Executioners + Red Men

Mythology of Executioners + Red Men



Bow your heads as the Executioners pass by. They are dressed in monk’s habits because theirs is a sacred duty. They are drawing the Great Grump effigy through the streets of the village for the very last time.

Hear the creaking of the cart which bears the Sacrifice for the health of the People and the Place Spirit. This duty takes great strength of body and character. This is a somber ritual for which the entire village waits every year.

The Grump has been tried at the Court of the Harvest Mother. The Grump has once again been found Guilty as Charged!

Now, surrounded by the Torchbearers’ flames, accompanied in procession by all of the Archetypal Embodiments, the Grump is being escorted to the Harvest Fires. Here It will be consigned to the flames in the Ceremony of Sacred Sacrifice. The Executioners have spent important time honoring this sacred gift, ennobling the effigy in its promise to exchange its energies so that the Green Man, symbol of all life, and the Red Lady, our Mother Mountain may be preserved and protected to rise again in health and harmony for the coming year.

The Executioners bear a heavy weight, but one which lightens the hearts of the People as the Great Grump’s sacrifice transforms our troubles and negative thoughts in the cleansing Fire!

We are grateful. It is so.


These are the ones who carry the Red Lady, Embodiment of our Mother Mountain, upon their mighty shoulders.

The mythology of the Vinotok Red Men begins in Northern Europe, the roots of many of our local folks’ ancestors and ancient traditions. At the end of the 8th Century the Germanic, Celtic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon tribes were launching their westward explorations. Often accompanying these journeys were the Runemals, the Rune Readers, the Seidr-workers, storytellers, singers of sagas—and of course the tribal Seer.

Most often this was a wise woman, considered powerful, influential and in touch with Destiny and the workings of the Rune stones. She would be accompanied by a select circle of women who sang for her as she traveled the land, Seeing for the People, the livestock and the creatures of Nature. She was called to visit when there was illness, drought or any need for restorative healing by far-off farms, large homesteads and the Carls or leaders of the clans.

To assist her in her ability to See and to beckon her oracular skills, she ascended a special High Seat from which she could scan across the Land. Her services were very valuable because, when all else had failed, she was able to direct the folk into right practices, protection and preservation of the sacred Earth.

In our Vinotok ceremonies the woman who embodies the Red Lady, representing our precious Mother Mountain, is the woman to ascend this High Seat. She is carried through the village on the shoulders of the Red Men and Women in the Procession of the Great Grump effigy. Each Seer, for every year, calls upon the Earth to assist her and her people. She receives the guidance of Nature and brings this to the folk of our village. And, because the mountain she represents is still a phenomenon which must continually be saved from exploitative and extractive mining, the voice of this Seer has importance for those who protect, advocate and honor her and our wilderness environments.

Every Autumn Equinox the Seer shows us the way to honor and defend the Red Lady Mountain, especially for the magical time frame of a year and a day.

It is so!

By Vinotok Godmother and Founder, Marcie Telander

Executioners + Red Men Activity

Journal Prompt: Healing the Internal Wastelands

Finding your place: Take this opportunity to unplug from technology. Get a special notebook or journal to write in, and a pen to write with. Leave your cell phone at home. Reserve a chunk of time so you can be contemplative and slow. Walk out to a spot in nature in an easy saunter, as far as you can go in the time you’ve allotted. Find a tree to lean against, a rock to sit on, a stream to sit by, a meadow to sit in. Take a deep breath, settle in. 

Finding your voice: As you respond to the prompts following the meditation, don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or writing rules—just let it flow. Write thoughts as they come to you, without any editing or judgement Take time to stare at the clouds, the water moving by, the leaves in the breeze. Ponder. Consider. Contemplate. For these kinds of prompts, it is best to write until you have no more to say about the matter. 

About the Wastelands: The Wastelands appear as a concept in ancient Celtic mythology as a consequence from lack of respect and relationship for and with the Earth and her gifts. Similarly, we can have internal Wastelands—places that have been made devoid of our life energy by feeding ourselves with things that do not serve our greatest purpose. 

Identifying the Internal Wastelands: What is out of balance in your life? What are your own internal Wastelands? What is draining you of your energy, and should be left behind? What needs to be swept away? And then, what feeds you, and you need to bring in more of in your life? What feels like it might be holding you back from living your best life? What might you be able to improve to magnify your life’s energy? What should you be walking more toward? 

Moving Forward: Considering your own personal, internal Wastelands, what physical, real steps can you take to bringing balance back into your life? Then, considering the external Wastelands in your home place, what organizations or efforts can you become engaged in to help heal those places physically, emotionally and spiritually? How can you lend your talents, aptitudes, expertise and best life energy to healing the Wastelands? What might the Wastelands need from you, especially you?