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Author Topic: Prayer to the Aesir?  (Read 562 times)

TransporterMalfunction

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Prayer to the Aesir?
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:01:37 pm »
Hello!

This is probably a dumb question/me over thinking things, but the TL;DR is I want to know how to pray to the Aesir in a reconstructionist context. If you have a link that could give me a step-by-step 'prayer for dummies' guide that would be great! (I did do a brief bit of Googling and searched this forum, but all I got were the words of prayer themselves).

Basically, a loooong time ago when I was hanging out with Heathens, I had this niggling attraction to Freyja. I've never reached out to Her and I thought 'Maybe I should give it a try'. I don't have anything I specifically need to pray for, I just want to say hello.

I'm coming to prayer from the point of view of Hellenismos, which has a specific structure, so I'm probably over thinking this. But in my mind I have an idea of what prayer looks like, so I'm going to ask questions based on what I practice:

1. Prayer starts off with a shower and then I sprinkle myself with sacred water for more purification. Are there any purification rites I should perform before praying?

2. I sprinkle barley on the altar to purify it. Any methods of purifying the space in Heathenry?

3. Prayer itself is typically done in 4 parts: I identify myself, praise the god(s), ask for what I need and tell Them what I will do in return. However, I also pray when I don't need anything, just to honour and worship Them. Is there any particular structure to the prayer itself?

4. I usually pour out wine for the Greek gods, but I'm assuming mead would be more appropriate to the Norse? Or are there any rules/methods I should know about offerings? (I've gotten good Google results for offerings to Freyja, so I think I've got that part covered.)

Any other wisdom that someone wants to impart on me is appreciated as well.

Thank you!
Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned to you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book II

Megatherium

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Re: Prayer to the Aesir?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 11:06:54 pm »
Hello!

This is probably a dumb question/me over thinking things, but the TL;DR is I want to know how to pray to the Aesir in a reconstructionist context. If you have a link that could give me a step-by-step 'prayer for dummies' guide that would be great! (I did do a brief bit of Googling and searched this forum, but all I got were the words of prayer themselves).

Basically, a loooong time ago when I was hanging out with Heathens, I had this niggling attraction to Freyja. I've never reached out to Her and I thought 'Maybe I should give it a try'. I don't have anything I specifically need to pray for, I just want to say hello.

I'm coming to prayer from the point of view of Hellenismos, which has a specific structure, so I'm probably over thinking this. But in my mind I have an idea of what prayer looks like, so I'm going to ask questions based on what I practice:

1. Prayer starts off with a shower and then I sprinkle myself with sacred water for more purification. Are there any purification rites I should perform before praying?

2. I sprinkle barley on the altar to purify it. Any methods of purifying the space in Heathenry?

3. Prayer itself is typically done in 4 parts: I identify myself, praise the god(s), ask for what I need and tell Them what I will do in return. However, I also pray when I don't need anything, just to honour and worship Them. Is there any particular structure to the prayer itself?

4. I usually pour out wine for the Greek gods, but I'm assuming mead would be more appropriate to the Norse? Or are there any rules/methods I should know about offerings? (I've gotten good Google results for offerings to Freyja, so I think I've got that part covered.)

Any other wisdom that someone wants to impart on me is appreciated as well.

Thank you!

Unfortunately, the records of Heathen worship, especially those for household ritual are quite scarce in comparison to the records we have for Mediterranean civilizations. But I'll do my best...

1. I don't know of any particular source for the role of purification - there are some indications of behaviour in a communities sacred spaces, but for household ritual we are lacking. That being said, given that purification was important in many better documented Indo-European cultures, it is probably not a bad idea to make at least some effort in that direction. Even if historical Heathens had no rituals for purification, I can't see why making efforts to approach the Gods respectfully would be a problem. What you have described above seems to be a very reasonable start.

2. Again, the efforts you are making seems quite reasonable. I have seen suggestions (links below) that a flame moved in a clockwise motion can also be used to consecrate the space.

3. I've had this problem myself as most historically attested prayers in Indo-European cultures involve some sort of request. Therefore, there is no real historically attested format for just expressing gratitude although   I often find that I usually pray just to give thanks for the blessing of the Gods/desses. Perhaps you could simply include an expression of grattude in the third part of the ritual format.

4. Mead is fine of course, but I think there is nothing wrong with wine as it was a drink of some scarcity and therefore high value in Northern European cultures.

In general, I think the format you described above seems like an excellent starting place and can be adapted based on your own perceptions of the rituals outcome.

I am quite fond of the following links although they do not pretend to be directly from any attested sources. Basically the authors (who are Anglo-Saxon Heathens) combined ideas found in many Indo-European cultures with what is known (not much!) of Anglo-Saxon ritual format. Best of luck with your prayers to Freya!

https://larhusfyrnsida.com/prayer-format/

https://larhusfyrnsida.com/ritual-format/
My views are one that speaks to freedom.
-George W. Bush

TransporterMalfunction

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Re: Prayer to the Aesir?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 11:56:26 pm »
Unfortunately, the records of Heathen worship, especially those for household ritual are quite scarce in comparison to the records we have for Mediterranean civilizations. But I'll do my best...

Wonderful! Thank you for the information. Hellenic polytheism definitely has the advantage of having a lot of literature to work from, but sometimes I wonder if that is to the detriment of actual practice. Sometimes, you just have to put your toes in the water.
Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned to you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book II

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