Heathenry can be overwhelming for a beginner, especially because hearth cult is such a personal and personalized affair. Many new Heathens, especially those who come from backgrounds of Christianity or atheism, can struggle with ritual in particular. Questions they frequently ask online and in person are:

  • How do you make offerings?
  • How often do you do them?
  • Do you say things out loud or just in your head?

Books with examples of Heathen rituals do exist, but because of the personalized nature of everyone’s practice, these prewritten rituals cannot accommodate everyone. Since the foundation of my practice is the historical record, I felt unsatisfied with many ritual examples I read until I found the ritual format provided by Lārhūs Fyrnsida, which can be summarized into the following steps:

  1. Prepare your offerings.
  2. Purify yourself.
  3. Hallow the shrine space. If outdoors, walk clockwise around the sacred space with fire. If indoors, light a candle and move it in a clockwise, circular motion above/around the shrine.
  4. Petition the gatekeeper deity and make offerings.
  5. Petition the hearth deity and make offerings.
  6. Petition any other gods, ancestors, and wights and make offerings.
  7. Make closing statements and thanks, then request that the gatekeeper deity close the channel of communication, which ends the ritual.

Even with this format in hand, however, I still needed to see examples of fully fleshed out rituals. I have trouble wrapping my head around things unless I see examples of them. Since the Lārhūs’ writers, Wodgar and Marc, created the format based on their research on other Indo-European religions, I turned to them for inspiration, too. I read John Scheid’s An Introduction to Roman Religion, the blogs of M. Sentia Figula and Helio, and what I could find of the now defunct Mea Pietas.

The example rituals in this blog post are the products of this research. The first is a short ritual meant for quick, informal, daily or weekly offerings, while the second is a longer, more formal ritual for holidays or other important events. Any beginner Heathen is free to adapt them for their own use, or draw inspiration from them for their own hearth rituals.

Before each ritual, prepare your offerings, then purify yourself by washing your hands (or by any other method you prefer). Then hallow the sacred space with a candle by moving it in a clockwise, circular motion above or around the shrine or altar.

Short, informal ritual

1. Petition the gatekeeper (in this example, the god Heimdall) and burn incense as an offering while saying:

“O Heimdall, Guardian of Bifrost, God Who Sees and Hears All, and Son of Nine Mothers, I burn this incense as a gift to you. Through you, may my prayers reach the ears of the eternal gods.”

2. Petition the hearth deity (in this example, the goddess Frigg) and burn incense as an offering while saying:

“O Frigg, Queen of the Great Hall, Gentle Mother at the Hearth, and Seer of the Fates of Men, I burn this incense as a gift to you. Through you, may my offerings reach the table of the eternal gods.”

3. Petition the main deity to be honored in the ritual (in this example, Thor) and give your offering (in this case, mead) while saying:

“O Thor, God Who Brings the Thunder, Wielder of the Mighty Mjölnir, and Sower of Fertile Fields, thank you for your protection and blessings. I give you this mead as an offering.”

4. Make closing statements by saying:

“O Heimdall, thank you for receiving my prayers, which have now ended. May they be made manifest in this world.”

Long, formal ritual

1. Petition the gatekeeper (in this example, Heimdall) by saying:

“Hail to you, Heimdall. Hail to you, Guardian of Bifrost, God Who Sees and Hears All, the Son of Nine Mothers. You stand upon the axis of the world and warn us against our enemies. I welcome you first, O Watcher, and through you may my prayers reach the ears of the eternal gods.”

2. Give a small offering to Heimdall while saying:

“O Heimdall, Wise Counselor of the Gods, yours is the threshold of our doors, from which we look out upon the world beyond. I thank you for your justice, your vigilance, and your protection. To you, I gladly give this offering of <what you are offering>, that it may honor and please you.”

3. Petition the hearth deity (in this example, Frigg) by saying:

“Hail to you, Frigg. Hail to you, Queen of the Great Hall, Gentle Mother of the Hearth, and Seer of the Fates of Men. Your hearth fire burns with everlasting light and warmth, guiding us to well-being. I welcome you, O Healer, and through you may my sacrifices reach the table of the eternal gods.”

4. Petition the main deity to be honored in the ritual (in this example, Thor) by saying:

“Hail to you, Thor. Hail to you, God Who Brings the Thunder, Wielder of the Mighty Mjölnir, and Sower of Fertile Fields. I approach you on this day to give thanks to you, for all which you do for me, for all of my prayers you have answered.”

5. Make your offerings while saying:

“To you, O Thor, I gladly give this offering of <list out your offerings one by one>, that it may honor and please you.”

6. Give a smaller offering to Frigg, as thanks, while saying:

“O Frigg, Goddess Who Wards the Home, your fire burns bright within my hearth. I thank you for your gracious presence and your protection. To you, I gladly give this offering of <what you are offering>, that it may honor and please you.”

7. Make closing statements by saying:

“O Heimdall, Great Protector of Humankind, thank you for receiving my prayers, which have now ended. May they be made manifest in this world, and may the gods continue to look favorably upon me today and every day.”

Categories: Beginner Heathenry

Angelica

Angelica is a Norse and Anglo-Saxon Heathen who specializes in rituals, death work, and promoting the normalization of polytheism. She is the owner and co-admin of the Discord server Skíðblaðnir, and she is a moderator of the r/heathenry subreddit. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, reading, writing, and cooking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: