Heraldry Thoughts

This poor blog has been neglected of late.  I’m not going to do a huge update on all the events I’ve attended, I’ll just say I’ve been busy.

Twelfth Night was last weekend, in Coeur d’Alene.  I wasn’t originally planning to go but, about 2 months ago, decided I had to go because it’s one of my favorite events.  I’m really glad I did because I had a great time.  The resort was beautiful, I helped some great people at the consult table, and, best of all, I got to see some friends I don’t see often enough.

Several of those friends are heralds and are senior to me in the heraldry world.  One of our conversations has had me thinking ever since.  We were talking about the level of book heralds in several kingdoms but specifically An Tir.  It seems like we have a lot of beginning heralds, several senior heralds (some of whom can’t comment at the local level because of their offices) and only a few mid-level heralds and why there is that gap.

The gap could be caused by a few things:

  1. Heralds are burning out either before or shortly after they get to the mid-level stage.
  2. People don’t know how to get to the mid-level stage
  3. Not enough education past the beginner level
  4. Lack of confidence/People thinking that others know more than they do so they don’t comment and we just don’t know that they at that mid-level
  5. People think they know everything they need to know so they stop worrying about it or listening to other people’s imput so they don’t progress.

So, what do we do about it?  I’m not really sure yet.  The best way to progress in book heraldry is just by reading and practicing but I think that goes back to the lack of confidence.

When I felt like I was stagnating, I asked a friend, who happens to be Pelican Queen of Arms, how to progress and she  gave me some ideas.  I didn’t have a problem doing that but I think some people are intimidated by the senior heralds for reasons that I don’t really understand.  (Though I should mention that when I met most of the senior heralds I had no clue how the College of Arms operated so I had no idea who they were.  If I had, I may have been intimidated, I may not have, it’s hard to say.)

I think the biggest issue my be confidence but the only way to build confidence is by practicing and realizing you really do know what you’re talking about.  So, do we try to have more local heraldry nights where we get together and comment on the internal letters?

Any other ideas?

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2 Responses to Heraldry Thoughts

  1. I know for me, time is the main reason I am not commenting more. When we had a set night as a group to talk about the letter, I put the time into commenting. Now, I mostly only comment when I have a client I am keeping an eye on or I have nothing else I am working on. Life has also added stress and more to do so that has been another issue. I think also part of the problem is that some don’t understand that at kingdom, asking questions and being unsure, can be helpful to all. It can help keep the “I know everything” down a bit, but also may ask a question of something all the senior heralds missed. That I why I try to put my option in a question. Not because I am not sure (although, sometimes, I am), but also to lessen the tone in commenting and to encourage other new heralds to learn.

  2. Hafr-Tóki says:

    I’ve been working on a project to attempt to address this issue. So far I’ve been planning it as a Baronial thing, but I had hoped that it would spread throughout the Kingdom if it’s successful. Drop me a line and I’ll send you the current draft.

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