Fall Equinox Freya Ritual
by Patrick

I not only attended the GOG Fall Equinox ritual in New Brunswick, but also helped to plan it. The ritual was dedicated to the Norse Goddess Freya. My goal with the ritual was to introduce the Grove to Freya and to explain that she is not simply the “Norse Aphrodite,” and to introduce some of the cosmology of the Well and the Tree. It was standard ADF format but deviated from common GOG format in the following ways:

· Heimdall was used as the Gatekeeper.
· Saga was invoked as the Bardic deity.
· The Outsiders were bribed out of the hall, but also Thor was asked to come into the hall and ward it against chaotic forces.
· The Goddess was not drawn down but instead an idol was set up as a focus of worship.
· The common GOG Praise/Omen/Waters of Life practice was rearranged to facilitate a Germanic Sumbel.

I had several parts in the ritual and tried to help with cosmological questions from the Norse-newbie attendees. Many tough questions were asked and some partial answers given. Even though there is much more literature from Germanic Heathenry (as opposed to Celtic), there is still large gaps especially with the Goddesses. Much of the surviving literature and most of what was written by scholars for much of the 19th and 20th centuries attempts to systematize and pigeonhole the Norse Gods and to a large extent ignores the Goddesses.

I performed the Gate Opening with Heimdall’s critical help. I used the same sort of language that I use in my personal rites and it is based on Skip Ellison’s daily ritual gate opening.

Although there were three main people —myself, Dragonphyre (who was Druid-In-Charge), and Hillary—helping with the ritual, and doing many of the main parts; those parts assigned to others were all done very well. I particularly liked the Tree invocation by Nora. Everything went very well; except for the poor guy that Thor made leave.

We wanted to present Freya in all her many roles to show she is more than a “fertility ‘ho.” Instead of myself talking about this aspect and that aspect for who knows how long, the idea was to have Dragonphyre, Hillary, and myself each talk about one aspect of the Goddess. Hillary discussed the fertility and magic aspect, I took the material and chthonic aspect, and Dragonphyre took the ancestral and valkyrie/Dis aspects. All this was done to a two-foot-high stuffed Goth cat as none of us was prepared to draw down Freya. The idol was riding in a cart (ala wagon rituals involving Vanic deities) and wearing gold and amber necklaces and torcs. Tethered to the cart were two small miniature cat pieces.

With the idol in place and Freya and all the guests in attendance, I started the Sumbel with a discussion of the Well of Wyrd and the meaning of what was to be done. Praise was now offered by whoever would come forth and after each offering the entire congregation would drink. Spring water was used as the libation and refilling of cups went more smoothly than I thought it would. I gave the main gift to Freya at the conclusion of Sumbel. The gift was organic dark chocolate with hazelnuts. Since chocolate was unknown in Europe before the 16th century, there is nothing in the lore about Freya liking chocolate, of course. This is my own UPG, but who would not like such a gift? Plus I have to figure she has had mead and ale for millennia and if she was to come all the way to America, why not something from this continent?

Dragonphyre did the omen using a rune set. She drew Sowilo, Raido, and Dagaz— Sun, Road, and Day.

To Ritual Photos!