My Hallowing Ritual

Posted by Byron Pendason on , in Heathen worship, Heathenry, Reconstruction

Wes þu hāl! When I wrote my blog post about My Ritual Format, I was in a bit of a pickle due to the Hallowing section of it. I had just learned that the Weonde song that I had been using was written by a very unsavory character (Swain Wodening). So I wrote a short invocation to the flame itself asking it to hallow my altar area. It works (fire itself has an intrinsic power in Heathen ritual), but it never felt quite right.

Shortly after I wrote that blog post, I discovered the Hallowing ritual used on Wind in the Worldtree blog. I fell in love with it instantly. It was written for outside rituals, so I adapted it slightly for use with an indoor ritual. So without further ado, here is how I do my Hallowing.

You will need two candles. One is your hearth fire, I like to use a votive candle for it. The second candle will be your "torch" candle. I like to use a small taper candle because it somewhat resembles a torch.

Light the torch candle. Holding the torch candle high over the edge of my altar that is opposite me, I say: "May the gods guide us!"

Then I move the candle to the edge of the altar that is to my right, and say: "May our oaths keep us!"

Holding the candle over the edge of the altar closest to me, I say: "May our deeds free us!"  

Holding the candle over the left edge of the altar, I say: "May our ancestors aid us always!"

Then, starting back at the edge of the altar opposite me, I will circle the altar three times with the torch candle, saying this (one line for each rotation):

"May the gods banish from this place all ill and wrong, |
Hallow this space, shield this area from all baneful wights. |
Let the gods’ blessing be over our heads!"

With the torch candle, light the hearth candle. I then place the torch candle in a candle holder that sits next to the hearth fire, and start my prayers.

It's a simple little ritual, but unlike other Hallowing rituals it is based upon the  Anglo-Saxon corpus. This gives it a little historicity. Beofeld (the author of Wind in the Worldtree) based it upon Lacnunga 133 (an Old English charm against "flying poison"), but  re-heathenized it. It's worked powerfully for me. If you're looking for a Hallowing ritual, I highly recommend giving it a try.