A Rite of

Land-Blessing

 

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By Steve Wilson

RITE OF LAND-BLESSING

Harrow should be set up with antler, drinking horn, blessing bowl, evergreen tine, vessel with mead, ale, milk, or cider, vessel with water, recels and recels-pot, and sun-wheel loaf. If an indoors rite, have a basket or cauldron with earth and a piece of sod next to the harrow. If outdoors, have a spade nearby. The harrow should face the west.

OPENING: Horn-blower should sound the moot-horn to the aetts. The folk should then gather around the harrow.

HALLOWING: Godi should charge recels with the elhaz-galdr. Then, circle the stead three times, sunwise, with smoldering recels. Returning to the harrow, godi should pick up the antler and make salutation to the aetts, beginning in the west and moving sunwise:

"HORN, HELGA VE THETTA OK HINDRA ALLA ILLSKA!"

Godi should then return to the harrow, face the west, and hold antler high overhead:

"I HALLOW AND MAKE HOLY THIS HARROW AND STEAD

 BEARING GOOD FOR MY FOLK I BANISH ALL BALE

 MAY OUR HEARTS BE MADE WHOLE

 MAY OUR MINDS BE MADE OPEN

 AS HEIMDALL BRIGHT WARDS BIFROST BRIDGE

 BE THIS STEAD WARDED FROM BANEFUL WIGHTS"

INVOCATION: Godi stand in elhaz-stodhur, facing west:

"INGVI-FREY FRIEND OF FOLK

 FARE FROM HOME HIGHT VANAHEIM

 IN HOLY FRITH WE FREELY GATHER

 AS IN DAYS OF OLD WE HONOR

 BEARING GIFTS WE GLADLY GREET YOU

 OPEN SOUL'S EYES THAT WE SEE YOU

 OPEN HEARTS TO HEAR YOUR WISDOM

 BRING YOUR FOLK YOUR BLESSINGS BRIGHT"

All the folk should greet Freyr with godi:

"HAIL FREYR! HAIL FREYR! HAIL FREYR!"

GODI'S REDE: Godi opens with the call to listen:

"HEARKEN TO MY HOLY REDE

  HAIL TO HIM WHO HEARS MY WORDS!"

 

Then godi should briefly relate the story from Skirnismal

OFFERING: Godi fills drinking horn from vessel of drink:

"INGVI-FREYR, AS OUR FOREFATHERS DID IN DAYS LONG AGO, WE CALL T0 YOU AND OFFER YOU OUR SACRIFICE! NOT OF BLOOD, BUT IN THE FREE GIVING OF OUR HUMAN EFFORTS, OUR STRUGGLES, AND OUR DEVOTION! MAY IT AID US, GODS AND HUMANKIND ALIKE, IN OUR STRUGGLE AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD WAR AGAINST ASGARDHR, OR SEEK TO SET GREY SLAVERY IN MIDGARDHR!"

Godi raises filled horn and holds it aloft in offering:

"APPEASEMENT, FOR WE STAND IN GOOD STEAD WITH YOU, BUT AS A SIGN OF OUR KINSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP!"

When godi feels that offering has been accepted, he will pour a small libation onto the ground or into the earth-filled container, then place horn back into stand.

LOADING: Godi should make the ing-rune handstodhur over the horn:

"FREYR, YOU HAVE RECEIVED OUR SACRIFICE, SYMBOLIZED BY THE ALE (or CIDER, etc. ...) IN THIS HORN. POUR NOW INTO IT YOUR MIGHT AND BLESSINGS, THAT WE MAY GROW CLOSER TO YOU AND EACH OTHER BY SHARING IT AMONG US."

BLESSING: When godi feels, the horn is charged with Freyr's might, he should place tine into blessing-bowl and pour a small libation over the tine into the bowl. Godi uses the tine to sprinkle the harrow on all four sides, then sprinkles each of the folk:

"I GIVE YOU THE BLESSING OF INGVI-FREYR!"

Godi then picks up horn and offers it to each person to drink, refilling it from vessel if necessary:

"DRINK OF THE MIGHT OF INGVI-FREYR!"

As each person drinks, they may, if they wish, offer a toast to Ingvi-Freyr. After everyone has drunk, godi returns to the harrow, drinks, and pours the last bit of drink into the blessing-bowl.

RITE OF LAND-BLESSING:

Godi turns to face the east, standing in the elhaz-stodhur:

"EASTWARD I STAND, FOR BOUNTY I ASK.

 I PRAY TO THE BRIGHT ONES, THE GUARDIANS OF HEAVEN.

 I PRAY TO THE EARTH BELOW AND THE SKY ABOVE,

 AND TO ALL THE GODDESSES AND GODS OF OUR FOLK,

TO THE MIGHT OF THE LIFE-GIVERS.

 I PRAY THAT THUS MAY CROPS BE RAISED UP

 TO OUR WORLDLY GOOD,

 AND THAT THIS EARTH BE FILLED WITH HOLY FRITH,

 THAT GREEN AND FAIR BE THIS BLESSED LAND!"

Godi should then pour out the vessel of water upon the container of earth or on the ground next to the harrow:

"SKY FATHER, COVER YOUR CONSORT THAT LIFE MAY BE!

 EARTH MOTHER, BE FILLED WITH MIGHT THAT LIFE MAY BE!"

Godi then stands again in elhaz:

"ERCE, ERCE, ERCE, EARTHEN MOTHER,

 MAY THE GREAT ONES, GODS ETERNAL,

 GIVE YOU GREEN FIELDS EVER-WAXING,

 ACRES OF BOUNTY, HARVESTS BRINGING,

 SHINING FIELDS OF MILLET-CROPS,

 FIELDS OF THE BROAD BARLEY-CROPS,

 HARVESTS OF THE WHITE WHEAT-CROPS,

 AND ALL THE CROPS OF EARTH!

 MAY MOTHER EARTH AND FATHER SKY

 AND ALL THE HOLY ONES OF HEAVEN

 WARD THE HARVEST AGAINST ALL FOES,

 AND HOLD IT AGAINST EVERY ILL

 THAT BALE-WORKERS SOW WITHIN THE LAND.

 NOW I PRAY THE ONE WHO SHAPED THIS WORLD

 THAT THERE BE NO WOMAN SO STRONG OF SPEECH,

 THERE BE NO MAN SO CUNNING OF CRAFT,

 THAT THEY MAY BEND THESE WORDS THUS SPOKEN!

 Godi then should pick up the sun-wheel loaf, and carry it around the stead to each person:

 LAY YOUR HANDS UPON THIS HOLY LOAF, AND OFFER YOUR PRAYERS TO THE HIGH ONES."

Each person may then offer a silent or spoken prayer, for success in a venture, for health, or whatever they wish. Godi will then lift the piece of sod in the container, or, if outdoors, dig a small hole in the earth. He will then hold the loaf high, and all the folk should recite with him:

"HAIL TO THEE, EARTH, MOTHER OF MEN!

 MAY YOU BE FRUITFUL, WARDED BY FREYR, FILLED WITH FOOD FOR THE NEED OF ALL!"

Godi will then lay the loaf in the container and cover it with the sod, or bury it in the hole. Then the godi will say:

"FIELD FULL OF FOOD FOR HUMAN-KIN,

 BRIGHTLY BLOOMING, BE THOU BLESSED,

 IN THE HOLY NAMES OF OUR MIGHTY GODS

 AND OF MOTHER EARTH WHEREON WE DWELL.

 FREYR AND FREYA, NERTHUS, NJORDHR,

 GRANT US THIS, THE GIFT OF GROWING,

 THAT EACH KIND OF GRAIN MAY FILL OUR NEED."

The godi will then proclaim:

"HAIL THE GODS AND GODDESSES!"

The folk will repeat:

"HAIL THE GODS AND GODDESSES!"

The godi then says:

"HAIL THE HOLY, ALL-GIVING EARTH!"

And the folk reply:

"HAIL THE HOLY, ALL-GIVING EARTH!"

The godi then says:

"SO IT IS DONE."

CLOSING: After a few quiet moments, the godi speaks:

"THIS BLOT IS DONE. MAY IT STRENGTHEN US IN OUR DEVOTION TO THE GODS AND GODDESSES OF OUR FOREFATHERS, AND RENEW IN OUR HEARTS OUR DETERMINATION TO LIVE AS WORTHY FRIENDS OF INGVI-FREYR. MAY WE GO FORTH FROM HEAR WITH ALL THE GREATER RESOLUTION TO LIVE TRUE AND FREE: WITH COURAGE, WITH TRUST IN OUR STRENGTH, AND HONORING THE BONDS OF KINSHIP, UNTIL WE BE GATHERED TO THE GODS."

Godi then stands in elhaz again, facing the west:

"INGVI-FREYR, FRIEND OF FOLK, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE WITH US TONIGHT. AS YOU WEND TO VANAHEIM, BEAR WITH YOU THE THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS OF YOUR KIN WHO DWELL HERE IN MIDGARDHR. HAIL, INGVI-FREYR, AND FAREWELL!"

As godi raises the antler to each of the aetts, the folk should say with him:

"HAIL, INGVI-FREYR, AND FAREWELL!"

After the rite, if it was held indoors, the earth, sod and loaf should be buried in an appropriate place outdoors, and the contents of the blessing-bowl poured out over them.

 

RITE OF LAND-BLESSING

Participant's Guide

There will be portions of the Rite of Land-Blessing in which you will be asked to participate. To make this easier for you, I have prepared this "cheat-sheet".

The first part of the rite calling for your participation is during the general blessing. I will bring the drinking-horn around to each person. You may, if you wish, offer a small toast in honor of Ingvi-Freyr, or simply say, "Hail Freyr" before drinking. If you do not wish to drink, you may merely take the horn, inhale the aroma of the drink, and hand it back to me.

The next time you will be asked to do something is when I pass the blessed loaf of bread around prior to sacrificing it. I will ask each person to lay their hands upon it, and offer their prayers, for success in a venture, for health, or for any other need, to the High Ones. You may do this silently or out loud, as you choose. If you have no prayer to offer, you may simply touch the loaf in token of respect to the Gods.

After you have touched the, loaf, I will offer the loaf to the Gods. I will hold the loaf high, and would like to have everyone recite the following blessing with me:

"HAIL TO THEE, EARTH, MOTHER OF MEN!

MAY YOU BE FRUITFUL, WARDED BY FREYR, FILLED WITH FOOD FOR THE NEED OF ALL!"

After this I will bury the loaf. I will recite another short blessing, then I will say two sentences. You should repeat the sentences after I say them. The sentences are:

"HAIL THE GODS AND GODDESSES!" and:

"HAIL THE HOLY, ALL-GIVING EARTH!"

I hope you enjoy this blot, and that your active participation makes it more meaningful for you.

 

Steve Wilson

Created by Chandonn and Jordsvin

all works used by permission of the authors

last modified 02/01/2008