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

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