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 denegrate 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
further 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 invoc- ation 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.
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