end of term.

E. The remaining 30 days will be used to advise the Council member-elect on the workings of their position’s responsibilities and any outstanding concerns that are currently under advisement.

F. Council members can run in consecutive elections to retain their seat if so desire.

XI. Tribal Moots – The Council will sit to review matters pertaining to the Guild. These meetings are currently scheduled to be conducted on the first Saturday of each month at 7am Pacific Time, and will be held via Audio or Video chat. These meetings will be primarily to discuss Agenda Items pertaining to the Guild.

XII. Agenda Items – These are defined as decisions that may affect the future of the Guild. Such decisions will be decided by a Council vote.

A. Each agenda items will have three rounds of discussion:

1. Round 1 – Arguments for the proposed Agenda Item. This round concludes when all Council members have had a chance to speak during this round. A Council member may abstain from commenting in this step.

2. Round 2 – Arguments against the proposed Agenda Item. This round concludes when all Council members have had a chance to speak during this round. A Council member may abstain from commenting in this step.

3. Round 3 – Round table discussion to review the previous points and offer any applicable counter-points raised within the first two rounds. This round will have a pre-determined time frame that is set at the conclusion of Round 2, this time frame will be nominated by a council member and seconded by another in order to be determined.

XIII. Council Votes – Each individual sitting on the Council will receive one vote towards each Agenda Item being proposed.

A. A vote may be cast as for (yea), against (nay), or may be abstained.

B. Should their be a drawn vote for any reason, the Jarl/Jarlskona will have be allowed to cast one additional vote in order to break the tie. This vote does not need to match their previous vote for any reason they deem appropriate.

C. Should the Jarl/Jarlskona not be able to fulfill this additional vote, such as in the case of a Conflict of Interest (below), then the Elder will assume the additional vote instead. As in the case in XIII, B, the Elder is not bound to vote in the same manner as their initial vote for any reason they deem fitting.

XIV. Voting by Proxy – If an individual on the Council is unable to attend a Tribal Moot, regardless of reason, they may provide authorization for a different member of the Council to vote on their behalf. This authorization will be done in the form of an email to the Council member in question and will outline the authorization being given, including the specific date of the Tribal Moot in question.

XV. Conflicts of Interest – The Guild recognizes itself as an independent entity, but acknowledges that in the interests of reaching as many individuals as possible it is likely that an individual may have an affiliation or allegiance to an outside entity. Examples include, but are not limited to, a business or religious organization. A Conflict of Interest claim can be raised by any member of the Council, including the individual with the Conflict of Interest, at which point the individual with the Conflict will choose another council member to vote on their behalf. Alternatively, the individual with the Conflict can choose to abstain their vote.

XVI.Guild Finances – The Moneychanger will be responsible for setting up the initial accounts for the Guild, and the signatories for any accounts at the time of inception will be Stephan Gunn, Ivy Mulligan, and David Swift.

XVII.Frith – The Guild operates under the concept of Frith, that is creating a place of peace where the focus is on development and growth. Any attempt to deliberately shame, bully, or humiliate a Guild member within the confines of Guild forums (ie. mailing list, Guild group chats, Guild Group posts, etc) would be considered a violation of Frith and would result in a review by the Council of the situation in question and could include a review of all participating member’s standing within the Guild.

A. The Guild understands that there will not always be an agreement of opinions between all people, and healthy debate is encouraged, however any situation where it is felt that the intent was to deliberately cause harm is considered a violation of Frith.

B. A violation of Frith can, at the Council’s discretion, result in the removal of a member from the Guild. Removal in this fashion does not entitle one to any reimbursement of curriculum fees or dues paid thus far.

C. Should a member feel the need to file a grievance, the first step is for the parties in question to try and resolve their differences personally in a respectful manner.

1. Should the dispute not come to a resolution between the parties, either of the individuals involved may file a formal grievance with the Law Speaker. This shall be done through the “Contact” page of the Guild’s website with the first line of the comment box reading “Grievance Petition” before outlining the matter in question.

2. The Law Speaker will conduct a review of the situation before presenting their findings to the Council to vote on a resolution.

XVIII.Curriculum- Courses, mentorships, and means of study will be made available by the Journeymen and Masters of the Guild. Payment and enrolment should be coordinated through the instructor’s page from the Guild’s website.

A. Payment may be required for these opportunities, but all Guild members agree to adhere to a maximum fee of $150 US per month for any single curriculum.

B. The method and transmission of any documents or coursework is at the sole discretion of the instructor in question.

XIX. Leave of Absence – The Guild recognizes that individuals may need to take a Leave of Absence for a period of time. This is defined as a period where a member relinquishes their responsibilities to the Guild for a time until they advise the Council of their return.

A. A Leave of Absence can be requested to any member of the Council, and does not require a return date at the time of request.

B. In order to maintain a professional front, and ensure that contact points are not going unanswered, the Council may choose to change the visibility of the member’s profile on the Guild website.

C. Any Guild dues or fees that cover any portion of the period of the Leave are non-refundable.

D. If a return date was not defined at the time of request, then the member in question must reach out to the Council in order to resume their duties and responsibilities with the Guild so that any communications or adjustments necessary can be accounted for upon the approved date of return.

XX. Representation – Members of the Guild that are acting in the capacity of a Guild Representative are expected to treat the Guild’s reputation and honour as equally important to their own.

A. Examples of acting as a Guild Representative include, but are to limited to:

1. Negotiating partnerships with others on behalf of the Guild.

2. Mentoring, teaching, or otherwise interacting with Apprentices or Students in an official capacity that was introduced through the Guild.

3. Acting in the role of a Council position in an official capacity.

4. Promoting the Guild through conversation, social media, etc.

B. If a Guild Representative is deemed to be acting in a manner that is disrespectful or that is harmful to the Guild’s reputation the member in question may face reprimand following a review by the Council. This could result in one’s membership being suspended or revoked.

XXI. Personal Responsibility – Every Guild member acknowledges that they are responsible for their own actions and choices. The Guild wants to see all of its’ membership excel in their pursuits, however it is the responsibility of each individual to ensure that they are putting in the effort required to attain such heights. All Guild members, from Students to Council Members, are expected to make their choices wisely and manage their commitments appropriately.

Click Image to Join!
Question before you start your journey? Click the image to contact us!