The guild of Saint Michael
In earlier times, our Germanic ancestors organised able-bodied men into so-called Männerbunden. These were cult-like organisations of men who were responsible for the physical defence as well as upholding the spiritual traditions of their tribes. During the Christianisation of Europe these organisations were shunned by the church. They had to renounce their allegiances to Wotan. In response, these organisations cunningly traded in their heathen gods for the spiritual and martial figures of the new religion. We now know these organisations as medieval guilds, like for example: St. George, St. Michael and St. Sebastian. Although the structure changed through the ages, the intrinsic motivation has remained the same: the protection of the community and the traditions. The word ‘gilda’ is of Frankish origins. The word itself was first used around the 8th century, however, we can date such organisations back to the 5th century. The word refers to a ceremonial meal in honour of the dead. At certain points, the Germanic people had feasts honouring the dead that could go on for days on end. The sacrifice or contribution (initially paid in kind) was called ‘gild’. This word also belongs to the same etymological family tree as the word ‘yield’. The name was originally used to describe the ceremonial meals and the attendants, later on its meaning was broadened to the community as a whole. Today, this ceremonial meal is still one of the most important events within the guild.
Before the dawn of time, a war raged between the angels of Satan and the angels of God. The latter were led by the archangel Michael, a fierce warrior.
Another war engulfed the forces of heaven soon after, Michael and his angels fought a dragon and its angels tooth and nail. The dragon couldn’t withstand the onslaught of Michael’s forces and it too fell to Michael’s weapons, their places in the Kingdom of Heaven forever lost.
The divine archangel Michael succeeded in tempering the devil, disguised as a dragon, and threw him and his ilk down to earth. According to an old Medieval legend, which was heralded with much acclaim, a legion of angels stranded on earth. These good, albeit fallen, angels were tasked with upholding a gate to the divine as practitioners of the martial arts. They were the keepers of the martial arts and the defenders of warriorhood. Having heard or listened to this story, it’s only logical that the archangel became the patron saint of knights and other militant factions such as our guild. In these modern times we aim to uphold traditions such as these and identify with our brotherhood as we do with our patron saint, the divine archangel Michael.