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"This is Einherjar Night. The Einherjar are the warriors who dwell in Odin's hall, feasting and training for the Rattle of Ragnarok. But the blot tonight is a Tyrblot; we honor Odin and Freya, who like Tyr are associated with war, on other occasions. A celebration in honor of fallen warriors would be unusual among non-Heathen Pagans. Many, if not most, tend toward pacifism. This while perhaps praiseworthy, is not necessarily realistic. Tonight we speak of grim but holy things. Please listen carefully to what I am about to say, whether you find that you agree with me or conclude that I have just unmasked myself as a "Patriarchal Warmonger."
"It is NOT my intent to romanticize warfare. Nor do I believe that our country should obtain by force from others what it cannot or will not obtain by trade. Few today long to go a-Viking. Conflicts today are more often economic and cultural than military. The heavy emphasis on school-related and professional athletics is our society may also represent a warlike impulse. Still, actual warfare DOES continue to be a part of the human experience. While a peaceful world may be a worthwhile goal it remains, at best, far in the future.
"There are definite biological precedents among our closest hung relatives, the chimpanzees, for humanity's warlike predilections. This does not mean we are doomed to continue imitating our killer ape ancestors. Quite the contrary, if we acknowledge our genetic predisposition toward inter-group violence, we may rationally decide whether or not to act on it!
"There is a spiritual aspect to warfare. A well-wrought weapon is also a thing of beauty, even a work of art .The Samurai warriors of Japan sought union with the Divine in battle ecstasy. Some of our Heathen ancestors, as Berserkers, may has done so as well. If we humans insist on having wars, The Gods will take an interest in then, and seek to help what is right and just to prevail. Most of us, too, take an interest in wars, be they historical or contemporary.
"We can honor our brave, valiant warrior ancestors of the THREE greatest Germanic migrations: Anglo-Saxon/"Dark Ages," Viking, and Colonial American - without ignoring the injustices and horrors that ore an inevitable part of all warfare. Herein lies paradox. This, too, is a part of the human condition. I, as a priest of the fertility God Ingvi Frey also called Peace-Frodhi, and who am tonight leading a blot to our God of War, am keenly aware of this. Still, although Frey gave his sword away to win his Etin-Bride, he did not thereby escape from the need to fight. He fought Beli with a hart's horn (=deer's antler), and will fight again with that same weapon at the Ragnarok. Like it or not, life and the struggle for life am inextricably intertwined with death. Neither can exist without the other. It is far healthier to acknowledge this, even to journey into it through our blot tonight, than to turn our backs on it in hypocritical disgust safe arid prosperous in a land won far us by our warrior ancestors and their equally valiant mates.
"Far away, in a small, crowded bone-dry land called Israel or Palestine, two peoples today kill each other in the name of the same desert God, each claiming to hold that land as a gift from him. Not much of a land, if you ask me, but I suppose one shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth! OUR Gods gave no land- Holy or otherwise, to our ancestors. What they DID give them was the strength and inspiration to seek- find and win new lands for themselves. And I believe that we, their descendants- are all the stronger for this.
"On this night, we honor those who have fallen in battle, as well as those who have served in the armed forces. It is also fitting to honor the many non-combatants who have died in history's wars. All of us have departed relatives and close friends who have served their country by military service. The flowers on the altar are for them, although we cannot journey to their graves, and often do not know where they lie. Tonight I wish to honor the following deceased warriors of my lineage: my father, Charles Landon Buck and my maternal step-grandfather Carl Matthias Pentz, who became a part of our lineage. Tonight I proudly tell that my father had two operations to enter the Navy during World War II. I also honor my first firmly traced Buck ancestor, Jonathan Buck Sr. who helped our nation be born by fighting against the forces of King George IlI and won land for himself and his family as a result. My brother and others of my kin still own and dwell on much of that land. I also honor an ancestor of my paternal grandmother's lineage, whose name is not remembered, who slew a soldier during the Civil War to save the lives of two infants, his son and grandson.
"Those who would commemorate bold friends and kin who served with honor, especially those who paid the ultimate price to give us the freedom we enjoy tonight should now speak out proudly arid tell of their heroic deeds.
"Now that all have spoken, I will put these flowers, which are given in honor of all those mentioned tonight, into this vase of water.
"We will now observe a minute of silence. At the end, our Tyrsblot will begin:
"Sverd, helga ve thetta ok hindra alla illska ."
This is the Tyr Blot I did in November for Hammerstead Kindred. It is based on Steve McNaIlen's Tyr BIot, except where otherwise indicated.
Godhi/Gydhia raises SWORD and points it Northward:
"SVERD. HELGA VE THETTA OK HINDRA ALLA ILLSKA." (Sword: hallow this sacred space and hinder all ill/evil things.")
Same words are repeated to the East, South, and West, visualizing a protective barrier. Again facing North, point Sword up, then down. Place sword against stalli (altar).
"I CONSECRATE AND MAKE HOLY TO THE SERVICE OF TYR THIS ALTAR AND PLACE OF SACRIFICE, BANISHING FROM IT ALL INFLUENCES WHICH ARE UNHOLY OR IMPURE. MAY OUR MINDS IN THIS CONSECRATED PLACE LIKEWISE BE DEVOTED, AS IS OUR WILL, TO THE SERVICE OF TYR, VALIANT AND WISE. AS THE GOD HEIMDALL GUARDS BIFROST BRIDGE, MAY THIS PLACE BE WARDED AGAINST ALL FORCES UNHARMONIOUS TO OUR PURPOSE HERE THIS DAY!"
Invocation to Tyr
"TYR! ANCIENT SKY-GOD! TIWAZ! SHINING ONE! UST GOD! GOD OF BATTLE! ONE-HANDED GOD! GOD OF THE JUDICIAL ASSEMBLY! SWORD-COMPANION! WEAPON-OATH GOD! WOLF-BINDER! SAXNOT! GOD WHOSE VERY NAME MEANS "GOD"! WE CALLL UPON YOU TODAY, INVITING YOU TO BE PRESENT AT OUR BLOT (sacrifice) TONIGHT! WE GATHER TO HONOR THOSE WHO, AFTER YOU, ARE CALLED TYR-WISE AND TYR-BRAVE!"
READINGS: You may wish to assign readings to individual participants before beginning the blot.
First Reading, from A RUNIC INSPIRATlON by Steve McNallen.
"Fearless and proud I stand firm to protect my kin. The front of the fight is my chosen place.
The battle god has one hand
He gave the other to the wolf
A fair swap
A hand for a binding
And the wolf will stay tied
Until the end.
The battle god rules courts and councils
They too defend the order
They too are battles.
I've heard he was once the sky god
But he retired, tired
Of endlessly making love
To the earth woman
And missing out on all the fun
In the worlds between:
No one could be found
To take his place
The job is still open."
Second Reading: from the Odinic Rite Book of Blotar (BCM RUNIC) - slightly modified.
"When two armies meet: we shall think of you.
When November calls: we shall sing of you.
Your glory is like crystal, reflecting the sun's rays;
Your banners rise again, on Heroes' day.
In our comrades' arms: we shall dream of you.
When the war horn sounds: we shall be with you.
Your memory leads us on, never to decay;
With us once again, on heroes' day.
On heroes' day.
When on Vigrid's plain, we shall rise with you.
When on Vigrid's plain, we shall fight with you.
Your honor stands unbroken, your swords point the way;
On heroes' day."
(From "The Unconquered Sun" by Tony Wakeford of the Odinic Rite).
Third Reading: also from the Odinic Rite Book of Blotar:
"Hear you my rede and my counsel, hail to them that listen. Now do we honor our warriors and our heroes. We honor those of our folk felled by war Their noble blood, bright as Thor's poppy, has enriched Midgard's soil in every quarter. We honor those whose names have come to us through the ages, and those names we do not recall. We honor the women and children who were taken by conflict from Midgard. To all our war fallen we give honor. Hail to them!"
All respond: "HAIL TO THEM!"
(Here recount, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, the tale of the binding of Fenris Wolf by Tyr. Tell the stories! Also explain what the story means to YOU, and how it applies to us today!)
Consecration of mead: pour mead into the horn (or if you wish, any other alcoholic beverage or fruit juice - a cup or chalice nay substitute for a drinking horn if you don't have one) and say:
"TYR, NOW AS IN ANCIENT TlMES, WE GATHER TO lNVOKE YOU. AND OFFER YOU SACRIFICE! NOT OF BLOOD, FOR ENOUGH OF IT IS SHED, NOR AS AN APPEASEMENT FOR WE STAND IN GOOD STEAD WITH YOU, BUT RATHER OF THE SACRIFICE OF OUR HUMAN EFFORTS, OUR STRUGGLES, AND OUR DEVOTION. MAY IT AID US, GODS AND HUMANKIND ALIKE IN OUR FIGHT AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD WAGE WAR AGAINST ASGARD, OR SEEK TO BRING GRAY SLAVERY TO MIDGARD. TYR, ACCEPT OUR SACRIFICE, NOT AS FROM SLAVES, FOR WE HAVE NO MASTER, BUT AS A SIGN OF OUR COMMUNION AND KINSHIP WITH YOU AND WITH EACH OTHER!"
Elevate horn of mead, offering it to Tyr. When you feel that it has been accepted, lower it and sign it with Tyr's rune, TIWAZ, three times, while intoning the rune's name. Then, quoting from the Old Icelandic Rune Poem, say:
"TYR IS THE ONE-HANDED GOD
AND THE LEAVINGS OF THE WOLF
AND THE RULER OF THE TEMPLE."
Place hands over horn and say:
"TYR, YOU HAVE RECEIVED OUR SACRIFICE. SYMBOLIZED BY THE MEAD IN THIS HORN. POUR NOW YOUR MIGHT AND BLESSINGS INTO IT, MAKING IT FOR US A TRUE INSTRUMENT OF INSPIRATION, THAT WE MAY GROW CLOSER TO YOU, AND TO EACH OTHER. BY SHARING IT AMONG US."
Visualize Tyr's might like a stream of blazing steel-blue energy, flowing into the mead. Pour a bit of it into a bowl, and using an evergreen twig, sprinkle yourself and the stalli with it. Then, going clockwise, sprinkle each participant with it, saying:
"I GIVE YOU THE BLESSING OF TYR!"
When finished, take the horn of mead, and shouting "HAIL TYR!", drink from it. Then pass the horn to each person present, so that they may hail Tyr as well. It is appropriate for those present to also hail family and friends who have served in the military and perhaps died in wars, along with others who have done brave and noble deeds. Drink what's left: you WILL need it as rituals can be draining and the charged mead is wonderfully restorative! Rreplace the horn in its stand on the altar, and say:
"THE SACRIFICE IS DONE. MAY IT STRENGTHEN US IN DEVOTION TO THE GODS OF OUR ANCESTORS, AND RENEW IN OUR HEARTS THE DETERMINATION TO LIVE AS WORTHY KINSMEN OF TYR. MAY WE STRUGGLE WITH ALL THE GREATER RESOLUTION TO LIVE FREE -WITH COURAGE, WITH TRUST IN OUR STRENGTH, AND HONORING THE BONDS OF KINSHIP, UNTIL WE BE GATHERED TO THE GODS. TYR, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE. AS YOU WEND YOUR WAY BACK TO ASGARD, CARRY WITH YOU THE SENTIMENTS AND THOUGHTS OF US HERE IN MIDGARD. PRAISE TO YOU, TYR! FAREWELL!"
Take up the SWORD and beginning in the North and going clockwise, call Tyr's name at the four corners, and then, facing the stalli, point SWORD up, then down, calling Tyr's name each time. Stand Sword against stalli and say:
"THIS BLOT IS NOW ENDED!"
last modified 07/19/2003