The dates on this holiday also are hotly debated. The Old Icelandic calendar put the date between October 11 and the 17. Some modern day Heathens use the 12th as their date. I choose the 31st because here in the Northeast it has been warmer for the past ten years, or so, and for this ritual it needs to feel a little chilly.
I will give you some ideas on how I perform the ritual, but as I told you last time it has to be your ritual, and in your words :
On my altar I like to place symbols of the season.
1. A few leaves that have changed color
2. A pine cone
3. A pine tree branch. ( Just the tip of course )
These represent :
and the branch represents the resilience to make it through the winter months.
On the altar I have as gifts to honor the Alfar and Disir, bread, cookies, nuts, apples, and apple cider.( You can use mead as well, but apple cider is more autumn to me )
I have protection runes against the Jotuns who represent Winter on the altar, and I place 4 Thor's hammers on the altar, to protect each of the compass directions from them. I also place my bow and arrow on the altar, to honor Ullr and Skadhi, who I will also be calling on for protection from Winter Jotuns.
To honor the dead, i.e. my ancestors, I have two figurines that represent two Norwegians, a man and woman in period dress, that I place on the altar as well.
Hallow the altar with a Thor's Hammer
Light the candles
Call The Gods ( Your Choice ) Thor is a must !
Pour a libation
Honor in words those you wish to honor
Ask for protection from the upcoming winter
Toast the Gods, ancestors etc.....
Close the ritual
Clean the altar
Have a feast in honor of the Alfar and Disir.
P. S. The Jotuns that you ask for protection from come straight from the Eddas :
" But winters father is called by turns Vindloni or Vindsval. He is the son of Vasad. These kinsmen are grim and cold hearted and Winter has their disposition . "