A Heathen Book List

The Poetic Edda
The usefulness of this should be obvious. This is one of our best sources for the myths of the Norse. I would consider this important reading regardless of the variety of heathenry you practice.

Henry Adams Bellows Translation Free Online
https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/index.htm

Henry Adams Bellows Translation Volume I
https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Edda-Mythological-Poems/dp/0486437108/

Henry Adams Bellows Translation Volume II
https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Edda-Heroic-Poems-Editions/dp/0486460215/

 

The Prose Edda
The Prose Edda often gets a lot of hate by heathens and I believe that this hate is unwarranted. The Prose Edda is like cliff-notes to stories from Norse Myths that have since been lost. Some of the stories overlap with the Poetic Edda but often they do not and so there is plenty of unique material. It is Christianized, but that bias is easy to detect and does nothing to negate the importance of the text. Because it is what we have, we should use it.

Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur Translation Free Online
https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/pre/index.htm

Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Prose-Edda-Tales-Mythology-Editions/dp/0486451518/

Jesse Byock Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Prose-Edda-Mythology-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140447555

 

Beowulf
I am a huge Beowulf fan. Not only is it interesting, but it also can give us insight into the culture of the people for whom it was written. Unfortunately it is not a story filled with gods, but it is a story filled with heroes and monsters and with social interactions. Read this for a glimpse at the world these people lived in and how they believed one should operate in that world.

Lesslie Hall Translation Free Online
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/16328/16328-h/16328-h.htm

Seamus Heaney (Bilingual in OE and Modern English)
https://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-New-Verse-Translation-Bilingual/dp/0393320979/

 

Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus
Contrary to popular belief, the Eddas are not the only source for myths relating to the gods. Gesta Danorum has plenty of material in it that is mythological in nature. This has some earlier versions of some myths that would later appear in the Eddas and the differences might surprise you. It becomes useful as a counterpoint then so that we can see what might be at the root of these myths instead of taking just one account at its word.

Oliver Elton Translation Free Online
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1150/1150-h/1150-h.htm

Peter Fisher Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Saxo-Grammaticus-History-English-Commentary/dp/0859915026/

 

Tacitus Germania
This predates the rest of it and gives a glimpse of Germanic belief during the Roman Empire. There is plenty here worth reading and as long as you understand the audience you can read through the Roman bias. There is mythological and cultural relevance to this work.

The Oxford Translation Free Online
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7524/7524-h/7524-h.htm

Harold Mattingly Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Agricola-Germania-Penguin-Classics-Tacitus/dp/014045540X/

 

Kalevala
This is not Germanic but is instead Finnish. It is exceptionally late and came about for Nationalistic reasons. It is therefore in many ways somewhat similar to the work of Jacob Grimm, a nationalist historian who worked with Germanic folklore and myth. This said, it is well worth a read because many of the same mythological themes are present here as in other epic tales. The geographic proximity to the Norse and other Germanic peoples makes it also of interest.

John Martin Crawford Translation Free Online
https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/index.htm

Keith Bosley Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Kalevala-Tradition-Lönnrot-Oxford-Classics/dp/0199538867/

 

Ibn Fadlan’s Journey to Russia: A Tenth-Century Traveler from Baghad to the Volga River
So this is a Muslim’s view of Pagans in what would essentially be the region around Russia. The account has a lot of bias but if you can read through it there are some nuggets that can give insight into the culture.

Paul Lunde Translation (with other works from the area)
https://www.amazon.com/Ibn-Fadlan-Land-Darkness-Travellers/dp/0140455078/

Richard N. Frye Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Ibn-Fadlans-Journey-Russia-Tenth-Century/dp/155876366X/

 

Iliad by Homer
You might be thinking, “but this is Greek”, and you would be right. But here is the thing, the Greeks had a religion that was descended from a common root and their gods and how they behaved and acted and their wants and needs and thoughts can give us a lot of insight into the nature of the gods. Essentially you do not read this for understanding a particular god or goddess, but because it gives insight into gods in general.

Samuel Butler Translation Free online (This version is prose but others are available at the top if desired)
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2199/2199-h/2199-h.htm

Stanley Lombardo Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Iliad-Hackett-Classics-Homer/dp/0872203522/

 

Odyssey by Homer
You may again be thinking, “but this is Greek”, and you would again be right. But this particular story also has interactions between the gods and men and that understanding of how the gods act with and towards men is a very important thing to understand. We can also gather a better understanding of the nature of what a god can and cannot do and where they can and cannot be and how one should address a god.

Samuel Butler Translation Free online
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1727/1727-h/1727-h.htm

Stanley Lombardo Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Odyssey-Homer/dp/0872204847/

 

Aeneid by Virgil
By now you may be thinking, “he’s lost his mind, that is Latin fan-fiction” and it is indeed Latin fan-fiction. But it also similarly gives insight into the relations between gods and men in general. When it comes to polytheistic literature, beggars cannot be choosers.

John Dryden Translation Free Online
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/228/228-h/228-h.htm

Stanley Lombardo Translation
https://www.amazon.com/Aeneid-Hackett-Classics-Vergilius-Maro/dp/0872207315/

 

The Book of Leviticus
You may be thinking, “Alright, hold up now, what the hell do you think you’re playing at!”, but bear with me. The book of Leviticus is often overlooked by Christians because it contradicts their world view and it is often neglected by Jews because they cannot fulfill the requirements in the book due to the Roman destruction of their holy Temple. However, this book is the single best and most concise way to read and understand the concept of do ut des and the gifting cycle. You offer to God and God blesses you in return and you enter into a relationship with him on the basis of these offerings. That is a concept that would have been very familiar across the whole ancient world and this book provides that. Get over your anti-Christian bias for a minute and actually read it, you’ll be surprised how “pagan” the relationship is that is described there.

Read it in whatever version you want here Free Online
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%201&version=NIV

Or just go and buy one cheap from Goodwill or steal one out of a hotel room like everyone else.

 

The Elder Gods: The Otherworld of Early England by Stephen Pollington
This is likely the best overall book for understanding Anglo-Saxon Paganism in general. It is not a how-to guide but if you want the most amount of information in a single book all in a way that is academic but still understandable then it is this book.
https://www.asbooks.co.uk/t%20elder-gods.htm

 

Rudiments of Runelore by Stephen Pollington
A very short academic book that provides translations for the rune poems we have access to.
https://www.asbooks.co.uk/t%20Runelore.htm

 

Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing by Stephen Pollington
This is a more concise and far more accessible translation of the leechbooks than the more complete and incredibly inaccessible multi-volume tome by Cockayne. If you’re into herblore or magic then this book will be of interest to you. The Leechbooks were a series of texts written around the time of conversion that preserve the medico-magical methods of the Anglo-Saxons.
https://www.asbooks.co.uk/t%20Leechcraft.htm

 

The Mead Hall: The feasting tradition in Anglo-Saxon England by Stephen Pollington
This is exactly what it sounds like. The book is more cultural and less about the gods but if you are interested in the cultural aspects of the Anglo-Saxons and indeed in background to help understand Beowulf then this is a book that would be good for you to have.
https://www.asbooks.co.uk/t%20meadhall.htm

 

Looking for the Lost Gods of England by Kathleen Herbert
This book is more of a pamphlet than anything else. It focuses on the gods and what evidence we might have for them in the Anglo-Saxon context. There is some valuable work here with place-names. Do not expect a book though, it is tiny; instead take it for what it is, a short look at Anglo-Saxon evidence for the gods.
https://www.asbooks.co.uk/t%20Lost-gods-of-england.htm

 

The Well and the Tree: World and Time in Early Germanic Culture by Paul C. Bauschatz
This one is way out of print but can be found online in PDF form such as from the link below. This is unfortunate because it is an excellent look at pagan world view regarding the universe and especially time. It should be considered pretty foundational for someone trying to understand or improve their world view.
https://epdf.pub/the-well-and-the-tree-world-and-time-in-early-germanic-culture.html

 

The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature by Hilda Roderick Ellis (Davidson)
H.R. Ellis Davidson (she wrote this before the Davidson was added to her name so typically it is left off if you are searching for it) was researching this subject in a time that it was somewhat taboo to research and indeed when many believed there would be no new understandings to be had in the subject. This is one of those works that has the ability to rewrite your understanding of the subject. It is about the pagan conception of death and it should be something to put on your read list.
https://www.amazon.com/Road-Hel-Study-Conception-Literature/dp/0837100704/

 

Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H.R. Ellis Davidson
This book is really good for understanding some of the greater themes across Northern Europe in regards to pagan thought and belief. It takes a look at various subjects but is worth looking at for broadening your views of the area and the myths.
https://www.amazon.com/Myths-Northern-Europe-Ellis-Davidson/dp/0140136274

 

The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion by Mircea Eliade
This book is useful for taking a look at the idea of sacred and profane and how the concepts create and underpin religion in general. It is a good book for its more overarching themes that are present in pagan religions.
https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Profane-Nature-Religion/dp/015679201X/

 

The Tradition of Household Spirits: Ancestral Lore and Practices by Claude Lecouteux
You want to know about house-wights and cofgodas and all things home-related? This is your book. I cannot recommend it highly enough for someone wanting to further their understanding of domestic spirits.
https://www.amazon.com/Tradition-Household-Spirits-Ancestral-Practices/dp/1620551055/

 

The Return of the Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind by Claude Lecouteux
This book makes a wonderful partner book when read after The Road to Hel. This is the more practical of the two and is focused on the cultural beliefs and practices more directly.
https://www.amazon.com/Return-Dead-Ghosts-Ancestors-Transparent/dp/1594773181/

 

Encyclopedia of Norse and Germanic Folklore, Mythology, and Magic by Claude Lecouteux
An encyclopedia, you can search for words inside of it or just read it outright if that’s what you’re into. I am not entirely sure of the overall value of encyclopedias in a post-google world but this one is still just useful enough to make this list.
https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Norse-Germanic-Folklore-Mythology/dp/1620554801/

 

Demons and Spirits of the Land: Ancestral Lore and Practices by Claude Lecouteux
You want to know about land-wights and land sprits and all things outside but still spirit-related? This is your book. I cannot recommend it highly enough for someone wanting to further their understanding of land wights and lore surrounding them.
https://www.amazon.com/Demons-Spirits-Land-Ancestral-Practices/dp/1620553996/

 

The Viking Way: Magic and Mind in Late Iron Age Scandinavia by Neil Price
I just ordered this book but it has been recommended very highly to me. It is supposedly THE go-to academic book on Norse magic.
https://www.amazon.com/Viking-Way-Magic-Mind-Scandinavia/dp/1842172603

 

A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism by John Michael Greer
This is a book of polytheistic philosophy which asks many questions and attempts to be stepping stone towards the answers of how we take a doctrine as loose as polytheism into the future as modern pagans.
https://www.amazon.com/World-Full-Gods-Inquiry-Polytheism/dp/0976568101/

Hrethmonath – a Blot for Hrethe

This blot is intended to be in Hrethmonath, which is in that part of spring where there is still the possibility of a hard freeze but where there is a serious battle between winter and spring still raging. I wrote this blot in partnership with my friend Thorgeir Daralsson; fully half of this blot is his work. The original version was a combination of Norse and Anglo-Saxon but I transferred Odin to Woden and gave new Old English bynames for him mirroring ones you could find in Old Norse since this is intended as an Old English blog. Otherwise it is unchanged. Feel free to re-Norseify it for Norse practice as you see fit for Sigrblot.

Thorgeir is the greatest at making effigies. Every year I look forward to this ritual because Thorgeir makes the most dank Father Winter effigy and we use that effigy in the ritual. Father Winter is ritually beat by the group attending with actual switches and then the effigy is burned such that Father Winter will bother us no longer. The last couple years Thorgeir has gotten so good at making the effigy that he sews a face into the fabric like an old-school cloth cabbage-patch doll and it actually works. This burning of the effigy of Father Winter is inspired by the long-standing English tradition of making effigies of whatever pissed people off and also on the slavic pagan ceremonies around Marzanna.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

The winter is leaving us, the dawn is breaking on a new spring.

Hail to the day! Hail to the sons of day!
And to the Night and her daughter!
Look on us here with loving eyes,
That waiting we victory win.

Hail to the gods! Ye goddesses, hail,
And all the generous earth!
Give to us wisdom and goodly speech,
And healing hands, life-long.

Long did Hreþe sleep, her slumber was long,
And long did the winter cause us grief
But now she wakes to fight Frost with birdsong
And with green and growing of brand new leaf

Hail to Hreþe, to her coming victory, hail!
Spring awake and slash down this frosty foe
To arms my friends, scourge the fiend with fist and flail
Beat him back, unwelcome him, strike him low

(Beat the stuffing out of the Winter Effigy)

Together we have beaten him with branch and bough
Into the fire with that fiend, throw him now!

Old man, hoary frosted one, winter, frost be gone!
You have overstayed your welcome for far too long!
We banish you from our lands and forests and fields,
For while you stay they bear none, no green yields.

Let warm rays shine down upon the earth
Let green and growing things bring forth rebirth
Winter’s clutches loosen their grasp at long last
We now see victorious spring and that Winter has passed.

Hail to thee, fair kith and kin
The dark and drear of winter’s passed
Of bitter cold and biting wind
Surely ye have felt your last

Till Hreþe goes to sleep once more
And winter rides to claim his throne
But worry not, and revel now, for
Summer comes to scorch his bones

A conquest here you’ve boldly won
Against this fiendish, hoary foe
Rejoice and hail the Summer’s sun
And entertain no thoughts of woe

Now cast we now ahead our eyes
Towards future battles left to fight
For now we folk entreat the skies
That Woden bless us with his might

Hail to thee, Hreþe, Victory goddess now awakened.
To thee, Wacorlíce gydene, wakeful goddess, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Frost-Slage, Frost-slayer, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Lencten-Yelle, Roarer of Spring, Hail!
(Hail!)

Hail to thee, Hreþe, March goddess, conqueror of frost

Hail to thee, Woden, known as Odin to the Norse.
To thee, Wælfæder, father of the slain, lord of Wælheall, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Sigefæder, father of victory, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Fyrd-godu, Battle-God, Hail!
(Hail!)

Hail to thee, Woden, bringer of victory and lord of the slain.

(Get the Beer ready)

Beer I bring thee, warriors who overcame,
Mingled of strength and of mighty fame;
Charms for you it holds and healing runes,
Spells spoken for good and sung gladness tunes.

(Fill Bowl and Horn)

(With Horn)
Drink from this horn, may it give you victory over your strife

(With Bowl)
Take from me this sunny charm
to melt from your life the wintery harm

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

The gods depart friends, blot is ended
Go ye forth with blessings strong and bright
Merriment awaits beyond the borders of this blessed space,
So drink, and feast, and laugh into the night

Blotmonath – a Blot of Thanksgiving and Sacrifice

So Blotmonath in Bede’s Reckoning of Time was the month falling around November in which burnt offerings were made and the month in which cattle were slaughtered. Well we don’t have cattle to slaughter, so why not make some votive cattle. For this ritual I made a large bull out of hard-tack and also gave everyone smaller, individual pigs, cows, and bulls made from hard-tack. Those could be given or the person could have brought their own offering. This was not for any one god but in general thanks to each person’s individual god(s) of choice for their aid through the year.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

Blotmonath was once the time of the cold, our ancestors would wait until the turn in the weather; that first prolonged chill would once have fallen in this month. With that came sacrifice, pigs and cows would be slaughtered and the cold ensured that their bounty would last and keep through the winter or at least long enough to be preserved. They would be offered up to the gods as a sacrifice and our ancestors would share in that feast in thanksgiving for their blessings.

We the few, the people who have not forgotten the gods and the wights, honor them so that through our sacrifices they may come to good. Today is a day of sacrifice, today is a day of thanksgiving, today is a day of remembrance for what we have received.

Be thankful, friends, for the gods do smile upon us few. We remember the old ways, we hold their blessings because we give and stay true.

All gods of those here gathered! All wights good and wholesome! Gods, we call upon you this evening to give thanks to your blessings upon our lives.

Many of you folks have come with sacrifices, tokens of your gratitude for the gods. You also have votive offerings, signs of our plenty: Cows, bulls, and pigs; these animals we will give to the gods as well in thanksgiving. When it is your turn you may come to the Hearg and have your offering blessed and if you will it you may proclaim to the gods and wights which of them has given you cause to be thankful this year.

(Offering)
(The section that follows is out of the ordinary for our normal blot. The idea here is to individualize this ceremony so that each person can make their own offering and receive their own blessing. The emphasis turns then towards the individual rather than the communal experience. Every person will come forward to hail, to be blessed, and then to place their offering in the fire. Because of this it helps if you go first or have an assistant go first so that people will see what is expected.)

(To one person)
Would you _____ come to the hearg to offer and give thanks for the blessings of the gods and wights?
(I will)

Take this horn and hail your thanks if you would have the gods hear you.
(Hand over the horn)
Hear them now gods and wights for they come with thanks in their hearts and offerings in their hands.

(Person hails with the horn if they so choose)

(Blesses the offering and person)
May the gods and wights receive your offering
May they smile on you and to you many blessing bring.
(Mark with the Gear rune)

_____ approaches this sacred fire; receive these offerings now for they have been given with open hearts and hands.

(Communal Offering)

One communal offering we give today, this bull, let this offering be from our community, let us all, those present and away be blessed from this sacrifice.

(Pour mead over altar on top of bull)

We give this bull now to all the gods and wights who have blessed us this year for the better – seen and unseen, heard and unheard, felt and unfelt, known and unknown, named and unnamed. For all these gods and wights, think upon them now as we commit this great beast to the fire.

(Offering)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Put offering into fire)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

Yule Blot

This Yule ritual is intentionally shorter than my usual fare for a couple of different reasons. First, it is cold outside. Second, we have enjoyed having a gift exchange and a symbel. The one begs for less time outside, the second begs for more time for the inside activities. Therefore, we get this short and sweet blot and still have time for a gift exchange and symbel afterwards.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

Gather near the fire here, friends, warm yourselves against the chill in this land. Six months have passed since Midsummer and we have gathered this day in darker times. The sun rose this day, the shortest day, and tonight she rides to face the darkness at its darkest and the night at its longest. Tonight begins Yule, for tomorrow the sun will begin to increase her pace and ride.

But tonight, she makes her most dangerous ride, through the long night. Tonight, we will see her pace hasten, her light is fighting back the darkness of winter. Her fight against the shadows has just begun and daybreak will show it true. We make merry and light fires this night to shine that same light and joy out against the dark and cold.

We call to and welcome you Sunne,
To thee, Sunne, day rider, hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, brightener, shiner, awakener, hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, goddess of sunny summer so bright, hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, sister to the shadowy moonlight, hail!
(Hail!)

Sunne, we welcome your ride this Yule night
Warm the earth, thaw the chill with bright light
Today, shortest of days, we give thanks to you
For the warmth and joy your light does imbue’

Yule renews our pledge that your gifts to man
Shall never be forgotten, long our nights span
Never for granted, though cold our days may be
Let none forget today the gift that was Sunne to see.

Your ride to take back the day begins tonight
Ride hard, goddess of sunny summer so bright,
Ride fast, Sunne, shining day rider,
Ride true, brightener, awakener.

(With the horn)
Take this horn of golden mead and think on the return of the radiant sun.

(Aspurge)
Remember the blessings of the Sun, on darkest days.
(Mark with the ᛞ rune)

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

This Yule we bring ourselves close together and brighten our halls with smiles and lights where they had been lacking above. Come! Let’s gift one another, let us Symbel! We will toast and boast!

Sibb-blot, a Blot for Sibb

This blot to Sibb is intended to be performed between September and February. It is a blot which was originally written to also be paired with the home-blessing ritual in such a way that the blot precedes the blessing of the house. I wrote this blot for Sibb in such a way that it encompassed the idea of an agricultural deity and also a hearth deity.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

We meet now in a different season, the land is on its way to cooling down and the sun wanes in her ride. The harvest has been brought in, the winter months are upon us. We gather now in a ritual of hospitality and grith, both for each other and also for Sibb.

To thee, Sule, the ploughed furrow, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Gyldenfeaxan gydena, golden haired goddess, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Cornbora, bearer and bringer of grain, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Sif, as you were known to the Norse, Hail!
(Hail!)
Hail to thee, Sibb, goddess of grain[i]

Beautiful Sule, fair haired Sif, bless’ed Sibb,
Come near and be welcomed: we venerate and worship thee
That you may bless and prosper us and bring us fruits abundantly.

The plough the fertile soil did fold
Furrow spread, scattered, and sown
Stalks reaching toward the sky till grown
Seasons turn and the fields bear gold

To hearth we turn when things turn cold
Sleeping fallow we leave some fields
Others overwinter for spring yields
Though outside is cold, our stores hold

Sibb, beautiful goddess of golden hair
Family means your name, Þunor’s spouse
You too enter our hearths, join our house
To take place with us till seasons more fair

Take your place of honor within this stead
Sibb, a place by this hearth please do claim
Goddess warm, join us then round here this flame
We honor you now with mead, salt, and bread

(Offering)
(with Bread and salt in hands)
Sibb, please bless this loaf of bread
Bless too this salt of the earth
Bless all who take of these as húsel

(With bread and salt, go around so that all may take some of each to nibble on)
Share with me this bread and salt
As a sign of hospitality and grith

(After)
The lives of our forbearers were built on bread and salt
To share them was to share their hospitality
Let the grith we built here be affirmed by sharing these together
Let us also share of them with Sibb, that she may enjoy our hospitality as well
(Put a measure of bread and salt into the central fire)

(With filled Horn)
Take this horn of mead and think on the blessings of the hearth

(With filled Bowl)
May Sibb bless your home with warmth and joy
(mark with ᛟ rune, or whichever you see fitting)

 

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

 

[i] I originally wrote this at roughly the same time as Sundorwīc was writing this blog post so there is some similarity to the bynames there because we were totally talking and sharing at the time. You should totally go give that post a gander as well.

Æcerbot – a Blot for Eorthe and a Field Remedy

This ritual is based on the Æcerbot, an ancient ritual from England that renewed the soil. This is based on about three different translations and so I unfortunately cannot piece together if I am pulling from Pollington or Wallis or someone else entirely. What I can tell you though is that this heavily Christianized and indeed complicated ritual has here been made into something more suitable for pagans and more suitable for the modern times we live in.

Gather together a sample of your soil and a trowel or a shovel, whatever tool you garden with. You need only a small sample of the soil which you should place near the wigbed. If you have your trowel or shovel, keep it with you. You will return the soil you brought with you and you will spread it at the four corners where you live. You will need a bag of grain for this ritual as well.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

Today we come together to perform the Æcerbot, the field remedy. This ritual is intended to bring the field back to growing. I have given all of you a small measure of grain, you are to hold onto it and think on it’s potential throughout the ritual.

Eastwards I stand,
For blessings I pray,
I pray to thee, Sky father, Tiw
I pray to thee, Earth mother, Eorthe
I pray to thee, reborn dawn, Eostre
That I may open this charm
Through teeth and voice
and through firm thought,
To fill this land with blessings,
To call forth, to wake these plants
For our worldly use,
And to beautify this green earth.

Erce, Erce, Erce,
Eorthan modor,
May you bless us here,
Our acres, lands, and fields
To growing and flourishing,
Propagating and strengthening.
Let shoots and shafts grow tall
Let roots grow deep
Both the rural crops
And the broad;
All in bright hues of green.
A bountiful harvest
For all earth’s crops.
May you grant to us,
The gift of growing,
That for us each grain might come to use.

May you grant us,
That this land be guarded;
Fortified against any and all fiends and foes,
And that it be safe against any harm at all,
From baleful blastings every one
Which may be sown around this land.
I bid that there be neither ill will,
Nor sharp tongue,
Nor galdor,
Nor cunning woman,
Nor crafty man,
That can overturn these words thus spoken.

(Over Dirt)
To thee, Eorthe, Hail!
(Hail!)
mother of men!
Be growing and fertile
Prosperous in Tiw’s embrace,
And bless this land for the needs of men.

To thee, Tiw, Hail!
(Hail!)
Over others you keep watch,
May your judgement be just,
And may words prevail over weapons.

To thee, Eostre, Hail!
(Hail!)
Goddess of the dawn,
May your stay with us last long,
And this growing year bring us bounty.

(Over the grain)
Land filled with fodder,
Mankind to feed
Brightly blooming
Let the earth take your gifts
And give you double in return

(Take their grain and give even more in return)

Blessed become thou
Blessed become your land
May the gods and wights
grant to us their growing grace
That to us corn of each kind
May come to good

(With filled Horn)
Take this horn of mead and hail Eorthe, mother earth, who has blessed this soil

(Aspurge the shovel)
Let this tool be of use to you and may it serve you well this year

(Aspurge)
May you take with you from this place the blessings of the earth wherever you do tread
(Mark with a ᚷ rune)

(Offering)
Take this grain with you and take this soil with you, spread the soil to the four corners of your land and to all the places where you will grow things. The grain you may keep or you may scatter at your homes or you may plant or you may offer up to the gods, it is yours now. I offer of that grain which is left now to Eorthe and to Tiw and to Eostre.

(Burn some of the grain, save the rest for sacrifices later)

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

Eosturmonaþ – a Blot for Eostre

This blot is intended to be performed around Easter for Eostre. It is an updated version that will divide my old Eostre ritual into two rituals. This part is for Eostre.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

Our ancestors were loath to give up their traditions, their rituals. In many ways they were more tied to them than they were to the gods themselves because while they turned their back on the gods over time, they maintained some of their traditions. We come together to celebrate Eostre, the goddess whose name is still borne by the celebration of Easter.

Eostre is the goddess of the returning spring, the goddess of the dawn, the goddess of the east, the goddess of the growing season. She comes and goes, spending half of the year above and half of the year below. Her return brings renewal and life, and this is her season.

To thee, Frumleoht, first light, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Blostmbaerende, blossom bearer, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Beomoder, mother of bees, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, radiant daughter of the Earth and Sky, Hail!
(Hail!)
Hail to thee, Eostre.[i]

Giddy are the spring hares in the field
Joyful songs heard from birds in the trees
Flowers spring forth to be visited by bees
The land quickens, new green crops to yield

All that grows does so while Eostre is here
And when she leaves, so too leaves the light
So too do the birds end their song and take flight
And without her the leaves fall and disappear

We awaken like dawn breaking on the night
Wake up and remember the herald of the day
Wake up and remember the goddess Eostre
Wake up and step into the goddess’ light

Eostre has returned to us! Too long gone
In her absence the world was dark and dim
In her absence the land was gray and grim
Eostre has returned to us the glowing dawn

Look and see the signs of Eostre all around
Leaves spring from the trees, green and new
Beautiful flowers spring forth in every hue
Green grows again from once bare ground

Eostre, we are thankful for your return
By you our world is once more renewed
We here are gathered to offer in gratitude
You have gifted us, so we gift to you in turn

(Offering)
Eostre, we gather together to celebrate and give thanks for your renewal of the earth, for the return of the dawn and for the gift of rebirth you have brought to this land. We bring an offering of mead, the gift of the bees and of flowers, thanks for this go to Eostre. Enjoy and savor the honeyed drink and hail to Eostre as you will.

(With filled Horn)
Take this horn of mead and think on the green and growing earth.

(Pour the remaining mead into the bowl)

(Aspurge)
May you take with you from this green field all the growing blessings of spring
(Mark with ᛒ rune)

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

[i] I have taken these contemporary bynames from the Larhus.

Hlafmas – a Blot for Ing

This blot is intended to fall in August and is my take on the celebration of Hlafmas.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(Light central fire)

The seasons have turned again; the fields have brought forth fruit. Harvest was the most important time to our ancestors; they would live the whole year on the fruits of their labor. Today we gather to celebrate those first fruits, the beginning of the fall harvest. Though few of us here today know the swing of a scythe or sickle, or the grind of a quernstone, and much less the feeling of grit in our teeth from the milling, we are still at the mercy of the weather and seasons. Thanks should be given for the bounty we receive that enriches our lives.

We have chosen this harvest to give thanks as our ancestors found fitting, we thank the lord of the harvest, Ing.

To thee, known as Freyr to the Norse, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Eowend, bringer of virility, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Ælfcyning, lord over the elves, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Beorgweard, barrow ward, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Swinen, the boarlike lord, Hail!
(Hail!)
To thee, Harvest lord, lord of the good year, Hail!
(Hail!)
Hail and Welcome to thee, Ing. [i]

The cool rains showered the soil
Fertile land, black and rich earth
Men poured sweat as they toil
By this our ancestors proved worth

Should they raise up stands of green
Growing grain, food for winter long
Or should men grow cruel and lean
There was so much that could go wrong

Flood could turn your fields to mud
Drought could put your future in doubt
One frost and the whole crop could be lost
For man, every step had to go to plan

Today fields are far from our mind
Rain is an inconvenience, not a gift
Hands which held Scythe are hard to find
And where are we in this great shift?

Forgive men, ye old gods of green and growing
For in ignorance they and we take for granted
That man may many seeds in the field fling
But in each gods have the spark of life planted.

Great Ing, Lord of harvest, god of grain
Lest we forget tis you who brought rain
Tended crops when our attention did lack
Nurtured our seeds in fertile soil black

By your hands and by hard work of many
Have we now come to such plenty
Thanks to you Ing, thanks to all who grow
Thanks to all who reap and all who sow

(Offering)
Ing, we have brought this loaf of bread, a sacrifice for you. I will pass this loaf around to you all and each of us in turn may take the time to say what they are thankful of this season.  If you have a gift to bring as well for thanks, you may add that to the fire as you pass the loaf.

The horn will follow and you may hail Ing as you see fit. This blot we will not be using mead, today we will share the fruits of the earth with each other with this fine dark beer, brewed of grain and befitting Ing.

(Pass the sacrificial loaf to all)

(Pour beer in horn and pass it)

Ing, in many ways this year has been fruitful. Let those here be blessed, and may those especially who have been less fortunate receive your favor in the coming days and months. I give you this loaf with our many thanks that you should know we remember you and keep your faith.

(Burn the offering bread)

Land filled with fodder,
Mankind to feed
Blessings of harvest are upon us.
You have sown your gifts in the earth
And many they shall return to you.
Reap them as they come
And give thanks.

(Pour beer from the horn to the bowl)

(Aspurge each with the beer in the bowl)
(Do not aim for their shirts because dark beer can stain)
Blessings on you
Blessings on your hearth and kin
May the gods and wights
grant to you their favor and grace
May the harvest be good to you
May that bounty sustain you
Through the cold months to come

(Mark forehead with ᛄ rune)

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

 

 

 

 

[i] I have taken these contemporary bynames from the Larhus.

Thunorblot – a Blot to Thunor

This is a blot to Thunor. If you are a Norse heathen you can just say Thor and Midgard instead because it won’t mess up any of the rhymes.

(Hallowing)
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this land and wood all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space; shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!

(light central fire)

The oak stands old, tall, and proud,
All around, thunder rumbling aloud
Its hard wood and acorn a blessing
From the gods on mankind, joy to bring.

Hail to thee, Thunor, god of thunder, god of the oak
Welcome to thee, Thunor, protector of all these folk

You who wield the lightning, Hail!
(Hail!)
Thunderer, roarer, striker, Hail!
(Hail!)
Wyrmsbane and slayer of ettins, Hail!
(Hail!)
Son of Eorþe, Hail!
(Hail!)
Guardian of Middangeard, Hail!
(Hail!)
You who are the strongest of the gods, Hail!
(Hail!)
Protector of mankind, Hail!
(Hail!)
Hail to thee, and welcome, Thunor.

You folk do know of the mighty Thunor
For his lore has reached from far off shore
And we do now know and tell his stories
And learn of all his tales and glories

About the serpent that he did seek to catch
When the ox head on hook did it snatch
That he did pull with all his godly might
And seek the world serpent to land and fight

His line was cut and the beast did sink
But it had brought us right to the brink
For the wyrm is mighty in its own way
And that is a fight we would do well to delay

Thunor who is the strongest of the gods
With the etins, our foes, he is at odds
Protector of men, we do you now entreat
Guardian of Middangeard, we do you now greet

(Get the horn)

Join us now, mighty Thunor and hear our call
Guard our homes, each and every hall
Protect us, your folk, as best that you may
And for that we raise the horn to you today.

(Hammer Blessing Ritual)
Many of our folk have taken to wearing the hammer of Thunor, known as Mjolnir tot he Norse, around their necks. That symbol of strength is a reminder to many of the path we have chosen to walk as well as an amulet of protection for those who wear it. I would like to offer those here today that if they choose, they could have their hammer amulets blessed. Those who do not wear the hammer are also welcome.

(To one person)
Would you ______ come to the Horgr to accept the blessings of Thunor?
(I will)
_____ approaches this Horgr; Thunor, hallow, protect, and bless
As they wear this hammer, let it be an outward sign of inner power
            (Alternate line for those without hammers:)
(
As they go through their day, let them be filled with inner power)

Let them have the strength to use the tools that they already possess
Let them have the courage and will to face their path, not to cower
Help guide them from harm that they may leave the path of danger
and when they cannot avoid it entirely, shield them from the most
_____, do not forget Thunor in this, do not treat him as you would a stranger
Think on these gifts and blessings and offer to him well and to him toast

Repeat after me:
Thunor, thundering god,
(Thunor, thundering god,)
Guide me and guard me
(Guide me and guard me)
Lend me your strength at my weakest
(Lend me your strength at my weakest)
And help me find the strength in myself
(And help me find the strength in myself)

(Pass them the mead horn)

Hail Thunor!
(Hail Thunor!)

(They hail and drink)

(With the Bowl, bless the hammer and the person)
May Thunor guard, ward, guide, and bless you this day
And also lend you the strength your own troubles to slay
(Mark with the ᚣ rune)

(Optional: Pass the horn around the whole circle now)
Toast to Thunor if you would care to praise
Take this mead horn and give it a raise

(When the horn returns or if you never sent it around)

Great and mighty Thunor, guardian over mankind and all the earth,
Lend your protection and strength to these folk here gathered.
Hallow this wigbed and look kindly on those here, ward our homes,
That we might live in safety from all that would seek us harm.
In return, let us hold you on high, Thunderer, and offer to you.

(Libation)
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods
(Pour offering)
A gift has been given, may it be well received

So let it be.

The Swastika: There is Nothing to Reclaim

So if you’ve been around pagan circles long enough you’ve heard people talking about reclaiming symbols from racists. Inevitably you’ve probably heard someone bemoan that the racists made the swastika off limits and wish they could “take it back”. I’m here to inform you that there’s nothing to take back, that all the importance you think belongs to the swastika was a Nazi fabrication and that when you do try to take it back you’re just perpetuating the falsified narrative created by the Nazis. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

Let’s go back to the early 1900’s, it was a very different world. “Scientific” racism and eugenics programs existed across every major world power. There was the concept of a national race, one in competition with the races of every other nation. There wasn’t a white race, there were as many races as there were countries. It was therefore the interest of those countries to do eugenics when and where they could because they were improving their national race. And once again, it wasn’t just the Germans who did that stuff; eugenics before WWII was alive and well in America and England. America’s own Charles Davenport basically invented, advocated for, and dessiminated the idea of government eugenics programs world wide. By WWII there wasn’t really a major nation around that had not either had previously or currently had eugenics programs: America, England, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil, etc.

So the Nazis come onto the scene, given their idea of a national race, given the prevailing concepts of eugenics, they decided to try and move their national race towards their idea of perfect through sterilizations and laws forbidding intermarriage and segregation and finally extermination. Their pursuit of improving their national race was so important to them they could rationalize killing people they saw as inferior just so they wouldn’t breed.

Let’s add to this the idea of nations and national race needing to compete against each other to see who was the strongest. Essentially all nations were not only in a biological struggle, they were in a struggle for dominance. Colonialism was fueled in part because economically being able to control and ensure markets abroad allowed powers to extract wealth from unindustrialized people abroad, but in doing so you were establishing you were racially superior because you could and did conquer them. Colonialism was an effort to exert racial superiority over others.

War itself, any war, was such a proving ground. For instance, when Russia was defeated by Japan in war it didn’t matter that Russia had seriously overstretched itself to try and start something, what mattered was the racial implications that the Russian race had fallen behind and the Japanese race was rising. Yes, they really truly though and believed these things

Enter Germany. They had just lost a war, crashed their economy trying to repay a terrible war debt, lost land to a foreign neighbor, lost the ability to have an army, and had no foreign colonies. They had tested their racial mettle and had been found wanting. In the mindset of the time, they turned to race for the answer. They didn’t have colonies? So they invaded and conquered their neighbors to make colonies. They couldn’t very well take colonies elsewhere as was traditional because every single other country in South America or Africa was spoken for and had been colonized previously, so they colonized within Europe. The lost a war to France and lost territory? So they took it back and extra and invaded and beat France down. They expanded outward in every direction. Their national race had been tested found wanting? Time to purify the race, they decided to exterminate those they deemed undesirables. In every case, the Nazis were trying to follow the same beliefs of these other great nations, they just took them to in their minds the next logical step.

Now this brings me to the real subject at hand. The Nazis had something to prove racially. But not just currently, they needed to prove it genetically, hereditarily. Other countries were crafting their own historical narratives of a grand past. The Germans had been doing it also for at least a hundred years prior, Jacob Grimm ring a bell? Grimm went out to prove a grand Germanic past that would in turn reflect it’s greatness onto the Germans of the present. Which is one reason he’s not the greatest source despite having some very interesting material, you have to wade through his nationalistic bias to get to anything worth knowing. The Nazis roll along though, and yeah they are totally looking for real history where they can but they take the next step here too – when history is found wanting they manufactured a false historical narrative for themselves.

Enter the Swastika. Chances are you’ve been sold the lie that the swastika was some all-important symbol to the ancient Germanic peoples. That it somehow despite it’s relative absence in the historical record that it was somehow fundamentally important to ancient Germanic peoples. Nazi lies. The Nazis needed a symbol, an ancient symbol, an active symbol, a German symbol, the swastika fit the bill. The one thing missing was the importance factor. Was it ancient? Yes. Did it have ancient examples in Germany? Yes. But was it an important symbol to those ancient peoples? There is no proof it was. In fact its relative rarity in comparison to other symbols says that it wasn’t all that important at all. There have been a few swastika finds, but none of them, NONE of them point to the swastika having any real overarching Germanic importance.

The Nazis lied, they fabricated a historical narrative that painted them as reviving ancient greatness. What they instead did is project their self-percieved greatness backwards onto their ancient ancestors. Any historian worth their salt avoids Nazi historians today and indeed all those nationalists of the time not because they were involved in atrocities but because their history is full of falsifications. They lie, they attribute greatness without context for there being a reason for it beyond their agenda.

But somehow the pagans of today have been ill informed. Perhaps it’s the fault of historians for not making it clear why we avoid those histories, to be fair we thought it was obvious so we didn’t think we had to spell it out. Perhaps the internet is to blame, with copyrights being what they are it is far easier to access nationalist histories from the 1800s and early 1900s than it is to access modern studies. Perhaps it is because the nationalist historians from the 1800s believed they had all the answers and portrayed their works in easy to follow narrative forms that painted complete pictures whereas modern historians are very fast to acknowledge the holes in and limitations of the available information. But let me tell it to you now, there is no complete picture, those guys from the 1800s and 1900s were lying to you.

This falsification never ended, there are elements in paganism today that continue to push the swastika agenda on shoddy evidence. They’ve collected the same few pictures of swastika finds and pass it off as overwhelming evidence. But were are their sources? Where were they found? What nation? What context? What dig? What century? When did the dig take place? Was it dug up by Nazis? Were they even ancient or were they manufactured? Every artifact has a provenance, I’ve seen folks try and pass artifacts that were clearly from the Rus off as Anglo-Saxon. Pagans at large are not as critical of these few pictures as they need to be.

We have to understand that there are thousands upon thousands of other artifacts and symbols to use, they fill museums and their back room storage, they fill private collections, they are multitudinous. And yet we only see a tiny fraction of these, why? For one, because if you looked at all of them it would get really repetitive. But on a deeper level you kind of have to go looking for them because no one is really pushing them despite their relative importance in finds. How many lunula pendants have I seen, gosh hundreds and that’s just scratching the surface. How many duck feet amulets, so many duck feet. You know why? Because I specifically look for them and seek them out. Even still there are thousands in museums and private collections I will never see. And yet we’re seemingly overwhelmed with maybe 20-30 swastikas… you ever thought to ask why? Because people seek them out and people push them. But in this case it’s the only handful that exist because it’s the same small handful you ever see. And even then they have to go cross cultural and bolster the evidence across time periods, across locality, across tribe to find the few they do. So when the neo-Nazis start pushing it they’re very much still trying to bolster the image of the Swastika, they have too much into it not to. But then ironically this deeply engrained old Nazi propaganda kicks in for the average pagan and has folks still thinking the swastika must be important.

You have been made to believe a lie, an old lie. The Nazis sowed themselves into the historical record and they did a convincing job of it, as long as you don’t probe too deep. Once you begin to ask questions you discover there isn’t enough to back it up at all, the facade falls away and you discover Nazis behind it all. It was them projecting backwards the whole time.

The swastika is not worth “reclaiming” not because it was tainted by the Nazis but because it simply was not that important. To think that it is important enough to reclaim, important enough to fight not just the nazis but society at large too on the meaning of the symbol, well that is just lapping up the Nazi propaganda that fed us the lie that it was that important in the first place.