Small home rituals, objects, activities

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

I was going to wait and ask this later when we had more moms in the group, but I agreed to give a "Heathen Home" workshop so I'd be interested in hearing answers sooner rather than later (and I will post my workshop notes for everyone).

What do you have or do at home to make your home Heathen instead of a secular place where Heathens just happen to eat and sleep? I am interested in getting ideas for my own family as well as for the workshop, because we don't do as much as I would like. Every time we make a pot of coffee we set a small mug of coffee on the mantle for our house wights, but that's about it for rituals or consciously acknowledging our faith in our home. We have some Heathen stuff around: hammer and statues on the mantle along with a nice rock for wights to live in, and I keep a small Frigga altar on the kitchen window but don't regularly do anything with it or offer anything there.

Carolyn mentioned a "tea party" with the house wights on Thursday nights..why Thursday, if I may ask? What about outdoor wights? Does anyone else keep livestock or have a vegetable garden? I'm sure there are traditions associated with these since our ancestors were pretty agricultural, but I don't know what they are.

I hope that my kids can grow up doing enough Heathen things in their everyday lives at home that they know we are Heathen all the time, not just once a month when we go to a blot.

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Jill - posted on 02/18/2009

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I have a statue of Thor and my horn and a hammer on my fireplace mantle. My offering bowl is etched with runes (totally got it at walmart and etched it myself) also doubles as my apple bowl which the wights get the last one of. If I have an offering I leave it on my mantle or my oldest likes to make plates for the ancestors and leave them out. My kids often pour out some of thier juicebox to wights because they have seen me do it with beer.

Lots of little ways suppose. I just live it and the kids see it. :)

[deleted account]

Carolyn,



I think you accidentally hit on something.  Last night I was looking through Our Troth vol 1 where it talks about house wights.  It says that according to Grimm, Thursday was the tomten's night off, and was when he was to be given his weekly porridge and beer.  I assumed that was why you did it on Thursday, and was afraid you would think me an ignoramus for not knowing that. :-)



I agree that small day-of-the-week activites come very naturally, and I think lots of us do things like that to some extent, so it should make an interesting conversation in the workshop to see what different people do.



Morgan, thanks for mentioning an ancestor shrine.  That's completely obvious, but had eluded me when I was writing my notes, even though I have it in the same room as the computer!

Carolyn - posted on 02/17/2009

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Smila has her own little horn too, she joins us in blot when she wants to.

Just using the heathen names of things, telling tales, we're always talking about our ways. That makes the mindset of the home heathen. Smila is only recently getting the idea that we are not the majority in the world because we have a heathen context in the home. It's daunting, but easy at the same time.

Carolyn - posted on 02/17/2009

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Thursday was just handy for us. We were talking about Thor alot, and we have this Ingrid Lundgren book "The Tomten" and the one in the book has a big beard, friend of the farm folk, we kind of made that association by accident, it worked for us, so we went with it. It could just as easily be any other day.

I do recommend emphasizing the names of the days of the week too, and frequently bringing up the gods that way.

We don't have any land, but we talk about how the nature preserve land near us is sacred, and about land-spirits.

Inside we always sit down for meals, light a candle, and say a meal blessing.

Sigwynn - posted on 02/16/2009

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Quoting Bonnie:



That was one of the few books I ordered without reading the reviews first, as I enjoy reading her works.  Thanks for the head's-up!






 Don't get me wrong, I liked it. I just know when I ordered it I was expecting something along the lines of Exploring the Northern Tradition, but for solitaries and I was dissapointed. As a devotional 201 type book it is pretty good, just ignore all the refernces to how bad mainstream heathenry is and how great Kaldera's trad is. And I hope you are okay with Jotun worship (as in Surt and Fenris) because the book approaches the Northern Tradition in a *very* all inclusive way.

Bonnie - posted on 02/16/2009

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That was one of the few books I ordered without reading the reviews first, as I enjoy reading her works.  Thanks for the head's-up!

Sigwynn - posted on 02/16/2009

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Quoting Ana:


What do you have or do at home to make your home Heathen instead of a secular place where Heathens just happen to eat and sleep?


 Well, I have turned my dining room into an altar/shrine room (for lack of a better term). I keep an altar to the land and house vaettir where I burn a candle every day and leave small offerings, like food - my older daughter who is five also leaves offerings for them sometimes and likes to wach me light the candles. We are very rigorous with fire safety around the children. I have an altar to my ancestors where I light candles on sunday and I will point out different pictures to the girls and say "this is (name) who was your (relationship) and..." I'll tell a short story about that particular relative. And I also keep a shrine to some of the gods. I have my own pattern of who gets honored on each day. Oh, and I also have a larger altar where I keep my hammer, offering bowl, and ritual horn, since I am the gythia of my kindred and host most of the blots. Also I have a Ve in my yard where offerings are poured out and a small land vaettir area outside as well. My daughter has her own small altar in her room where she keeps whatever she likes. My kindred has monthly blots which my kids participate in, and often they go with me if I get invited to another group's blot, too. We talk a lot with the kids about our ancestors - our beloved dead - and the vaettir, and I read them child appropriate mythology. My oldest likes D'Aulaires book of Norse mythology and it has great illustrations. Beyond what we have in the house, I try to lead by example and live my religion and I am raising my kids to know and honor the Gods, vaettir and ancestors as well as (hopefully) be honorable people.

Sigwynn - posted on 02/16/2009

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Quick note about Galina's book - it's really a book on devotional practice as oppossed to a "how-to" solitary guide. I liked most of it and there are quite a few good bits in it, but it's also very politically oriented. I posted a review on amazon about it.

[deleted account]

Ooh, I bet Galina's book will have some good stuff in it.  It seems to me that modifying a 1-person activity for two or three people would be easier than modifying a two or three-person activity for an individual. 



One nice thing about the workshop format is that I don't have to have all the answers (*grin*) but can break people into groups and assign them something to brainstorm about and present to everyone else.  So I plan to ask people to take some of these ideas and modify them to fit the needs of individuals and small families.  Even if we don't have lots of great suggestions immediately, it will get people to thinking.

Bonnie - posted on 02/15/2009

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well, you can take some of the suggestions and alter them to fit a small family.  We have to adapt to modern times, while staying true to tradition.  It's unfortunate that extended families are pretty much a thing of the past; I hope as my son grows older and marries that I will continue to be a part of his life and not just an old relative far away.



  I just found a book on Amazon by Galina Krasskova, too, something about the Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner.  I ordered it, and when it eventually gets here I will see what she suggests and post whatever seems helpful.

[deleted account]

Thanks Bonnie,



I hadn't thought to look in the Book of Uncommon Prayer.  I have to admit I was disappointed by 'Living Asatru.'  What's in it is good, but there just isn't much there that can be done at home by one or two people, making them not very useful for small families to do on their own, and especially not for people who are single or have non-Heathen housemates.  I wish the "days of the week" section had small suggestions in it, but maybe that's something I can ask people to think up during the workshop.  Aha, see, you have given me a good idea to work with.



We started hailing day regularly at our house after I saw the "Greeting the Sun and Moon" entry and I think I have started several other people in our hof on doing it, too.  I love the "helping out the land elves" and I wish it offered more ideas for things we could routinely do in our own backyards instead of in public parks.  Maybe I will read that during the workshop and ask people to think of things we can do in our own backyards which presumably aren't trashed but do have wights that we want good relationships with.

Bonnie - posted on 02/15/2009

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The Asatru Folk Assembly has two good booklets, "Living Asatru" and "The Book of Uncommon Prayers" that have some small daily rituals and prayers you could introduce to your children.  Ah, for the days when my son was young and teachable...we're late coming to the practice of Heathenry and he's now a stubborn teenager....

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