Feast of Thunar & Vali Blot
A circle is formed by the celebrants, standing or seated. The Gothi stands before staller (alter) and rings bell nine times in five second intervals, then pausing for a minute of silence.
Blot begins with the Gothi performing hammer hallowing, walking sunwise, starting in the North, to East, South, and finally West.
In the Elhaz position standing facing North the Gothi speaks:
Hammer to the North, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Gothi faces East and speaks:
Hammer to the East, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Gothi faces South and speaks:
Hammer to the South, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Gothi faces West and speaks:
Hammer to the West, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Gothi return to the North position and speaks:
In the name of Odin, 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 as we celebrate this the Feasts of Thunar and Vali.
Blessings of the Thor
Gothi dips evergreen sprig into the horn of mead and sprinkles each individual in the circle on the chest in the X of the Gebo rune, in sunwise progression saying:
I give you the blessings of Thor.
Gothi raises gandr (and/or arrows) overhead and speaks:
Hail Vali, bringer of new light!
Your shaft pierces Winter’s heart
And promise of new Spring.
Hail to you! And may your light enter our hearts, as well.
Be with us Vali, son of Odin and Rind.
May you forever dwell
Always in the homesteads of our people.
We hail you as defend of our family
Goth makes sign of the hammer with the gandr and continues:
Defend our hearth and kin,
Strengthen our heart, mind, body and soul –
May your shafts of radiant light renew our hope
Forever shall we cherish and respect
The joy of our family, hearth, and home.
As we pay honor to all our gods and heroes.
Gothi puts the gandr down.
Gothi assumes the Elhaz position and speaks:
Vali, Avenger of Balder, Slayer of Hodur,
By your deed balance was restored.
Restore again a new golden age!
Hail to you Vali!
Hail the new Awakening!
Hail the new Awakening!
In January, as the sun waxes in strength, we celebrate the Feast of Thunar, or Thor. We pay tribute to our Mighty God of Strength, warder of Midgard, for driving back the darkness of Winter.
The worship of Thor seems to be of very remote antiquity; he typifies the occult force of nature, which checks the blind fury of the elements and brings them back to their proper limits. No challenge is ever too big for Thor. Among his many daring adventures he is known to have put the giants to flight; thus, under Thunderer disperse noxious exaltations and purify the atmosphere. He travels in his blazing golden chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngniostr and Tanngrisner. When the chariot rolls along the heavens it causes thunder and lightning.
Our ancestors built many temples to Thor and would turn to him for blessings on hearth and home, or protection from wind and storms. He was also known to protect against dark forces and spirits that would threaten misfortune to the community. The annual Althing, the main Law Assembly held yearly at Thingvellir, opened on a Thursday – Thor’s Day. Men swore oaths upon gold or silver Thor’s Ring, which was a common ritual tool on every Thor staller.
With the ability to control the elements here in Midgard, Thor was highly regarded by farmers and seafarers.
When the beloved God Balder was murdered by Hodur, Odin became determined that justice would be done. With his third wife Rind he produced a son named Vali. Vali soon came to be called “The Avenger.” He constantly carried both a small quiver full of arrows and a look of vengeance unfulfilled. One day, shortly after his birth, Vali came upon Hodur and immediately slew the blind deity. By doing this, even though Loki was the true murderer, Balder’s death was avenged. The slaying of the blind Hodur by Vali is therefore emblematic of the “breaking forth of new light after wintry darkness”.
Vali represents, along with Vidar, the undying forces of nature. In essences, Vali becomes its undying spirit, the eternal light of life, the inner light and power that nourishes everything in nature itself.
Vali is known as the symbol of Spring and is usually depicted carrying a bow. From this bow he was able to shoot his magnificent nourishing power over Midgard. The arrows of Vali are actually beams of light that were known to awaken the tender sentiments of lovers. Valentine’s Day takes its origins from the God Vali. The Valentine heart does not look like the human heart at all, and is in fact the symbol of female sexuality. The arrow piercing the heart depicts the penetrating male role in regeneration.
Vali is known to be one of the few Gods to survive Ragnarok and ranked as one of the twelve deities occupying seats on the great hall of Gladsheim.
The sun will not tarry; now changeth the light
Nor colors that marry the Day to the Night.
Cold winter is waning as each year before
Relinquishing strength to the high God Thor.
For today hath not brother in yesterday’s tide,
And tomorrow no other alike it doth hide.
This day is a token of oath and behest
That ne’re shall be broken through ill days and blessed.
We pay honor to Vali and Thor
As the ancients before us in the days of Yore.
And the gifts of its giving our troth-day shall win
Are the Dale of our living and the good days therein.
O sun, no thou waxeth! From winter you’re free
Amidst all that thou gainest how gainful are we.
O witness of darkness wide over earth
Rise up on the morrow to look at our mirth!
Thy blooms are thou bringing back ever for men,
And thy birds are a-singing as Spring comes again.
But to men cold hearted what winter is worse
Than thy summers departed that bore them the curse?
And dark are the days of winter each year
And good is all growing save thralldom and fear.
Nought will the world ever wither and die
While yet the sun hovers aloft in the sky.
As Thor drives back the cold winter chill
The seasons keep turning – keep turning they will
Attendant beats out cadence on drum.
Gothi instructs celebrants:
We all close our eyes.
In ages long ago,
We walked with the High Ones.
We worshiped by Oak and Ash.
On hill and Glade.
We knew the secrets
That stirred the blood and reached the skies,
Close were we to the magic of nature and the elements.
Now, we are met again.
Now, we have returned.
As the year has been renewed,
So may we also be revitalized.
Give us strength to meet every challenge,
Fill our spirit with compassion
For that which is right and just –
Ever ready to avenge the blood and soil of our folk
As Vali avenged Balder,
To restore again the light and honor
And that high born dignity –
Which is our birthright
May the Holy Norns grant us their blessings!
Gothi raises sword and speaks:
High Ones – hear us!
Let us be aware of the God-force within and without.
Attendant rings bell in five second intervals as Gothi anoints celebrants.
Gothi anoints each celebrant with scented oil, pressing his thumb to the forehead of each individual, walking sunwise around the circle, and pronouncing with each anointing:
May the blessings of Frigga be with you.
Gothi lights candle(s) on staller (altar) and speaks:
Birth, death and rebirth are the continuing phenomena between which there is no division. We recognize a deep spiritual unity between all men, living and dead and yet to be born. The chain of generations is a time of transcendence and unity, unbound by the narrow conceptions of past, present and future. Just as we are formed of material derived from our parents we know that the spirits of our ancestors, being immortal, continue to live in us. That there really is no “death” the whole of nature shows, and if ever there were it led toward life. All goes onward and outward.
Gothi raises horn and speaks:
Hail Frigga! Goddess of our path!
Hail Frigga! Goddess of our path!
In the name of the High Gods Urd, Norn of the Past,
We offer thanks
For the ties of our House and family.
Verandi, Norn of the Present,
And Skuld, Norn of the Future,
May we not be failing in deeds and integrity.
Grant that we hold the ways of our forbearers,
And to their memory,
Until the end of days.
Gothi pours libation on the ground (or in bowl if held indoors, to be poured on the ground following the blot) and place the mead horn back on the altar.
Gothi takes up the runestaff and assumes the Elhaz position and continues:
Now, to our children’s children and their children,
We send forth our words as messengers;
Since we cannot reach you in our physical being.
We send our spirits through time and space,
In Odin’s name, to greet and guide you,
As we too receive council from the spirits past.
May your future bring you knowledge.
Wisdom, health and prosperity,
And may the gods bless you with a new golden age.
In the name of our divine gods – may this be so.
All respond making the sign of the hammer, saying:
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 fair well. 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.