By Vidar / Gungnir Hama AOR
The experiences of ritual, and Blotar especially are delegated to the three qualities of epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge; conception (reason), perception (observation or empiricism) and introspection (faith, intuition and visualisation). Each adherent is responsible to heighten the blot experience in all three areas. The ability to respond in all three perspectives enables a fuller ritual experience.
Most ordinary rituals are done impulsively using conception and perception. Take brushing your teeth for example, we conceive the fact that it is time to clean the ol’ grill and avoid bad hygiene and thus brush our teeth using perception usually by staring in the mirror or feeling the brush cover all of our teeth and mouth. Since the brushing ritual is not a spiritual ritual (unless you are some odd tooth paste connoisseur) the third quality, introspection, is not necessary. When a physical ritual becomes more metaphysical all three qualities need to become enhanced, especially the third quality.
In Blotar, conception is used in conceiving the purpose of the Blot at hand, reasoning the meanings and myth and counsel given in Blot liturgy and most importantly connecting one’s mind with the minds of the Gods. This is the part of the blot that “makes sense” with the proper words and myths invoking a higher consciousness, awareness and intellect. It is most importantly visualisation using the mind’s eye to tap into the unconscious, the hamingja and folk soul. This is where the virtue of listening is very important especially in the prison environment where we are limited in use of ritual paraphernalia, ambiance and other factors of perception.
Perception is a very important aspect of Blotar, this is the sensual, “seeing is believing” aspect of rituals that includes the ambiance, the atmosphere and environment of the ritual area which ideally entails a secluded natural area particularly on Ley Lines or a significance of chthonic energy but also other visuals such as hearth or hama banner, ritual paraphernalia such as horn, teinn, bowli, fire basket, sword, candles or sacred fire, trygill, altar, drape, torc, etc.
The clothing worn by attendees has visual effect and personally I am in favour for some type of ritual of formal clothing so long as it is not anachronistic or overly so. I hate to think of an attendee coming to Blot in the same beer stained t-shirt worn the night before or brightly coloured clothing that detracts from the focus others are trying to maintain. Clothing is not a perceptual necessity but it is a factor. As the OR Book of Blotar says “it is a matter of choice and common sense.” The only mandatory clothing in the OR applies to the CG.
The use of sound and background music is a good perceptual aid to use in blotar as is gealdor, call and response, poetry or song. On this note the tone, energies and vibe of the voices of all present contributes to the collective level of consciousness and inspiration we feel. Smell is a supplemental aid in visualisation and ritual that is needed whether it be the fresh air of the outdoors, candles, incense, food or ale and even our own body odors. Perception is an easy area where one can directly heighten the blot experience.
The most difficult is introspection. Faith and intuition- like anything of value, is only found in scarcity. It must be remembered that blot and ritual is an exercise that must be practised, yet once tapped into is rewarding and renewing. An ex-Odinist in my area once complained that my blotar were boring, verbose, monotonous and without enough ritual paraphernalia; “it sounds like you’re just reading” he would say. Of course when he performed blotar he had to bring out every bell and whistle he could find, smuggle it past prison guards (usually getting caught) and try to compensate for his lack of introspection and faith with more perceptual aids. Sadly today he is trothless and talking to the Jewish burning bush. He neglected the introspection part and as the Book of Blotar says the “esoteric level, the vibrations set up multiply and become stronger, effecting a psychic and physical change.” Ritual regalia only gives an “added potency.” This aspect of the blot perspective can be viewed as “believing is seeing.” One must utilise all three elements of blotar in order to fully experience the Gods.
HTF / HTR
Category: Lore & Ritual