Honoring the Vaettir
On this weeks "How-To", we shall be discussing how to honor the Vaettir, or land wights/ spirits. Now it is important to keep in mind, that I am only one person, I have not been practicing heathenry all my life, I am not a master at these things. What I write, is my opinion, my beliefs, and my knowledge. For what else do I have to write about? So, if you have other ways of doing things, then please share them with us so that we may all learn!
So, first off I think it is important to go over why one would want to honor the vaettir, then we can discuss how to do so.
Historically, the vaettir, especially in villages and to the people in them, were as important, if not more so than The Gods. (This is one reason why I say "The Holy Powers" versus the Gods since not all of the beings I am hailing honoring etc., are gods.) Why was this? Well, the vaettir, specifically the landvaettir (Spirits of the earth, nature etc.) are tied to the land, and the area in which they inhabit. They guard it, protect it and nourish the land and those in it. Well, the good spirits at least. Since we inhabit their land, eat their fruits, feed off of their being, it is important to thank them, and honor them for the gifts that they bestow upon us each day. Since they are tied to the land, they have more say as to what goes on in it on a day to day basis than The Gods do. They are closer to the land, it is more important to them and that is their responsibility. So, it would make sense to pray, and honor the landvaettir since our day to day actually depends more on them then it does on The Gods. If we need rain, or sun light, The vaettir may need it as well! And some of them may have the power to bring it! So it could be more beneficial to ask for their aid first then going straight to The Gods, since they know more of the problem.
Reasons to honor them would be the need of rain, sun, safe passage through a land, blessings of luck and fortune, safekeeping, etc. There are an infinite amount of reasons. All of this is of course not to say not to honor the gods, that is equally important, it just all depends on your needs, and the needs of those around you. Simply, some beings can do more than others in certain situations. That does not mean that some are more, or less important than others.
So now we shall get on to how to honor them. Just as there are many reasons to honor them, there are many different ways. I will not claim to know them all, or how to do them, so I will just say the ways that I know how.
1. A blot: Yes! Blots are not just for the Gods! They can be done for spirits, vaettir, ancestors! They template is the same: Click the picture to the right, for a basic idea on how to perform a blot.
2. A offering: Making a simple offering, can be as effective as a full on blot. For this, all one would need to do is take a plate of food, freshly baked bread, fruits, etc, something natural however, no processed crap. Say a few prayers over the food, and leave it outside, under a tree, by your door, etc. This shows the vaettir good will and, they will be more likely to help you in your endeavor after. Or, if you are just honoring them for what they do for us everyday, they will just be in a better disposition general.
3. A libation: This is almost identical to an offering, however is usually liquid. So, get your liquids, make your prayers over it, and poor it upon the earth.
4. Prayer: Nothing could be more simple, more important, or more extravagant! Simply going outside, arms outstretched in a "Y" shape, and praying, thanking the vaettir can be a glorious thing to do for all parties involved! Thanking them for that they do, asking them to continue doing what they do, to protect you and yours! Can be very affective, but as will all things in heathenry, if you want a gift, you must give one in return!
5. Respect: Possibly the best way to honor the vaettir and spirits. Respect! Do not go wantonly destroying nature! Now, I am not one of those people who think we should never cut a tree down, or never kill an animal etc. I think, for our survival we need to. Now do we need to cut down forests and hunt for fun? No, I do not think so. But I believe the vaettir understand that we need the trees just as they do. The thing is however, before cutting down a tree, etc., I ask them first, make an offering, and after the deed is done, thank them for their sacrifice, and hope that I do not need to do it again. But I do not overly fret at doing so. I understand it is necessary, but is it how, and why you do such things. So in general, just respect the vaettir, and the nature they live in and protect. Do not be loud in nature, do not step on plants and flowers that do not need to be stepped into. Simply, do not kill things that do not need to be killed. Killing is sadly necessary in many cases, but that does not mean you should enjoy it, or do it for no reason. Just use common sense, respect the vaettir.
Well, that is how I know how to honor the spirits! If you know of other ways, please share with the community!
Hail the Vaettir! Hail the wights and spirits! Hail!