Walpurgisnacht Ritual for Odin
by Gavin Kreskin
I created this rite to celebrate Walpurgisnacht, April 30, the night that it is said that Odin hung on the tree for the ninth day and the runes came to him. It involves twenty-seven heiti or names of Odin. Twenty-seven is three times nine, or three to the third. Three and nine are numbers associated with Odin. This rite is meant to be a solitary ritual that is the preliminary to a group ritual, but it can also be adapted to group working. To do the rite, you will need to find a box and mark it with Odinic symbols such as runes or the valknot. You will also need the twenty-seven items in the following list, and they will each be ceremonially placed into the box for one of his aspects. The box will be put in a dark, dry place for a year, and then brought out the following Walpurgisnacht and carried around in a group ritual for Odin. Each person takes one item from the box until they are all gone, and these are the aspects of Odin that they should pray to during the following year. If you like, the box-making can be a group effort as well, and the box can be refilled that night for keeping until the next year.
You will need:
A piece of dark blue cloth, rolled up
A cotton ball, slightly pulled apart, for a cloud
A small string of silver beads
A bead that looks like an eye
A small silver offering cup
A stick with blue and gray ribbons tied to it, like a miniature staff
A small figure of a horse
A silver string with nine knots tied in it
The rune Ansuz carved or painted on something
A small spear (I made mine out of a stick and a bit of cut tin from a can lid)
A small sword
A tiny knife, smaller than the sword
A small shield
Three twigs of an ash tree, tied together with black thread
A rusty piece of chain
A piece of gray cloth, rolled up
A small blue glass bottle, corked or sealed, filled with mead
A piece of string formed into a noose
Two cords, one white and one black, knotted together
A knotted red cord
A silver coin
A clear glass marble
A few gray hairs donated by a wise elder of Odin, tied together with blue thread
A twig of evergreen, preferably yew, but it can be fir or spruce
A colorful glass marble
A piece of black cloth, rolled up
Two black feathers, wrapped together with gray thread and hung with blue beads
To begin, stand with your arms lifted and speak this invocation:
Hail to Odin, Wise and Powerful!
By blue of twilight sky I honor you,
By blue of single eye I honor you,
By blue of autumn winds I honor you.
By gray of storm cloud I honor you,
By gray of the road’s dust I honor you,
By gray of winter skies I honor you.
By black of raven’s wing I honor you,
By black of impending Doom I honor you,
By black of deepest mysteries I honor you.
Take me beneath your cloak and protect me.
Place the blue cloth into the box.
Asagrimm, Ruler of the Aesir, teach me who will be loyal to me and who will not.
Place the cotton cloud into the box.
Gagnrað, Counselor, whisper your wisdom into my ear.
Place the string of silver beads into the box.
Vakr, Awakener, do not let me fall into complacency.
Place the eye bead into the box.
Vinr Stalla, Friend of Altars, be there for me when I kneel in my hour of need.
Place the offering cup into the box.
Gangleri, Wanderer, guide me on my travels through dark places.
Place the stick with ribbons into the box.
Fjallgeiguðr, Shape-Shifting God, let me become who I need to be to survive.
Place the horse figure into the box.
Galdrafaðr, Father of the Magic Song, teach me the weaving of words.
Place the knotted silver string into the box.
Runaguð, Rune-God, show me the wisdom for which you sacrificed yourself.
Place the Ansuz rune into the box.
Biflindi, Spear-Shaker, encourage me to move when I have fallen down.
Place the little spear into the box.
Viðrir, Stormer, teach me humility in the face of my own wyrd.
Place the little sword into the box.
Gollungr, Yeller, teach me to speak loudly for my own needs when necessary.
Place the little knife into the box.
Valfoðr, Father of the Slain, train me for excellence that I might be worthy of your halls.
Place the little shield into the box.
Sigfoðr, Father of Victory, bless me with achievement of my goals.
Place the ash twigs into the box.
Haptaguð, God of Prisoners, teach me how to survive the long waiting.
Place the chain into the box.
Glapsvin, Deceiver, teach me when it is right to twist the truth to achieve a worthy goal.
Place the gray cloth into the box.
Bolverk, Evil Worker, teach me how to atone for necessary wrongdoing.
Place the bottle of mead into the box.
Yggr, Terrible One, strengthen my spine when I must face horror without flinching.
Place the string noose into the box.
Angan Friggyar, Frigga’s Delight, teach me to be wise in my choice of relationships.
Place the black and white cords into the box.
Jalkr, Gelding, teach me to appreciate limitations as necessary to my discipline.
Place the knotted red cord into the box.
Auðun, Friend of Wealth, teach me how to gain what I need.
Place the silver coin into the box.
Oski, Wish-Granter, be generous in my times of trouble.
Place the clear marble into the box.
Harbard, Grey-Beard, help me to live a long and wise life.
Place the bundle of gray hairs into the box.
Grimnir, Hooded One, walk with me into the shadows and bring me out again.
Place the black cloth into the box.
Julfaðr, Yule-Father, send the Wild Hunt to watch my back.
Place the evergreen twig into the box.
Viðfrager, Widely Famed, teach me how to make my mark on the world.
Place the colorful marble into the box.
Hrafnaguð, Raven God, I honor you with all that I know. Teach me to know more about all things, that I might have more with which to honor you.
Place the twin raven feathers into the box.
Close the box and put it aside. If you are solitary, choose object (or piece of paper) every ninth night from the box – picking blindly – and pray to that aspect of Odin to teach you. There are other aspects of Odin as well, and perhaps on a different Walpurgisnacht you might want to honor a new list, but this should keep you busy for at least a year.
 If you are in prison while you attempt to do this ritual, it is possible to “origami” a little box out of paper, and draw symbols of Odin upon it, and instead of symbolic items you can have small slips of paper that can be rolled up and placed within. Each can have the name of Odin written on it, or a picture of the item, or both. Remember that one of the names of Odin is God of Prisoners, and he is there to keep you strong if you call upon him.
Artwork by Righon.