Heathen Kinship Blessings
The Blessing of the Mother Night and The Blessing of the Elves
Hallowing: The harrow is set up in the usual manner. A female Elder or gydhja performs the rite, if possible. Pass a small gift, such as a cookie ornament, to each person before the ritual. You will need ale, an additional bowl, whole milk, and a spindle wound with yarn. The Mother has a whip in her belt, and a bag with a present for each person. Each of the guests brings some sign of their work – that work that is finished for the year, now to be set aside until after the Wih-Nights are over. The Mother sweeps out her house, lights candles (saying “Frigga bring brightness, Frowe bring warmth”), and walks around her property three times saying “Come, those who wish to come; stay, those who wish to stay; and fare, those who wish to fare, harmless to me and mine” before the sun has set.
The Mother calls the folk into a ring about the harrow by rapping the handle of the whip or chiming a bell three times, then says:
“Come swiftly in, as the day is darkening!
Come to the harrow, heart of our hold!
Kinfolk all, I call you round.”
She takes the skein of yarn from the harrow and strings it deosil around the gathered folk, saying:
“Frigga weave the web of frith,
Frowe of our highest home.
Mother’s work weave children safe,
of our kin key-keeper bright.
Hlín shall hold us holy all,
ward against wights of woe.”
She twists the end of the yarn back into the skein and lays the yarn on the harrow again, careful not to disturb the ring.
Rede: “Well have we worked this year, and now our work is wrought. So Perchte sees my full spindle; my house is swept, my candles lit. There shall be no more spinning these days; the loom lies still, the distaffs do not turn while the wih-nights last. These Yule nights are a time for the mind and body to rest, while the soul reaches out to the Gods. These twelve nights represent the coming year. It is a time set aside from the old year and the new, and a time when the greatest wyrds are turned. Perchtenlauf and the Wild Hunt ride during this time. And the walls between the worlds are thinned; the Gods’ might is at its peak, the wights and the dead walk freely among the living. Let us remember them on this Mother Night.”
IDES, UR-MOTHERS DEAR, I CALL THEE
All: “We give the welcome!”
FRIGGA, FRITH-WEAVER WISE, I CALL THEE
All: “We give the welcome!”
FRAU HOLDA, HOLY AND BRIGHT, I CALL THEE
All: “We give the welcome!”
ALL THE HOLY MOTHERS OF OUR FOLK, COME TO OUR KINDRED'S HOLD.
Mother: “Now the year’s work is done-
Wound is the spindle, stilled the loom.
The bread is baked for the feast.”
Father: “Now the year’s work is done-
The beasts are in byre, the harvest brought home.
The farmers come in from the field.”
Child: “Now the year’s work is done-
The apples are picked, the goose is plucked.
Tonight is the time to feast!”
Loading: The Mother fills the horn with ale and holds it aloft, while saying:
Hallowed women of the home,
I raise the horn to you.
Frau Holda, riding forth this night,
Look kindly on our homes,
Berchta, beldame of the wheel,
Spin us good wyrds to come.
Frigga, who winds the distaff full,
Fill our houses with joy.
Drinking: The Mother drinks and passes the horn. Frigga, Holda, Berchta or the idises may be hailed.
Blessing: An outward spiral is traced over the contents of the blessing bowl.
Then she says:
“Mothers all, we give this gift to you! Be welcome in Yule-frith and grith! Share our
feasts and joy!”
She sprinkles the harrow, herself, then the rest of the folk while saying:
“May the blessings of the Mothers of our folk be upon us.”
She then calls each of the Folk by name. When each steps forward, the Mother gives him/her a tap with the whip in her left hand saying,
“That is for the year’s woe – may it wane in the year to come.”
Then she draws a present out of the bag with her right hand and gives it to him/her saying:
“That is for the year’s weal – may it wax in the year to come.”
When all have returned to their places, she pours the milk into the kitchen bowl.
Giving: “Now you shall bring forth your gifts.”
Each of the folk lays his/her sign of their work which will not be done over the 12 nights and the Yule ornament on the harrow and dips a finger into the bowl of milk, saying,
“To the Mothers.”
The ornament is to be picked up by the person and brought back to their spot. When all have done this, go together to the Yule tree and hang the gifts/ornaments upon it.
The Mother winds up her skein, then takes the two bowls and leads everyone outside (or if needed, waits ‘til after the blessing), where she pours the ale out on the earth saying:
“Holy Mothers of our folk, to you we give this ale!”
Then she sets the bowl of milk beside a tree or the main housedoor, saying:
“I give this to the wealful wights who fare hungry through the nights: wights, you are not forgotten!”
Leaving: The Mother calls out through the door or open window (if inside)
“The year’s work is done. Frigga casts her apron aside – now wild Perchte fares through the land! Hail thee, Bright One! Hail thee, Holda! Free our hearts for the Yule-tide feasting. Through our fields lead your holy train! Hail to Perchte!”
All: “Hail to Perchte!”
Everyone should now run about outside shouting, making noise, waving sparklers, and so forth. Or, go directly into the Blessing of the Elves, and at the close of it, then go outside for the giving and the revelry.
Notes on the all-night vigil: A Yule log or candle is burned all night, and
someone (perhaps in shifts) is to keep watch.
Toast soaked in cider can be hung from trees, then wassailed…or decorate the Yule tree with apples, then wassail it.
A Yule wreath made from evergreen, apples, nuts and the like can be made, and slips of paper with blessings, wishes, boasts or oaths for the new year added.
The first person up should bring a drink of snaps, vodka, coffee, glogg, or even cake to everyone else.
The Blessing of the Elves:
"Hail the holy Elves, Shining of the harrow,
Whole Ye hold the Hearth,
Mighty elders of old. Turn our minds toward you!"
Call: "Tonight we name the winter night and call forth the elder elves
of the Folk. Ye have been known by many names, ye great elders of our hearth
who ever lead us to greater lore, and fare us to more fruitful fields.
O, ye Light-Elves above and ye Dark-Elves down under...WE CALL YOU! Fare ye forth from the realm of light upon the ray of the elves...stream to us from on high. Fare ye forth from the realm of darkness upon the ray of the elves...stream to us from down under!"
Loading: "We give this ale, blended with awe, to you wondrous wights of the land and air, to you awesome elves all-old!”
Drinking: Done in traditional fashion.
Blessing: The speaker makes the sign of the hammer and the sunwheel over the blessing bowl and begins to intone:
“This ale is hallowed to the elves of the Hearth!”
The speaker circles around the harrow three times while intoning:
“To all the awesome elves, to those who dwell in darkness and to those who live in light!
The speaker begins to bless the folk in the traditional manner.
Giving: Speaker pours contents of the blessing bowl to the North of the Harrow, with the words:
“All ye elves of the elven realms, Awesome elders all,
Wyrd land-wights, to you we give this ale!"
Leaving: "From the Mother-Night to the Twelfth Night of Yule, the walls between the dwellings of the dark-elves and those of the light, to the realm of the Folk in Midgardh grow ever thinner...the lore of the light and the dreams of darkness become ever more known to us throughout this tide! Let us now go forth and make merry, for the year is yet young!"
“Thus our work again is wrought. It renews our hearts to do deeds worthy and true...to strive towards our goals with mighty moods, wise words and trust in our own powers and abilities...ever holding our oaths to ourselves and to our folk...(Onward to Sumble and) ONWARD TO ULTIMATE VICTORY!!!!"
All: "HAIL TO VICTORY...HAIL TO VICTORY...HAIL TO VICTORY!!!"