Midsummer Blot

Hallowing

Godi holds the ceremonial hammer and opens the circle with the traditional blessing:

 

In the Elhaz position standing facing North the Godi speaks:

"Hammer to the North, hold and hallow this holy stead."

 

Godi faces East and speaks:

"Hammer to the East, hold and hallow this holy stead."

 

Godi faces South and speaks:

"Hammer to the South, hold and hallow this holy stead."

 

Godi faces West and speaks:

"Hammer to the West, hold and hallow this holy stead."

 

Godi return to the North position and speaks:

"In the name of Thor we call to the ancient Gods and Goddesses – all.  May this Hammer, symbol of Mjolnir and symbol of Thor, reaffirm the abundant strength and power of our Gods and of our people.  I consecrate this place of community and frith, banishing from it all impure influences.  May our minds in this consecrated place likewise be sanctified, as is our will to the just services of Odin, ancient god of our people.  As Heimdall guards the Bifrost, may this place be warded against all forces unharmonious to our purpose here this day.   Wights of the land, wherever we may be, give us your blessing this Midsummer."

Sacred Fire

 

The Godi lights candles.

 

Godi speaks:

 

Great Odin, we kindle the fire of cleansing and creation,

The first mystery and the final mercy.

Let flame be quickened by flame,

That through the darkness we may come to light.

And may the holy flame of our folk and future,

Which ever burns,

Grow again to bathe Midgard

In its sacred radiance.

Invocation

 

The Godi faces the altar and fills ceremonial horn with mead.  Holding the mead horn high with both hands, Gothi recites:

Hail to Balder – Sun of the seasons!

Hear us, as you travel in the skies high,

With your strong steps on the wing of heights.

Radiant as the stars above.

 

You sink down in the perilous ocean

Without hurt and without fear –

You rise up on the east wind

Like a young king in glory!

 

Hail life! And the wheel of creation.

Hail to all gathered here

Who pay tribute to our ancestors

And this Summer Solstice!

To your health and strength and beauty!

Great Balder, we honor you on this Mid-summer’s eve!

 

Godi holds sword overhead, faces circle and speaks:

 

Noble Balder! We welcome you to this world of Midgard, shining one of the gods, instruct us in the ways of thy virtue.  Hail Balder the bright, whose radiance lights a golden age, joy of god kin and mortal kin, it was you who was slain by darkness deceit, which despised your goodness.  We pay homage to you, Balder, that you fell to rise again to an eternal hope of a greater and glorious time.  We hail your speedy return.  Show us the way of the warrior who walks in balance with goodness and justice in his heart.  Your wisdom teaches us the mysteries of rebirth.  May strength and honor be with you and all our people always.

First Reading

 

Attendant speaks:

 

Summer Solstice, our longest day of the year, is marked by celebrating rituals which were used to ensure the cycle of year could continue.  The three great features of the mid-summer throughout ancient times has been the traditional bonfires, the procession of torches around the fields, and the custom of rolling a fiery sun wheel down a hill.  Midsummer is a time of dancing, festivities, divination, love, weddings, and merry making.  The Summer Solstice is held in honor of Balder the Good, for it was considered the anniversary of his death and of his descent into Hel.  On that day people congregated outdoors, making great bonfires and watching the sun, which in extreme Northern latitudes barely dips beneath the horizon before it rises upon a new day.  From Midsummer the days gradually grow shorter and the sun’s rays less warm until the Winter Solstice.

Incantation

 

A wooden or wicker wheel is passed around, turning continuously among everyone within the circle, while Attendant reads:

 

The sun is risen quickly,

The summer days are long

The song of birds is splendid,

Unerring speechless beauty of earth.

 

Now I am golden grown

And fearless in battle.

I am a lion that flashes courage,

Resplendent in life’s radiant flame.

 

All things are changing,

Nothing ever dies,

The wheel of life keeps turning –

The wheel of life keeps turning –

 

And in Nature’s cycle spins creation,

Blazing like the sun’s great disk,

Emanations of the High God Balder,

A time of sanctification.

 

The wheel of life keeps turning –

The wheel of life keeps turning –

I greet the Summer Solstice,

And the promise of a Golden Age.

 

Godi speaks:

 

We all hold hands

 

Hail the sun, now at cycle’s zenith.

From each day now, you will linger les,

Though your heart will grow more fierce

Earth will turn from your caress,

Till cold and dark have time

And we grow restless for your return.

Though you have fallen, O Balder,

You will rise a new!

As the sun sets to rise again,

For in this is creation and promise.

 

An Attendant hands everyone in the circle a candle.  Another Attendant follows sunwise around the circle lighting the candles.

 

Godi recites:

 

In cycle turns creation,

The weaver and the woven enmeshed.

Form golden age to vile age;

From purity to stained;

From innocence and corruption;

Till fearsome Ragnarok,

Awesome Mother, Father and mid-wife.

To a new golden time, comes crashing.

All hail now to creation –

For now is the high moon of men’s year,

We labor and bask in good summer.

Hail to the sun and its golden rays!

May we drink from pure stream

A joyfully in creations flow.

Let the winter sky

In azure garbed and golden crowned,

The Gods of Valhalla sit enthroned.

Within the doorway stands each noble Norn,

Together bearing dates

On rune-written shields.

Second Reading

 

Attendant reads:

 

The most cherished of and beloved of the gods is Balder, the symbol of light and truth.  Son of Odin and Frigga, half-brother to Thor, he is known as the most handsome of the Aesir.  His flowing blonde hair was thought to be the radiant sun, which warmed the earth and spirits of the Norse people.  His skill with runes and his tremendous knowledge of healing herbs made him a prominent deity during times of illness on Midgard.

 

Balder’s hall was called Briedablikk, where he lived with his wife Nanna, a goddess of vegetation.  Briedablikk featured a golden roof supported by towering pillars of solid silver.  It was said that no untruth could pass through its doors.  Balder met his pre-destined death at the hands of his brother Hoder, who had been tricked by Loki, with the only element that had not sworn an oath not to harm him, a dart of mistletoe.  With the death of Balder the gods and goddesses experienced their greatest sorrow.  It is known that Balder would have his day of resurrection and usher in a new age of light form man after Ragnarok, ensuring new hope for the future.  It is believed that both Balder and Hoder together represent the seed of Odin’s soul.

Invocations

 

Attendant reads:

 

Of all of the twelve found Odin’s throne,

Balder the Beautiful alone,

The Sun-god, good and pure and bright,

Was loved by all, as all love light.

 

But, in each human soul we find

That night’s dark Hodur, Balder’s brother blind,

Is born and waxeth strong as he;

For blind is ev’r evil born, as bear cubs be,

Night is the cloak of evil; but all good

Hath ever clad in shining garments stood.

 

Let busy Loki, tempter from of old,

Still forward treads incessant and doth hold

The blind one’s murdering hand, who quick-launch’d spear

Piercing young Balder’s breast, that sun of Valhal’s sphere!

 

You fall to dark, O Balder, to rise anew!

As the sun falls to rise.

For in this is creation and promise. 

Though the turning of day to week,

Month to year, decade to millennium and on,

To the great year, the greater yet,

We see in the light and light’s return,

A future golden age

For those who will strive for it.

All hail to thee, Balder,

Shining God of Asgard!

 

Attendant rings altar bell nine times in five second intervals.

Another Attendant passes rune bowl sunwise around the circle,

Each celebrant takes one and meditates on it.

 

Godi speaks:

 

Raise our spirits, Balder,

As the old gods raised our ancient stones.

Their silence speaks in volumes

In hushed and muted tones.

 

Power of North, memory and instinct,

Guardians of our fate

Guide and protect us

Till we pass through Midgard’s gate.

 

Power of East, wind and sky,

Wisdom, thought and reason,

Hail to thee, Protector

Of the circle of the seasons.

 

Power of South, fire and flame,

Hearth and lantern burning,

Hail thou energizer,

Of the wheel and all its turning.

 

Power of West, of waters deep

Emotions ebb and flowing,

Hail to thee, Balder,

Of all that’s green and growing.

 

Pass bowl around circle, each celebrant returning his or her rune.

Blessings of Balder

 

The Godi dips evergreen sprig into the horn of mead and sprinkles each celebrant in the circle in a sunwise progression saying:

 

I give you the blessings of Balder

 

Attendant beats a cadence on drum while Godi recites:

 

Streaming from the stars

Through everlasting space,

Whelming out of the Earth itself,

Singing in our hearts –

Surging in our people’s blood and sinew,

The Odinic Force –

The stuff of life,

 

Life is around and within;

It is the seed that rests in quiet dark.

It bursts forth seeking the light,

The ear ripens in the sun

And we make bread and eat,

And take in that life.

 

Let us remember

The bright beacons of the past,

Hold them dear and holy.

Brighter still determined

To build new beacons.

 

Look sunward and know

That our ancestors did this,

And swore themselves to a noble future –

Look sunward and behold the beauty

In a time of seeming chaos.

Look sunward and see the promise

Of a bright future that we can build.

Give thanks for true and loyal comrades –

Behold the sun and be glad.

 

Godi holds runestaff aloft and speaks:

 

In the name of Odin, Balder, Frey and Thor

And all our ancestral gods,

From Heidrun’s breast to Lerath’s bough,

My we obtain the food of Odin,

Which is wisdom;

 

Of Fiolnir, which is being and the blood of Kasvir,

Which is knowledge,

May we have the power of luck

And the honor of fellowship,

And may we be blessed with fine harvests

And all wellbeing in Midgard.

 

Godi stands before the altar and rings bell three times in five second intervals, then continues:

 

We shall raise again!

These things we sear in Odin’s name!

Hail the Aesir and Vanir!

Closing

 

Godi speaks:

 

Spirits of Asgard we thank you for your presence here in this circle.  We ask for your blessing and while you depart to your noble realm we bid you hail and farewell.  I hereby release any Spirits that may have been imprisoned by this ceremony.  Depart now in peace to your abodes and habitations.  The blót is now ended.

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