My spiritual life has many layers. I have a small group and a larger spiritual community; each espouses a different belief system- one is simple and one is complex, and neither is a perfect fit for my spirituality, but each fulfills a need. So I guess you could say my spirituality tends to get complicated. My smaller group is a local chapter a religious organization that espouses long rituals, and I tend to get burned out on being the organizer (and the main ritual maker/leader, by default) for it. Because of this, I often find myself striving for more simplicity in my personal practices. For the love of simplicity, I offer this, my own ritual format. It is a simple blót. It has helped me find simplicity and peace in my solitary spiritual life. Perhaps it will be of benefit to many of you, as well.
There’s not many steps. Few words means easy memorization, freeing me up to concentrate on other aspects of my spirituality or seasonal celebration; the magic and reverence of folkways, food preparation, music, etc. It can be used for a solitary or group/family ritual without a change to wording– I still say “us” and “we” if doing ritual alone, because I mean to represent my entire household. Also, the rite is written for High Day celebrations and for daily (or weekly, or as-needed) devotions alike.
For this style of ritual, all that’s needed is a flame (candle/lamp/or fireplace), a blótbolli (offering bowl for libations), a tine (evergreen sprig) for the asperging blessing, and a beverage (this is usually mead for most Heathens, but I like to use hard cider) with a drinking horn or cup (I just use a single serving bottle of cider, if doing ritual alone- it’s easier to pour libations from a bottle). My altar is sometimes a shelf in the dining room, or the dining room table itself, or even the kitchen counter (-if I had a fireplace, I’d use the mantle). If you want to try this style of ritual, use any surface or space that represents for you your hearth and home.
- Warding: Anglo-Saxon Hallowing Charm (*Note: you need not ward your home every time you do ritual. You may wish to do it periodically; monthly, yearly, or as needed.)
- Fire Lighting: “In honor of the Holy Ones, I light the sacred flame.”
- The Call: “Hail the Gods. Hail the Goddesses.Hail the Ancestors and Holy Wights. (Or call on specific deities/spirits.) Come to us, your kindred. Be welcome at our hearth and home. Open our eyes that we may see you. Open our hearts to hear your wisdom. Bring to us your blessing bright.”
- Loading & Hallowing: pass drink over the fire and say,“May the Gods hallow and bless.” or “Thunor hallow.” Pour some into the blótbolli.
- Asperging Blessing: Dip a tine into the blótbolli and sprinkle hallowed drink on altar and on yourself and any participants. This may be wordless, or you may say something like: “May the blessings of the Holy Ones be upon us.” (If worshiping alone, you could skip this step and go straight to toasts and libations, if you want.)
- Toasts & Libations: Make personal hails and prayers to specific deities/wights asking for blessings of the season or occasion. (After this step, you can go straight to “Offering & Closing” or proceed with the day’s festivities as follows.)
- Seasonal Customs: if blót is for a holiday, commemorate the occasion with blessings, symbolism, and a special meal. (You may want to have another offering bowl for food offerings.)
- Offering & Closing: At the end of your festivities, give thanks in your own words and pour contents of the blótbolli onto the ground at the base of a tree or onto a hörgr outside. Say: “From the Gods to the earth, to us. From us, to the earth, to the Gods. The cycle continues. The rite is ended.”