A Ritual of Thanksgiving to the Gods
By Byron Pendason
What You Will Need
This ritual is a general thanksgiving to the gods. It’s designed for an inside altar used by a solo practitioner, but adapting it to outside and/or group use should not be too difficult.
For this ritual, you will need a few things. This is a minimum, you are free to have anything else you wish on your altar.
- A candle to represent your hearth fire
- An offering bowl
- A gift to be an offering to the gods
Some Fyrnsidere prefer to keep the cleansing separate, and wash their hands and face before ritual. Otherwise, have a bowl of water on your altar, separate from your offering bowl.
Use the water to ritually wash your hands, and then wipe your wet hands over your face. As you do so, sau the following:
May this water wash away all uncleanliness, making me presentable to the gods.
Some Heathens like to use a separate candle from their hearth candle, but this is not a requirement.
Light your candle, and hold it above each cardinal direction of your altar, saying one line for each:
May the gods guide us!
May our oaths keep us!
May our deeds free us!
May our ancestors aid us always!
Circle the candle around the altar three times, saying a line for each revolution:
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!
If using a separate candle, use it to light your hearth fire. Otherwise, just sit the candle on your altar.
Express your intent for this ritual. The following words may be used, the words in brackets being optional:
I am forever indebted to the gods, for the many things they have blessed me and my loved ones with. I come before them today to express my gratitude, though mere words will never be enough, it’s the least that I can do for them.
I invite the gods to my humble altar today[, especially …] 1. May you feel welcomed here.
Some Heathens prefer to kneel in front of their altar, others prefer to stand. Those who are unable to do either, may sit. Assume your prayer posture, and pray the following the lines:
Hail the *Ese2, the gods of my forbearers,
Who from the chaos brought forth order.
Many are the blessings that you have bestowed upon me,
Far too many to ever list them all.
I am extremely grateful for your generosity,
More than words could ever express.
Humbly I come before you today,
To express my gratitude the best that I am able.
Pick up your offering, and hold it above your altar:
I bring to you this gift, to thank you for all you have done, and all that you will do.
Place the gift in your offering bowl, to be disposed of respectfully after the ritual. Conclude the prayer with the following:
A gift for a gift, may it be well received!
Remain still for a few minutes, contemplating upon the gods and being open to receiving communication from them. You may add prayers of thanksgiving to individual deities here, if desired.
If kneeling or sitting, stand now if able. Dismiss the gods in a respectful manner. The following words may be used:
I thank you for your presence today. Until we meet again, may we part in peace. So may it be.
If you have one or more gods that you are particularly close to, feel free to list them here. If you’re going to be offering to individual deities in the next section, they should be listed here. ↩
This is an Old English reconstructed cognate of the Æsir. Feel free to replace it with the preferred name of your pantheon, or even just “the gods”. ↩