Monday, October 3, 2011

Small things in the Heathen experience

There are two things about every blót that I love

They are small things. But, being small, they have become a part of the entire experience of being a Heathen for me. 

The first thing happens before the ritual itself. Sometimes quite a while before. And, to be honest, it is not a part of every blót. But it is a part of many. This thing is the uncorking of the mead. 

It's a ridiculously small thing in its way, because it is not some sort of ceremony for me. I pull out the cork, and that is it. But if you've ever uncorked a bottle of mead, you'll know what I mean. The cork comes out with a thock and the smell wafts out of the bottle. I inhale a lungful of it, and it is a sacred moment, because this smell is the smell of ritual. It is a sacred smell. With that scent I know a rite is at hand, and in a sense it begins in that moment. Subconsciously I prepare for ritual. A sense of the holy comes over me. I suppose it is to be expected; the olfactory sense does have that tendency to induce a certain feeling in one. The body and soul become settled, prayerful, and full of a pleasant anticipation.

The second thing happens at the beginning of every ritual, nearly without fail - although once or twice I have come close to forgetting it. This is the Hammer Rite.

For me it is a very simple thing. I place my hand on my Hammer - one day I should photograph it for you, readers - and ask Thor to bless the rite. Usually I rhyme it; "Mjolnir's might" tends to get a mention, as does the word "night" and the aforementioned "rite". It's an easy rhyme, and it amuses me. And Thor, great and wonderful as he is, does bless the rite. And you can feel it. I feel it like a Hammer-blow; the sensation is as of a hammer striking the earth. There is a sense of finality to it, in a way. It is exceedingly pleasant, and warm, echoing the feelings one experiences in a Thorrablót. One feels protected. It is a great and mighty thing to be blessed by Thor, and I count it among my favourite things not just in my religious practice but in life.

This was meant to be a short entry. Just a few lines. Ah well.

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