View Full Version : Tools of the Worshipper

Sunday, November 6th, 2005, 08:30 PM
Every worshipper needs equipment to help him or her in his yields and prayers, and this is especially true of a heargweard or other priest. Barring a full fledged ealh or hof, the following list of items may come in useful. 1) Blowing horn 2) Blátorc 3 Hlaut-teinn 4) Húselfæt 5) Oath Ring 6) Récelsfæt 7)Seax 8) Symbelhorn 9) Wéofod. Additional items may be necessary depending on one's patron deity such as a spear for worshippers of Wóden, a hammer for those of Þunor, and so forth.

Blowing Horn: If one is the leader of a kindred or expects to host large blots and symbels often, they will want a blowing horn to summon folks at outdoor gatherings. A blowing horn is very easy to make or may be purchased from a craftsman.

Blótorc: Anglo-Saxon blótorc (blótbolli ON) is the term used for the bowl that holds the mead for the blessing. It is also called the blessing bowl. It generally sat on the wéofod, and should be made of copper or wood. In it sat the hlaut-teinn.

Hlót-teinn: Old Norse hlaut-teinn (also called a störkkull), was the term used for the aspergum or "sprinkler of holy liquid." Hlót-taacuten is an Anglo-Saxon reconstruction of the term. It was usually a fresh oak branch or a branch of a similar holy tree.

Húselfæt: Anglo-Saxon húselfæt was used of the cauldron the feast was prepared in or the kettle in which it was served. It should be of stoneware, although iron could be substituted (do not use copper as it can cause copper poisoning).

Oath Ring: The oath ring was an arm band containing at least 20 ounces of silver worn by the wéofodþegn at special occasions, and at all other times resting on the wéofod . Oaths were sworn upon it at Thing and on other occasions.

Récelsfæt: An incense burner in which one can burn dried herbs or incense. It is also called a stórf&aelligt, and in Old Norse, a glóðker) in which to burn incense (called in Anglo-Saxon récels or stór). It should be of the fire-pan variety, and be made of stone.

Seax: The seax was the standard knife of the Elder Heathen, and was used by nearly everyone. For religious use, the blade must be kept clean and sharp, and never put to mundane use.

Symbelhorn: A drinking horn to use at symbel, and in personal rites. Wéofodþegns will want a great horn.

Wéofod: Anglo-Saxon wéofod was the term used for altar, along with the less common term hearg, which was usually used of a temple or grove. Its Old Norse cognate hörg, however generally meant any altar. Modern practice tends to use hearg for outdoor altars, Old Norse stalli for indoor altars, and wéofod for both. Altars outdoors were almost always of stone, while we have no idea what those used indoors were like, though wood was the most common building material by far for everything. The wéofod can be engraved with holy signs, or left plain. It should be in an enclosed area, or at least covered when not in use. On the wéofod should set the blótorc and oath ring. Wéohas "idols" of one's patron gods should be set facing it. Outdoor wéofods can be constructed by piling up stones. In such a case, an area needs to be marked off around it as the vé or friþgeard, if possible with rope (in Old Norse called vébönd), or a planted hedge.

Other tools: A fire drill or a fire starter kit for starting need fires, a cloak to meditate under, and a set of runes tines also come in useful. Ropes of a natural fiber (flax or cotton if possible) along with staves of hazel or oak come in handy for vébönd. Most of these items can be made by hand, and there are articles on how to make many of the ritual items in books such as Gundarsson's Teutonic Religion.

Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 03:52 PM
It's a Very good post, madam.
We have had a full set of Gothi's Tools at our house, since the early 1990's.
But I learned the names and such in the Asatru Folkway, mostly Icelandic.
I and a couple Friends began doing a regular schedule of monthly + Blots/Fainings, in early 1991, at my home. From that, a Kindred grew.
DSW, my Gythja, and I still provide the place and the Feast for our Kindred Blot/Faining, each month.

Of our Tools we have them all.
Blowing Horn I fashioned this myself from a large, clean, sanded, cow horn. I put a cornet mouth piece in it, to make it easier to blow.

Blotbolli Ours is a large, wooden Bowl, well oiled. It holds about six quarts.It has been with me since 1991.

Blot Teinn We cut a new one each time. In Winter it is usually pine, or other evergreen. In Summer it maybe Ash or Oak, or even a flowering Apple branch.

We cook our Feast in a modern oven or stove top, in modern pots & pans and baking dishes. I do use quite a few cast iron pots.

Oath Ring Well, being a working man, we don't have the wealth to afford a 20 ounce Silver ring. I have a four inch ring, made from a large shiny steel harness ring, wrapped in nice patterns with 8 ounces of fine Silver wire.
I also have a nice bronze ring that is inscribed with a Sun wheel, that I wear frequently on my upper arm for Blot.

Recels Bowl Our Recels Burner is a little cast Iron pot of about five inches with a bail, a swinging handle. We use it indoors.
We also have a large, 4 foot, fire Bowl, to the North of our Horg/Altar, that we light a fire in at each Blot. We cast handsful of Recels into the fire.

Seax - knifr I have several Seaxs. My Lang Sax has a 24 inch blade. My Scramasaxs have 8 to 11 inch blades. And I have a short little knifr sax
with a 4 inch blade, forged for me by a Friend Gothi who runs another Kindred.

Drinking Horns We probably have a dozen Drinking Horns at the House of various sizes. The smallest holds but 2 ounces. The Largest Horn that we use for Wedding Sumbels holds 140 ounces, a bit over a gallon. We have a pair of small Wedding Horns that are trimmed in Silver at top & bottom.

Horg/Harrow/Altar We have a large stone Horg, in a Grove, on the Hill, overlooking our pond. DSW and I gathered the Stones, mixed the mortar and laid each ourselves.The base is 48 inches square.The top is about 30 inches square. It's about 32 inches tall. Very solid.
Around the Horg, we have several torches.

Indoors we have 2 permanent Stallis. One is a Shelf stalli, dedicated to Thor,
with a large Pen and ink Drawing above it.
The other is to Freyja. It's on top of a nice cabinet. On the wall above it are a hand-carve Valknut, Sun wheel, Othala Rune, and Hammer, carved by myself from various woods, mostly oak & cherry.
All these Tools are used each month for Blot/Faining.
We have also various other small tools that we use periodically........
Frith, to you & yours,

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009, 02:13 PM
Hallowing Tools; the Hammer, Sword, Antler, or Spear

Most Kindreds I have been privelged to stand at Blot with, (several),use a Hammer, to Hallow the area, or Stead, for their ritual work. It is pretty much standardly used. The Hammer used may be a short handled Drillers Hammer, a small sledge hammer, of about 3 or 4 pounds. It is set aside for ritual use, and nothing else.It might be painted and with any of several Sacred signs added, a Sun wheel, a Swastika, a Valknut, an Othala or an Elhaz Rune. I have a couple, One I chose and one that was Gifted to me by a trusted Kinsman. It is a 3 pounder, with a handle made of Storm Struck Oak, very significant.
Ritual Hammers might also be Carved of wood, Oak, Ash, or Cherry are all very nice.

The Hammer is used in the well know Hammer Rite, of one variety or another.
The Antler, used in a Blot to Freyr or Froe-Ing is used similarly, to Hallow and create Sacred Space, for the Rites. He will fight with Antler, as Weapon at the End.
A Sword would of course, generally be used in a Blot to Tyr, for Hallowing.
And a Spear might be used in an Odinn's Blot.
However, most Kindred simply always use a Hammer, for Hallowing.
Oh, it is also frequently used in Asatru Folk Weddings,to assure Fertility and prosperity to the Couple.

I have also seen one large Kindred Organization create their Ve, Sacred Space, with a ritual wherein the Gothi holds crossed Swords in the right hand and a Spear in the Left hand. Or conversely, I have seen a single Sword in the right hand and crossed Spears in the left hand. In this Ritual, the Aesir & Vanir are called on to "Erect a Shield Wall", in each of the four directions. It worked very well. There was a definite feeling, perception if you will, that there was, indeed, Protection, all around us.

Each Group, and many Gothar have their individual methods of accomplishing the Holy Rites, offered to Our Gods & Goddesses.
Has anyone had different experiences they might add?

Scott Wodenson
Friday, November 6th, 2009, 05:27 PM
I would add that one way our ancestors hallowed a place and made it sacred. What we do at my place is called the Wéonede Song.

The Wéonede Song is used to create sacred space so that a ritual can be performed. The principle behind it is based on the land taking ceremonies for Heathen temples found in the Icelandic Landnamabok and some of the Icelandic sagas as well as the phrase "Þorr uiki " "Thunor make sacred" found on runestones. We can only assume similar methods were used by the Anglo-Saxon Heathens.

"Fyr ic bere ymb friðgearde,
Ond béode men frið fremman,
Líeg ic bere tó belúcan,
Béode ælwihta fléogan aweg.
Þunor wéoh, Þunor wéoh,
Þunor wéoh þisne ealh.

Fyr ic bere ymb friðgearde,
Ond béode men frið fremman,
Líeg ic bere tó belúcan,
Béode utlaga féran aweg.
Þunor wéoh, Þunor wéoh,
Þunor wéoh þisne ealh.
Þunor wéoh, Þunor wéoh,
Þunor wéoh þisne ealh.

Fire I bear around this sacred site,
And bid all men make peace,
Flame I bear to enclose,
And bid evil spirits to flee
Thor make sacred, Thor make sacred,
Thor make sacred this holy site

Fire I bear around this sacred site,
And bid all men make peace,
Flame I bear to enclose,
And bid outlaws fare away.
Thor make sacred, Thor make sacred,
Thor make sacred this holy site.
Thor make sacred, Thor make sacred,
Thor make sacred this holy site."

As per the actual invocation depending on what god or goddess is invoked many things could be used, Spear for the Allfather, Antler for Frea, a hammer for Thunnor, Saex for Seaxneat , perhaps even a family heirloom for the ancestors.

Friday, November 6th, 2009, 06:09 PM
The Christian Bible was originally written as poetry. The Vedas of India are poems. There is a reason for this: a) it preserves the language and is good for children to learn b) vibrations have power, melody, music etc. has power.

For this reason I think it would make more sense to write poems in your native language than to recite something you don't understand. Though whatever works for you, but understanding it makes it stronger. You don't want to only say the words but you want to "feel" them and you want to will the intent while saying them. You don't even need words. Certain sounds or vibrations have different "vibes" and will make different effects. This is coupled with you willing the intent while you do it. I sometimes vibrate a stick of incence around while vibrating a certain hum or tone that feels right for my purpose (similar to I guess what some native americans do).

I know it sounds like new age mumbo jumbo but it is based on some really sound metaphysics principles which would be too long to explain here. You can relax your whole body by humming a vibration and visualizing it going through different parts of the body, or you can charge yourself. But it has to be the right vibration.

Anyway that and the other occult principles: words have power. If you wake up and say "I will be successful" or something you help make it happen. This is called positive affirmations. Another reason we have such poems and such. Again its really better that you understand what you are saying. A trumpet, horn, musical instrument, bells etc. can be used for similar purposes. It is one reason that Christians sing hyms- to raise power.

Other than that I don't think you need all those tools. They are good if you like them. You can use a cup for a symbel, you don't need to pass around a horn. I believe in a modern version of Asatru rather than needint to bring back some old way adapted for the 12th century so I'm a bit more liberal in how one would go about things. An altar well you can just use a table. I mean its great to use all kinds of things to get you in the spirit but probably not neccessary.

Friday, November 6th, 2009, 06:41 PM
The bible is a rip-off of countless other religions, so when you find poems there, it is stolen :P

Anyway, there is nothing wrong with using Anglo-Saxon, and there are people who understand that ;)

I think that when you attempt to seriously understand what religion, belief, faith and the gods meant to our ancestors, it isnt unwise to use the tools they used. Simply because they probably had a certain thought behind to introduce the specific tool, that might not be obvious, but must be experienced during the ritual.

A plastic laminated table certainly does not generate the same 'feeling' as an old, wooden table or a nature altar in the forests. A plastic cup isnt the same like a handmade carved bowl, where you put your heartblood in making it etc.

These tools are supposed to support the intensity of the ritual, and when these tools are generally something you hold dear they are much more likely to do the support than when they are just 'things'.

The same actually counts for the language. Nowadays language is seen as just a communication tool, and many people even think it were exchangable.

But languages are much more. They are bearers of ideas, even bearers of the cultural fabric, bearers of the 'how' a people thinks. Words and their meaning change over time, and in many modern words today the original idea is lost. The loss is much more than just a 'meaning shift' though.

And again, these old languages help to connect your own spirit to the past, to the ideas, to the way our ancestors thought and perceived the world.

If we want to pick up our true, original faith where our ancestors left it or were forced to leave it, everything that helps to reconnect us with our people's original thought and idea is important.