- A candle (even a battery powered one). The light is used to mark a space as sacred.
- An offering dish or bowl. Use what you have but try to use something nice if you can. Remember you will be placing your gift to a god on it.
- A glass, cup, or other container for liquids (if you are making a liquid offering).
- An offering (see here for what to offer). Give within your means, you don’t have to be elaborate. Focus first on the act of giving and less on the gift itself. The gods would rather have a simple offering given with a humble heart than an elaborate feast meant as a cheap bribe. Note: Please do not harm an animal or yourself to make an offering. Read here for detailed information on why you shouldn’t make a blood sacrifice.
- First make sure you are wearing clean clothes. Wash your hands, and maybe even your face, then dry them with a clean town. Ritual cleanliness was very important to the ancient heathens. You should make sure you are clean when you plan to come before a god.
- Prepare your offering space, be it a windowsill or table inside, or a rock or stump outside. Prepare your dishes and offerings so you’re not fumbling around during the ritual. You want to be able to focus on the prayer and offering, not unwrapping something.
- Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and try to calm your mind. We all have minds that work differently, but it’s best to try to go into a ritual relaxed and focused.
- Light the candle and hallow the space. Pass the candle above the offering space a few times to mark it off as a holy place to be with the gods for a short time. You are asking the gods to set aside and protect this space while you are making an offering. Many people have words they like to say at this point. If you are able, say it confidently, but if you are in a position where you must be discreet, whispering the words is fine. If you want, you can say the following:
May the gods guide us,
May our oaths keep us,
May our deeds free us,
May our ancestors aid us always.
May the gods banish from this place all ill and wrong,
Hallow this space; shield this area from all baneful wights,
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!
- Say a prayer to the god or gods of your choice. Many people choose a god they feel a connection to through their work, hobby, or lifestyle. Others choose a god they know is connected to an area that they need help with, such as asking Sunne or Woden for help recovering from an illness. You also don’t have to have a reason other than you feel drawn to a specific god. For our example, we will say a prayer of protection to Thur. Say:
O stalwart Thur
Defender of Humanity
Friend of the People
Please grant me your protection.
Ward me from illness and evil.
Swing your mighty hammer
And smash the forces
That seek to do me harm.
O kind Thur,
I give you this gift of [offering name].
Though humble it might be,
I give it gladly and freely
That it might honor you.
That it might find you well.
With this gift, I ask you to
Grant me your blessings.
Smile upon me
This day and always.
- Place/pour the offering on the offering dish or bowl gently and reverently. people do a quiet meditation or listen to their heart at this time. Sit in quiet reflection for as long as you like.
- Now it’s time to dispose of the offering and finish the ritual. If possible, dispose of your offering outdoors on the ground in a safe place. This is the best way of respectfully disposing of an offering. Always be aware of how leaving something outside could affect the wildlife, and don’t do anything that could damage or harm the environment. If you re unable to dispose of your offering outside, it’s okay to reverently poor a liquid down the drain or gently wrap it in a paper towel and throw it away. When you place your offering on the ground, you can say:
From the gods, to the earth, to us
From us, to the earth, to the gods.
A gift has been given,
May it be well received.
- Extinguish your candle to finish the ritual. Some people like to say a simple closing to end the ritual, such as, “May it be so,” or “It is done.” Say some thing if you like, but otherwise the ritual is finished. That’s all there is to it!
This basic ritual can be used for one or more gods or even ancestors. There are may ways you can personalize your practice to suit your needs. Look for more prayers and rituals in later sections of Fyrnside.faith!