Blots

 

A Blot is a norse rite of sacrifice to the gods, wights, spirits and ancestors. Blot itself means to worship. The main purpose of a Blot is to give an offering, of significant importance to you, to a god or ancestor in exchange for aid or protection or to give back and honour the aforementioned.In the old days this was done by feasting on an animal consecrated to the Gods and then slaughtered. As we are no longer farmers and our needs are simpler today, the most common blot is an offering of mead or other alcoholic beverage to the deities. Each Vitki, a shamanic norse priest or Gothi, a more traditional priest, performs a Blot differently as there is no universal method for these rites. The information below is just a guide on how to perform one and is open to interpretation and changes.

 

The first part of this rite is the setting up of the Blot. Start by pouring mead into a Hlaut bowl and placing in an evergreen sprig, raise high and ask the gods to bless the sacrifice, traditionally it would have been made with the blood of the sacrificed animals all combined. Now clear the area you will use for the rite and if outside light a fire. Set up the equipment and Altar also known as the Ve, to the north. The ritual leader should stand next to the Ve with everyone else stood around the area.

 

Start by performing the hammer rite around the area , to consecrate and protect the area whilst performing the rite. It is now time to invite and invoke the gods or ancestors, you wish to be in attendance. This can be done as elaborate and poetically as you like but a simple ask will work just as well. The thing to remember is that this is just an invitation so remember to ask not command and keep it polite and respectful.

 

Next is the Rede. This is where the ritual leader outlines what's going to happen and why everyone is here to the rest of the gathering. Stories and poems are told of the gods or ancestors to give a more in depth understanding.

 

It is now time for the offerings to be given and you can sacrifice anything as long as it has significant meaning to you. Offering something that means nothing to you is an insult to the gods and ancestors. You can also offer Meat and alcohol, ideally mead but any will do. The idea is for the sacrifice to go through a change so any solid items and meat can be burnt on the fire. The Mead and other liquids can be poured into the earth for it to be absorbed back into the land. This is followed by a communal toast.

 

Now it is time for the blessings. Take up he Hlaut bowl once more and raise it up, ask the gods for their blessings and trace a hammer sign just above the bowl whilst still in the air. Do the same with a horn of mead, once more asking the gods to bless the horn and take the mead as a sacrifice. The ritual leader will then take a sip of the mead from the blessed horn and pass it around the rest of the gathering, who all do the same. Once everyone has partaken, the rest of the mead is tipped into the Hlaut bowl. The leader will then take up the Hlaut bowl and stick of evergreen and go around sprinkling everyone with the Hlaut using the sprig as a brush. Once completed the rest of the Hlaut is sprinkled around the area to bless the land. Finally recite Sigdrifas prayer to the gathering.

 

Hail Day, hail sons of Day;

Hail Night and her daughters;

look upon us with favor,

and grant us victory.

Hail to the gods!  Hail to the goddesses!

Hail the all-giving Earth!

Bless us with wisdom, with an honorable tongue,

And healing hands, for the rest of our days.Hail Night and her daughters;

look upon us with favor,and grant us victory.

Hail to the gods!  Hail to the goddesses!

Hail the all-giving Earth!

Bless us with wisdom, with an honorable tongue,

And healing hands, for the rest of our days.

 

To end the blot finish with a closing statement or moment of silence in respect of the gods and ancestors, and close down the Hammer rite.

 

Usually a blot is followed by a feast where all the gathering talk about there ancestors and gods through poems and more stories and even short plays or songs. A plate is always made up for the gods and ancestors you invited and also one for the friends and kinsmen who couldn’t be there. It ends with The Sumbel. The guests are seated, (traditionally, in some formal fashion), and the host begins the sumbel with a short statement of greeting and intent, and by offering the first toast. The horn is then passed around the table and each person makes their toasts in turn. At the sumbel toasts are drunk to the Gods, as well as to a persons ancestors or personal heroes. Rather than a toast, a person might also offer a brag or some story, song, or poem that has significance. The importance is that at the end of the toast, story, or whatever, the person offering it drinks from the horn, and in doing so "drinks in" what he spoke.One format for the sumbel is to drink three rounds. The first is dedicated to the Gods, the second to great heroes of the folk such as historical figures or heroes from the sagas, and the third to personal ancestors, heroes, or friends which have passed from this world.With each person given a chance to talk before moving on. After the sumbel finishes the Blot is over.