Frith Ritual

FrithThis ritual was created by a group of people who saw all the verbal warfare, vicious rumors, hatemongering, and unhelpfuness that dogged the various denominations of Northern religion. We have many gods and goddesses who are combative, it is true, but we also have a surprising number who have aspects as frith-bringers. (For those who are unfamiliar with the word frith, it means both peace and social order. A frithful space is one where everyone is made to feel welcome and hospitable, and conflict is resolved peaceably and maturely.) The very creation of the ritual was an act of power to bring about change, as each one of its thirteen pieces – dedicated to thirteen different deities – was written by a different individual. The creators ranged all over the planet, making a web of intent that spread wide. This rite does not belong to one group, but was an act of frith and cooperation in its own manifestation. Every time this ritual is performed, it energizes that web of intent and makes it larger. We would like to see it performed at least yearly by many different groups all over the world, because our world could certainly use more frith.

It is inappropriate, for this entire ritual, for participants to carry weapons of any kind with them into the sacred space. While it is assumed no one is planning to need a weapon during the ritual, some people have ritual items that could be considered weapons, and some habitually carry a knife or handgun or pepper spray for self-defense. Depending on the participants, there may be different opinions as to what counts as a weapon, but a good guideline is that if a participant thinks of it as something they could use as a weapon, or if they think of it as a symbol of a weapon, then they should not carry it, but someone who doesn’t think of the same item in that way could carry it.

 If any participants have ritually important weapons they feel they must carry for spiritual reasons, even these should be set aside for the Frey section of the ritual. If that is not possible, omit the Frey section of the ritual rather than excluding that person. The writer of the Frey section feels that it would be entirely contrary to the point to use this ritual to divide participants over an issue, and it harms no one to omit it.

Your group can have one speaker for each of thirteen Gods, plus one for opening and closing, or any number of people can speak, including only one. This rite is best done outside because of the great number of libations that will be poured out onto the earth. Sacred space is created in whatever way the participants feel is appropriate; we suggest a recaning with mugwort. Altars can be set up for all the various Gods, either in the center or around the outside of the circle, or one large altar can be set up with cloths and items of all thirteen Gods of Frith. For this rite, you will need the following items:

3 horns of mead, one fruity; or two horns of mead and one cup of red port wine (see Freya section.)

Two bottles of good craft beer.

A glass cup (ideally a Norse or Saxon reproduction but any glass vessel will do) full of any light liquor for Sif, with enough left over for a second cupful.

A mug of rum.

A bottle of locally made fruit wine.

A pot of chamomile tea with many cups.

A clear vessel of water.

A bottle of good cider.

A cup of white wine or hibiscus tea.

A small cauldron of hot herb tea.

A drop spindle with many pieces of handspun thread wound around it.

A handful of local sacred plant matter (see Snotra section).

A offering of food for the land-spirit.

A loaf of homemade bread.

Either a bunch of diabetic lancets and alcohol wipes, or a golden necklace (see Freya section).

A basket of apples.

A tray of small pieces of finger food.

A tray of small shot glasses of beer.

A sturdy bowl of stones.

A small Viking ship made of paper.

Slips of paper and pens.

A bowl of ground chalk.

A hank of lightweight breakable red yarn of some natural fiber, sufficient to surround the entire gathering.

An archway set up on Sif’s side of the circle, decorated with leaves of rowan, or if these cannot be found, with paper rowan leaves as the symbolism is important. if need be, this can be a small arch held by two assistants.

A large lit candle, perhaps in a pot to shield it from wind.

To begin, one of the officiants steps forward and says:

Hail to you, O Gods!

We gather here for a holy purpose,

To take the fire from the anger in our world,

To take the wind from the quarrels in our halls,

To take the tears from those bruised and battered,

To take the earth out from beneath the cycle of vengeance.

We call upon you, O Gods,

To bring frith to the spaces between each of us,

And between our communities.

Let eyes be opened, let hearts be quieted,

Let hands be joined, let horns be shared,

For we know in our hearts

That we work better together

Than when we are separated

By our own shortsightedness.

We come to you today open to your wisdom,

And we hail you in this great and painful task.


All shout, “Hail!” Then Frigga’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail Frigga, Frith-Keeper,

You who welcome all to your hall, Fensalir,

Your hospitality and kindness turn foes to friends.

Weaver of Orlog, Spinner of Wyrd,

Keeper of Hearth and Home,

Keeper of the Keys,

You who sit in the high seat,

 Teach us to have compassion and open hearts,

To see beyond our prejudices

And our small-mindedness.

Lead us, Lady of the Hall,

To show all whom we meet respect and graciousness.

Beloved of Odin, may our words bind us

And our deeds strengthen us.

Hail Frigga, Queen of the Aesir.

Frigga’s officiant walks around the circle with a drop spindle full of handspun white yarn, cut into long lengths and rewrapped on the spindle. Each person is given a piece of yarn, and is instructed to tie their piece to that of someone else, until it is a great yarn web. Any person can tie their piece to that of multiple people. This weaves and binds Wyrd together. The web of yarn is then rolled back onto the drop spindle and placed on the altar.

(Written by Janine Marie Gorham, Maine Heathen, USA, in service to my Lady.)

Finally, a horn of mead is poured out for Frigga. Then Snotra’s officiant steps forward.

(If this ritual is being performed in North America, Snotra’s officiant should have a handful of organic tobacco in their hand. If it is being performed on any other non-European continent, they should have either a handful of a locally-grown sacred plant or some dish of local traditional food. If it is being performed in Europe, they should have a dish with any food offering. Regardless of the venue, they should additionally have bottle of locally-made fruit wine.)

Snotra’s officiant says:

I am a guest of my parents,

Who have welcomed me to this world.

I give praise to my ancestors

For the blessings of my blood,

And give honor with drink.

Please shout this word after me: Honor!

All shout, “Honor!” The officiant raises the vessel as the people repeat, then pours the libation. If the ritual is being performed on European land, the officiant says:

I honor this land whose roots lie beneath me,

Whose earth brought forth so many,

And took them back again.

The officiant lays down the food offering. If, instead, the ritual is being performed on non-European land, the officiant says:

I am a guest on this Native land,

Whose bounty feeds my body.

With a gift of sacredness,

I show respect to the Native spirits. Respect!

The officiant raises the tobacco or other sacred plant matter as the people shout “Respect!”, then sprinkles it. Putting down the vessel, they officiant takes a bottle of water out of a pouch and open it, and says:

I am a guest of this community, who has welcomed me in their hearts.

I give honor to those who listen with words of inspiration,

and offer water in understanding of those who do not drink.


The officiant raises the bottle as people shout “Understanding!”, then pours the libation, and says:

By my words and deeds you have taken my measure, without needing to know my name. I am host now and welcome Snotra to our rite, with open words of honor, open hands of respect, open heart of understanding. We are hosts and we welcome the goddess of hospitality within us. The low we raise, the high raise higher, with our words and deeds.

Someone in the circle, previously prompted, steps forward, saying: “I was not invited, and I am angry!” The officiant says:

Then I welcome you as my counselor, and give you honor, for anger is a warning of wrongness. By your outburst I know that you care about bringing balance. I welcome your anger, and praise your warrior’s courage. Take my hand, together we shall restore balance and bring peace.  (Speaking to the people:) Please hold hands and shout this word after me: Honor!

The people repeat. Someone in the circle, previously prompted, steps forward, saying: “You are my enemy, and I shall not take your hand!” The officiant says,

Then I welcome you anyhow, and give you comfort, for my ways are not you own. In our difference, I give you determination. In joining against us, I give your people unity. May your people be united in caring for each other, and become a shining example by how kindly the least loved among you are treated. Do not take my hand. Separately we shall restore balance and bring peace.  (Speaking to the people:) Please drop your hands and shout this word after me: Respect!”

The people repeat. Someone in the circle, previously prompted, steps forward, saying: “You are strange, and I do not trust you.” The officiant says:

Then I welcome you as my teacher, and give you honor, for ignorance is the slayer of peace and prosperity. Teach me how to respect and give you comfort, show me how you give honor to your guests, and I shall treat you with the honors you desire. Welcome me into your home, and I shall welcome you into mine. Taking turns, we shall restore balance and bring peace.  (Speaking to the people:) Look at how different we all are, yet we can learn to work together. Understanding! (The people repeat.) Please shout after me: Honor, respect, understanding bring frith!” (The officiant has the option of having them repeat a few times with increasing conviction.)

(Written by Linda Demissy, Lokabrenna Kindred, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.)

At this point, Frey's officiant steps forth with the trays of bread and beer. At least one loaf of bread and some quantity of beer is required for this ritual. The bread and beer should be made by someone either in the ritual or personally known to someone in the group, and should be made deliberately in a loving way. If homemade beer is not available, share bread only and use a local craft beer for the libation. If no one in the entire group knows (or is willing to get to know) anyone who can make bread, Frey’s section of the ritual should be omitted.

Everyone in the ritual (including officiants) must consume at least one of the things shared, so check on the dietary restrictions of all who will be attending before holding the ritual and find some way to accommodate them. Bread made with barley is ideal, but any yeasted bread is fine. Similarly, a traditional barley beer is preferred, but any yeast-fermented, grain-based drink is acceptable. More than one type of bread or beer can be included.

Aside from the one glass of beer used as a libation at the end, all of the food that is blessed during the ritual should be eaten by the participants. If there is any question at all as to whether the bread or beer turned out well, test it before ritual. Also, if it is not practical to finish all of the blessed bread and beer during the ritual, it can be eaten afterwards but it should not be thrown away or given to others so only bless a reasonable quantity.

It is the custom in some groups that when food or drink is ritually shared, participants can pour some as a libation or throw some in the fire rather than having it themselves. However, for this section of the ritual, participants should either take some for themselves or pass, so all of the shared food is actually eaten by the participants. To begin, the officiant says:

Hail Frey, Golden One, Lord of the Grain,

Frithmaking God who gave up your sword for love,

Lord who bears no weapon, and in whose hallowed spaces

No weapon can be carried, O Bringer of Light.

We come together in the spirit of friendship,

Setting aside all our weapons.

The officiant then blesses the bread and beer, saying:

By gathering together and sharing food and drink,

We nourish our bodies and nourish the bonds between us.

With this bread and beer, may each of us find Frey’s blessing,

And may each of us share that blessing with others.

May we find shelter with each other,

May we take nourishment together,

May we work together towards our common goals,

May we learn from each other, and not quarrel amongst ourselves.

Setting aside one bottle or glass of beer for a libation, all of the bread and beer is then shared among the participants. In a large group, one or more assistants may bring the bread and beer around. In a small group they can be passed around, or shared less formally. The officiant and any assistants should join in sharing the bread and beer. While the bread and beer is being shared, the officiant says:

You nourish our bodies and bonds with bread and beer,

Yet even with grain, no bread nor beer can be crafted

Without the sacrifice of thousands of tiny lives.

The yeast, which is so important to its making,

Gives up its life, like you, Lord Frey, to feed us.

And the secret to this sacred alchemy, it is said,

Is that one must treat the yeast like a guest in one’s home.

No voices can be raised in wrath or fear

Around the brew, lest those fragile lives die off too soon.

This is the lesson you teach us, Sacrificed One.

That which nourishes the people cannot be sustained

Without respect and care for all who surround us.

O Frey, help us to create the perfect warmth

Where all are welcome, whether they agree,

For peace is always better than righteous wrath.

(Written by Joshua Tenpenny, Freysman, Massachusetts USA.)

The officiant pours a libation of homemade beer, or if that is not available, a local craft beer for the libation. Then Gerda’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail to Gerda, Etin-Bride of Frey,

Lady who married across lines of race and war,

Whose very marriage-bed was a cry for peace,

Who will bear no children to be hostage in games of war,

But who speaks for her husband’s people

In the councils of her own clans.

Hail to the quiet goddess of implacable strength,

You who can watch your lover die every year

And welcome him back to life, glad of his sacrifice

Because it serves the people, and feeds them well.

Bride of fertility who chooses not to breed

Until there is frith between your peoples,

Teach us how to have a hope so strong and steady

That we never waver in our peacemaking pursuits,

Nor give in to despair, nor forget the joy in the working.

Gerda’s officiant has a pot of chamomile tea and a number of cups, and goes about pouring a bit of tea into everyone’s vessel. As the officiant pours, they say: “Gerda understands the secrets of herbs, and she knows that chamomile brings peaceful sleep at night, gentle enough even for an infant. Its flower is as golden as the Sun, and it is the Maythen, one of the Nine Sacred Herbs. Take this sacred herb into your body and experience a little of its peace, and let your body be a vector from which this peace flows outward into the world.” Then the remainder of the tea is poured out as a libation.

(Written by Gudrun of Mimirsbrunnr, Heathen, BC, Canada.)

Then Freya’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail to you Freyja, Sovereign queen,           

Fairest Vanadis in all things beauty finding,

Show us the beauty in ourselves and each other.

Lady of love, giving passion without prejudice,

Your power in the circle of Brisingamen is bound,

Which was traded fairly for a taste of your love.

For all that lives, you show respect and compassion.

For all that dies, you show honor and reverence.

Even as we sacrifice in faith to you,

So do you sacrifice to mysteries beyond,

And the blood which binds us each to another,

To gods and to ancestors, thus binds us to all beings.

Within that cycle, bound round like Brisingamen,

You show us that we each live and love and die

And in doing so, we are all much the same.

Freya’s officiant has a choice of two separate ritual actions, depending on the nature of the assembled group in question. One, which is preferred, is to hand around small sterilized lancets (available for diabetics in large lots) and alcohol wipes, and bid each person to prick their own finger and add a drop of blood to a small goblet or cauldron which is passed around. The people are encouraged to say, “We are all of the Worlds, by shared Blood bound. This cup is then filled with a rich red port wine and a little honey mixed in, and then poured as her libation.

If those present would not be comfortable with this action, an alternative is to have a golden necklace which represents Brisingamen, and to pass it around the circle. Each person holds it in turn and says, “We are all of the worlds, by Brisingamen bound.” For this version, use a fruity mead as a libation.

(Written by Ember Cooke, Vanic Conspiracy, California US.)

After the libation is poured for Freya, Sif’s officiant steps forward with the glass cup of drink and says:

Hail to Sif,

Golden wife of Thunder,

Queen of Stormbright Hall,

Cup-Bearer, Peaceweaver,

Goddess of kith and kin,

Spae-speaking Sybil,

Come and share this cup,

Let us know your love,

And bring up your wisdom.

The cup of liquor is poured out for Sif, and then the officiant takes up the red yarn and says:

Hark to the wisdom of Sif!

A family or kindred is like a stronghold,

Walled with trust and loyalty and shared passions,

And this is a fine thing.

But a stronghold divides you from the world beyond.

Between the words “us” and “them” lies a great gulf, like the ocean.

It need not be so.

Turn outwards and look beyond the garth.

Come take this thread, and surround us.

The yarn is carried around the circle by volunteers, who encircle the group at about waist height, so that it is held up by the people in the circle. The officiant says:

Now take the thread gently in your hands.

Know it for what it is,

The mistrust of all that is unfamiliar,

All that is outside.

Break it, and be open to the wisdom beyond your garth.

The thread is broken into small pieces, and the pieces are burned in the flame of the large candle. Then the officiant says:

You have opened your hearts

To those beyond the boundaries of your hearth and kin.

Now you shall be free of the ill-wishing spirits

Who thrive on mean thinking and spite.

The holy plant of Sif is the rowan,

The protective tree with its berries of sacred red.

The tree that is called Thor’s salvation.

It saved Thor from the anger of vengeful giantesses,

Let it save you too.

Pass beneath the rowan three times and receive Sif’s blessing.

The group lines up and walks three times beneath the arch, chanting:

Rowan tree and red thread,

Rowan tree and red thread,

Wicked wights they hold in dread!

Rowan tree and red thread,

Rowan tree and red thread,

Drive ill-thinking from this stead!

Repeat until everyone (including the officiant and assistants) has passed beneath the arch three times. Then the officiant says:

Now drink from the glass cup and raise a toast to frith, as Sif did herself when she offered peace to Loki at Aegir’s feast.

Everyone passes the cup, and drinks or pours out a little onto the ground, and says, “To frith!”

(Written by Thorskegga Thorn, Thorswoman, Chiltern Kindred, England)

The last of the liquor is poured out as a libation for Sif. Then Forseti’s officiant steps forward and says:

We hail you, Forseti, Stiller of Strife,

Son of Baldur, in ancient times

You were worshiped on an island set apart,

A sacred place

Where the cattle were never slain.

A spring flowed on your island,

Its waters holy and pure.

The people drank from its waters

In complete silence,

Honoring you,

Honoring your peace.

Water binds all of us together,

Interweaving all life;

No life may be without it.

Water heals the blistered soul, mind, and body,

And smoothes down the sharpest stones,

Keeping all in balance.

Forseti, we now pray for your balance.

Please bless those here,

And bring us together in gentleness and wisdom.

May we keep the peace that is holy,

Honoring each other and honoring you.

May our dealings be open

And grounded in integrity.

May we truly listen,

And may we truly hear.

The officiant holds up a clear vessel of water and says:

In reverence, in joy,

In connection to each other,

We ask that you bless this water.

As we share this gift together,

May we share in life and hope.

Each person drinks from the vessel of water. Silence should be maintained during this action.

Forseti, we thank you for hearing us,

We thank you for blessing us.

May we always drink deeply of your peace

And be a blessing to each other.

(Written by the author of the Lagutyr blog, USA.)

The rest of the water is poured out as a libation for Forseti. Then Iduna’s officiant steps forward and says:

Idunn, fair goddess, we greet you who grant

The life-giving apples to mortals and gods,

Restoring the youth of body and mind,

That quicken our limbs, and brighten our minds

With the bliss we once knew, but which we forgot

In the grey grinding days amidst all our strife.

Let us find peace, and let us make peace

With ourselves and each other, as you among Gods.

You counter old age, which equals us all,

With the essence of life, the gift we all share.

Iduna’s officiant then holds up the the basket of apples, saying: “With this bite of immortality, we see the future and understand how important frith is to our survival. Take these apples and eat, and let love of life flow through your body.” The basket of apples is handed around, and all eat. Then a libation of cider is poured for Iduna.

(Written by Michaela Macha, Frankfurt Asatru, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)

Then Bragi’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail to the Skald of Skalds, Bragi the Bane of Boredom!

Long ago when the Gods quarreled

They made Kvasir with their spit and blood,

And he walked from home to hall to home

Throughout the Nine Worlds, and was always welcome.

But things being as frithless as they are,

Kvasir was murdered, turned into sacred mead,

Filtered through Odin’s veins, and reentered Gunnlod’s womb,

And now you, Bragi, walk the Nine Worlds,

Welcome from home to hall to home,

Proof that frith cannot truly be killed

And stay that way; it will sneak into our hearts

Sideways, inevitably, when we are not looking.

Now you walk the worlds for peace,

Singing songs to lift sad and weary hearts

No matter whose hearts they may be.

Teach us the long slow path, Harpwalker,

Roadsinger, Wordsmith, God of Eloquence,

You who hold hope always in your heart

When you go once more into the world,

You who measure out your audience

And find the words that they will best hear.

Teach us this art, O Skald of Skalds

That we might speak and sing across chasms of belief

And find them not so uncrossable after all.

Bragi’s officiant has a basket of small paper slips, each with a phrase written on it about where one could be of the most help to bring frith to the world. Time should be spent inventing these: “Start with your own home; bring frith there first.” “Go to a faith group you disagree with.” “Go to a faith group entirely different from your own, and learn something.” “Work within your own faith group.” “Talk to prisoners.” “Write what you feel, where people can see it.” Make two to three copies of each one, and have three times as many as there are people present. The officiant says, “Hear Bragi’s words about where your road must wander to bring your words to where they will create the most frith.” Each person takes a piece of paper. The officiant may encourage them to sing the phrase aloud, to any tune they like, if they judge the group to be of the sort where this would be welcomed. If it would embarrass people, do not ask; no one should be made to feel uncomfortable during this rite. At the least, if singing the phrase is suggested, suggest also that it is all right to hold it silently to your heart as a promise to Bragi.

 (Written by Ari, Norse Pagan, Ottawa, Canada.)

A horn of mead is poured out as a libation for Bragi. Then Aegir’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail to Aegir, Lord of the Sea,

Brewer of beer whose foam splashes on every northern shore,

Master of Aegirheim where all are feasted,

Drowned sailors, children swept out to sea,

Aesir, Vanir, Giants, Elves, Duergar,

All who can come to your hall

Sit peacefully and share a drink with each other.

Your great cauldron, though once stolen,

Now redeems itself by brewing frith;

Every drink at your table, every morsel of fish and crab

Is imbued with peace so that none shall quarrel.

Master of Hospitality, you know how to manage

The difficult situation where warring parties must share joy.

Teach us this gift, that we might make our shared spaces

Into halls as hospitable as your own.

Two people come forth bearing trays, one of small bite-size pieces of food, and one of small shot glasses of homemade beer. They walk around the circle in opposite directions, saying, “Taste hospitality! May we all eat and drink in frith together.” All who wish can take a bite or drink a shot.

(Written by Suki Moyne, Australian Heathen.)

A libation of home-brewed or locally brewed craft beer is poured for Aegir. Then Sigyn’s officiant steps forward and says:

We praise Sigyn, Lady of Endurance --

Though You have been tested,

You hold strong without yielding: 

Like a willow bent in the wind 

Without breaking.  

Hail Sigyn, patient and wise!

The people repeat, “Hail Sigyn, patient and wise!” Then the officiant walks around the circle and passes out stones to everyone. They should be somewhere between the size of a walnut and a bar of soap, so that it is possible to easily hold a bowl filled with all of them. The officiant should also have a large bowl set aside, big enough to hold all the stones. Ideally it should be attractive and not easily broken (carved wood, etched copper, etc.). It should be placed on an altar decorated with pink, lavender, pastel blue or green, or a brown altar cloth, with flowers – especially peonies, roses, daisies, carnations, lilac, honeysuckle, or other flowers that attract butterflies. White wine or a fruity hibiscus tea is set aside for a libation. The officiant then says:

We praise Sigyn, the Loyal Protector; 

Your love is steady as a stone, as solid as the earth 

You tread, as deep as the cavern 

Where you follow and protect.

Hail Sigyn, mother and wife!

The people repeat, “Hail Sigyn, mother and wife!” The officiant says:

We praise Sigyn, Lady of Strength

Whose name means Victory;

Whose coming is the sweet breath of spring,

Whose love is the brilliance of fire,

Whose gentleness is the fading leaves on the wind,

Whose pain is the iron grief of winter.

Your wisdom, hard-won,

And your bravery, tempered in loss,

Teach us.  Your innocence and joy,

Your light and comfort,

Warm us.  Your constancy and indomitability

Steady us.

Hail Sigyn, lady of grace!

The people repeat, “Hail Sigyn, lady of grace!” At this point, the officiant begins to pass around the bowl with an explanation: One should place one's rock in the bowl silently while considering how one personally contributes to discord/strife/conflict, before passing the bowl on. The rocks pile up, the bowl fills and the weight reminds us of the terrible consequences of carelessly breaking frith.  While the bowl is being passed around and filled, the officiant can extemporize on the nature and necessity of frith – in that frith is something we must all deliberately build, each adding our own contribution to the structure. Frith, peace and harmony are things we share. Frith is something we must deliberately cultivate. When the bowl has made the full circle, the celebrant holds it aloft and says:

Sigyn, You who hold the bowl, 

You who protects and abides, 

Help us to mend the bonds of frith and spread peace.

Hail to Sigyn!

The people repeat, “Hail to Sigyn!” Again, the officiant begins to pass around the full bowl, explaining that this time, one should remove a rock (any rock) while stating aloud how one could personally contribute to creating or sustaining frith.  Specifics that can be followed through on in the future should be preferred to vague goodwill.  As the bowl is passed, it is emptied, growing lighter, the result of bringing frith. The officiant says:

May we be always mindful of Your gifts

And Your burdens.  May we follow Your example

And match our strength with our compassion,

Our love with our endurance,

Our war with our peace.

Hail, beloved Sigyn, Lady of Frith!

The people repeat, “Hail, beloved Sigyn, Lady of Frith!”

(Written by Talas Pái of County Roscommon, Ireland.) 

A libation of white wine or hibiscus tea is poured out for Sigyn. Then Njord’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail to you, Njord, Consort of Nerthus,

King and Diplomat who knows how to make peace

Between prideful warring enemies.

I speak this plain, no fancy words,

As you speak plain, yet all who hear you listen.

When the Aesir and the Vanir warred,

It was you who saw that there could be no winning,

That both peoples would destroy themselves

In stubbornness and pride, and it was you

Who decided that scorched earth

And poisoned seas were not worth the satisfaction.

It was you who raised the flag and called the halt,

And when it was decided to exchange hostages

You gave yourself and your two children

Into the hands of the enemy for that peace,

And to use your influence to change their ways

From the inside, on their councils.

You made yourself so crucial to them,

And taught your son and daughter to do likewise,

That when your people slew their hostages in wrath

Your enemies did not do the same for you,

For they had, by then, become your friends.

Teach us, O Ship-King, O Lighthouse God

Who shines your light for all communities to follow,

How to speak the words of diplomacy,

And follow them with actions that keep the peace.

Njord’s officiant has a small Viking ship made of paper, with many small piece of paper therein, and carries pens as well. The ship goes around the circle and everyone takes a pen and paper. Then Njord’s officiant says, “We have all said things about those we dislike, things that are not true, or not entirely true, or true but the way in which we say them shows contempt, and to say these things is the opposite of what will bring frith. Choose the worst of these things that you have said, and write it down, and swear by the Ship-King’s boat that you will endeavor never to speak it again. Choose wisely – choose the words that will have the most impact if they are not spoken, or spoken only with respect and appreciation. Choose the words that will be a struggle not to say, especially when you are angry, for this is the true sacrifice, and it is only true sacrifice that provides the power to make real change in the world. Make your tongue your willing hostage for peace in those moments, as Njord is a willing hostage for peace.”

When all have written, the ship goes around again and collects the papers, and then they are set on fire with the large candle and burned to ashes. Then the officiant walks around with the ashes and marks each person on their right palm, saying, “Remember what it takes to make real peace.”

(Written by Geordie Ingerson, UK Vanic Pagan.)

A libation of rum, the eternal sailor’s drink, is poured out for Njord. Then Hela’s officiant steps forward and says:

Hail to Hel, Wisest of Wights,

You who give final peace to a life of strife,

You who take all who come into your arms

And give their souls the healing of years,

Decades, centuries, millennia,

You who wait long in patience

And see far in silence,

May all that stands between us and frith

Die a straw death and rot away

Into the folds of the good Earth.

Teach us all the long view that only Death can know,

And let us understand, in the face of Death,

What truly matters in this world.

(Written by Raven Kaldera, Iron Wood Kindred, Massachusetts USA.)

Hela’s officiant takes a bowl of ground white chalk and goes around the circle, saying, “Will you work for frith even to the end of your life?” If they say yes, they are marked on the left forehead and cheek and left hand with the chalk. A small cauldron of hot herb tea is brought forth, and poured out onto the ground as a libation for Hela.  

Ideally, if people are able to learn it, everyone should end by singing Groa’s Fourth Charm. This is a shaman-song, one in a series of sung magical charms the ancient giantess Groa gave to her son Svipdag, and it is called “Foes To Friends”:

You see my heart, and I am seen.

You hear my words, and I am heard.

You feel my fears, my foes, my flight,

You fathom deep my path and plight

And friendship steals across your sight,

And understanding steals your fight,

And we will reach across this road

And hand to hand we bring this right. 


(The sheet music to this song can be found on Frey's shrine, here.)