Blot


The blót (Old Norse neuter) refers to Norse pagan sacrifice to the Norse gods and the spirits of the land. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast. Related religious practices were performed by other Germanic peoples, such as the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The blót element of horse sacrifice is found throughout Indo-European traditions, including the Vedic Indian, Celtic, and Latin traditions.  The verb blóta meant “to worship with sacrifice”,[3] or “to strengthen”.[4] The sacrifice usually consisted of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves. It was a sacred moment when the people gathered around the steaming cauldrons to have a meal together with the gods or the Elves. The drink that was passed around was blessed and sacred as well and it was passed from participant to participant. The drink was usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine. The old prayer was til árs ok friðar, “for a good year and frith (peace)” They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers.  Modern adherents of the reconstructionist religions Theodism and Ásatrú continue to practice the ritual of blót, which is one of the most important ritual observances of their religion, in addition to symbel.

The blót (Old Norse neuter) refers to Norse pagan sacrifice to the Norse gods and the spirits of the land. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast. Related religious practices were performed by other Germanic peoples, such as the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The blót element of horse sacrifice is found throughout Indo-European traditions, including the Vedic IndianCeltic, and Latin traditions.

 

The verb blóta meant “to worship with sacrifice”, or “to strengthen”. The sacrifice usually consisted of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves.

It was a sacred moment when the people gathered around the steaming cauldrons to have a meal together with the gods or the Elves. The drink that was passed around was blessed and sacred as well and it was passed from participant to participant. The drink was usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine.

 Sacrifice (via Old French from Latin sacrificium, from sacra ”sacred rites” + facere, “to do, perform”) is the religious practice of offering food, objects (typically valuables), or the lives of animals or people to the gods as an act of propitiation or worship. While sacrifice often implies ritual killing, the term offering (Latin oblatio) can be used for bloodless sacrifices of cereal food or artefacts. For offerings of liquids (beverages) by pouring, the term libation is used.  In modern Heathen /  Pagan religions like Wicca and Neo Druidry animals are NEVER sacrificed, EVER. Both in modern and historical religions Oblatio and Libation has been the most common (and human sacrifice the least common). Livestock would have been expencive and sacrificed at the bigger celebrations. Human sacrifice was mostly common in times of dire danger and panic.  Among Polytheistic reconstructionism animal sacrifice is a matter of debate but many are for it IF it is performed by a butcher, hunter, farmer or anyone else with a PROFFESSION including slaughter. It should be said too that both in historical times, and now, the meat is eaten (as opposed to popular belief). Generally only the blood, fat or something similar (or maybe portions of the meat) is set aside for the Gods. Sacrifice is not meant to leave you without.   The practice of sacrifice is seen in the oldest records. The archaeological record contains human and animal corpses with sacrificial marks long before any written records of the practice. Sacrifices are a common theme in most religions, though the frequency of animal, and especially human, sacrifices are rare today. Literally anything of some value may be a sacrifice in some religion’s practices. The more valuable the offering, generally, the more highly the sacrifice is regarded but the more difficult to make. On a day-to-day basis, offerings may be quite simple indeed: flowers, candles, incense, spilling some of the drink from a cup before drinking. Commonly, the most valuable sacrifices have been that of lives, animal or human.  The Latin term came to be used of the Christian eucharist in particular, sometimes dubbed a “bloodless sacrifice” to distinguish it from pagan practices of “blood sacrifice”. In individual pre-Christian ethnic religions, terms translated as “sacrifice” include the Indic yajna, the Greek thusia , the Germanic blōtan, the Semitic qorban/qurban, etc. The term is also used metaphorically to describe selfless good deeds for others or a short term loss in return for a greater gain, such as in a game of chess. Recently it has also come into use as meaning ‘doing without something’ or ‘giving something up’ (see also self-sacrifice)

The old prayer was til árs ok friðar, “for a good year and frith (peace)” They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers.

Modern adherents of the reconstructionist religions Theodism and Ásatrú continue to practice the ritual of blót, which is one of the most important ritual observances of their religion, in addition to symbel.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s