Written and performed by Paradox, Raven and Shamrock.
This rite diverges from the standard ADF Liturgical Outline, due to its evolution in our grove and, especially in this case, because a journey is made central to it. "Alfablot" means offering to the elves. It was usually celebrated around the beginning of October, but in our grove, we normallycelebrate the solar festivals Norse (Yule, Ostara, Midsummer, Harvest) and the fire festivals Celtic (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh). The sources are not clear as to wether elves are nature spirits, ancestor, a mixture of the two, or something else entirely. For this rite, we are assuming them to be nature spirits, as the celebration of the dead shall be left to the Celts for Samhain.
- Thor, Sif, Frey and Freya have been asked to participate in our rite (trance journey by Paradox a few weeks before the rite) and have agreed to await us in Alfheim. Frey has agreed to lend his ship to bring us there.
- The blue cloth (that will serve as Freys ship Skithblanir) has been brought to the River goddess (Loriana)to be blessed at the Lachine Rapids.
- Consecrate Hammer by carving its name into the handle, calling on Thor and your own will to make it "live" as his own hammer Mjollnir does.
- Make pysanka egg for Fox
- Bring: Bell, incense for censing , gurgling fountain for the well, Tiki torches for the fire, blue cloth for the boat, drinking horn, mead, bottle opener, lighter, feast food.
Explain we will be going to nearby park to center, ground and form the group mind with the help of one of Shamrocks allies, a willow tree, then come back to the yard for the ritual. That we will invite the Fox, the ancestors, and then make a journey to the land of elves on the cloth boat, along with the Fox and ancestors who wish to join us. We will make offerings there to Frey and Freya, Thor and Sif, the Elves and the Fox (one egg offered before the trip, one on arrival as incentive to come).
Processional to the Willow Tree
Blessed is she who gives the life to the land
Blessed is she,
Flow up from your sources, Sacred River,
Blessed is she
Centering, Grounding & Groupmind
Shamrock will ask the Willow to draw us into itself, to become a tree. Then we will link hands, one by one, slapping hands noisily, going counter clockwise.
Processional to the Site
Tree great tree, Gate to the Otherworld
Tree great tree, with you we share the land
Tree great tree, path that reaches everywhere
Tree great tree, source of life, we honor you now!
Prepare Space & Ritual Equipment
Hammer rite: using the hammer, draw the hammer sign in the 4 directions, above and below saying "Hammer in the North, hallow and hold this holy stead!" Then East, etc. A devotional to Thor is also spoken (see appendix)
In the name of Saga, let the story unfold!
Ring bell 9 times.
Opening Prayer - Storytelling
Raven will be a storyteller, retelling the Alfablot rite of a folk long ago and their journey to the land of elves. It will be an exact description of our current celebration, right up to just before the omen taking. The rest of the story will be told just before the clearcut ending, and include what has happened.
"Many, many years ago, in the homeland. A group of Pagans gathered to celebrate the Alfablot rite. After studious preparation, the folk gathered to hear of what was to come. They were led by a Seer on a short walk through the countryside, where they came upon a great Willow tree, standing atop a faerie hill. Sensing this wonderful opportunity, the Druids linked hands and minds, becoming one with the tree -- one with nature.
They then returned from the grove to begin the rite, only to see a large black bird circling the ritual site. Screeching out in human speech the words to the sacred Hammer Rite. Then the great bell was rung and one of their number rose to recite the opening prayer, as was done in the days of our ancestors and as I will do with you here. They then claimed the land on which they were about to work, offering a gift in exchange for the silence of those who would not aid them. The Senior Druid rose to tell the folk the stories of Creation, of the Well of Hvergelmir, Muspellheim and of Yggdrasil. The folk set their minds upon welcoming their guests to share this holiday. In response the ancestors of land, of blood, and of path gathered near. As did a little fox who had come to claim an egg set out for just that purpose. After giving their blessing to the Goddess of the River, the Druids boarded Skithblanir and set sail to Alfheim."
"This place I name, this land I do claim, while me and my own are upon it. You who choose no to assist us, in our stated purpose Whose voice will not harmonize, with the tune we play this day Your function we honor, your purpose we respect For you are among the many, faces of the great mystery As a gift, calls for a gift, we offer and pray, asking only this: Till the bell is rung and the rite is done, let there be peace between us!" [offering of wine is poured] (this is the original version Paradox wrote, which is our standard wording. We were going to use "Till the horn is blown, and weve journeyed home," but decided the horn would attract the attention of neighbors too much.)
Establishing the Triple Center
Telling the story of creation, with the Well of Hvergelmir, Muspellheim and Yggdrasil.
Descriptive Evocation of Fox & Ancestors
From your forest den, deep and hidden,
Silver Fox friend we call you again
Run like the wind, over root and river
With twinkling eyes and joyful demeanor
Approach the folk, you know you can enter
As you hunger for the egg we offer
Your friends call you to come hither
Revel in the land of elves and laughter
Silver Fox, we welcome you!
ALL: Silver Fox, we welcome you!
Ancestors of the land, who were born here, who have died here
ALL: You who have lived and will live again.
Ancestors of our blood, who made us who we are, who shaped our bodies
ALL: You who have lived and will live again.
Ancestors of our path, you whose teaching we inherited, whose ways are our own.
ALL: You who have lived and will live again.
We honor you as we celebrate the feast of elves. Ancestors, we welcome you!
ALL: Ancestors, we welcome you!
Honoring the River Goddess
Loriana, spirit of the River, we honor your power. Let it carry us to the land of elves!
ALL: Blessed is she who brings the life to the land,
B lessed is she
Flow up from your sources sacred river
Blessed is she
Journeying to Alfheim on Frey's Ship
(steady drumbeat in background)
We ask Frey to lend us his magical ship Skithblanir, which can sail on sea or sky, and be folded like cloth into ones pocket. We will spread out a blue cloth bearing the rune Ing to be the ship, on which we sail to Alfheim. Paradox will be the lookout at the front, describing the voyage, and at the back, Shamrock will give the rowing rhythm with the bodhran drum. We will invite the ancestors and the fox to travel with us if they so wish.
Devotionals to Freya & Frey (Raven),
Sif (Paradox), Elves (Raven)
Once we arrive, we will make devotional offerings to our guests (see appendix).
Let those who have gifts come forth, as a gift calls for a gift. Make your offerings to the powers, be it art or food, promise or praise
The folk make their offerings.
A rune shall be drawn for each one among: Frey, Freya, Thor, Sif, elves, Fox, ancestors.
Meditation of Needs
As you sit here, reflect upon what it is you need from the land of elves, What blessings our hosts can offer you that is of value to you. Frey and Freya, Sif & Thor, and all the elves are listening.
Prayer of Return Flow
Fill the horn with mead and raise it, calling into it the blessings that our allies offer us.
By land, sea and sky
By the bonds above and below
As we have given you praise
Let us receive the flowing blaze
Of your blessing
To share by drinking.
Sharing the Waters: Sumbel
We pass the horn around, each person making a toast to honor someone or something, bragging of some accomplishment, boasting of some future deed, offering a blessing, or taking an oath, and then drinking a sip. We generally go three or four rounds, then offer what is left to our allies by pouring it on the ground, to show we are not greedy.
Thanking Our Alfheim Hosts (Frey, Freya, Thor, Sif, elves) & Guests (Deities, Ancestors, Nature Spirits)
Journey Home on the Boat
Everyone gets back onto the cloth boat, and we row home, across the sea to the mouth of the river, then up the river to our home on the island of Montreal.
Thanking the River Goddess
Blessed river, our thanks for carrying us to the land of elves!
Dismissing the Triple Center
Norse story of the end and renewal of the world.
Grounding Excess Energy &
Unmerging from the Groupmind
She asks the Willow tree to let go of the link that was created.
Final Blessing: Second part of the storytelling
While sailing the lands of the gods, they realized that the way would not be easy, but forced by circumstances they kept their concentration on the task and were welcomed by Frey. Addressing their deities of choice, several people spoke brief words of love, respect and devotion. The runecaster then took the omens. Frey was concerned with future needs, while Freya wished them a healthy harvest. Thor promised a safe journey, while Sif reminded them that everyone holds a little divinity inside themselves. The elves granted continued good relations, the ancestors wished them a good family life and the little fox told them to go to hell, obviously shaken by the ride on Skithblanir. After solemnly and piously sharing the waters, the folk thanked their hosts and made their journey back to the homeland. Thanking the River Goddess, the folk brought the ritual to a close. As the fire was extinguished and as the tree stood still to the sound of the water flowing through a natural well, the tone of the great bell sounded once more.
Thanking Our Sources of Inspiration - Saga
Our thanks to you Saga, your story is told!
Ring bell 9 times
Devotional to Sif (written by Paradox)
Red jewels arrayed about
Like your lips alive they glow
Green gems are your eyes
Gold your hair woven with wheat
Dancing silks cling to your waist
As you whip you hair in the wind
In all these treasures are blessings hidden
You are the harvest and reward of all things
Accomplishments are your bread
Excellence your wine
And you yourself the reward
Giving what we need, what we earned
The prize at the end of the quest
Sif, betrothed of Thor, with these words I praise you!
(Adapted by Raven from the book Norse Magic, by D.J. Conway. Yeah, we know her books have lousy scholarship...)
Merry Meet Lords and Ladies of the North.
I give you my respect and love.
In you I place my trust.
Freya Queen of the Valkyries,
Great Goddess, harken unto this your child,
let me glimpse your wisdom,
Freya of the Black Swordhand,
Mistress of Magick, whisper your spells in my ear.
Frey the Sun God
Hear me Vanir God of Sun and Wealth,
fill my life with the good things;
happiness, peace and love,
green groves to worship in,
and other believers in the Old Ways,
to fill those groves with joy again.
Thunar the Thunderer
Storm clouds gather across the land,
the protector of the common man,
When thy mighty hammer is raised,
know that my sword shall be with thee.
Odin the Allfather
Blue cloak swirling in the storm,
Rune master, show me words of power.
Ravens at your shoulder, wolves by your feet,
protect me from my enemies.
Tyr the One Handed
Guardian of the Scales of Right,
hear my pleas for justice.
For the good of those being falsely accused,
Grant us our freedom from persecution.
[The devotionals I use for Weland, the Dwarves & the Light Elves are
pretty much directly copied from Norse Magic but the following one for the
Dark Elves is purely my own due to intimate knowledge of them.]
The Dark Ones
Dark Elves, who hide in shadows deep,
I summon you for neither good nor ill.
Your knowledge is precious to me,
I seek the path as you know it to be.
I wish to walk the shadows,
To experience the darker side.
By the moon and by the stars,
By the wind, by earth, ice and fire.
Come to me, this I desire.
Ritual and Practice