As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, I’ve been very drawn to Norse Paganism for a while, so much so that I’ve decided to start making Asatru/Heathenry a part of my life, having Celtic Reconstructionist rituals and traditions for the Celtic High Days, but following Heathen ways for other holidays. Today I had my first Heathen ritual; a solitary blót (blessing).
This was a bit of an emotional ritual for me, since I was kind of “introducing” myself for the first time to the gods/goddesses of my German and English ancestors. I’ve been reading Norse mythology and the Eddas, as well as listening to music about the Norse gods on The Heathen Songbook Online. This has given me a really good feel for what the gods are all about. The stories are so detailed, I feel like it has all “come to life” for me more than any other pantheon/tradition has. Although I am quite new to this, I was very satisfied with this ritual.
My Winter Finding Blót (on the eve of the autumn equinox 2011)
For the warding, I didn’t want to do a hammer rite; I’ve heard that the hammer rite may be simply a Wiccan carry-over. But I found something called the “Anglo-Saxon Hallowing Charm” and it seemed really right. So I lit the candles on my tree candelabra and walked around the house carrying it singing that charm, holding it out from me, sometimes circling it. This is a new tradition for me, and it felt really right and powerful. That tree candelabra is heavy and it seemed just the right thing to use for this. Not only does the tree symbolize Yggdrasil, but also oak trees are sacred to Thor, so it could also be considered his symbol. Though the leaves on this metal tree look a bit more like Yggdrasil ash than Thor’s oak.
This is where I said:
“I stand here today upon this holy earth and speak for the first time to the gods and spirits of my German and English ancestors. I stand here today upon this holy earth to give thanks at the harvest time of the year, and to give offering and praise to the Aesir, Vanir, Landvaettir, Alf and Dises.”
This is where I said:
“Aesir, Vanir, shining gods and goddesses of my folk from time unknown, hear my call. Come share a drink and hear my praise. Spirits of the Land, and Spirits of my Ancestors, hear my call. Come share a drink and hear my praise.”
I marked the sign of the hammer over my cup of cider and raised it aloft for a moment. (I’m making mead for rituals like this, but it isn’t ready yet.)
I sang both “Gods of My Life” and “My Gods, Your Love”. After each stanza I took a drink and poured some in the libation bowl. I admit that second song got me a little teary eyed. After the songs I did some ad-lib personal toasts and libations, hailing and thanking individual gods and goddesses for the harvest and for coming into my life. I did the same for the Landvaettir, Ancestors, and especially the Disir, the ancestral mothers.
This is where I poured the rest of the cider into the libation bowl, then took it outside and poured it’s contents onto the ground at the base of a shrub and said:
“From the gods to earth to us, from us to the earth, to the gods.”