Chapter XXXVIII
Rituals of Need
As well as the blessings of the times of life and the year, there are also many rituals which can be carried out when-ever there is need for them. These include daily rites, drink-toasts, blessings to the god/esses, blood-siblinghood, kinship in a Hearth or Garth (or a personal pledge to the ways of the North for those who have no kindred of the true about them), and, of course, the Hammer Rite.
Daily Rites
These are the small rites that can (and should) be done every day, or whenever it seems fitting. Living with the god/esses and our elder kin is not something that only happens at the great blessings of the year, or when need drives us to call on them; it is something that should be woven into the warp and weft of our lives. 
Hail to the Sun 
The "Hail to the Sun" is not, strictly speaking, a part of traditional Northern practice. The idea of a blessing spoken at the Sun's four steads - dawn, mid-day, sunset, and midnight - came to us from ceremonial magic, and may find its ultimate origin in Rudyard Kipling's "A Song to Mithras". The basic idea was picked up independently by different Nordicists in recent years and adapted, with varying degrees of effort and success, to Teutonic practice. However, it has been proven very useful in several ways. Its basic purpose is to make the speaker more sensitive to the flows of might throughout the day, so that s/he will better be able to work blessings that center around the Sun's times (such as the dawn rites of Ostara, for instance). Also, it can be spoken (or whispered) swiftly at the fitting times without a great deal of ceremony, and thus serves to remind the speaker, where-ever s/he is, of the might of the god/esses and the worlds about us. 
Several different versions of hailing the Sun have been put forth, including Kveldulf Gundarsson's (Teutonic Magic, 1990), Edred Thorsson's (A Book of Troth, 1989), and, much closer to Crowley's Egyptian original, Ymir Thunarsson's (Idunna IV, 3, 16, 1992). At Grendel Grettison's request, KveldúlfR also recently composed an Old Norse version (in galdralag). Although the Troth does not go out of its way to encourage Old Norse as a "liturgical language", our main stream of practice focusing rather on Saxon English, since there are a number of folk out there who do like Old Norse (and others who may prefer the English translation of this variant of the call), it is included here. 
Sól, komðu heil! skínandi í morgni,
ásynja, agæt ok fögr.
Fyr Dellings durom drottning, vís sigr,
heil skaltu til himins, 
heil frá nifli ok nótt! 
Sól, komðu heil! skínandi í himni, 
ásynja, agæt ok fögr. 
Í himins sali, helga, vís sigr, 
heil frá dögun drag 
heil frá himni ríð. 
Sól, komðu heil! skínandi í aptan,
ásynja, agæt ok fögr. 
Í brennanda eldi, björt, vís sigr,
heil komðu fra himni, 
heil ríð niðr í nótt.
Sól, komðu heil! skínandi í myrkri,
ásynja, agæt ok fögr. 
Í nifli ok nótt, nornljós, vís sigr,
heil komðu frá kveldi, 
heil dragðu til dags. 


Sun, hail to thee! shining in morning,
far-famed goddess, and fair.
Before doors of Delling, drightine, show sig,
holy rise you to heaven,
holy from nibel and night.
Sun, hail to thee! shining in heaven,
far-famed goddess, and fair.
In heaven's halls, holy, show sig,
holy draw up from dawn,
holy from heaven ride.
Sun, hail to thee! shining in evening,
far-famed goddess, and fair.
In burning fire, bright one, show sig.
holy come you from heaven,
holy ride down to the dark. 
Sun, hail to you! shining in darkness,
far-famed goddess, and fair.
In nibel and night, norn-light, show sig.
holy swing down from setting,
holy draw up to day.
Blessing of Food 
Whenever we eat or drink, we should remember the sources from which our nourishment comes, and the uses to which we will put it. We are fed by the gifts of the earth and the heavens, the gods and goddesses; the might of our food strengthens our bodies and our souls, so that we in turn may give our blessings to them. 
The simplest means of hallowing food and drink has been practiced in Ásatrú at least since the beginning of the Rebirth - the Hammer-Signing. Start with a closed fist, roughly at head-height. See a ball of white brightness striking into your hand from above. Bring your fist down to just above the food and see the shining might sink into it, then move your hand across the bottom of the Hammer-sign (see illustration, "Signs"). If you are in a mixed family group, or other situations where a large and dramatic Hammer-sign might be a problem, a small and quick version of the gesture can be made. 
Again, we emphasize that the Hammer-sign is not to be taken as a sign of the particular cult of Thonar, nor even of the Ases (as opposed to the Wans). It is the general sign of hallowing, and thus fitting for all to use. However, other signs may also be used: the walknot can be traced for Wodan, the spiral for Frija, the sun-wheel for the Wans, or whatever else seems fitting. 
At a gathering of true folk, or whenever it seems appropriate, a longer blessing may be spoken: 
Hail to the gods, hail the goddesses,
holy kin, here we feast.
The seeds were sown fair shoots came forth.
hail, the all-giving earth,
hail to the heavens high!
May our might and main wax great,
growing from frith-full feast.
works to wreak and Wyrd to dree,
in are and troth living aye,
with god-kin aye feasting glad!"
Greeting a Guest 
Whenever a guest comes in the front door, at the very least, they should be asked what they want to drink. This is simple guest-friendliness. 
If the guest is a true person (especially if s/he has come from some way off), and/or if s/he is coming to a ritual, s/he should be greeted with a welcoming horn of mead, ale, or wine (or the nonalcoholic equivalent thereof for non-drinkers). This should be given to him/her by the hall-frowe, if there is one. At a large ritual, one of the women should be stationed by the door to greet the guests. As always, it should be remembered that this is not a servile role: as ruler of all the hall's secrets and its inner life, it is the woman's choice to accept guests into the fellowship by offering them the holy horn. This act brings are to both the giver and the guest. Here follows a short list of greeting formulas which may be spoken: 
General: 
Welcome I give the wanderer here,
with bright and blessed draught.
Greeted art thou with grith and frith,
hail in holy hall!
Mead: 
Mead I offer you, mighty helm-tree ("gem-tree" for a woman),
sig-wives' sweetness and joy. 
Kvasir's life-draught, drink, greeting-full,
hail in holy hall!
Wine: 
Wine I offer you, web-shuttle's Hilde ("war-Balder shining"),
riches of Rhine's fair banks.
Wish-fro's draught, drink, greeting-full,
hail in holy hall!
Ale: 
Ale I offer you, awesome ring-breaker,
Byggvir's blood strong-worked.
Draft brewed by Ægir, drink, greeting-full,
hail in holy hall!
Before drinking, the guest should then raise the horn and make a toast to the frowe and the hall, such as: 
Hail to the giver! to goddess of welcome,
hail to this holy hall! 
All grith I vow with greeting drink,
and frith with all folk within. 
Drink-Toasts 
These toasts can be learned and spoken at any times when you lift a horn or glass, or they can be used in symbel when your own skald-wod is a little lacking. It is good to have a range of fair-sounding staves ready for use at need. 
Wodan 
Hail to Wodan, Walhall's drighten,
hail the rister of runes. 
All-Father, Yggr, eagle-high, wyrm-deep,
hail for singing spear,
hail for mead of might!
Tiw 
Hail to Tiw, true and high god,
worthy leavings of Wolf. 
One-Handed, awesome, oath-god mighty,
bright Irminsul's upholder,
hail thee, holy law-god! 
Frija 
Hail to Frija, Fensalir's ruler,
weaver of wisdom's threads. 
Bright queen of household, holy wyrd-kenner,
seeress, spindle-turner,
hail for care and kin! 
Thonar 
Hail to Thonar, thurses' slayer,
warder of wih-stead aye. 
Wyrm's lone bane, Bilskírnir's king,
holding the high-seat posts,
hail the Hammer-God! 
Sif 
Hail to Sif, shining-haired goddess,
golden as ripened grain. 
Rowan-warder, rowner of ørlögs,
hail thee, Thonar's bright bride,
hail thee, hair-fair queen! 
Balder 
Hail to Balder, bright one, slain-god,
hulled in Hella's halls. 
Wax aye in might, waiting in darkness,
shining in steads below,
hail thee, hope of our souls! 
Fro Ing 
Hail Fro Ing for frith and joy,
greetings to grith-stead's god.
giver of harvest, helmed as boar-warder 
hail thee, mound-god hidden,
hail thee, holy of gods! 
The Frowe 
Hail the Frowe, falcon-winging,
Brísingamen's bright maid,
fiery as gold fair-lighting in sea,
singer of clear seið-songs,
hail thee, Lady of love! 
Loki 
Hail thee, Loki, aloft bright-faring,
Wodan's friend, rich in wit.
Thonar's wise wain-friend, wily gift-bringer,
have thy oath-given horn,
not lies, but laughter I hail! 
Heimdallr 
Hail to Heimdallr, high-minded god,
shining above Bifröst's span. 
Nine mothers' son, nine sisters' bairn,
rowner of runes to earth's folk, 
Hail, all holy kins' sire! 
Skaði 
Hail to Skaði, shadow-dark maid,
bright-shining bride of gods. 
Winner of weregild, weaponed for battle,
mother of mighty troth-warders,
hail in thy holy steads. 
Gefjon 
Hail to Gefjon, giver of life,
plough-goddess, proving the earth,
maids' goddess kindly, keeping them safe,
teller of tales to kings,
hail, with oxen and ard! 
Wulþur 
Hail to Wulþur, wielding thy bow-might,
hunter in high places, hail! 
Shining on snow-shoes, ski-god track-wise,
oath-ring's hallower awesome,
hail, with shield and shaft! 
Forebears 
Hail ye all, my elder kin,
stock and strength of my clan, 
In mound deep-rooted rowning your wisdom,
spring forth to live in my soul,
as I stand true in your troth. 
Blessings to God/esses 
These are the blessings that can be given to a single god/ess at need, or simply whenever you would like to touch them (but remember the words of the Hávamál - better not to make blessing than to make too many, for a gift looks ever for a gift!). You will mark that they follow a basic plan - hailing, horn-sharing, speech, blessing-pouring, farewell - with a particular sort of gift that is fitting to the god/ess in question. The writing of a blessing to each of the god/esses would probably be a book in itself: the ones given here are Wodan, Frija, Fro Ing, and Eir (the "Feast of Thonar" blessing, with only slight changes, can be done as a general Thonar-blessing whenever there is need). 
Wodan-Blessing 
You will need a hornfull of mead, cider, or wine, a blessing bowl, a knife or spear (if you have one), and a deep blue candle; if recels are burnt, they should be a mixture of juniper, mugwort, and ash wood or leaves (remember that yew is poisonous, whether eaten or burnt). The gift for Wodan should be a small human figure (something biodegradable, such as bread) with a noose lightly wrapped around his neck. Before beginning the rite, you should sit for some time with this figure in your hands, feeling might and main flow through you into him until he seems alive. At this time you may even sprinkle him with a drop of water and give him a suitable name. Any of the Ás- or Os-names are fitting (such as Ásmundr, Ásbjörn, Osmund, Oswald), since these names show one given to the god, as he is about to be. In this rite, we will speak of him as Aswald. 
To make the gift, you will either need to go outside to a tree or bring a branch in and fasten it up to use as a hanging-tree for Wodan. If the latter, be sure that there is a wide tray of earth underneath it to catch the drips when you pour the contents of the blessing-bowl over your sacrifice. 
I. Hammer-Rite. 
II. Light the candle and/or recels, saying, 
I light the way, the worlds between,
my call in kindled flame.
show bright the path shine bright for him,
whom heart now hails forth. 
III. Stand in elhaz-stance and call, 
Raven's blót-goði! Gungnir's wielder!
Feeder of Freki, hear me! 
Sig-Father shining! shield uplifting,
walkurjas' wish-father, hear me! 
Wild Hunt's leader, wolf-wood howler,
draugs' dark drighten, hear me! 
Reaper of barley red on the field,
helm-trees' high chooser, hear me! 
Rune-winning Hroptr, rowner of wisdom,
seeker of Suttung's mead, hear me! 
Teacher of spell-lore, lighting our skull-clouds,
loosener of all locks, hear me! 
To Middle-Garth ring, I rune thee forth,
haring from Hliðskjálf, High One, adown. 
Father of folk who's fared here often,
I call thee at need, come here to my stead. 
To Middle-Garth ring, I rune thee forth,
riding on Sleipnir, shining mount gray... 
(fill the horn and raise it)
I bid thee with horn of holy drink, 
Welcome, thou wise one... ...Wodan! - to hall. 
IV. Pause a little while, until you can feel the might of the god about you. Then sign the horn with the walknot, saying, 
Wodan, this horn is hallowed to thee,
blessed, I raise it, I bid thee share. 
Pour a draught into the blessing bowl, then sprinkle a drop on Aswald, then drink yourself. Do this three times, till the horn is empty. 
V. Raise the blessing bowl. Hold it silently for a few moments, meditating on the god. 
VI. Pick up Aswald and hold him high, saying. 
Wodan, I give thee this chosen one here,
I give thee Aswald awed by your might,
signed to thee, Sigtryggr, Sváfnir, take him!
signed with the walknot as Wodan's gift. 
Scratch the walknot lightly over Aswald's heart with the point of your knife or spear. Sprinkle his head with a few drops from the blessing bowl. Stand holding him in your right hand, the blessing bowl in your left. Either speak or think of the matter in which you wanted Wodan's aid, rede, or help, and open your mind to him in turn. 
VII. Go in silence to the stead where you will make the sacrifice, carrying Aswald, the blessing bowl, and your knife or spear. Tie the free end of Aswald's noose over a branch and ready the blade with its tip touching the walknot. Say, 
"Aswald, I give thee to Wodan!" 
as you plunge the blade into him, tugging down against the hanging-rope with your other hand (if he is made of bread, be careful not to rip his head off!). Almost at once, dash the contents of the blessing bowl over Aswald and the tree.You should feel all the might that you put into Aswald earlier bursting free to Wodan, flowing out as the mead drips to the ground like the blood of the sacrifice. Stand there until you can feel that Aswald's "life" has all flowed out for Wodan. 
VIII. Come back to your harrow in stillness, without speaking to anyone else or looking them in the eyes. Stand in silence, waiting to see if you sense anything more from the god. 
IX. Say, 
Welcome art ever, Wanderer dark-cloaked,
holy within my hall.
Hail in thy coming, hail in thy guesting,
hail in wending thy ways! 
Fare when thou wish'st to fare,
while when it be thy will.
Blow out the candle. The rite is over. 
Frija-Blessing 
You will need a hornful of fruit-based drink (such as kirschwasser or apple schnapps) or good wine, a blessing bowl, a light blue or white candle, a necklace or other Frija-type gift (silver and/or rock crystal are preferable, but household items are also acceptable - remember that you will be throwing it into the water and try not to choose anything pollutant). Again, you should sit with the gift before the rite begins and charge it with might. If you use recels, they should be composed of birch, flax or linseeds, mugwort, motherwort, and/or yarrow (not all of these herbs are needful; this is just a general choice of possibilities).
I. Light the candle and/or recels, saying, 
I light the way the worlds between,
my call in kindled flame.
show bright the path shine bright for her,
whom my heart hails forth.
II. Stand in elhaz stance, calling, 
Mother of Balder! Maid of Fjörgynn,
holder of home-steads, hear me!
Blesser of bairns and birther of god-kin,
Idis of Ase-Garth, hear me!
Spinner all shining, spindle's fair turner,
flax-deep in Fen-Halls, hear me! 
Stringer of loom-threads, linen's weaver,
wool-wise and Wyrd-wise, hear me!
Goose-bright and birch-white goddess in marshlands,
Seeress silent, hear me! 
Queen of the heavens, quiet in fen-depths,
ørlög's all-knower, hear me! 
To Middle-Garth's ring I rown thee forth,
faring from Fen-Halls, fair one, to hall,
Mother of gods, make your way here,
I call thee at need, come here, to my stead.
To Middle-Garth's ring I rown thee forth,
flying as falcon, feather-clad, here...
Fill the horn and raise it. 
I bid thee with horn of holy drink, 
Welcome, thou fair one... Frija!...to hall! 
IV. Pause a little while, until you can feel the might of the goddess about you. Then sign the horn with the spiral and say, 
Frija, this horn is hallowed to thee,
blessed, I raise it, I bid thee share.
Pour a draught into the blessing bowl, then drink yourself. Do this three times, emptying the horn on the last draught. 
V. Raise the blessing-bowl and hold it for a few moments, thinking deeply on the goddess. 
VI. Pick up the gift and hold it high. Say, 
Frija, I give thee gift for thy joy,
Hlín, I offer it, hold it thy own.
quickener of life, thou queen most fair,
here do I gladly give thee this (name gift). 
Sprinkle gift with a few drops from the blessing-bowl. Stand with the gift in your right hand, the blessing-bowl in the left, thinking deeply on the matter in which you wanted the goddess' help and rede and opening your mind to her in turn. 
VII. Take gift and blessing-bowl to the body of water you have chosen. Stand on the edge a few moments, thinking on Frija. When you can feel her still might about you and sense her being in the waters, cast the gift and the contents of the blessing bowl in as you say, 
This do I give to Frija! 
VIII. Come back to the harrow in silence, neither speaking to another person nor looking them in the eyes. Stand in stillness, waiting to see if you feel or hear anything more from the goddess. 
IX. Say, 
Welcome art ever, wise queen of heavens,
holy within my hall.
Hail in thy coming, hail in thy guesting,
fare when thou wish'st to fare,
while when it be thy will. 
Fro Ing-Blessing 
You will need a hornfull of good ale, a blessing-bowl and sprinkling-twig, a hallowed sax, a bread baked in the shape of an ox with golden horns (this can be done by brushing a glaze of egg-yolk over the horns before baking, or by covering them with yellow frosting afterward), a small shovel or trowel, and a golden, light green, or light blue candle. If you use recels, they might include chammomile, a few grains of wheat, barley, or rye, dried apples, oak bark or chips, rosemary, and/or bay (not a native plant, but traditionally used for wreathing the Yule boar and therefore thought of as fitting to Fro Ing). As with Wodan's Aswald, you should sit with the ox before the rite to fill it with life. 
I. Light the candle and/or recels, saying, 
I light the way the worlds between,
my call in kindled flame.
show bright the path shine bright for him,
whom my heart hails forth.
II. Stand in elhaz-stance, calling, 
Son of Nerthus! Njörðr's son,
freer of fetters, hear me! 
Battle-boar shining, bright in the darkness,
swine-mounted, ship-keeper, hear me! 
Alf-god and howe-god, holy clan's father,
from mound and might-steads, hear me! 
King of the land, kin-ruler's wisdom,
awesome in Alf-Home, hear me! 
Gods' blessing-maker, given as oath-bond,
fro of the frith-stead, hear me! 
Gold-giver, grain-giver, grith ever warding,
armed with thy antler, hear me! 
To Middle-Garth's ring I rown thee forth,
on Gold-Bristled's back, bright one, to hall, 
Wan-god mighty, wend thy way here,
I call thee at need, come here to my stead. 
To Middle-Garth's ring I rown thee forth,
faring from Alf-Home, Fro Ing, to me... 
Fill the horn and raise it. 
I bid thee with horn of holy drink, 
Welcome, thou frith-full one... Fro Ing!...to hall. 
IV. Pause a little while, until you can feel the might of the god about you. Then sign the horn with the sun-wheel and say, 
Fro Ing, this horn is hallowed to thee,
blessed, I raise it, I bid thee share. 
Pour a draught into the blessing bowl, then drink yourself. Do this three times, emptying the horn on the last draught.
V. Raise the blessing-bowl and hold it for a few moments, thinking deeply on the god. 
VI. Pick up the ox and hold it high. Say, 
Fro Ing, I give thee this ox all mighty,
my hof-ox, high-horned, hallowed to thee. 
The ard's strong drawer, the aurochs' house-sib, 
Gold-horned and gladsome, I give Njörðr's son. 
Sprinkle ox with a few drops from the blessing-bowl. Stand with the ox in your right hand, the blessing-bowl in your left, thinking deeply on the matter in which you wanted the god's help and rede and opening your mind to him in turn. 
VII. Bear ox, blessing bowl , knife, and trowel outside. Dig a hole big enough to put the ox in, feeling the earth beneath your hands, thinking deeply on Fro Ing and feeling his might as you do this. When the hole is dug, lift the ox and slash its throat or plunge the knife into its breast, saying, "I give thee to Fro Ing!" As you do this, dash the contents of the blessing bowl over the ox and the earth . You should feel all the life-might you put into the ox earlier bursting free for Fro Ing as the ale flows down like the blood of the sacrifice. When the ox's life has all drained out, set it in the hole and carefully heap the earth back into a little mound over it. 
VIII. Come back to the harrow in silence, neither speaking to another person nor looking them in the eyes. Stand in stillness, waiting to see if you feel or hear anything more from the god. 
IX. Say, 
Welcome art ever, Wan-god, beloved,
holy within my hall. 
Hail in thy coming, hail in thy guesting,
fare when thou wish'st to fare,
while when it be thy will. 
Eir-Blessing 
Since a blessing to Eir is likely to be done when someone needs healing, the form of this blessing differs slightly from the others given here. If possible, the person who needs healing (hereafter spoken of as the Blessed) should actually be there, though this blessing can also be done for someone far away. If the one doing the rite is also the one who needs healing, the rite can be changed at the needful points (I instead of we, and so forth). Should you wish to simply do this as a rite for getting in touch with Eir, it can also easily be changed to follow the pattern of the other blessings more closely. 
You will need a hornful of milk (unless the Blessed cannot drink milk for health reasons, in which case clear spring water may be used - since this blessing is to a goddess of healing rather than a house-wight, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk may also be used), a blessing bowl, a sprinkling-twig (birch is best), a bread cow, a long piece of copper wire which can easily be twisted into a simple arm-ring, and a green or white candle. If recels are used, they should include birch and comfrey if possible. 
I. Light the candle and/or recels, saying, 
We (I, and so forth through the rite) light the way, 
the worlds between, 
our call in kindled flame. 
Show bright the path, shine bright for her,
whom our hearts hail forth. 
II. Stand in elhaz stance, calling, 
Lady of life! from Lyfja-Berg,
healer most holy, hear us!
Wise in all wort-cunning, weal aye bringing,
worker of wholeness, hear us! 
Herb-crafty, kindly, keeper of life-doors,
Menglöð's maids among, hear us! 
Bringer of lore of brews and salves all,
Awe-foe to illness, hear us! 
Bone-setter, blood-rinser bane of all hag-shot,
warder of wholeness, hear us! 
Sharp-knived and -sighted, singing the help-runes,
honey-handed one, hear us! 
To Middle-Garth's ring we rown thee forth,
fare from Lyfja-Berg, lady, to hall. 
With mortar and pestle, make thy way here, 
We call thee at need, come here, to our stead. 
To Middle-Garth's ring we rown thee forth,
from mountain faring, maid of craft, here... 
Fill the horn and raise it. 
We bid thee with horn of holy drink, 
Welcome, thou awesome one... Eir!...to our hall! 
IV. Pause a little while, until you can feel the might of the goddess about you. Then sign the horn with the sun-wheel and say, 
Eir, this horn is hallowed to thee,
we ask thy blessings blithe. 
A wholeness-drink, a draught of strength,
hallowed by healer's hands,
blessed by beloved Eir. 
Pour the whole lot into the blessing bowl. The Blesser and the Blessed should raise it and hold it together for a few moments, thinking on the goddess. If the rite is being done for someone who is not there, the Blesser should also do his/her best to see that person becoming whole and well. 
V. The Blesser then takes the copper wire and winds it into an armring that will fit the Blessed, saying, 
I wind the ring, I weave the blessing, before Eir's bright-gleaming eyes. Let Eir's might flow through it aye - healing in bone, healing in blood, healing in heart and soul, healing where-ever hurt stands; driving out all elves of ill, scattering far all spells of ill, unwinding all works of ill. 
The Blesser puts the ring on the Blessed's wrist (if the Blessed is not there, lays it on the harrow) and sprinkles it from the blessing bowl, saying,
Eir hallow and heal you aye. 
S/he then raises the blessing bowl and says, 
Eir has hallowed this healing draught,
drink, and wax in weal.
All ill the draught shall drive from you,
be whole in heart and hide,
be whole in body and hug. 
The Blessed drinks half the contents of the bowl. If the Blessed is not there, the ring should simply be dropped into the bowl as the Blesser thinks deeply on the might within streaming from the sunken ring to the Blessed. 
VI. The Blesser and Blessed lift the cow together. They may speak together or the Blesser may speak alone. 
We offer to Eir Auðumbla's kin,
this gift to the goddess kind,
with thanks for weal and wellness here,
we hail you, healer bright! 
VII. Take cow and blessing-bowl to a fitting stead - a quiet place, by choice with trees and water. Stand there for a little while, thinking on the might of Eir. Set the cow down by the foot of a tree and pour the contents of the blessing-bowl over it, saying,
Eir, Healer, we give thee this gift, blessed ever to thee. Take it as you will, healing (name of blessed) in the time and way that is best. 
If the Blessed is not there, take the arm-ring back and give it to him/her later. If this, for whatever reason, will not be possible, you should wind it tightly about an eastward-arching tree-limb, saying,
Eir, rist thy healing-runes on holy tree; let the ash (for a man; elm for a woman) of the high ones grow well through this. 
VIII. Leaving the cow where it is - Eir will take it through the course of nature, as befits the manner of her healing - come back to the harrow in silence, neither speaking to another person nor looking them in the eyes. Stand in stillness, waiting to see if you feel or hear anything more from the goddess. 
IX. Say, 
Welcome art ever, wort-cunning maid,
holy within our hall. 
Hail in thy coming, hail in thy guesting,
fare when thou wish'st to fare,
while when it be thy will. 
Blood-Siblinghood 
The rite of blood-siblinghood is a great and holy rite of troth, by which two folk blend their clans and their lives together. It is most often done between two men, sometimes as a rite of warrior-binding. 
When swearing blood-siblinghood, the greatest care should be taken that both folk are well-known to be true and are-full, worthy of the oath they make to each other - of the bond which cannot be broken except with the death or outlawry of the other. Among other things, the tragic end of the Völsung/Nibelung tale shows what comes of the breaking of such a blood-oath. An oath-sibling is exactly the same in all ways as a sibling born of the same mother. 
If both folk are absolutely known to be free of any diseases (remember, the AIDS virus can incubate for up to six months without showing up on a test), they may actually press their wounds together and mix the blood in their veins. If there is any doubt whatsoever, the blood should be allowed to flow into a horn of mead and ale, in which the blending is done with no direct exchange of bodily fluids. 
In the old days, a loop of turf would be cut (with both ends still firmly anchored in the earth) and propped up with stakes; the two oath-swearers would then creep beneath it, born as siblings from the womb of the earth. If this is not possible, a clod of earth may be grubbed up and cast in an arch over the head of the two. 
The gods and goddesses may be called to witness, or their presence may simply be felt. A full poetic hailing is given in Kveldulf Gundarsson's Teutonic Religion; however, many feel that this rite is so personal that the use of a formal ritual beyond the act itself actually takes away from the closeness of the moment. 
Care must be taken in making the cuts. The most important thing is that a very sharp blade be used. You should also consider the place of cutting carefully, avoiding tendons and major blood-vessels. The heel of the hand and the muscle of the arm are among the better choices. Only a small cut is needed. 
Troth-Claiming 
This rite is for those who wish to take up the Elder Troth. One such rite is given in Edred Thorsson's A Book of Troth, in which the formula forced by Charlemagne on the Saxon "converts" is ritually reversed. The original formula was "end ec forsacho allum dioboles uuercum and uuordum, Thunaer ende UUôden ende Saxnôte ende allum thêm unholdum thê hera genôtas sint" - "I forsake all the devil's deeds and words, Thunar and Woden and Saxnot and all unholdon ("ungracious/unholy ones", evil spirits) that are their companions". Edred Thorsson, in response, has the pledger forsaking "the angels of alienation...the services of the White Christ...and all the Christian works...the works and words of the so-called father, and his son named Jesus, and their unholy spirit!" (p. 164). This is then followed, as was the original, by a statement of trust - for the Old Saxons, in YHVH, Jesus, and their Holy Ghost; for us, in Woden, Thunar, Freya and Frey, or whichever god/esses the candidate is particularly close to. The first part of this rite has often drawn criticism for "christian-bashing", and Edred Thorsson himself allows it to be omitted, but it should be marked that it is spoken in no stronger terms than the original vow which was forced on the Saxon folk. By carrying out this ritual reversal, further, true folk reach down into the Well to touch that time at which Heathenism was cast down and rewrite that ill wyrd to a good one, as the sign of our rebirth and sig in the fullness of time. Psychologically, it also has the effect of powerfully bringing home to the person speaking it that they are really, finally, no longer a part of the belief-system which would count such words as blasphemy, and thus it can add a great awe and seriousness to the rite. You may, thus, choose to use this forsaking as a lead-in to the swearing of troth given here. 
The rite of Troth-Claiming may be carried out either as part of pledging to a kindred or by oneself. In the former case, the whole kindred should be gathered in a ring with the candidate standing outside. 
You will need a bowl of water (by choice, drawn from a running stream at dawn), a horn (or cup) of ale or mead, a blessing bowl and sprinkling-twig, and a Hammer pendant with which the Blesser will hallow the Pledged and which the Pledged will wear thereafter as the sign of her/his troth. If you have an oath-ring, this should also be used. 
I. Hammer-Rite
II. The Blesser stands in the full elhaz stance, calling, 
Wodan and Thonar, Tiw and Fro Ing, Frija and Gefjon, Frowe and Sif, Nerthus, Njörðr, need-giving Earth, all holy folk, I hail you now!
Alfs and idises and all fore-gone sibs, in howes and in heavens now hark to my words!
A kinsman comes forth, kindly look on him/her, In troth-ring of eld treading 'mongst folk. 
Hear me, all, you holy ones, both high and low of Heimdallr's kin! 
Give welcome to one who's wandered for long, 
Welcome in clan-ring kin, with full right. 
III a. If the rite is being held as a kindred rite, the Blesser then says, 
Who speaks for the one standing without? Who says that this wo/man should come within the ring of our kin? 
A member of the kindred stands and speaks for the Pledger, telling of his/her worth and deeds. The Blesser looks at the gathered folk and says, 
Do all find this wight worthy to be one of us - a shield-fellow on the field, a mead-friend on the benches, a blessing- brother/sister at our holy feasts?
Hopefully this has been talked about at some length beforehand and everyone there will be willing to gladly hail the Pledger. 
The ring opens and the Pledger steps within. The Blesser says, 
Within our clan-ring you stand, before the gods and goddesses and all your fore-gone kin, before the eyes of the living folk. Now Var hears your vows: what troth do you pledge as your own? 
III b. If the rite is being done alone say, 
Within the clan-ring I stand, with gods and goddesses and all my fore-gone kin about me. Now Var hear my vow! I pledge this troth as my own. 
IV. The Blesser holds up the Hammer and oath-ring; the Pledger clasps his/her sword-hand over them . At this point the words of forsaking the christian gods, spirits, words and works may be spoken if wished. The Pledger says, 
I pledge my troth to all the Ases and Wans; to all my fore-gone kin who dwell in the hallowed mounds and the garths of the gods; and to those living folk who share the troth of the North. I put my trust in all the gods and goddesses, in (here s/he may name those god/esses which are closest to his/her heart). May they ever bless me as I strive to show forth the atheling-thews of the true, to hold the holy wights of our folk in high worship, and to care for my kin and the true folk about me. Thus do I swear: should I break this oath, let me be named a warg, the worst of wights, and cast from all the wih-steads and dwellings of men! Var and Tiw hear me; so it is spoken! 
V a. The Blesser says, 
Welcome, child of Heimdallr's kin! New-born within our ring, by what name shall you be known to the gods and the folk? 
The Pledger answers with the name s/he has chosen - the drivers' license name can be just as fitting and holy as any, especially if it is a family name - and the reasons behind it, the hero/ine after which s/he has chosen to call him/herself if there is one, and the ørlög which s/he wishes it to bring. The Blesser sprinkles water upon the Pledger's head and says, 
Before the gods and goddesses all, I bless you with the name (N.N.) and the wyrd you have chosen with it. 
S/he then lifts the Pledger off the ground or has a heftier member of the kindred do it. S/he swings the Hammer pendant three times over the Pledger's head, saying, 
Wih-Thonar's Hammer hallow you! Let this ever be the holy sign of your troth, by which all folk may know you.
S/he places it around the Pledger's neck. 
V b. The Pledger says, 
Thus I stand as a child of Heimdallr's kin. New-born within the holy ring, let gods and folk know me by the name (N.N.). 
Pledger then speaks the reasons behind the name s/he has chosen, tells its story, and speaks of the ørlög which s/he wishes it to bring. S/he sprinkles water upon his/her own head and says, 
(name of chosen god/ess or, if none is chosen, Thonar) lift me up, sprinkled with holy water, welcomed into the clan of the true! 
S/he leaps into the air. S/he then swings the Hammer pendant thrice over his/her own head, saying, 
Wih-Thonar's Hammer hallow me! Let this ever be the holy sign of my troth, by which all folk may know me. 
S/he places the Hammer around her/his own neck. 
VI a. The Blesser fills the horn and gives it to the Pledger, who makes a toast to the god/esses and passes it on. Each of the folk there makes a toast to one or more god/esses, calling their blessing on the Pledger. When the round is done, the Pledger pours what is left into the bowl and refills it. For the second round, the Pledger toasts his/her forebears; the other folk may toast their own forebears or hero/ines of the folk. For the third round, the Pledger toasts the kindred. S/he carries the horn around; each of the folk drinks with their arm locked through the arm of the Pledger, making a toast to him/her. When all are done and the contents of the third round poured into the bowl, the Pledger lifts it high and says, 
I give this to the gods and goddesses, alfs and idises and all holy wights - the grith and friendship of the kin! 
S/he hallows it with the sign of the Hammer and says, 
Now let all be blessed by wih-might. 
S/he sprinkles the harrow, the eight winds, above and below, then each of the folk, beginning with him/herself and being sure to touch her/his Hammer with the hallowed drops. When s/he is done, s/he pours the contents of the bowl onto the earth. 
The Blesser says, 
So it is wrought! Be welcome to our kin!
S/he embraces the Pledger, as does each of the folk in turn. The rite is over. 
VI b. The Pledger fills the horn. S/he toasts the gods and goddesses, drinks, and pours a third of the hornfull into the bowl; toasts his/her foregone kin, drinks, and pours a third into the bowl; makes a toast to those other folk, known or unknown, who follow the troth of the North, drinks, and pours the rest into the bowl. S/he lifts the bowl and says, 
I give this to the gods and goddesses, alfs and idises and all holy wights - our grith and friendship aye! 
S/he hallows it with the sign of the Hammer and says, 
Now let all be blessed by wih-might. 
S/he sprinkles the harrow, the eight winds, above and below, and him/herself, then pours the contents of the bowl onto the earth. S/he says, 
So it is wrought! Welcome me, holy kin: I shall stand among you forever! 
Hammer Rite 
The Hammer Rite was first worked out by Edred Thorsson (in FUTHARK). There are a few different versions of it floating around, including those in A Book of Troth and Kveldulf Gundarsson's Teutonic Religion, but the basic goal - to ward and hallow a stead - and the basic method - signing the Hammer to the four or eight directions, above and below - is the same. The version given here is not especially better than the others - not to be thought of an an "Official Troth Hammer-Rite" or anything like that - but because copyright restrictions keep us from simply reproducing the earlier texts, a different one had to be written for this book. 
This rite does not create a magical circle; folk may pass freely in and out after it is done. However, the person doing it should see it as ringing the whole stead where the rite or feast is being held, as all of it should be holy ground. 
The Hammer Rite may be done with an actual full-size hallowing Hammer, a Hammer pendant, or, at need, the Godwo/man's fist. The signing of the Hammer should be a large, sweeping gesture full of might - as Thonar would do it. 
I. The Godwo/man faces North and makes the sign of the Hammer, saying, 
Wih-Thonar's Hammer, ward us in North-Ways!
All ill must wend away.
S/he turns to either the Northeast (if s/he likes to hallow the full ætt) or the East (if s/he prefers to use the quarters), and makes the sign of the Hammer, saying, 
Wih-Thonar's Hammer, ward in the North-East (or "in East-Ways"). All ill must wend away. 
S/he continues in this manner around all eight or four directions, ending by facing North again. S/he traces the sign of the Hammer or swastika above (depending on personal choice, whether the rite is being done for a lot of strangers to whom the ur-old holiness of the swastika and the fact that we are not Nazis has not been explained, and such things) and says, 
Wih-Thonar's Hammer, hallow from heavens! 
S/he traces the same sign below and says, 
Wih-Thonar's Hammer, hallow from earth's womb! 
S/he stands in full elhaz stance and says, 
From Ases' Garth awesome, from Hella's home deep, from the worlds ringed around - all mights in the Middle-Garth meet! Hallowed is this stead: no wights may work ill here, and holy are all within.