Odin's Rune Rite

 

 

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By Steve Wilson

revised 1994

(Adapted from RITUALS OF ASATRU; Volume One--Major Blots, by Stephen A. McNallen; published by World Tree Publications, copyright 1990.)

Harrow should be set up with gandr, drekkjahorn, vessels of spring water and mead, recels-pot and recels, bladed weapon, and bag of runes. Harrow should face north. Drum is also needed. Stead should be dimly lit with candles.

HALLOWING: Godi charges recels with elhaz, then circles stead with smoldering recels thrice. Godi then takes up gandr and blesses quarters with sunwheel:

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

Godi returns to harrow, faces north, holding gandr overhead:

"I HALLOW AND MAKE HOLY TO THE SERVICE OF ODIN THIS HARROW AND STEAD, BANISHING ALL POWERS UNHOLY OR IMPURE. MAY OUR MINDS, IN THIS HOLY PLACE, LIKEWISE BE HALLOWED, AS IS OUR WILL, TO THE JUST SERVICE OF ODIN. AS THE GOD HEIMDALL WARDS BIFROST BRIDGE, MAY THIS STEAD BE WARDED AGAINST ALL WIGHTS BANEFUL TO OUR WORK HERE TONIGHT!"

INVOCATION: Godi places gandr on harrow, stands in elhaz:

"ODIN! WE HEAR YOU IN THE WIND RUSTLING THE LEAVES OF THE GROVE, AND IN THE WILD FURY OF THE RAGING STORM. YOU SPEAK TO US IN THE CRY OF THE RAVEN, AND IN THE HOWL OF THE WOLF IN THE WILD PLACES. YOU SHOUT IN THE BATTLE-CRY OF THE WARRIOR, AND YOU SING IN THE WORDS OF THE SKALD. UNSEEN BY MORTAL EYES, YOU LEAD THE WILD HUNT IN FURIOUS ABANDON ACROSS THE VERY SOUL OF YOUR FOLK. HEAR US, ODIN, AS WE CALL TO YOU, AND COME TO US!"

Godi picks up drum and with a slow soft beat leads the folk:

"ODIN, COME TO US, HIGH ONE, COME TO US,

 ODIN, COME TO US, SPEAR-GOD, COME TO US,

 ODIN, COME TO US, RUNE-LORD, COME TO US,

 ODIN,COME TO US, HANGED GOD, COME TO US,

 ODIN, COME TO US, WANDERER, COME TO US,

 ODIN, COME TO US...HAIL ALLFATHER!"

Godi puts drum down, stands in elhaz:

"WINTER'S COLD APPROACHES AND SUNNA'S POWER WANES. AS THE FORCES OF COLD AND DARKNESS CLOSE IN, THESE ARE HARD TIMES FOR YOUR FOLK. TO HELP US THROUGH THESE TIMES, WE SEEK YOUR WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE. BE WITH US IN OUR RITE, HIGH ONE, AND GUIDE US AS WE FOLLOW THE PATH YOU'VE BLAZED."

THE RUNE-RITE: Godi fills horn with water. Holding it high, he says:

"MAY THE TIMELESS POWERS FILL THIS WATER WITH WISDOM AND HOLINESS, THAT IT BE FOR US AS THE WATER FROM MIMIR'S SPRING WAS TO ALLFATHER!"

Godi then sings ALU-galdr into water. He then says:

"UNDER ONE ROOT OF THE WORLD-TREE LIES THE SPRING OF MIMIR, IN WHICH IS HIDDEN WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING. MIMIR IS WISE BECAUSE HE DRINKS WATER FROM THE SPRING OUT OF THE HORN CALLED GJOLL. ALLFATHER CAME TO HIM AND ASKED FOR A SINGLE DRINK FROM THE SPRING, BUT HE DID NOT GET IT UNTIL HE HAD GIVEN ONE OF HIS EYES."

Godi carries water to each person attending and says:

"IN YOUR HEART, TELL MIMIR WHAT YOU WILL GIVE FOR WISDOM."

He will pause for a moment as each person silently makes his or her own pledge, then offers a drink from the horn. Each person should think fully on the price and responsibility of wisdom during this part of the rite. When all have had a drink, the godi will return to harrow. He then fills horn with mead, and offers the horn skyward:

"ODIN, FILL THIS MEAD WITH INSPIRATION, THAT IT BE FOR US AS THE MEAD YOU STOLE FOR THE GOOD OF GODS AND HUMANKIND!"

Godi then charges mead with ALU-galdr. He then says:

"ODIN DRANK THE MEAD THAT GUNNLOD OFFERED, AND CHANGED HIMSELF INTO AND EAGLE AND SWIFTLY FLEW AWAY. WHEN SUTTUNG SAW THE EAGLE IN FLIGHT, HE ALSO TOOK ON EAGLE SHAPE AND FLEW AFTER ODIN. NOW WHEN THE AESIR SAW ODIN COMING, THEY PUT CROCKS INTO THE COURTYARD, AND WHEN ODIN CAME INTO ASGARD, HE SPAT THE MEAD INTO THE CROCKS. THUS WE GAINED THE MEAD THAT MAKES POET OR SCHOLAR OF THOSE WHO DRINK IT."

Carrying the horn to each person, godi asks:

"DRINK THE MEAD OF INSPIRATION, THEN LOOK WITHIN AND SEE WHAT IT TELLS YOU."

After drinking, each person should look within for the divine spark of inspiration, and meditate upon it while bidding it to grow. Godi returns to harrow, and after meditation, says:

"HEAR NOW THE WORDS OF THE HIGH ONE!

 I KNOW THAT I HUNG ON THAT WIND-SWEPT TREE

 FOR NINE LONG NIGHTS,

 A SPEAR WOUNDED ME: OFFERED TO ODIN,

 MYSELF TO ME

 NOT EVEN THE WISEST KNOW FROM WHAT ROOTS THAT ANCIENT TREE RISES.

 THEY GAVE ME NO BREAD, THEY GAVE ME NO MEAD:

 I LOOKED DOWN; WITH A LOUD CRY

 I TOOK UP RUNES OF MIGHT: FROM THAT TREE I FELL."

Godi will now lead the folk nine circuits slowly around the stead. When the ninth circuit is done, godi will pick up bladed weapon and bag of runes. He will press the point of the weapon against each person's breast, symbolizing Odin's wounding:

"DO YOU WILLINGLY ACCEPT THE PAIN OF KNOWLEDGE?"

He will then offer the bag of runes, allowing them to draw one. After all have drawn a rune, allow a period of meditation. The godi may aid anyone who needs it in interpreting their rune. After everyone has had time to contemplate his or her rune, godi will return to harrow. Standing in elhaz:

"ODIN, WE HAVE DARED TO SEEK WISDOM AND INSPIRATION, THAT THE FOLK MAY BE WARDED THROUGH THE COMING DARKNESS. SO WARDED, MAY WE STRIVE ON UNTIL THE COMING REBIRTH IF LIGHT, BOTH IN THE HEAVENS, AND IN THE HEARTS OF YOUR PEOPLE. YOU HAVE BEEN WITH US, AND GIVEN US OF YOUR WISDOM AND MIGHT. IT IS ONLY MEET THAT WE NOW RETURN TO YOU WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS; OUR EFFORTS, OUR STRUGGLES, AND OUR DEVOTION, AS SYMBOLIZED BY THE MEAD IN THIS HORN."

Godi raises horn in offering, then pours libation:

"HAIL, ODIN!!"

And then a smaller libation:

"AND TO YOUR BLOOD-BROTHER (note = Loki), THAT YOU NOT BE FORE-SWORN!"

(Note: Odin swore an oath never to accept a drink, which of course includes a libation, unless it was also offered to Loki.)

Godi then addresses the folk:

"THIS RITE IS DONE. MAY IT STRENGTHEN US IN OUR DEVOTION TO THE GODS OF OUR ANCESTORS, AND RENEW IN OUR HEARTS OUR DETERMINATION TO LIVE AS WORTHY DAUGHTERS AND SONS OF ODIN. BEARING ODIN'S GIFTS, MAY WE GO FORTH FROM HERE WITH ALL THE GREATER RESOLVE TO LIVE FREE AND TRUE--WITH COURAGE, TRUSTING IN OUR OWN STRENGTHS, AND HONORING THE BONDS OF KINSHIP, UNTIL WE BE GATHERED TO THE GODS!"

CLOSING: Godi faces north, standing in elhaz:

"ALLFATHER! WE THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US TONIGHT. AS YOU WEND TO ASGARD, CARRY WITH YOU THE THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS OF WE WHO DWELL IN MIDGARD. PRAISE TO YOU, ODIN, AND FAREWELL!"

Godi raises gandr and salutes quarters:

"HAIL ODIN! FAREWELL!"

Created by Chandonn and Jordsvin

all works used by permission of the authors

last modified 12/30/2003