Happy Sol’s Day!
We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.
We also don’t take an offering here. We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it. Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it. Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.
Theme Song: “Asatru, Nordic Roots”
If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.
With the idea of the friendship of the gods more prominent than anything Asatru worship of the gods as far as its practical form follows suit. The offerings, prayers, and altars reflect this and I find this as a former Christian minister very fascinating. Ritual is a part of religion and it has its purpose in being aspects of the relationship with the divine. In Asatru what I see in their rituals is more of a fellowship and friendship emphasis with the gods being the guests of honor.
Offerings in the modern-day tend to be drink offerings (alcoholic) and already prepared and cooked food. In the old days, the slaughter of the animal, skinning, and cooking were a part of it. But very few people today tend to know how to do this so buying food and preparing it is substituted. As with a lot of religions drink offerings are poured on the ground to symbolize the gods partaking. Food is offered up and then shared among the worshipers. Pagan offerings have a practical side and I wonder if the Christians realize that their potlucks and similar meal sharings have more in common with pagan worship of old than their own practice of communion.
Prayers are different. Asatru argues that for the most part, a worshiper should pray standing upright to indicate one’s relationship with the gods is not subservient so much friendship. Other than that, the details are more about what places one in an attitude of prayer; so whatever works. The prayers themselves, having read many of them, are more in line with most prayers I have heard starting with a Hail, followed by a recognition of the title of the god where they dwell and what they did with what weapon. Then there is an asking for aid with a summarization of the problem. In meditation in private, this takes the form of visitation fo the gods in their homes and engaging them in discussions that reflect the friendship nature of worship.
Altars provide the focus for this whether in homes or places of worship. They tend to be in mantlepieces but any space dedicated to the task of prayer and meditation will do. They also tend to be as individual as the people who use them reflecting their gods of choice. Statues, candles, banners, flowers in season, etc. can all be a part of an altar depending on the taste of the individual worshipper. Public altars tend to be a little simpler and reflect the group as a whole.
As an atheist, I don’t worship anything, but I do find that my meditation space has an altar quality to it and probably I will create something to reflect this myself. For me, of course, having a statue of Odin as the original Grey Wayfarer would be appropriate. A banner depicting wolves and ravens, a candle for a meditation focus and perhaps a spear to reflect Odin’s weapon. Runes would be prominent as well given Odin’s association with them. If I am going to meditate on the Nine Noble Virtues, I should have an appropriate setting.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.