There are two distinct styles of offering out: the Blót and the Súmbel, both of which are periodically carried out all during the year.
Comprised of various steps, each honours the godz in their own unique way, yet often contain sacred truths given and/or received. Through the understanding that it is by composing and then honouring these boasts, vows, and oaths which enables the full development of our own self-worth and increases the true comraderie with our fellows, it easily becomes apparent that you should always be cautious about making and taking any oath, which becomes an even more obvious fact when you realize that they affect not only the self, but also the highly involved community, which today is all around each individual.
If you have thought carefully about what it is that you are about to undertake, and think that it can be accomplished, it is very much to your own benefit to do so. However, you should not let the responsibilities, and any possible dangers of oaths prevent you from making and/or taking them. Remember, the might of the individual does indeed actually help to shape the main of the self and of the community as a whole. For it is our words, closely followed by our deeds, which enables us to be most remembered, fondly or otherwise, by others.
There are, in fact, known to be three main styles in which to make/take an oath:
1.) The first variety of oath is the boast. This term covers the honouring of others, and the recounting of personal accomlishments, both the fact of swearing to do something, as well as the relating to others that you have succeeded in what you set out to do. The four round Sumbel which is presented within this work most appropriate for this style of oathing.
2.) The second variety of oath is that in which one swears to adhere to certain set standards of behavior, the act of solemnly giving an oath of kinship and allegiance, up to and including the exclusion of others, which is common upon joining some groups and upon taking certain offices or official positions. These oaths may in fact only last until the individual leaves the group and/or the held position, although often there is no set limit on when the oath ends, and it can continue indefinitely. Such an oath of this calibre is The Profession of Adoption unto the Gods of the North, the Aesir and Vanir.
3.) The third variety of oath is of the style of personal relationships. Either between individuals, or between an individual and a group, this sort of vow is very important to the maintenance of society and to the keeping of frith. The common practice of holding the ring during the exchange of wedding vows attests to this simple fact. This oath of the Sacred Promise can be stated and justly consecrated during any ceremony by calling on your god/dess while in front of those present at the time.
A Suggestive Four Round Sumbel:
A sumbel can be seen as representative of imbibing the poetic mead of inspiration, Ođrćrir, also known as the essence of Kvasir. It is an assemblage of folk who have come together to honour the godz with the partaking of a blesséd liquid and to socialize in frith with one another. The drinking vessel is most oft passed deosil (clockwise) except in rare instances, such as a sumbel held for death rites.
To Principles; a statement of what one thinks of as personally important. This includes an extremely wide range of topics, so be understanding of others.
To Heroes; real folk one is proud of- living or dead, who have personally inspired, or influenced one (must be a real person here folks!).
Of Boasts; personal accomplishments and/or oaths held, stating your own personal successes (no matter how tawdry they may be!). May also be an open topic round, if agreed upon beforehand.
Of Oaths; set an attainable goal which is within one's own personal control. Common sense should hold sway as to what is a realistic acquisition.
At the completion of this fourth round, the entire affair can then begin again, continuing deosil. The group may elect to give thanks unto the gods and thus end this particular style of honouring.
Understand that an oath of highest calibre is The Profession of Adoption unto the Gods of the North, the Aesir and Vanir. It is a simple ceremony usually done in the presence of a Gothi or Gythia and the rest of the Fellowship, Hearth, Garth or Kindred. It should be considered a life-altering act to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Holy Gods of AsgardR. It is taken/given upon some sacred object, and is the sort of thing which is very appropriate for the use of an oath-ring. Yet remember, any oath once sworn is to be considered as carved into unbreakable stone. One's progress concerning this style of oath should be regularly reported on in sumble.
copyright © 2000 Reverend Godhi Yens Jensen all rights reserved