Bjorn-gil Felag; Rancho Cucamonga, California    
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   About the Blót    

    A blót (pronounced "bloat") may be as simplistic as a blessing or as elborate as a festival. Our Felag holds eight of these major ceremonies to coincide with the seasons in addition to various personal blóts. It is not a ritual which is to be specific to any one time or purpose, but rather to when a need is felt.
    Blót does not mean blood as some would have you think. It is a word to imply libational sacrifice, and though many an animal has provided their life-blood in days of yore, now-a-days it is usually substituted with alchoholic substances, though non-alchoholic liquid may also be used with no shame involved.
   The rite entails a ceremonial sacrifice of consecrated liquid to the godz whom the attendees commune with by drinking a portion of, or being sprinked with said liquid whilst the remainder is then is poured into a bowl if inside, or onto a designated site if outdoors, as a libation.
   Here's a basic outline of an eight step version of said affirmation:

* After gathering together any necessary tools (drinking horn or cup, sprig of evergreen, ceremonial bowl, liquid intended for use, etc.) one performs a Hammer Rite (as shown in the "Tools" section) to set aside the designated place in Time and Space. This can be as simplistic or as ceremonial as one desires, ever keeping in mind the distinctive import of this rite.
* Begin by invoking the godz. The invocation can be done in diverse ways. Of a straight-forward calling by name; by recounting what is recalled of them; or through a reading of the Lore. (It is wise to familiarize those taking part as to whom is actually being invited as this also tends to help to set the respective atmosphere.)
* It it at this point wherein the focus of the Blót is placed. Is it meditational? An initiatory rite? Perhaps health related? Divinational? Honourific? Or is it something else altogether? Herein is expounded the specific cause of the blót.
          LOAD DRINK
* Now the drinking vessel is filled and blessed by tracing a Hammer, or an appropriate rune, or by stating, "Lathu-Alu" (to mean "I summon the power") over it. While holding said vessel aloft, ask deity to honour this rite and partake of the proffered liquid gyft. You should be able to discern when deity has indeed blessed the liquid.
* Imbibe a sip or three of the now consecrated liquid gyft, and if performing this rite as a group, pass round the vessel so that all may drink from it. In this way energies are circulated though oneself. Note that the vessel should never be truly emptied, as this is seen as an afront to deity. Also note that a toast to deity before drinking is always acceptable. (Kissing the rim of said vessel filled with alchohol is an approved indorsement for those with oaths of sobriety.)
* Upon completion of making it's way round, any of the remaining liquid gyft is now offered out into the ritual bowl (known as a Hlautbowli) as the evergreen branch is used to besprinkle the entire area, or onto specific objects or people, oft including the entire assembly of participatory folk. This is seen as a way to fully circulate the raised energies.
          GYFT THANKS
* A vocalization of appreciation is enacted at this time, either through a simple thank you, or a pledging, or through further reading of the Lore. This action can be understood as returning a part of the raised energies unto deity.
* Pour any of the remaining liquid gyft onto the ground. This action thus signals the close of a blót rite. I look upon this as extending thanks unto the vćttier for use of their land/space and of returning to whence we began the rite.

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