I’ve been having some recent discussions with a friend regarding relationships with the Norse Deities. One of the questions that has come up is asking for blessings, and giving thanks during rituals.
As I reflect upon blots, and the toasts that are given, I tend to hear a lot of “Thank you for your gifts (sometimes with specificity) , and could you please bless me with ____ (sometimes specifics, sometimes generalities. You’ll also occasionally hear someone offer vows or promises, though as some Heathen’s have pointed out, in a ritual, that brings up some debates over mixing of Wyrd, and creating obligations in others. But that question is for another discussion (though honestly, its kind of been beaten to death).
The thoughts I’ve been having lately is why not offer a toast just giving thanks? Just thanking the gods for what they’ve given us. No requests to the future, no bargains, just saying “You know, you are an important part of my life, and I wanted to thank you for what you’ve done for me.”
As heathen’s this can sometimes be hard, because our view is always to the future, and not focusing exclusively on the past. But there are times where reflecting on the past, and the blessings we have had can be an important process. By remembering the blessings that we have had, we can realize what an incredible influence they they in our lives, without looking at to what influence they are going to have in the future.
For me, I’ve started to do this, but not in my regular blots, but on a daily basis. I’ve labeled it “the daily devotional.” I take a few minutes each night to offer a toast to the deities I have close relationships with, and thank them for their gifts and presence. I don’t ask for anything, I don’t complain, I just give thanks for what and who they are in my life.
Of course I keep asking myself is there another deity I should be adding, and I expect with time, I will add more, and suddenly each night, my few minutes will be an hour :).