** Disclaimer : This was my ritual for the Autumnal Equinox from last year ( I never do the same ritual twice ), and reflected in words what this seasonal event means to me, and how I honored the Gods and Goddesses. I am printing this only so that those who are new to our religion can see one way of honoring our seasons and Gods and Goddesses through ritual. As I have said many times before, you should honor the Gods and Goddesses in your own words and your way !
1. One must bathe before going before the Gods. This is to cleanse not only the body but the soul as well.
2. The mind must also be cleansed of all distractions. Only with a clear mind can you comminicate with the Gods.
3. I always re - consecrate the altar with a Thor's hammer before starting the ritual.
4. I like to wear at least one article of clothing that represents the style of our ancestors. I wear a Viking Tunic.
5. No alcohol or drugs of any kind should be used before the ritual takes place.
6. Because most of my rituals are held inside, I like to play a CD with nature sounds. I like a thunderstorm myself.
7. I use five candles for this ritual. Two blue for the male Gods and two pink for the female Goddesses, and a larger white one.
8. I like to burn incense during my rituals as well.
9. Wine, Mead, or Beer, should be readily available on the altar in a decanter so as to be used to pour into the horns.
10. For this ritual I place only one weapon on the altar. I have a viking sword called, Odin's sword, that I use for this ritual.
11. Before beginning any rite I like to read through it, and get the feel of it. Mine are written in Modern Runic.
Setting the tone : ( I actually got this from a Wiccan book )
To be said out loud : Once again we bask in the harmonious balance of light and dark. The sun crosses the celestial equinox for the second time this year, only this time heading south. Winters approach is felt as we notice the shortening of the days and the harvest is brought into the home. The light is leaving us and the sun begins to spend less and less time above the horizon. We measure the fruits of our labor and celebrate the bounty of the harvest as we brace for the coming cold.
Lighting of the candles( incense can be lit before the ritual begins ):
To be said out loud : ( Blue candle ) Here I light a candle in honor of the Dwarf, Nordri, who holds up one corner of our sky. We thank him for his effort which is endless ! ( Pink candle ) Here I light a candle in honor of the Dwarf, Sudri, who holds up one corner of our sky. We thank her for her effort which is endless. Repeat for Austri ( Blue) and Vestri ( Pink ). Move to the larger white one and say: Here I light a candle in honor of all the Gods and Goddesses of Vanaheim and Asgard, may it light their way to this humble altar in this humble abode.
Calling of the Triad : ( My praise for the below Gods and Goddesses is much longer during my ritual but space does not allow me to print it all. Just say what is in your heart when you call them )
Place your hand over your Thor's hammer and say out loud : Red bearded warrior, great defender of Asgard and Midgard, listen to our call. Join me here on this special day great one. As your Mighty hammer gives you strength, let that strength flow through us here this day.
Place your hand on your forehead and say : O wise Odin, All - Father to both men and Gods, listen to our call. Join us here on this special day. Let the wisdom you so dearly earned flow through us here this day.
Place your right hand on your opposing shoulder and say: Beautiful and magical Freyja, listen to our call. Join us here on this special day. Let the magic of your warm heart flow through us this day.
Calling of The Gods and Goddesses of the season: ( These are up to you ):
Say out loud : At this time we call the following Gods and Goddesses to join us here at this humble altar.
Freyr, great Vanir God , ruler of rain and sunshine. We call upon you to be with us, and a part of us, here at this time.
Sif, great golden - haired Goddess of the harvest. We call upon you to be with us, and a part of us, here at this time.
Jord, great provider of our every need, We call upon you to be with us , and a part of us at this time.
At this point you meditate in silence for the the Gods and Goddesses to arrive. When you feel their presence you proceed. Do not be disappointed if one or more do not attend. It is their way.
Now that we have called the Gods and Goddesses to join us, it is time to pour them a libation, and hail them for all that they do for us, and all that they mean to us.
From the Decanter pour a libation, ( Wine, Beer, or Mead, your choice ) into two horns. One for you, and one for the Gods and Goddesses. Then say out loud :
I pour here a libation in honor of the great Gods and Goddesses of Vanaheim and Asgard. We have gathered here to mark the flow of time. The Autumnal Equinox is now upon us. We are thankful for the bountiful harvest that we have received from great mother Earth, Jord, this year. We are thankful for friends and family, both those living, and those who have passed into other realms. We are thankful for our health, careers, and to be living in the greatest nation in the world. But most of all we are thankful to our wonderful Gods and Goddesses, who have made this all possible. We are only but a dull shadow of Their greatness, but even that is a tremendous achievement. We, your children of Midgard, thank you from the depths of our hearts and souls, for all that you have done, and continue to do on our behalf.
All Hail Mighty Thor : Skal ! ( Drink )
All Hail All- father Odin : Skal ! ( Drink )
All Hail Magical Freyja : Skal ! ( Drink )
All Hail bountiful Freyr : Skal ! ( Drink )
All Hail harvest queen Sif : Skal ! ( Drink )
All Hail Mother Earth, Jord : Skal ! ( Drink )
Our joy is however, tempered by the knowledge that the days are growing shorter and that there is now a chill in the air when the sun slips over the horizon. The growing season is almost over and we see the first signs of color in the leaves upon the trees. This is our time to slow down and reflect back on the events that have taken place this year. A time to acknowledge our mistakes and failures, with just enough time to make amends for our short comings. This is also a time to build on our accomplishments and dream of loftier goals for next year, to make the Gods and Goddesses proud of Their children.( Mine is much longer but I think you get the idea).
Refill the horn(s) and sing hail to the Gods and Goddesses again !
At this time I like to read Havamal( aloud), and a poem or two about the Autumn season. The Gods seem to love poetry, especially if it comes from your heart.
When I am finished I write a pledge, or request, to the Gods and Goddesses on a small piece of paper. Without saying a word I place this pledge into my brazier and burn it . When I am sure that no flame or even smoke remains, I say softly to Var: Great keeper of Oaths I have sent you my solemn pledge. Please hold my pledge great Var, I promise I will keep this oath, as I keep all my oaths to the All - Mighty Gods and Goddesses.
Ending the Rite :
Say out loud : Today is a day like no other. We of Midgard and the Great Gods and Godesses of Vanaheim and Asgard, have stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder, looked one another in the eyes, and felt the joy and privilige of being a small part of our vast and wonderful universe, with all its mysteries and beauty. We thank you oh great Gods and Goddesses for everything that there is in our lives. And of course we thank you for being with us here on this very special Autumn day.
Pick up Odin's sword and thrust it to the very heavens itself . Then say : With this sword blessed by the Gods and Goddesses Themselves, I swear to defend our Ancestors honor, our religion, my folk, and my family. With the sword of Odin I will not fail !
Holding the sword overhead and holding the point with your left hand say :
Hail Thor, Mighty Warrior, we thank you for coming to our humble abode on this day !
Hail Odin, Wisest King, we thank you for coming to our humble abode on this day !
Hail Freyja, Queen of Seidr, we thank you for coming to our humble abode on this day !
Hai Freyr, Bountiful One, we thank you for coming to our humble abode on this day !
Hail Sif, Harvest Queen, we thank you for coming to our humble abode on this day !
Hail Jord, Mother of Life, we thank you for coming to our humble abode on this day !
Place the sword back on the altar and say :
It is now time to end the Autumnal Equinox Ritual. As we go from this holy altar today remember that the Gods and Goddesses are with us, and a part of us always. Let us also remember the Nine Noble Virtues of the Asatru religion: Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Industriousnous, Self - Reliance, and Perserverance. And never forget our Six Fold Goals : Right, Wisdom, Might, Harvest, Peace, and most of all Love.
Walk over to the North light and as you extinguish the holy flame say: Thank you ancient Gods and Goddesses of Vanaheim and Asgard. ( Repeat for the South, East and West Lights).
Face the largest candle ( white ) and as you extinguish it say : Hail the great Gods and Goddesses of Vanaheim and Asgard !
Finally say : This Rite is ended :
At least officially it is. It is important that you clean the altar, and put everything back in its proper place. This is a holy place and must be kept clean in honor of our Gods and our religion. Finally take the horn that is still filled with Mead, Beer, or Wine and either place it outside the door for the Gods and Goddessses, or pour it into Great Mother Earth as a final token of our gratitude . If you have guests treat them well, making sure that they are well fed and happy. This is the way of our ancestors !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !