seax wica lyblacSeax Wica And Lyblac

 The Blot
                           Copyright (C) 1991, 1992 Lewis Stead




The Blot is the most common ritual within Asatru. In its simplest form a blot is making a  sacrifice to the Gods. In the old days this was done by feasting on an animal consecrated to the  Gods and then  slaughtered. (The word blot itself is related to the Norse words for "blood" and "sacrifice.") As we are no longer farmers and our needs  are simpler today, the most common blot  is an offering of mead or  other alchoholic beverage to the deities.

Many modern folk will be suspicious of a ritual such as this. Rituals such as the blot have been falsely interpreted by post-Pagan sources in order to denigrate the ritual or trivialize it.The most  common  myth about ritual sacrifice is that one is buying off a deity e.g. one throws a virgin into the Volcano so it won't erupt. Nothing could be  urther from the truth. In Asatru it is believed  that we are not only the worshippers of the Gods but that we are physically related to  them. The  Eddas tell of a God, Rig, who went to various farmsteads and fathered the human race so we are  physically kin to the Gods. On a more esoteric level, humankind is gifted with "ond" or the gift  of  ecstasy. Ond is a force that is of the Gods. It is everything that makes humans different from  the other creatures of the world. As creatures with this gift, we are immediately connected to the  Gods,  we are part of their tribe, their kin. Thus we are not simply buying  off the Gods by offering  them something that they want, but we are sharing with the Gods something that we all take joy  in. Sharing and
gift giving was an incredibly important part of Norse cultur (and of  most ancient  cultures) and had magical significance. Giving a gift was a sign of friendship, kinship, and  connection. By sharing a blot  with the Gods we reaffirm our connection to them and thus  reawaken their powers within us and their watchfullness over our world.

A blot can be a simple affair where a horn of mead is consecrated to the Gods and then poured as  a libation, or it can be a part of a larger ritual.  A good comparison is the Catholic Mass which  may be part of a regular service or special event such as a wedding or funeral, or it may be done  as a purely magical-religious practice without any sermon, hymns, or other trappings.

The blot consists of three parts, the hallowing or consecrating of the  offering, the sharing of the  offering, and the libation. Each of  these is equally important. The only tools required are mead,  beer or  juice, a horn or chalice, a sprig of evergreen used to sprinkle the mead, and a ceremonial  bowl known as a Hlautbowl into which the initial libation will be made.

The blot begins with the consecration of the offering. The Gothi  (Priest) or Gythia (Priestess)  officiating at the blot invokes the God or Goddess being honored. This is usually accomplished  by a  spoken declaration with ones arms being held above ones head in a Y shape, in imitation of  the rune elhaz. This posture is used for most  invocations and prayers throughout Asatru. After  the spoken invocation an appropriate rune or other symbol of the God or Goddess may be  drawn  in the air with the finger or with the staff. Once the God is invoked, the Gothi takes up the horn.  His assistant pours mead from  the bottle into the horn. The Gothi then traces the hammer sign  (an upside down T) over the horn as a blessing and holds it above his  head offering it to the  Gods. He then speaks a request that the God or Goddess bless the offering and accept it as a  sacrifice. At the  least one will feel the presence of the deity; at best one will be able to feel in some inner way the God taking of the mead and drinking it.

The mead is now not only blessed with divine power but has passed the  lips of the God or  Goddess. The Gothi then takes a drink of the horn
and it is passed around the gathered folk.  Although it sounds like a  very simple thing, it can be a very powerful experience. At this point
the mead is no longer simply a drink but is imbued with the blessing  and power of the God or  Goddess being honored. When one drinks, one
is taking that power into onesself. After the horn  has made the  rounds once, the Gothi again drinks from the horn and then empties the
remainder  into the hlautbowl. The Gothi then takes up the evergreen sprig and his assistant the hlautbowl  and the Gothi sprinkles the
mead around the circle or temple or onto the altar. If there are a  great  number of the folk gathered, one may wish to drop the drinking
and merely sprinkle the various  folk with the mead as a way of  sharing it. In a small group one might merely drink as the  blessing.

When this is done the Hlautbowl is taken by the Gothi and poured out onto the ground. This is  done as an offering not only to the God   invoked at the blot, but it is also traditional to remember  the Earth  Mother at this time, since it is being poured onto her ground. Man     invocations  mention the God, Goddess, or spirit being sacrificed to, and then Mother Earth, as in the Sigrdrifa Prayer "Hail to the Gods and to the Goddesses as well; Hail Earth that gives to all  men."   (Sigrdrifumal 3) With this action, the blot is ended.

Obviously this is a very sparse ritual and if performed alone could be completed in only a few  minutes. This is as it should be, for blots  are often poured not because it is a time of gathering or  festivity for the folk, but because the blot must be poured in honor or petition  of a God or Goddess on their holiday or some other important occasion.   For example, a father tending his  sick child might pour a blot to Eir  the Goddess of healing. Obviously he doesn't have time to  waste on  the "trappings" of ritual. The intent is to make an offering to the Goddess as quickly as possible. At some times a full celebration might not be made of a holiday because of a persons  hectic schedule, but at
the least a blot should be made to mark the occasion. However, in most cases a blot will at least be accompanied by a statement of intent at
the beginning and some sort  of conclusion at the end. It might also  be interspersed with or done at the conclusion of ritual  theater or
magic. Our kindred, for example, begins the ritual with a chant of  "Odin, Vili, Ve"  which connects us to the Gods of creation. Between
the invocation of the God or Goddess and  the actual Blot we usually  add a meditation or something else which acts as a focus of the
ritual.  Once, for example, we made mead in the middle of a ritual to  Aegir. As part of our blot we also  pass the horn three times. The
first time around is a taking in of the power of the charged mead  and  all offer a toast to the God(s) of the occasion. The second and third
rounds are open to toasts  to other Gods, toasts to the kindred, the  hosts, to pledges, boasting and anything else on wishes to  say. It is
essentially a "mini sumble" in the middle of our blot. Always of  course, we remember  the purpose of our ritual. We would never toast
one of the Jotnar during a ritual to Thor for  example. We have also  added a few steps at the end which are a private affirmation of our
groups  kinship with each other and with the Gods.

          Basic Outline of the Blot Ritual:                                                                          

          I. Sanctify space with the Hammer rite
          II. Invocation of the Deity
          III. Secondary Activities supporting the blot: meditation etc.
          IV. Load mead by offering it to the God
          V. Pass mead for blessing or sprinkle on folk
          VI. Other activities, prayers, etc
          VII. Thank the deity
          VIII. Pour the libation to the Earth