Magistrate + Jester

Mythology of the Magistrate

“Bye great Grump, Fie on your name.
We shall feed you to the flame!”

Someone needs to bring order to our revelries and wild rituals of reverence and abandonment. Someone must face the large throngs of riled-up Townspeople at the Trial, all of them chanting “Burn the Grump! Burn the Grump!” And most of all, that person must step forth to offer the Great Grump Effigy some kind of just trial.

This is the archetypal Town Magistrate, who commands the Passion Play’s theatrical Court and Trial from his or her embodiment of fair play. It is the Magistrate’s job to ensure that the accused plaintiff, the Grump, receives from the Trial Its just deserts and deserved awards or punishment.

So far, for the last 36 years the Court and the crowd have found the Grump “Guilty as charged, and to be dually conveyed to the Crossroads to be burned in the Harvest Bonfire”. And thus, the Grump becomes the willing Sacrifice which will ensure that our beloved Green Man, Red Lady and our Mother Mountain will continue whole and healthy for another year and a day. That is, until the next Autumn Equinox when the seasons wheel around to Mabon, and the Equinox time of Balance, banishing and beckoning, death and rebirth, sacrifice and harvest.

By Marcie Telander, Vinotok Godmother and Founder

Poem for the Magistrate

Oh, Magistrate
Recite rhymes that illuminate our movements,
For those who have never witnessed the wild within.
In each establishment draw those who crave release
From their seats and routine,
With the might in your voice.
Enticing onlookers to join in Nature’s dance

Oh, Magistrate
Remind us why we’ve gathered, what we honor.
Community, diversity and unity.
Hark back to our ancestors, guiding our gaze to the future.
Tell again, of the Great Grump
Of who’s burdens he carries
Of the troubles and negativity, we must shed.

Oh, Magistrate
Keep order in the throng of merrymakers
Demanding sacrifice.
Direct the rowdy to respect our Harvest Mother’s court.
You shall oversee a fair trail .
Order, Order
We shall have harmony.

Oh, Magistrate
Hear the defense of this keeper of worries and weight.
Hear the roar of the crowd as they persist.
Judge his responsibility to us all.
Decree the Red Lady be spared.
Declare the Green Man will rise again.
Proclaim this cleansing bring bountiful snows.

Anna Claire, Wordsmythe

Mythology of the Jester

“My lords and Ladies—Who then rules when the Equinox demands One Sacred Day of Equality?
In this time of the Equinox and great Balance, the royals will submit,
as the Jester leads the Common Folk to rise up and prevail!”

The Vinotok Jester is an archetypal expression of the Sacred Fool who is at the heart of many rituals requiring diversity, equality and inclusion. In old European tradition, the humorous and laser-sharp Jester could say things about the state of injustice and venal politics to the King before the entire Court.

In all other settings and times these comments would have cost any subject their life.

The origin of “Ward of the State” is based on British kings honoring legal protection and support of the Court for Jesters and the theatre troupes and passion players who travelled the Old Countries, making powerful political and environmental statements.

In our Vinotok collective and communal ceremonies we exalt the Jester, as this is the symbol of Rebellion against overweening authority. The Jester demands time and attention for the Common Folks right to Speak. This is the legacy received from the Crested Butte Old Timers, and which they expressed during their Autumn revelries.

For one day in the year, the Miners could turn power upside down, speaking their minds and grievances through a large effigy which was drawn through town and deposited on the local bigwig’s lawn, then summarily hanged and burned! And hopefully, the participants would not be pay-docked or reprimanded for these much needed acts of defiance and demands for change!

By Vinotok Godmother and Founder, Marcie Telander

Magistrate + Jester Activity: Grumps + Gratitudes

The Autumn Equinox is a time of True Balance, within and without. As we come to the season when the dark chases the light, we dedicate important consideration to offering Gratitude, or Blessings, as well as Banishing the grievances and difficulties of the passing year.

This does not mean that we expect something for nothing. Ours and many other communities are filled with folks who share a determination to balance past ills, whether these are collective, personal, global or environmental.


Your Grumps may be banished or released in a number of ways. When Vinotok beings, visit the Fire Circle at the crossroads (an ancient and traditional village center of the world) of the Four-Way Stop.

There you may place you grumps inside or on the Great Grump effigy, resting in-state at the Vinotok Fire Circle and Outdoor Harvest Temple. Or, drop them in a Community Grump Box.

Grumps will be held safely and treated with reverence and great care. Be assured that all community Grumps will be committed safely to be banished and transformed.

You can also personally dispose of your Grumps in a safe manner and in accordance with fire restrictions in your area. Identify a special place at your home and bury them in the
ground; suspend them with natural twine from a special tree in your yard; or tear them
into tiny pieces and scatter them in your garden.


This is our opportunity to offer thanks for all that has supported, grown, healed and protected us and our precious community and valley in the passing year. Write as many as you can think of on several Gratitude slips of paper. Any individual, couple, family or community may share these steps and offer forth the gifting celebration of gratitude.

1. Write your Self Gratitudes honoring your own personal commitment and participation in the past year. Give yourself some gifts of recognition and appreciation. It may seem difficult at first, but appreciation begins with ourselves.

2. Write Gratitudes for others: friends, family, neighbors, the folks you work with and who serve you. Honor those folks who are there for us every day, month-by-month, season-through-season.

3. Deliver these Gratitudes in person, if at all possible. We guarantee that in these challenging times your offering will lift a heart and honor a spirit.

4. Clothespin these to your own personal Gratitude clothesline. See how many you can fill it with.

5. Carefully tie with biodegradable twine to a tree or bush to create a traditional Wish Tree in a special spot in your yard.

6. Pass them around everywhere. Gratitudes never stop giving!