| The Blót is the mainstay of Ásatrú ritual.
Blót is an Old Norse word for blessing. The original Blóts as
described in the lore were animal sacrifices precluding a feast at which
this animal would be eaten. Essentially, the sacrifice itself was a sacralized
butchering. The animal involved would be killed and its blood would be caught
in a bowl, usually referred to as the Blótbolli. The priest,
or goði, presiding over the feast would then sprinkle the gathered
people and the walls of the temple with the blood, using a wooden sprinkling
stick referred to as the hlaut-teinn. The remaining contents of the
Blótbolli were then poured out over the heaped stone altar,
known as a hørgr.
In recent times most Ásatrú people do not live in a rural area where the butchering of animals is still considered normal practice. Therefore we have developed a different approach. We have replaced the blood offering with a votive offering of drink. Most prefer mead for the offering, but there are many variations on the theme, and often a group will often provide a non-alcoholic alternative for those who either cannot or wish not to drink.
A Blót can be very simple or very complicated, it changes to serve the purpose, time, and the nature of the group. The true purpose of the Blót is to acknowledge the Aesir, Vanir, or other wights being hailed in the Blót and share drink with them, to renew bonds with the gods and goddesses, and to respond to the gifts the gods and goddesses give for a gift demands a gift.
A group Blót can usually be broken down into a number of steps usually between 8 and 10. For ease of presentation, I'll outline a 9-point Blót plan.
What follows is typical of a modern Blót.
1. The Gathering
|A personal, at-need Blót need not be so complicated
it can be done in essentially 3 steps.
The food or drink is often left at the base of a special tree, or just poured on the open earth. If one is lucky enough to have the land to do so, one could make a more traditional hørgr by building up a heap of unhewn stones, and then one can pour out the libation or leave the food offering there.
Some basic etiquette to remember
are for the Æsir and Vanir only. We do not insist that they are the
only real gods, nor do we discriminate against other religions, but the
blót is sacred and dedicated to them alone.