The Blot – The Central Religious Observance of Asatru
The Blot is the principle religious observance of the religion of Asatru. It is, at its heart, an offering service. Blots fall into four basic types –
- Seasonal Blots celebrate the cycle of the year. Principle blots of this type are Yule, Oestara, Walburga, Midsummer, Winter’s Finding, and Winter Nights.
- Deity Specific Blots celebrate the power and wonder of individual deites or classes of deities. Examples of this type are The Feast of Vali, Thorrablot, Tyrsblot, Freyfaxi, and Disablot.
- Ancestral Blots celebrate the honor and memory of ancestors and other inspirational (deceased) humans. Examples of these might be – The Feast of the Einherjar and memorials such as a blot to remember Lindisfarne Day.
- Personal Blessings celebrate both the rites of passage such as births, funeral services, and weddings – as well as addressing the needs of Asatruar, such as asking for assistance in finding employment or inspiration on a craft project,
Anatomy of a Blot
The blot can be as simple as offering a drop of ale to the house wights, or a complex and moving ceremonial event. In the list below, I will categorize the elements most often present in a blot of Ravenswood. Please bear in mind that the essential thing in pouring blot is making the offering, everything else is really just ‘icing on the cake’, as they say. I have placed a copy of an All-Gods blot on the site as an example of a more or less ‘complete’ (fully iced!) example blot.
- Preparation of sacred space – The Hammer Working is usually performed to sanctify the area, and create an atmosphere of sanctity.
- Reading – A portion of the Eddas, Sagas, or Mythology of our people is read or recited, to remind us of our past, as well as to build an understanding of the lore which forms the foundation of our practice.
- The Rede – A statement of the purpose of the blot.
- The Invocation – A call to the subject of the blot, inviting their presence.
- The Offering – A libation of sacred drink to the deity to which the blot is dedicated.
- The Blessing – The symbolic asperging of the attendees, demonstrating the return gift from the deity invoked.
- The Leaving – A formal leave taking, clearly delineating the end of the rite.