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Hildegarde I was involved on and off in Living History through the Society of Creative Anachronism from 1983 until 2003. On various weekends throughout the year, I participated in events dressed in historical garb I had sewn, cooked meals from historical recipes, did crafts and made music. As with many others, my level of activity began to decline due to real-life workload, and then more precipitously with new motherhood.

Azure, a bear rampant, on a chief Or a martlet between two trefoils sable.

My persona, Hildegarde Stickerin, was a 15th century merchant class woman. When I first joined the SCA, my persona was a 10th century Irish woman named Brigid Medb Ni Branghaile. After I returned from a long gafiation (a verb derived from the initials "get away from it all"), I chose to create a new persona rather than try to get anyone to remember "the old me". I also had an alternate gypsy persona.

Combining with mundane obsessions, I remain interested in Hermeticism and related studies at the dawn of the Reformation. This is after Gutenberg's Press and before Dr. John Dee and the emergence of Rosicrucianism with the publiation of the Fama Fraternitatis of the Meritorious Order of the Rosae Crucis in 1614, and the Confessio Fraternitatis in 1615. Were I doing an Italian persona, I might focus on Giordano Bruno, but as I have a perfectly good German persona, originally intended to be an embroideress, I'm situating my persona's lifespan parallel to Johannes Reuchlin, who wrote De arte cabalistica, and lived between 1455-1522. Reuchlin stood against the Dominicans and the Inquisition, coming under their scrutiny himself, but acquitted of heresy by papal commision.

When putting things together for my adult runes class at the Festival of Maidens, I found a picture (which appears in the handout with no caption) obviously a renaissance-era woodcut that led me into the Gothic Revival that occurred in Scandinavia a bit later than my persona. None of that info made it into the handout, as I pursued it too close to the wire, timewise. After the sagas were put to parchment in the 12th and 13th century, they seem to have been forgotten towards the end of the Middle Ages, with the upper middle classes enjoying the same kinds of chivalric romances and ballads as the rest of the European peers. But come the 16th century, interest in the Vikings again began to flourish, and intellectual leaders set out to demonstrate to the world that their countries had a longer and more glorious history than most other countries in Europe, and further, that they were respected even in the time of the Greeks and Romans. Some of the elements of this: Saxo's Gesta Danorum (1514), Johannes Magnus Historia de omnibus gothorum sveonumque regibus (1554), Olavus Magnus (Historia de genitbus septentrionalibus (1555), Ole Worm (1588-1654), Thomas Bartholin (1659-90), Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702) and most relevant Johannes Bureus (1568-1652). This is when runic inscriptions were finally printed in scholarly editions with Latin translations, and when the manuscripts of the sagas were transferred from the Islandic farms to Copenhagen and Stockholm for scholarly study.
"1611 CE, Johannes Bureus of Sweden, tutor and advisor of King Gustavus Adolphus, begins drawing and interpreting many of Sweden's runestones, many of which are only known to us through his drawings.
1622 CE, Ole Worm of Denmark collects reports on runestones and other antique monuments of Denmark and the Northern countries. " (chronology)

My device

The Spiritual Pilgrim 16th Century German Woodcut

St Dorothy

Studies of Trees; from Konrad von Megenburg, Buch der Natur, Augsburg 1475

Scandinavian 1650 Woodcut

Wurm Wald Arms

Cooking Woodcut

I am located in the Barony of Wurm Wald and the Kingdom of the Middle (the MidRealm).

Wurm Wald always holds the Festival of Maidens, held in January.
In 2003, I ran the children's activities for this event, and we had two themed sessions, Viking Longships and Runes and Riddles. As it turned out, we never made it to the riddles in the second session, and only barely to the runes, for that matter, but the kids all had fun. I also taught a class on Runes for adults. Here is the handout:

  • Runes Handout (Adult Class)
    ZIP of PDF file, 6 pages in length. Introduces history, elder and younger futhark, rune poems, writing English using runes (such as for writing out an English motto, or your name), and a resource list of books and websites for learning more.
For two years at the Illinois Newcomer's Event in September 2003 and 2004, I taught a class called Introduction to Medieval Food class (or What to Take to an SCA Potluck). The handouts for that appear on my cooking page.

Back when Wurm Wald used to do camping events, my household did much of the work in putting on a camping event, the Hunt for the Michaelmas Goose, on September 12-14, 1997, for which I was co-autocrat and feastocrat. The previous January I was feastocrat for the Dessert Revel at the Festival of Maidens. On my cooking page, I have the menu and recipes from both of these feasts.

An excellent page about Camping in the SCA

Purple Fret

My highest award was a Purple Fret which I was awarded for service to my Barony. For three years, I was the Pursuivant for Wurm Wald. The Pursuivant is an administrative office which includes educating members on heraldry, helping them design their devices, and submitting them through the society bureaucracy (which is appropriately medieval). It also includes being the "mouth" of the Baron, (running court ceremonies, and, at least in Wurm Wald, running the biweekly business meetings). The herald is also responsible for "cries" (making announcements) at local events.


Interests and Local Content

SCA Period Tarot Decks

Hildegarde's Kitchen Page

Hildegarde's Medieval/Renaissance Embroidery Page

Hildegarde's Garb Page

Anachronistic Baby (Baby and Children's Garb)

Hildegarde (again)


Over the years, Clan Black Wolf frequently hosted a bardic circle at Jubilee. My own style preference for a bardic circle is moderated chaos with a presumption of sing-along.

Digital Traditions

SCA Minstrel Homepage

Lyrics Ring

Ring of Bards (List of Sites)

Get Ringmail here!

The Village Green of the Midlands

Midlands Regional Home Page


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Copyright © 1994-2004 Joan Schraith Cole.

Updated May 29, 2004

Moyra's Web Jewels

The first photograph of me, hildandarmor.jpg, was taken by Michael Halton
My arms, trsmlarms.gif, are symbolic of, and copyright to me, Joan Schraith Cole.
All Rights Reserved.
The Wurm Wald arms, wurmwald0.gif, are symbolic of, and copyright to the Barony of Wurm Wald
My household's badge, newwolf2.gif, is symbolic of, and copyright to the head of the household, Michael Halton. All Rights Reserved.
The badge of the APF, purplefret.gif, is from the Middle Kingdom's public-use graphics page
The second photograph of me, hildcloak.jpg, was taken by Baron Damon de Folo