We all know that Proto-Germanic tribes have worshipped the norse Gods as representatives of natural forces, cycles of nature, and natural phenomena, within us and around us. The lands of the Proto-Germanic people were full of spirits, spiritual powers, and there was no clear distinct border of what is our realm, and what is the Otherworlds. The divine, the spiritual could be found within us, within nature, within natural phenomena. And since these people had to live in tune with nature, in order to survive, their entire spirituality revolved around the understanding of nature and living and how everything works in cycles.
This has been done by the blót.
The proto Germanic “blōtą” means to sacrifice and worship, which is connected to the old High German “bluozan”, with the very same meaning. The Germanic languages all have the same origin, and it is all interconnected, exactly like our Germanic European spirituality. Very often, it took place as a sacred meal, and a blood sacrifice. The blood was considered to be holy and sacred, and was sprinkled on the statues and the participants of the celebration itself.
You have to understand that this type of spirituality is based on Animism. Everything contains “Megin”. A specific force, a power, a soul and a mind. Everything, every plant, every tree, every animal.
The blood was then used as a holy ceremony to get in touch with that power, that the animal represented. A typical sacrifice took place at a Hov (High German Hof; (Farm-Yard), “Lund” (for Grove). Some of the most important historical places were in Uppsala, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and northern Germany.
The sacrifices are all connected to specific seasons and their power and spiritual force.
The Elven Blot does have clearly ties to the modern version of Halloween, given praise to the forces of the Underworld, given thanks to a good harvest, and welcoming the upcoming winter. This is a Pagan initiation event, where children got initiated into the Underworld, being reborn as their Ancestors. Some sources say that this is why children dress up until now as Ghosts and so on. By dressing up, they become that which they want to represent, making it easier to travel through the realm of the Dead.
The Disablot is a typical Midwinter-Sacrfice, and which is why we have chosen the name Vinternatsblot for our coming product line. It has been held at the vernal equinox, during the deepest and darkest winter nights, giving praise to the fertile deities called Disir. It appears in literature such as the hervarar Saga. The celebration was typically held by women. During these darkest of the winter Nights, where the Sun and the light of the day has gone, and no one could farm or harvest food anymore, it was important to remember that nature moves in cycles and spring will come back. The Disir Spirits were Germanic fertility Deities, and they were important because they made sure that spring will be coming back, securing a good harvest and enough food for the family.
By the time christianity arrived in Scandinavia, the most important Blot called the Yulblot was celebrated around the 21st of January. It is known until today as Julfest in Sweden. In Sweden you typically say that “Jag önskar er all en god jul”, reminding you that this is not about the christianized version of Christmas, this is about the Pagan remnants of what once was the Yulblot. It was typically about the Wild Hunt of Odin/Wotan and his Spirits, celebrated with feasts and meals as well as sacrifice. In northern Germany on the West Coast, it is still Joelfest in Plattdeutsch.
It is the christmas-tide, the turning of the wheel, where the days will be longer again, the daylight will be longer, and the Sun will be back shortly after the spirits of darkness and winter have been banished from the lands and the hearts of the people.
To each season there is at least one celebration, but this is focused on the Winter season. In the deepest winter nights, something is reborn. It is the light of the Sun, the essence of fertility, new growth and the arrival of Spring. And to worship these cycles and to tune minds of the people into this sacred wheel of nature, the Blota were an important and essential celebration for the Germanic People.