The Tools of Asatru Ceremonies
This is a short and by no means exhaustive look at the tools and regalia of an Asatru ceremony.
The Ve is the area set aside for an Asatru blot. Ideally the Ve is outside – open to the sky, and preferably with a good view to the North. At need, however, the Asatru ceremony may be held indoors as well.
The Harrow or Horg
The harrow is the Asatru altar – typically made of stone, and found outside. Many harrows are made of dry laid stones, some even simply a pile of such stones. In rare cases the stones may be mortared together for permanence. It is raised and consecrated before use, and blessed every time a blot is celebrated. An indoor altar is oftimes called a stalli, and usually made of wood.
The drinking horn is a central part of the Asatru faith. Usually made from a cow’s horn, and often beautifully decorated, the horn is used to make offerings to our deities and raise a toast during sumble. Follow the link above to see my simple instructions for rendering a horn suitable for drinking.
Central to the preparation of the sacred space in which our ceremonies are celebrated is the hammer. Symbolizing Mjollnir, the hammer of Asa-Thorr, it is used to define and sanctify the Ve and harrow. Most hammers used for this purpose are symmetrical on both faces (like a drilling or sledge hammer – no pein, two faces). Another use of the hammer to consecrate an object, or to bless a bride with fertility magic.
Upon the harrow will be found a ring on which to take and administer oaths. In olden times this ring was an essential feature of any heathen altar, and it was the responsibility of the godhi to wear it at all formal functions. Both open and closed rings may be used for an oath ring – but many people prefer a closed ring for it symbolism of continuity. Ravenswood uses an open ring – but that is a matter for oathed members to understand.
The wooden bowl upon the harrow is used to contain the offerings from the blot, that they may be available for use in blessings, and to hold them for later gifting to the Earth. These may be decorated or plain, and ideally hand made.
Upon the harrow will also be found a a twig. used to asperge the harrow and celebrants during the blot. Typically an evergreen twig is used, but a branch from a deciduous tree is fine as well.
The Hunting or Signal Horn