How to perform a Blot (sacrifice)
For more on why we perform Blot and what it means, please see our article on Blot. This is just a quick resource of how to perform a Blot, which is part of the article.
We will show two different common forms of Blot
Because Heathens have many different ways of performing Blot, we can't just show one.
We will show two different ways people perform Blot with the basic elements. You can do either or both, or a blend of the two depending on how your group functions. We will call the first kind the "Classic" Blot that was most popular form through the 80's, 90's and early 00's. The "New Modern" Blot is a form that has gained more popularity since the 00's,
Access to Sacred Space
Most of us do not have access to a "church" so we make do with what we have available. Sacred space can either be temporarily claimed via some kind of ritual purification (like the Hammer Rite) or it can be a permanent fixture with private access.
Sacred space is a place where people feel safe, protected, and free to conduct this very important ritual. In this sense, sacred space is more of a feeling than any specific guidelines for what a sacred space needs to look like. Some groups need a very specific set of guidelines in order for their space to feel sacred.
Some practice groups need wood beams measured to a particular height and width, fencing, a fire pit dug to a specific depth, certain materials used or forbidden. Other groups just need a quiet spot in the woods around some kind of natural feature like a grove or a spring or a natural rock outcropping. And still others just need a quiet corner or a community room where they feel connected with one another and with the Gods and Spirits.
Above all, sacred space is whatever it needs to be for the group or the individual to achieve that feeling of connection, safety and peace.
Classic Blot is the most common basic form of Blot you'll find out in the wild. Most Heathens either do a variation of this Blot or are familiar with the format.
This doesn't mean that this ritual form is "more correct" or more historically accurate. This was just the way people first started doing it. If you're familiar with the Wiccan rituals of drawing down the moon or calling the corners, elements of the Classic Blot will seem familiar to you. That's because they're based in a large part on those Wiccan rituals.
You'll also notice a resemblance between Classic Blot and Symbel. In many practice groups, these rituals are identical. We separate them out because the intention and goals of the rituals are very different.
Materials for Classic Blot
- Beverage for offering (mead, most commonly)
- A drinking horn
- Bowl for collecting some of the libation
- Hammer for the Hammer Rite (optional)
- Sprig of evergreen for aspersion
Where to stand in the Classic Blot
Worshippers in a classic Blot stand in a circle facing inward.
Step by Step instructions for Classic Blot
- Perform the Hammer Rite (optional)
- Bless the beverage with the Hammer
- Pour the beverage into the horn and invoke the God/Goddess
- Raise the horn and say a toast to the God/Goddess
- Drink from the horn
- Pass the horn around the circle, all raise the horn in toast to the God/Goddess and drink.
- When the horn reaches the first person, pour out some as a libation into the bowl
- Continue with a second round to Heroes, pour out some as a libation into the bowl
- Conclude with a third open round for toasts and boasts, and pour out the rest as a libation into the bowl.
- Dip the evergreen sprig in the bowl full of mead then sprinkle people with the mead using the evergreen sprig as a blessing
- Pour the libation out onto a sacred spot
New Modern Blot
New Modern Blot is a synthesis of developments in Heathen praxis since the establishment of Classic Blot as the dominant form of Blot. Heathens eventually got wise to the generous borrowings from Wicca, and hit the history books to try to figure out if they could reconstruct a genuine pre-Christian Blot.
Unfortunately, no such description exists, so practices continued to vary across the Heathen community. No clear alternative to the Classic Blot ever really emerged.
We wanted to include this synthesis as a way of acknowledging the reconstruction efforts that Heathens have made and continue to make for the sake of forging a deeper relationship with our Gods, with the spirits that share this world with us and each other.
Materials for New Modern Blot
- An offering (food or beverage most common, see this article for a list of potential offerings)
- A beverage offering for libation (optional)
- A bowl to catch some of the libation for a blessing (optional)
- A sprig of evergreen for aspersion
- Fire and water for blessing and purifying the offering and the sacred space
- For the fire, you will need candles or torches depending on the space and a brazier or fire pit to contain the sacrificial fire.
- For water, carry a single clean jug and a bowl so the Blotsmen or Gothi/Gythia can wash their hands and face before touching the offering.
Where to stand in New Modern Blot
Depends on your own philosophy. Some choose to stand in a circle around the sacrificial fire, others prefer to stand all on one side of the fire with the Gothi/Blotsmen standing near the fire.
Step by Step Instructions for New Modern Blot
- Set up the sacrificial fire with wood/accelerant
- Pour fresh water into a jug and get a bowl for the water
- Gather the offerings together
- Gather everyone for a procession to the holy space
- Distribute candles or torches
- Light the candles and torches and proceed to the holy site where the sacrificial fire will be
- Walk around the holy space with lit torches/candles 3 times (you can chant a simple prayer during this for blessing and purification)
- Hand the Gothi/Blotsman a torch or candle to light the sacrificial fire
- Pour fresh water into the bowl and allow the Gothi to wash their hands and face. Pour the water out.
- Gothi speaks a prayer to invoke the God/Goddess
- Prayers/Chants/Songs/Dances as the Gothi sanctifies the offering at the sacrificial fire
- The Gothi/Blotsman now either puts the offering in the fire or leaves it out on a sacred altar or stone. If there is also a libation, this is the time to pour it out and catch some in the bowl for the blessing.
- Kneeling and prostration usually happens at this time. Dances stop while the offering is made.
- Chants and songs continue until the sacrifice is done (this can go on for quite some time, but usually no longer than an hour)
- Once the sacrifice itself is made, the Gothi leaves the sacred space, blesses the gathered and announces the beginning of the feast.
Note on Asatru Songs/Dances/Prayers
We are building out our section on songs, dances and prayers that you mights see or hear out there in the wide world of Asatru and Heathenry. Keep in mind, these aren't commandments but more of a "field guide" as to what you'll typically see. Some do their liturgy in other languages like Frisian, Manx or Deitsch.
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