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Friday, May 27, 2011

What is a blot?

The blót (Old Norse neuter) refers to Norse pagan sacrifice to the Norse gods and the spirits of the land. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast. Related religious practices were performed by other Germanic peoples, such as the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The blót element of horse sacrifice is found throughout Indo-European traditions, including the Vedic Indian, Celtic, and Latin traditions.

The verb blóta meant "to worship with sacrifice", or "to strengthen". The sacrifice usually consisted of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves.

Elden den "köllas" av nio slags ved,  The fire is lit by nine kinds of wood,
det är gammal sed.  that is the old custom.
Offer till andarna skänkes,  A sacrifice is offered [to the spirits],
med blodet sig alla bestänkes.  everyone is sprinkled with the blood.
Det bästa till andar föräras,  The best part is gifted to spirits,
det som blir över skall av männen förtäras.  what remains is to be consumed by the men.

It was a sacred moment when the people gathered around the steaming cauldrons to have a meal together with the gods or the Elves. The drink that was passed around was blessed and sacred as well and it was passed from participant to participant. The drink was usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine.

The old prayer was til árs ok friðar, "for a good year and frith (peace)" They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers.

Source: Wikipedia
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