It’s only the second of October, but autumn has arrived in full force where I live. Most of the trees have turned, and the leaves dance in lively orange and yellows against the dreary sky. Just a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t need a jacket in the morning. Today, I wanted gloves when I went for a walk. It feels like Halloween is coming early. Eurynomous is definitely in the air.
Before I became a Daemonolater, I studied everything from chaos to ceremonial magick for over twenty years. I devoted most of that time to developing a relationship with the Norse pantheon and still work with them frequently. I don’t feel that this conflicts in anyway with my current faith. Just as there can be Kemetic and Canaanite Daemonolaters, I suppose there may be others who align better with the Aesir and the Vanir. Besides, Norse gods like Loki have definitely been demonized by Christian scholars in the past. One need only bring him up in Reconstructionist circles to learn how controversial of a figure he remains. He’s one of the reasons I continue to adore the Norse deities. Every Halloween, I still hold a blót or sumbel because of them, even if I don’t do so specifically in their honor.
The word blót (pronounced bloat, like boat) comes from the Proto-Germanic blōtą, meaning “sacrifice.” Of course, to “sacrifice” something literally means to make it sacred, but it ancient times this typically involved an animal offering to the gods. Worshippers would ritualistically kill the pig, goat, or cow and give its meat to the spirits. Its blood would be sprinkled on statues, holy items, and on the members of the community as a form of blessing. This is now carried out in the form of asperging, where a ceremonial fir branch is dipped in alcohol instead of blood, and this is sprinkled on the blót’s participants. Similar rituals remain in use in the Catholic Church too, where the penitent are blessed with holy water.
On the surface, a blót may seem similar to Catholic communion in other ways as well. In ancient times, it was traditional to share in the sanctified meat offered to the spirits. Now beer or mead tends to be passed from person-to-person instead. As it goes around the group, requests are made before the gods, making sure they always get a portion of the holy drink in turn. The leader of the ceremony returns the contents of the offering bowl to the earth afterwards with proper respect.
Blóts are held to grow closer to the divine. Sumbels, on the other hand, are held to grow closet to the community. Here, instead of making requests, toasts are made to beloved gods, ancestors, and personal heroes, with the toasts leaning towards bragging and tales of renown. You drink the energy of this retelling down with the holy beverage. (From my personal experience, the line between blóts and sumbels is very thin—especially when a large number of people and alcohol becomes involved. I’ve found additional rounds of a blót typically turn into a sumbel.)
In the Norse faith of Asatru, blóts are usually held several times a year, with the most important being those for Yule, midsummer, and autumn. The autumn blóts were especially auspicious to the ancient Norse; they had named November, or Blót-month, entirely after it. The Norse held sacrifices to the elves and disir at this time of year, both whom where strongly connected—and sometimes indistinguishable from—ancestors in their mythology. This habit of honoring the beloved dead in common in many Pagan traditions at this time of year, including Daemonolatry, where many practitioners set up ancestral alters during this time.
Alternate Rite to Eurynomous
If you would like to augment your ancestral practice with a blót or sumbel-styled ritual this season, here is what you’ll need:
- a punch bowl
- a chalice or cup for everyone to drink from
- paper cups are those who don’t want to share
- sufficient alcoholic beverage for everyone participating to drink three rounds PLUS offerings to the spirits
- sea salt or diabetic lancet, as required
- clean spoon or ceremonial dagger
- paper towels just in case you make a mess
- a designated spot to pour out the offerings
- any other ritual paraphernalia to set the mood that you need such as candles, incense, etc.
Fill the chalice or cup with your alcoholic beverage of choice.
If you are taking part in this ritual alone, you might want to prick your finger with a diabetic lancet and add a drop or two to the drink to share with the Daemonic Divine. (Daemonolaters working as a group who wish to add their blood to offerings should refer to Abyssal Communion and Rite of Imbibement by S. Connolly. Until then, please be safe and leave blood out of your group workings.) Those who do not want to add blood to the beverage should drop a single grain of sea salt into the chalice instead and mix it thoroughly with a clean spoon or ceremonial dagger.
Finally, draw the ZD sigil over the beverage saying:
Talot pasa oida Belial et Leviathan.
Now construct a ceremonial circle as you normally would, inviting the elemental daemons and Satan with their enns. From the northern most point of the circle, invite Eurynomous with:
Ayar secore on ca Eurynomous.
Once this has been done, the blót itself can begin.
Pour the first cup and present it to the elemental daemons one by one in the same order you invited them to the circle. Return to the center and present the cup to Satan and Eurynomous. If you are working as a group, start with the person closest to the northern most point.
During the first round, everyone participating drinks to an ancestor who has helped get them where they are today. If you have difficulties connecting with your family of origin, consider thanking ancestors farther down your line, whether or not you know their names.
Lift the drink high with your toast, visualizing it imbued with all the vitality they have given you. Feel that connection flow through as you drink it down.
After you toast the ancestor, pour some of your beverage into the punch bowl with “Hail” or “Ave!” Do not forget this. It reaffirms the link. Also, do not let the cup run dry. If it becomes low while being passed around, make sure you refill it. You do not need to bless it again or add more blood.
In the second round, say goodbye to someone or something you lost this year. While this round tends to be heavier in tone than the last, you do not have to have lost something sad or negative. You might have parted ways with someone who caused you nothing but grief, or shut the door on a job you didn’t like.
No matter what you choose to speak about, life the cup high and say your final goodbyes. Taste whatever you’re letting go the last time on your lips, and watch it flow away from you into the punch bowl. If this rite is being held around the fire, you could burn items that represent this aspect of your past as well.
The third round is meant for what you want to accomplish this year. If you have plans for the next twelve months, boast about them in the presence of the Daemonic Divine! Ask for their help, even make an oath if you dare. Halloween acts as a spiritual year end for many Pagans, so you can take this time to make “resolutions” if you like.
As you raise the cup, visualize all you wish to have happen filling and literally overflowing the cup. Drink from it, taking in the energy. Again, if this rite is being held around the fire, flames can be used to transmute prayer requests written on paper into energy. Either way, don’t forget keep that cup full and always offer some of what you are drinking to the gods after every request.
You can keep going after three rounds if you wish and if there is still alcohol to be drunk. Devote further rounds to tales of your ancestors and the spirits themselves. Continue making toasts and offering the beverage as before.
When you feel that you are done, pour the last of the beverage into the punch bowl. You can leave this sitting on your altar for up to 24 hours for the spirits to feast on it. If that isn’t possibly, it may be ceremonially returned to the earth immediately.
Any time after you have thanked the daemons in reverse and opened the circle, the offering should be walked outside. Return it to the earth with this prayer.
En tasa melan wehlc Belial.
En tasa melan Eurynomous.
The ritual is complete.