Hlafmas – a Blot for Ing

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

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!
To thee, Eowend, bringer of virility, Hail!
To thee, Ælfcyning, lord over the elves, Hail!
To thee, Beorgweard, barrow ward, Hail!
To thee, Swinen, the boarlike lord, Hail!
To thee, Harvest lord, lord of the good year, 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

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)

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.

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