Gods & Goddesses

Sif – The Golden Haired

Sif (1909) by John Charles Dollman.
Sif (1909) by John Charles Dollman.
Sif bindrune created by Goði Beast, 2018

Many people are familiar with Thor, the Thunder God.. but few know much about his beautiful wife, Sif.

Sif is a golden-haired goddess associated with the earth. Sif is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in the poetry of skalds. In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, she is known for her golden hair and is married to the thunder god Thor.

The Prose Edda recounts that Sif once had her hair shorn by Loki, and that Thor forced Loki to have a golden headpiece made for Sif, resulting in not only Sif’s golden tresses but also five other objects for other gods. Sif is also named in the Prose Edda as the mother of Þrúðr by Thor and of Ullr.

Scholars have proposed that Sif’s hair may represent fields of golden wheat, that she may be associated with fertility, family, wedlock and/or that she is connected to rowan, and that there may be an allusion to her role or possibly her name in the Old English poem Beowulf.

Poetic Edda
In stanza 48 of the Poetic Edda poem Hárbarðsljóð, Hárbarðr (Odin, father of Thor, in disguise) meets Thor at an inlet of a gulf. The two engage in flyting, and Hárbarðr refuses to ferry Thor across the bay. Among numerous other insults, Hárbarðr claims that Sif has a lover at home. In response, Thor says that Hárbarðr is speaking carelessly “of what seems worst to me” and also lying.

In stanzas 53 and 54 of the poem Lokasenna, after pouring Loki a crystal cup of mead during his series of insults towards the gods, Sif states that there is nothing Loki can say only in regard to her. In response, Loki claims that Sif has had an affair with him:

Then Sif went forward and poured out mead for Loki into a crystal cup and said:
Welcome now, Loki, and take the crystal cup
full of ancient mead,
you should admit, that of the children of the Æsir,
that I alone am blameless.
He took the horn and drank it down:
That indeed you would be, if you were so,
if you were shy and fierce towards men;
I alone know, as I think I do now,
your lover beside Thor,
and that was the wicked Loki.

Sif does not respond, and the exchange turns to Beyla. Sif is additionally mentioned in two kennings found in poems collected in the Poetic Edda; Hymiskviða (where Thor is referred to as the “Husband of Sif” thrice, and Þrymskviða (where Thor is once referred to as “Husband of Sif”).

Prose Edda
In the Prose Edda, Sif is mentioned once in the Prologue, in chapter 31 of Gylfaginning, and in Skáldskaparmál as a guest at Ægir’s feast, the subject of a jötunn’s desire, as having her hair shorn by Loki, and in various kennings.

Sif is introduced in chapter three of the Prologue section of the Prose Edda; Snorri’s euhemerized account of the origins of Viking mythology. Snorri states that Thor married Sif, and that she is known as “a prophetess called Sibyl, though we know her as Sif”. Sif is further described as “the loveliest of women” and with hair of gold. Although he lists her own ancestors as unknown, Snorri writes that Thor and Sif produced a son by the name of Lóriði, who “took after his father”.

In chapter 31 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Ullr is referred to as a son of Sif and a stepson of Thor (though his father is not mentioned):

Ull is the name of one. The son of Sif, he is the stepson of Thor. He is so skillful a bowman and skier that no one can compete with him. He is beautiful to look at, and is an accomplished warrior. He is also a good person to pray to when in single combat.

As reported in the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Thor once engages in a duel with Hrungnir, there described as the strongest of the jötnar. Prior to this, Hrungnir had been drunkenly boasting of his desire to, amongst other things, kill all of the gods except Freyja and Sif, whom he wanted to take home with him. However, at the duel, Hrungnir is quickly killed by the enraged Thor.

Further in Skáldskaparmál, Snorri relates a story where Loki cuts off Sif’s hair as a prank. When Thor discovers this, he grabs hold of Loki, resulting in Loki swearing to have a headpiece made of gold to replace Sif’s locks. Loki fulfills this promise by having a headpiece made by dwarfs, the Sons of Ivaldi. Along with the headpiece, the dwarfs produced Odin’s spear, Gungnir. As the story progresses, the incident leads to the creation of the ship Skíðblaðnir and the boar Gullinbursti for Freyr, the multiplying ring Draupnir for Odin, and the mighty hammer Mjöllnir for Thor.

Sif also appears in Skáldskaparmál listed as a heiti for “earth”, appears in a kenning for a gold-keeping woman, and once for Hildr. Poetic means of referring to Sif calling her “wife of Thor”, “mother of Ullr”, “the fair-haired deity”, “rival of Járnsaxa”, and as “mother of Þrúðr”.

Many scholars have suggested that this is a symbol of a field of flowing grain ripe for the harvest. When viewed from the standpoint of comparative religion, as well as what we know about Thor, this would seem to be a sound intuition. One of the most common themes in the mythology of the Indo-European peoples such as the Norse and other Germanic peoples, as well as the Celts, Slavs, Balts, Greeks, Romans, Indians (of India), and many others, is the idea of the sexual union of a sky god and an earth goddess. Historians of religion call this a hieros gamos or hierogamy, which means “divine marriage.” The hieros gamos maintains the cosmic order and brings fertility and prosperity to the earth as it – or she – is fertilized by the rain and sun from the sky. One of Thor’s foremost roles in ancient Germanic religion was that of a bringer of agricultural abundance. As the eleventh-century German historian Adam of Bremen notes, “Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops.” Thus, it would make sense for Sif to be a goddess of the fertility of the earth, a role also occupied to varying degrees by other Norse goddesses such as Freya, Gefjun, Fjorgyn, and Jord. Sif’s being especially associated with the vegetation on the surface of the earth, which is suggested by the nature of her hair, is also corroborated by the fact that a species of moss (Polytrichum aureum) was called haddr Sifjar (“Sif’s hair”) in Old Norse.

There is very little known about Sif’s own family. While we know she was married to Thor, we don’t know if they had any children. She did have a child from her first husband named Ullr. He was the god of snowshoes, hunting, the bow and she shield. He was described as being incredibly handsome with many warrior-like attributes. He was often called upon for help in battles. Artistic representations of Sif always show a young and strikingly beautiful woman with long, flowing golden hair. In most pictures, the hair is nearly touching the ground. It can be argued that without her long hair, it would be hard to recognize Sif as there is very little description of her otherwise.

Sif is said to symbolize fidelity. She is also associated with summer, passion and the sun. Her best symbol though is her hair, which was said to symbolize the crop fields of the Norse population. The health of her hair was directly related to the strength of the crop, specifically wheat according to some sources. An old tradition says that in order to ask Sif for help, one should bake bread with plenty of grains. Sif is also associated with light, as it is said she was able to control the light in the sky and had a hand in the changing of seasons.

Bragi's Hearth Uncategorized

Hlin – Goði Beast

Then is fulfilled Hlín’s
second sorrow,
when Óðinn goes
to fight with the wolf,
and Beli’s slayer,
bright, against Surtr.
Then shall Frigg’s
sweet friend fall.

~Voluspa, Stanza 53

Hlín, Great Consoler, Protector of Frigg’s Chosen
You offer comfort to those in sorrow
Peace to those in pain.
You watch over the chosen of the Gods
And keep us from harm.
We thank you for your love,
Your Warmth
Your care.

Hail to you, Hlín!

Bragi's Hearth

The Handfasting of Allen & Jean

Before the ceremony, Goði Beast consecrates the ritual area, and prepares the altar. The altar is lit by a blue candle for Enki, and a yellow candle for Athena. One red candle sits on the altar, also incense, bell, one silver chalice, a dagger, a crystal, wedding rings and length of cord for the handfasting.

A selection of music shall be agreed upon by both bride and groom and played in the background as bride and assembled guests enter.

The Ceremony
The groom stands next to the best man to the right, near the altar. Before the bride and the one who gives her away comes down the isle, there will be the usual procession of bride’s maids, ushers, flower girls, etc. The priest stands in front of the altar, facing the congregation. When the ceremony is about to begin, the best man strikes the bell three times (slowly).


Goði Beast: “Gods of old, Ancestors, land and water vaettr, we ask that you join with us, as we we say the binding of these two who shall be as one. They desire to make their union a matter of record, so that their friends and the society in which they live may bear witness and lend support. Diana and Adonis, Ishtar and Tammuz, Freyja and Odin… by these and other names are divine lovers known. I invite the Gods to come bless this union as we invoke the powers that be.”

[Goði Beast takes up the red candle from the altar and raises it to the south.] “We call upon the element of fire to come serve us, for we are creatures of the flame. Flame the passion of Jean and Allen and fill them with all consuming ardor and love for each other!”

[Goði Beast takes up incense from the altar and raises it to the east.] “We call upon the element of the air to come serve us, for we are creatures of the wind! Consciousness flows, one to the other, so this couple may share a mutual wisdom and unified vision.”

[Goði Beast takes up the crystal from the altar and raises it to the north.] “We call upon the element of the earth to come serve us, for we are creatures of the earth! Your strength and constancy shall keep them together as long as they both shall live.”

[Goði Beast takes up a chalice filled with wine from the altar and raises it to the west.] “We call upon the element of water to come serve us, for we are creatures of the water! Grant Jean and Allen the qualities of serenity and patience and a love as deep as the ocean.”

“Hear me, you whom we have called to witness this rite. Be mindful of lovers such as these and provide them a bastion of solace and protection.”

The Handfasting
“Allen and Jean, up until this moment you have been separate in thought, word and action. As this cord binds together your hands, so do your lives become joined.”

[Goði Beast takes up the cords from the altar and begins to tie together Allen’s left and Jean’s right hands.]

“Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage. With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul’s growth. Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?”

Couple replies “Yes, We Seek to Enter.”

Goði Beast: “In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.”

[Goði Beast holds the cords up to the East]
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body. Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.”

[Goði Beast holds the cords up to the South]
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart’s passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.”

[Goði Beast holds the cords up to the West]
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.”

[Goði Beast holds the cords up to the North]
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.”

[Goði Beast turns back to the congregation]
“Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union. I bid you look into each others eyes.”

[Goði Beast turns to Allen, and holds the first cord for the handfasting.]
Allen, Will you cause her pain?
Allen says, “I May.”
Is that your intent?
Allen says, “No.”

Jean, Will you cause him pain?
Jean says, “I may.”
Is that your intent?
Jean says, “No.”

*To Both*

Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Couple says, “Yes.”
[First cord is draped across couple’s hands]

“And so the first binding is made.”

“Jean, Will you share his laughter?”
Jean says, “Yes.”

“Allen, Will you share her laughter?”
Allen says, “Yes.”

*To Both*

“Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?”
Couple says, “Yes.”

[Second cord is draped across couple’s hands[
“And so the second binding is made.”

“Jean, Will you burden him?”
Jean says, “I may.”
“Is that your intent?”
Jean says, “No.”

“Allen, Will you burden her?”
Allen says, “I May.”
“Is that your intent?”
Allen says, “No.”

*To Both*

“Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?”
Couple says, “Yes.”

[Third cord is draped across couple’s hands]
“And so the third binding is made.”

“Jean, will you share his dreams?”
Jean says, “Yes.”

“Allen, will you share her dreams?”
Allen says, “Yes”

*To Both*

“Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?”
Couple says: “Yes”

[Fourth cord is draped across couple’s hands]
“​And so the fourth binding is made.”

“Allen, will you cause her anger?”
Allen says, “I May.”
“Is that your intent?”
Allen says, “No”

“Jean , will you cause him anger?”
Jean says, “I may.”
“Is that your intent?”
Jean says, “No.”

​*To Both*

“Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?”
Couple says “We Will.”

​[Fifth chord is draped across couple’s hands]
“And so the fifth binding is made.”

“Jean, Will you honor him?”
Jean says, “I will.”

“Allen, Will you honor her?”
Allen says, “I will”

*To Both*

“Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?”
Couple says, “We shall never do so.”

[​Sixth cord is draped across couple’s hands]
“And so the sixth binding is made.”

“The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the chords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.”

[The cords are removed and placed on altar.]

The Blade and Chalice
[Goði Beast takes the dagger from the altar and puts it in Jean’s left hand.]

“Jean, you bring the energy of Athena of Greece; boundless, bright, intuitive, and fiercly protective. I bid you blend these energies with Allen to make your lives together whole. Wield this dagger as a symbol of your love.”

[Goði Beast takes up chalice from the altar and places it in Allen’s right hand.]
“Allen, you bring the energy of Enki of Sumeria; expansive, fluid, life-giving, and sustaining. I bid you blend these energies with Jean to make your lives together whole. Take this cup as a symbol of your love.”

Jean: “I pledge my blade, as I pledge my soul, ever to your service. Like this blade my love for you will be strong and enduring, so that our lives together will always be protected. Accept it, my beloved, and with it all that is mine becomes yours. Even if our paths should later diverge, yet I will always be your true friend, to love you and lend you aid and protection. By seed and root, by bud and stem, by leaf and flower and fruit, by life and love, in the name of Athena, I, Jean, take you, Allen, to my hand, my heart, and my spirit.”

Allen: “I pledge this chalice, as I pledge my soul, ever to your service. As from this cup, my love for you will pour forth so that our lives together will be nourished. Accept it, my beloved, and with it all that is mine also becomes yours. Even if our paths should later diverge, yet I will always be your true friend, to love you and lend you aid and protection. By seed and root, by bud and stem, by leaf and flower and fruit, by life and love, in the name of Enki, I, Allen, take you, Jean, to my hand, my heart, and my spirit.”

[Jean dips the blade into the chalice.]

Goði Beast: “Athena and Enki, female and male, dark and light… neither has meaning without the other, but through their eternal interplay the universe is born. As Enki brought life to this realm, and Athena has pledged her existence to defending it, so should your union bring forth joy, and protect the joy in in each other. This bond I draw between you; when you are parted in mind or body, there will be a call in the core of you, one to the other, to which nothing and no one else will answer. By the secrets of the earth and water is this bond woven, unbreakable, irrevocable. By the law that created fire and wind is this bond written in your souls.”

[Goði Beast takes blade and chalice and puts them on the altar.]

Exchanging the Rings
[Goði Beast takes up couple’s rings.]

“Your vows have been made before your friends, your family, your ancestors, and all the Gods above and below. These rings, like your vows, are without beginning or end. They are the physical representation of your promises to each other’s spirits.”

[Jean takes Allen’s ring and places it on his finger. Allen takes Jean’s ring and places it on her finger.]

Goði Beast: “Above you are the stars, below you are the stones. As time passes, remember – like a star should your love be constant, like the earth should your love be firm. Have no fear and let not the ways or words of the unenlightened give you unease, for the Powers that be are with you, now and always! I now pronounce you husband and wife. The work of joy is done and yet begun!”

[BRIDE and GROOM kiss.]

Rose Ceremony
A single red rose always means “I love you”. Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other. You now have what remains the most honourable title, which may exist between any couple, the title of “Married”. For your first gift as a married couple, that gift will be a single rose. In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift would be a single rose. Within these rose buds, if given proper loving care, is the potential for an even more beautiful expression of Life and Love in the form of the mature flower. And so it is with your marriage. At this point your marriage is like these rose buds – ready, with proper loving care – to unfold into a very beautiful expression of life.

(Exchange Roses)

Allen and Jean, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location in your home for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion of your marriage, you both may take a rose to that special spot in your home, both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.

Those of us who are already married know that marriage, like life, brings with it many joys and also many challenges. We also know that love, while beautiful, does not always show its prettiest face. There are days when we may find it hard to express the depth of our love for one another. In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It might be difficult some time to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words to express what you really feel, Go to that spot that you both have selected and there leave a rose. That rose placed in that special location can say what matters most of all. The rose you place there will say the words: “I still love you.” It is wise to understand this as a statement of love and the need, or request for that extra bit of tender loving care permits the beauty of the rose to come forth from the rose bud. So also will that love permit the beauty of maturity to come forth from your marriage in every situation. Your partner should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today. That rose says, “I still love you.”

Allen and Jean, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, remember this, it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.

Children, would you please join us and hold the hands of your parents?

Understanding that this family now includes all of you, I charge you to treat each other with kindness and love. Allen and Jean, you already have the role as parents in these children’s lives. Together, you will work as role models in their lives and help with the good and bad of growing up. Children, you make this family whole and are of great importance to these two. All of you will have to work hard to get through the day to day growing of being a family.

Do you all promise to love, respect and honor each other from this day forward? We do.

Children, you each have your own roses to add to this, as a symbol of joining into this amazing family. The same applies for you, as well. On the anniversary of this joyous occasion, when you are able, I charge each of you to lay a single white rose bud on the special place your family chooses, to signify that you still love the family as a whole, and are glad to be a part of it. The white rose represents purity, love, new beginnings, and remembrance.

[Children give their roses to the parents]

Jumping the Broom
Allen and Jean have chosen to conclude their ceremony with the tradition of jumping the broom. This ceremony dates back to times of old, and can be traced back to many diverse cultures. Today Allen and Jean honor and respect this legacy and heritage as well as symbolize the coming together of both families. As Allen and Jean jump, they physically and spiritually cross the threshold into the land of matrimony. It marks the beginning of their making a home together. It symbolizes the sweeping away of the old and the welcoming of the new. It is also a call of support for the marriage from the entire community of family and friends. Sharing a life with another person requires many “leaps of faith.” The leap they take together over the broom is also symbolic. By taking the leap, they make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead, as well as the easy times. They leave behind the past and jump into the future together secure in their love. The happy couple will now begin their new life together with a clean sweep!

[Goði Beast places the broom on the ground]

Goði Beast: “Everyone please count 1, 2, 3… Jump! Together with me now, and shout with joy as they perform their first act of working together as a married couple; 1, 2, 3, jump!”

[The couple jumps over the broom, and then kiss.]

Goði Beast: It is with great pleasure that I present to you all, the new couple, Jean and Allen!

[Immediately, the music begins and the couple recesses down the aisle to the cheers of family and friends!]

Goði Beast: HAIL Jean!


Goði Beast: HAIL Allen!


Goði Beast: HAIL to the new couple, two become one!

CONGREGATION: HAIL to the new couple, two become one!

[Best man strikes the bell) once. Candles are extinguished properly, attending forces are thanked and dismissed.]


Gods & Goddesses

Hlin – The Great Consoler

The last few years have been especially trying for many of us, with great losses in our lives, whether due to natural causes, natural disasters, world wide pandemics, or whichever reasons have popped up. It’s taken an emotional toll on all of us, in one form or another.

When I am emotionally spent, and need consolation, I often turn to the goddess Hlin.

In Norse mythology, Hlín is a goddess associated with the goddess Frigg, as one of her handmaids. Hlín appears in a poem in the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, and in kennings found in skaldic poetry.

Scholars frequently explain the meaning behind the goddess’s name as ‘protector’. The Prose Edda section Gylfaginning derives the name from a verb found in an Old Norse proverb: Þiaðan af er þat orðtak at sá er forðask hleinir. Scholars generally accept that the theonym Hlín derives from the verb hleina. However, the verb hleina in which the section claims a derivation is obscure (a hapax legomenon), and translators have attempted to work around it in a variety of manners, in some cases leaving the verb untranslated. Examples include the translations of Anthony Faulkes (“From this comes the saying that someone who escapes finds refuge (hleinir)”, 1995) and Jesse Byock (“From her name comes the expression that he who escapes finds hleinir [peace and quiet]”, 2005).
For me, Hlin presents as the old Southern Marm.. for those old enough to remember her, think Della Reese, or Tyne Daily. Large bosomed lady over flowing with love and comfort, who wants nothing more than to pull you into her arms and squish you until all of your troubles and worries go away. The Great Consoler. Compassion, comfort, and love.. but do NOT anger her by going after one of her babies.. there will be hell to pay! She is who I turn to in times when I need comforting, a safe place to run to, someone to stroke my hair and tell me its all going to be alright.. here.. have some fresh baked pie.

Della Reese

Hlin Bindrune


The Name-giving of Marina Harley Motsenbocker

I have the honour and privilege of performing the naming ceremony for Dilan & Celena Motsenbocker’s new baby, Marina, this weekend. This is the ceremony which shall be performed:

Opening of the ceremony, Goði Beast calls the participants forward, with the mother carrying the child, and invokes the Gods, Ancestors, and wights to witness the ceremony.  

Standing before the altar, with arms upstretched in the Algiz rune, Goði Beast invokes, with Hammer raised in his right hand: 

Divine Gods of Asgard, noble ancestors and those who have assembled here today, we welcome you to our sacred circle.  We ask that you bear witness to the dedication of Marina Harley Motsenbocker, newly come to the realm of Midgard.  

Goði Beast sets hammer on the altar, and raises the horn of mead, toasting each god individually, drinking after each invocation: 

Odin, All-Father, we ask that you witness this rite, and grant us the wisdom to proceed 


Frigg, Mother, keeper of the Hearth, we ask you to witness this rite, and show us your love of family.  


Thor, Protector of Mankind, we ask that you witness this rite, and grant your protection to all who are here.  


Freyja, goddess of Love, we ask that you witness this rite, and thank you for your generous gift of this child into our lives.  


Njord, God of the sea, we ask that you witness this rite, and bring the fertility of your abundance into this child’s life. 


Rhiannon, Goddess of wealth and generosity, we ask that you witness this rite, and bestow upon this child the wealth of your wisdom, your compassion, and the generosity of your love. 


Goði Beast sets the horn down on the altar, and addresses the crowd: 

Dedicating the children to the service of the Gods is a tradition passed down to us from the days of old, and chronicled heavily in our lore.  

It says in Njal’s Saga Chapter 14: So the maiden was sprinkled with water, and had this name given her, and there she grew up, and got like her mother in looks and feature. Glum and Hallgerda agreed well together, and so it went on for a while.  

In Eyrbyggja’s Saga, Chapter 11 it is recorded: “Thorstein Codbiter had a son who was called Bork the Thick. But on a summer when Thorstein was five-and-twenty winters old, Thora bore him a man-child who was called Grim, and sprinkled with water. That lad Thorstein gave to Thor, and said that he should be a gothi, and called him Thorgrim.” 

In Skallagrím’s Saga, chapter 31: “Skallagrím and Bera had many children but all the older ones died in infancy. Then they had a son. They sprinkled him with water and called him Þórólfr.”  

Again, in Skallagrím’s Saga, chapter 35, we are told: “Thora bare a child in the summer; it was a girl. She was sprinkled with water, and named her Asgerdr.” 

And in Eyrbyggja saga, chapter 11, we read: “Þórsteinn Cod-Biter had a son called Börkr the Stout. Then in the summer when Þórsteinn was twenty-five years old, Þóra gave birth to another son, who was sprinkled with water and  given the name Grímr. Þórsteinn dedicated this boy to Þórr, calling him Þórgrímr, and said he should become a temple priest.”  

Today, we gather to do the same as our Ancestors, and sprinkle this child with water as a dedication to the Old Gods. This ceremony is not meant to “wash away the sins”, as the Christians do, as for us there is no inherant sin. Rather, this symbolic watering is to hallow the child, and dedicate their life to the service of the Gods. This practice pre-dates the Christianisation of our religion and is distinctly different from baptism. In baptism, the water is to ‘purify’ the child, referred to in old Norse during the later Christian period as ‘skirn‘, meaning purification. In the pre-Christian ceremonies, the water was to ‘hallow’ meaning to bless or make sacred, essentially, a blessing from the Gods. Today we bestow those blessings upon this child. 

Dilan, please take Marina into your arms, as a symbol of your accepting her into your family, bestowing upon her the rights of inheritance, and acknowledging her as a free person, under the Law. 

Dilan takes the baby from Celena, and approaches. 

Goði takes up the sprig of cedar from the hlautbowl, and sprinkles Marina’s head, in the sign of the hammer, and says: 

Hail to those who have sent this new soul into the world, 

And may all the world stand forth to greet her. 

Marina Harley Motsenbocker, newly come to the realm of Midgard, 

We stand around you to welcome you into our Clann. 

May you grow strong in body as well as spirit, 

May you grow in beauty as well as knowledge, 

And may learning pass many-gifted into your hands. 

May you always have a warm hearth to come home to, 

A full cup offered to you, 

Ample food laid out before you, 

And a safe haven to rest your head. 

May the storms pass you by, 

The fires only serve to warm you, 

The tides only serve to bear you up, 

And the landvaettir be friends supporting your feet. 

May your ancestral Mothers offer you courage, 

May your ancestral Fathers offer you wisdom, 

And may your tale be one to inspire the many generations to come. 

Hail to those who have sent this new soul into the world, 

And may all the world stand forth to greet her. 

Goði Beast takes the child, and lifts her to the gathered folk. 

Brothers and sisters, I am proud to present to you Marina Harley Motsenbocker, follower of the Old Ways! Come now, and present your offerings and gifts to her. 

Gathering forms a line, gives a blessing of their own, and leaves a gift. 

Once all who wish to have made their way through the line, Goði Beast once again raises the horn, and thanks the gathering. 

Hail to you, Aesir and Vanir, Ancestors and wights, all of whom have gathered to witness this rite, we thank you! Hail! -drink- Go with our gratitude.