Hail and Farewell Dianne Ross

It is with sorrow that The Troth announced the death of one of our honored Elders Dianne Ross who left Midgard on 27 June 2018.  At her request as communicated by her daughter Lara Gillispie, our own Steer Robert Lusch Schreiwer will be speaking at her funeral on 25 August.

As befits an Elder from the very beginning of The Troth, her funeral will be a gathering of those who have shared her path from those almost mythical days.  Rarely is it given us to show to the world what a person has meant to us, has given us, and has left to us.  Too often such people as Dianne Ross pass from us without the chance to give back to them a tenth the honour they earned in life, or a tenth the praise they deserve.

Dianne has been living proof her entire life of the ideals of Inclusive Heathenry, and the vision of The Troth.  Her voice has been heard in the hall, and heeded until her last months because her words and her deeds have remained woven throughout the heart of The Troth even when the advance of years caused her to step back and let others be the hands doing the work she loved so much.

At her funeral will be gathered all of those who once shared her path and her vision, even those whose current beliefs now clash with hers and our organization.  Great was the heart of Dianne Ross, for she in life was able to earn the respect and love even of those who did not agree with her about how to embrace Heathenry.  In respect to her, those who once shared her path and those who currently share her path of Inclusive Heathenry will gather together at her funeral to do honour to one in death who earned every praise we have to give in life.

This is not a time for politics, this is not a time for scoring points.  This is a time where we show what Dianne Ross meant to us in life by making the celebration of her life a reflection of the honor she earned through her words and her deeds.

Honoring: Dianne Luark Ross, born October 5, 1948 and passed June 27, 2018.


Our Purpose

We are here for many reasons. Foremost, we wish to celebrate the life of Dianne and to share our love for her.

The range of human emotions is welcomed here today. Feel free to cry, to laugh, and to express any emotion.

Part of our Hailing rite is to also enjoy a feast together while in honor of Dianne. A place will be left for her and a plate prepared. Feel free to continue to share your memories of Dianne with others during this time. After the meal, we will begin our Hailing rite.

Because Dianne was an important agent in the development of Heathenry and in The Troth, the opening eulogies will be conducted by the founders of The Troth, Edred Thorsson and James Chisholm. The third eulogy will be by Robert L. Schreiwer, the current Steer (President and CEO) of the organization. Once the opening eulogies are completed, the Horns will be on the altar. People are encouraged to approach the altar one at a time, to take a Horn, and to share their memories or thoughts, ending with a “Hail!” to Dianne’s memory.

After the Hailing rite is completed and appropriate offerings are made, Dianne’s ashes will be blessed with the libation from the Horns. We will then commence the Leichtlaaf (procession), and Dianne’s remains will pass through the group to receive final blessings from everyone along the path.

We will observe moments of silence and contemplation as we remember Dianne, her life, her contributions, and her impact on our lives.

We will then receive the Cleansing, after which we will then cut the sacred space. Guests are encouraged to engage in a time of fellowship.

Dianne was a caring and joyous woman known in her community. She would welcome newcomers as though they were old friends. It is most appropriate for us to meet new people, to make new friends, to extinguish old conflicts, and to build bridges. Let us celebrate her life in a manner that she would enjoy herself.

The Feast

Participants are welcome to join in feast and fellowship. Dianne is represented here with a setting and provides an opportunity for all of us to share our meal with her. We will read Maenwyn, When I Was Your Age, which is the English form of a Welsh poem written by a direct ancestor of Dianne and Lara.


Intonation of the Runes – Edred Thorsson


Each rune intoned thrice in a neutral voice: Raidho, Jera, Kenaz, Ingwaz, Mannaz. The people are encouraged to join in.


The Hallowing – Edred Thorsson and James Chisholm

Sonnet Reading - Garrison Martt

Testimonies and Eulogies

     -    Edred Thorrsson

  • James Chisholm
  • Robert L. Schreiwer

      -     Participants are encouraged to come forth to share their memories and thoughts about Dianne.



The Blessing – Robert L. Schreiwer

Dianne’s ashes will be blessed with the community’s love and honor. The godsman will recite a prayer written by Diana Paxson:


All-father Odin, Ale-Giving God!

Rage-giver, Runewinner, Rider of Yggdrasil!

Guard now and guide to glee in Valhalla

The fallen who fare to feast in your hall.


Swift Sleipnir’s Rider, speed through Nine Worlds,

Lead home to the feast, fastest far-farer,

The shield maid who strides over Rainbow Bridge!


This Bragi-blessed woman whose name we call!


DIANNE! Prepared is your place at the table!

Comes the reward for all your striving.

Let beer now flow freely from barrels,

As you join the heroes at Odin’s board.


From wandering to wonder, from woe to bliss,

From Midgard’s madness, hard on heroes,

Warriors greet one who fought for justice.

Welcome the wanderer to Warrior’s Hall!



Any remaining libation will be poured outside. When pouring, the participants may recite the following statement:


                                    From the Gods to the Earth to us,

                                    From us to the Earth to the Gods,

                                    A gift for a gift!




As the ashes pass, the people are encouraged to say blessings to Dianne and her memory. During this time, we will sing the Vigil Dirge on the following page.


We will receive the blessings of Birch.


The Closing



Thank you for coming to share in the memory of our beloved Dianne!


by Garrison Martt, 2018


A sonnet hovers, hidden in the wings,

a ballerina poised with timid care,

the quiet thunder inner fire brings,

the honesty of passion filled with prayer! 


Remember how the moonlight often sings

when we embrace the fantasies we dare? 

The taste of golden mead? A feast of kings!

The wild courageous kisses lovers share!


This poem is that heartbeat of desire,

an offering for how we wish to live

for in each loving moment, we are Fire -

a bright and sacred gift we choose to give.


Your Beauty will forever be a part

of who we are with one inspired heart! 


By Llywarch Hen, Dianne’s ancestor


Maenwyn, when I was of thy age,

My garment should not be trodden under foot,

My land should not be ploughed without blood.


Maenwyn, when I was opposed to thee,

With youth attendant on me,

The foe would not break my boundary.


Maenwyn, while I was in pursuit of thee,

Following my youth,

The foe loved not the fury of my resentment.


Maenwyn, while I was young and plump,

Addicted to fierce slaughter,

I would perform the acts of a man, though I was but a youth.


Maenwyn, take thy aim discreetly;

There is need of advice on him who is in error:

Let Maelgwn provide another mayor.


My choice is a portion, with its sheath on it,

And sharp-pointed as a thorn;

It is not labour lost for me to whet a stone.


A present was bestowed on me from the vale

Of Mewyrniawn, concealed in a bucket,

A sharp iron projecting from the hand.


Blessed be the solitary hag,

That said from the door of her cell,

With thanks to Michaela Macha of Odin’s Gift

Participants sing lines in bold.


 On this day, on this day,

 We'll remember all,

 You will part and we will stay,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 When from here you are passed,

 We'll remember all,

 To the Tree you'll come at last,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 When from the Tree you are passed,

 We'll remember all,

 To the Well you'll come at last,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 When from the Well you have passed,

 We'll remember all,

 The Rainbow Bridge you'll see at last,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 When the Bridge you have passed,

 We'll remember all,

 To Asgard you will come at last,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 Heimdall will lead you in,

 We'll remember all,

 Welcome you as friend and kin,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 Frigga's house, shining bright,

 We'll remember all,

 Fire and warmth and candle-light

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 With Freya and Frey, Odin and Thor,

 We'll remember all,

 You will be for evermore,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 Aesir all, Vanir all,

 We'll remember all,

 You'll be home in every hall,

 And Gods receive thy soul.


 On this day, on this day,

 We'll remember all,

 You'll arrive and we will stay,

 And Gods receive thy soul.

And Gods receive thy soul.