For the most part, today’s devotional went well. I was able to focus on each of the Kindreds. I did forget to light Freyja’s candle, however. I thought my prayer was really good today, even though I tripped up on the words a little bit. I said the prayer with intensity and passion, which helps me feel what I’m saying. This is something I’ve improved greatly upon since first beginning my devotional practice.
I drew the Stranger again today, but reversed:
Reversed, the Stranger represents caution, intrigue, and disruptive energy. I will keep these things in mind today as I go about my day. I may also decide to smudge myself and the room where I spend most of my time to keep the disruptive energy away (and perhaps use some salt on the windowsills to keep out negativity).
I used the same template I used for Njord’s ritual last week, except the Deity of the Occasion this time was Freyr, God of Peace and Plenty. I did this rite with my husband. We offered honey to the Outdwellers, flour to Nerthus, Dragonfly IPA beer to Kvasir, honey for Freyja, our Gatekeeper, rosemary for the Ancestors, lavender for the Nature Spirits, oats for the Vanir, homemade Irish soda bread for Freyr, and more Dragonfly IPA for the final offering. I felt the Two Powers a little bit as my husband recited the words.
Our Omen was really good:
The Owl was our response for if the offerings were accepted. We took this as a “yes,” since it represents wisdom, calm, and justice. Our second question, “What blessings are offered,” was answered by the Flame. The Flame symbolizes passion, purification, and spontaneity. Those are all very good blessings, especially for people who aren’t the most spontaneous. The final card, the Wand, was drawn when asked, “What further guidance do the Kindreds offer?” The Wand is a sign of focus, intention, and spirituality. If I maintain my focus on my spirituality, I will receive blessings.
The rite wasn’t exactly the smoothest, as we had forgotten an Outdweller offering and vessel for it until it came time to address them in ritual. We made do with an empty votive candle holder and honey. We also had to pass my phone back and forth to read the ritual text since our printer is currently out of ink. Finally, we did have little asides during the ritual, like “Light this please,” and “Do you want to do this part?” Overall, though, I think it went pretty well in spite of these distractions–as seen in the Omen.
As you may have noticed, I did not get to do my Spring Equinox ritual yesterday. I was too depressed and tired. However, I am feeling much better today! Devotional went well. I was able to focus pretty well on each of the Kindreds, and mentioned Skadhi when I honored the Vanir because we have snow. Freyja’s prayer went well! I put my heart into it.
I drew the Snake reversed today:
The Snake reversed is a sign of rebirth, confidence, and upheaval. I see this as a good sign for doing Spring Equinox ritual today–the Equinox is all about rebirth. I am also feeling very confident in myself today.
I am thinking back to Skadhi and the snow outside. Perhaps if I offer to her today she will ease up on the snow showers and let Spring take it’s place in the Wheel of the Year. Maybe this is a sign I need to honor Skadhi in a ritual either this week or next. She can be the next deity of the Vanir that I honor.
Today is the Spring Equinox. Normally I would be so happy because Spring is finally here, but I’m actually really down. Depression does that to me sometimes. It was hard just to muster up the strength to do devotional today. But I managed to do it, with a bit less focus than usual. I tried hard to show love and devotion to Lady Freyja as I recited her prayer. The important thing, though, is that I persevered and did devotional.
I drew the Witch reversed today:
The Witch reversed is injustice, audacity, and inner strength. It took a lot of inner strength and audacity to do devotional today. My whole day will probably be similar. I plan to do a Spring Equinox rite with my husband later that will be a Vanic rite honoring Freyr and Freyja specifically for their roles in fertility. If I’m feeling any better, I’ll also write up a blog post about the Spring Equinox in general. Blessed Spring Equinox! May your endeavors be planted in fertile ground.
Today’s devotional went well! I was able to focus on each of the Kindreds after I made their offerings. I inflected Freyja’s prayer and put my heart into it. After the confusion and frustration of yesterday, it was nice to have some time just between the Kindreds and me.
The card I drew today was the Stranger, a new card for me:
When I first saw this card, I focused on the horse, which could mean a journey or some sort of travel. I didn’t realize there was someone riding it until I looked at the whole card. The Stranger symbolizes mystery, chances, and the unknown. Perhaps I’ll take a chance on something or someone today. My day looks to be anything I make of it, since even the Kindreds say it’s unknown what will happen today. Me noticing the horse at first probably refers to my solitary bus trip to the grocery today. There are a few things we need that I will get while my husband is at work. Here’s to mystery!
Today’s devotional went okay, though my mind has been wandering a bit. Didn’t really have issues with focus. I can barely write this right now because my mind is elsewhere. I’m a bit concerned with a last-minute change that was made to the ritual my group is hosting at our UU church.
In any case, here’s my card:
The Wand reversed signals disconnection, lack of intention, and distraction, which is exactly what I’m feeling right now. I am afraid of how the ritual will go later.
I was finally able to perform my ritual to Njord, Lord of the Sea. In terms of offerings, I didn’t end up finding reasonably-priced mead, so I found a porter beer from Anchor Brewing Company that I used instead. It seemed to work really well. I also used this beer in place of mead for Kvasir.
My Omen was very good:
Apologies for the dark picture. I thought my flash would come on automatically but it didn’t for some reason. Anyway, the first question I asked was, “Are my offerings accepted?” This resulted in the Coins upright, which is good fortune, fiscal gain, and security. The next question, answered by the Black Cat reversed, was, “What blessings are offered?” This card simply means “your luck will change.” This could be good or bad depending on the next card. My final question was, “What further guidance do the Kindreds offer?” That resulted in the Moon. The Moon is a sign of progress, personal growth, and solitude. All in all, very good.
I didn’t really feel anything special during the rite except calm. I tried hard to feel the Two Powers as I spoke the words I had written for those parts. I was very impressed by the Omen. I spoke in a strong voice, without fear of whatever the Kindreds had in store for me. I pronounced the words in Njord’s prayer as best I could, although in hindsight some practice of those words probably would have been best. Overall, I am very pleased with how the ritual went. And I discovered that the porter beer was good!
I had a bit of trouble focusing today. I also forgot the oats and had to go get them from the kitchen in the middle of the devotional. I especially had trouble focusing on the Nature Spirits and the Vanir. My mind was on other things–getting bus passes for a trip at the end of the month, registering for Wellspring (an ADF festival), and the ritual to Njord I’m performing later in the day. This is probably why I forgot the oats.
My card wasn’t terrible.
The Coins upright are a sign of good fortune, fiscal gain, and security. Now reverse that so the coins are falling out of the purse, and you get addiction and fiscal loss, but also investment. Investment was the only meaning I could actually remember, so that’s what I’m going with today. I made an investment in bus passes to head to Chicago at the end of the month to visit the Unitarian Universalist seminary I’ve been keeping an eye on. I am also planning on paying my Wellspring registration fee today, which I see as another investment. I’m not really doing anything today that involves fiscal loss or addiction, so investment seems like the best fit.
Today’s devotional was beautiful. Everything seemed to go well. My visualizations were good, the offerings smelled divine, and the oats were well received again. I did have a few moments when I was lighting candles where I thought about the need to start a grocery list, but the devotional itself was wonderful.
My card wasn’t too bad either.
At first glance, The Crown in the reversed position doesn’t seem like a good card because it’s reversed. However, the meanings are pretty positive. This card is a sign of obscurity, compromise, and balance. Obscurity isn’t always a bad thing. I’ll do my own thing without having to be recognized for it. Compromise and balance are usually good. I need to especially be aware of how I can balance my needs with each other and balance my needs with those of others today. Balance could also be a reference to the upcoming Spring Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. The Equinox is Tuesday, March 20.
I’m really looking forward to performing my ritual to Njord tomorrow. I was originally planning for today, but we need to get some mead (for offerings) and other groceries this evening. If you haven’t yet, please check out my Ritual of Offering to Njord. It is done in the ADF style, with a small gemstone Tree serving as the World Tree, a tealight candle serving as the Fire, and a small cauldron serving as the Well. I also have a set of candles for the Three Kindreds (Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones–Vanir in this case) and an offering bowl. This ritual calls upon only Vanic deities, so it is in line with Vanatru. I will, of course, post my ritual Omen and my experience here on the blog once I’ve performed the ritual.
This Vanic ritual is done in the ADF Core Order of Ritual, with Njord as the Deity of the Occasion. It seems long but won’t be nearly as long when performed. Feel free to use or adapt this ritual to suit your own needs.
Opening Prayer–(ring bell)Spirits of Land, Spirits of Sea, Spirits of Sky: I call to you now to surround me and bless my rite with your presence. May my work here please you.
Treating with the Outdwellers–You whose purposes work against my own, take this offering and leave my rite be. May I be unburdened of all that hinders me in this rite. (offer black tea to cup)
Purification (smudging)–May this smoke cleanse me in preparation for the work to be done.
Honoring Nerthus–Veiled One, Mother of Sacrifice, Lady of Earth. Nerthus, it is to you I give praise and to you I give this offering. (make offering of flour)
Calling for Inspiration–Kvasir, you who are both of the Aesir and Vanir, you whose blood is the Mead of Poetry, I ask you to bless my rite with inspiration. Please accept this offering in thanks. (make offering of mead)
Statement of Purpose–I have come here today to do the work of honoring the Kindreds and receive their blessing in return. To this end, I specifically call upon the Vanir and Njord, Lord of the Sea.
Two Powers Attunement–I draw up Nerthus’ cool waters to nourish and sustain me. I pull down Freyr’s hot light from the sky to energize and warm me. I become the World Tree, the Axis of the Worlds.
Recreating the Cosmos–Let this cauldron become the Well, the Sacred Well at the center of the Worlds, from which blessings can flow. Let this flame become the Fire, the Sacred Fire at the center of the Worlds, from which blessings can shine. Let this tree become the World Tree, the Sacred Tree at the center of the Worlds, from which blessings can grow.
Calling for a Gatekeeper–Mardoll, Vanadis, Lady of Brisingamen! Freyja, I ask you to join me in my rite to open the Gates between the Worlds! I give to you this offering. (make offering of honey)
Opening the Gates–Let the Well become a Gate! Let the Fire become a Gate! Let the World Tree become a Gate! Freyja, join your magic with mine and let the gates be open!
Honoring the Ancestors–Ancestors all, those of blood, those of heart, and those of spirit, I thank you for your presence in my life. I call to you now to join me in honoring Njord, Lord of the Sea! (make offering of rosemary)
Honoring the Nature Spirits–Nature Spirits all, those of bud and leaf, feather and scale, fin and fur, I thank you for your presence in my life. I call to you now to join me in honoring Njord, Lord of the Sea! (make offering of lavender)
Honoring the Vanir–Vanir all, Freyr and Freyja, Nerthus and Kvasir, Odr and Hnoss and Gersemi, Skadi, Gerd, and Gullveig: I thank you for your presence in my life. I call to you now to join me in honoring Njord, Lord of the Sea! (make offering of oats)
Honoring Njord–Njördhr, Sea-ruler, Pledge to the Aesir, Ruler of Noatun, Harbor of ships; God of the Vanir, rich in life and wisdom; Husband to bold Skadhi, shining bride of the Gods; Father of Freyr, the God no man hates; Father of Freyja, the bright jewel of Asgard; God of the shining, sea-bright feet.Rich in temples and shrines you rule, Oath-Keeper and Blood-Priest; Hidden riches are at your hand, God of Wealth-Bestowal. God of Ships, Voyage-Blesser, Master of the Winds and Sea; Blesser of the Ocean-Harvest, The gift of the Double-Kingdom.
Come in the Dawn, the birth of Summer; Bless us with your smiling glance; Remind us of wisdom that lurks in the sunshine – Heart-true laughter, unconquered life, Love that preserves and joy that surpasses. Let the ice-shackles fall from our hearts That we may dance along the sea-beach.
Vanasson! (Son of the Wane!) Areyáss! (Island-God!) Noatunáss! (God of Harbors!) Blótgodhi! (Sacrificial Priest!) Njördhr, come! (make offering of mead)
Prayer of Sacrifice–Now I give all my love and devotion to you, Njord, Vanir, and the Kindreds! Accept my sacrifice! (make offering of mead)
Taking an Omen–(using the Wychwood Oracle deck) Are the offerings accepted? (If not, offer more mead.) What blessings are offered? What further guidance do the Kindreds offer?
Calling for the Waters–(pour mead then raise cup) Kindreds, thank you for your blessings! Now I ask that you pour these blessings into my cup! (pause)
Hallowing the Waters–These waters contain the blessings of the Kindreds! Behold the Waters of Life!
Affirmation of Blessings–I accept the blessings of the Kindreds! (drink)
Thanking Njord–Lord of the Sea, Noatunass, God of Ships! Njord, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Thanking the Vanir–Vanir all, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Thanking the Nature Spirits–Nature Spirits all, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Thanking the Ancestors–Ancestors all, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Closing the Gates–Let the Well become a simple cauldron, let the Fire become a simple flame, and let the World Tree become a simple tree. Freyja, join your magic with mine and let the gates be closed!
Thanking the Gatekeeper–Mardoll, Vanadis, Lady of Brisingamen! Freyja, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Thank Inspiration–Kvasir, you who are both Aesir and Vanir, you whose blood is the Mead of Poetry, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Thank Nerthus–Veiled One, Mother of Sacrifice, Lady of Earth! Nerthus, I thank you for your presence in my rite! Stay if you will, go if you must.
Grounding–Let Nerthus’ cool waters recede from my body. Let Freyr’s hot light recede from my body. Let all excess energy recede from me, keeping only what I need.
Closing the Rite–I have done as my Ancestors have done and as my children may do in the future. Spirits of Land, Spirits of Sea, Spirits of Sky: I thank you for surrounding me and blessing my work with your presence. This rite is ended! (ring bell)