Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 4: Álfablót Anytime

photo by Aymi and Laurel
creative commons license
One of my favorite things about Heathenry - and possibly what initially drew me to the path - is the emphasis on honoring ancestors and land wights as much, or more than, the deities.  Don't get me wrong, I like the Gods, but being able to go out and sit in the garden and connect with the land wight there is so much more concrete and immediate than reaching out for a deity that travels this world and the otherworlds.

Álfar is an old Scandinavian term that is a subject of some controversy in Heathen circles - whether it refers to the spirit of a male ancestor, a land spirit, or some mix of the two is under some discussion.  The old holiday  Álfablót was a time of sacrifice to these beings, held individually in the autumn at each farmstead.  Since there aren't actually any grave mounds on my property, I chose this time to do a special sacrifice to the land wights.  But one day a year is not nearly enough, in my opinion.  Honoring the land spirits had to become a major practice for me, simply because they are such an ever-present part of my life.

And so every Friday, I go out to the altar in my garden, bringing a bit of food or drink for the land wights.  It doesn't have to be an elaborate blót - in fact, it rarely is - all that's needed is to call the spirit's attention to the offering.  This consistency is important towards building a relationship with a land wight; it establishes a mutual hospitality where gifts are given on both sides - and a land wight's gifts are not to be underestimated.

Spirits of the earth and soil,
of things green and growing,
expanding and entwining,
rooted deep in the dark,
hear me now.
Spirits of the lithe and limber,
of wandering wings and fleet of foot,
sprinting and spry,
digging and devouring,
hear me now.

Hail to the land and the wights of the land.
A gift is given, and another is given in turn.
May we meet again on the dark earth.


  1. I have never heard of this before. I find myself drawn to Scandinavian lore and life quite often which is strange because I am American of Irish descent. I am going to learn more about this alfablot.

    1. It's quite interesting! The wikipedia article is pretty informative, and links to some great sources to follow up with if you wish :)