Introduction to the Rite

The Blótbað (Blót-Bath) is a sacred cleansing before any rite is performed, or it can be a weekly rite in and of itself, since our ancestors called Saturday Laugardagr or "Bath-Day." The ablution could also be called Njardarlǫg, which means “Njǫrðr’sBath,” and was originally the name of the small Norwegian island of Tysnǫ. The name could also mean “Njǫrðr’s Law,” or “Njǫrðr’s Shrine.” In any case, there is the possibility that this would have involved some form of ceremonial bathing as Njǫrðr is God of the sea and water. The Roman historian Tacitus mentions in his Germania (40) the goddess Nerthus, who has been viewed by linguists as the female equivalent of Njǫrðr. In his account a ritual bathing takes place, which again connects to the idea of Njarðarlǫg as an ablution.

We are going to base this ceremony upon the cleansing ritual found in the Risāla of Ibn Fadlan, while at the same time removing some of the more archaic elements involving cleanliness. It is interesting to note that this account bears a striking resemblance to the nábjargir of Sigrdrifumál 33-34, in that both sources describe a ceremonial cleansing that involves specifically washing the hands, the head, and combing the hair. If we consider the purposes of the rite in trying to reach through the land of the dead, the idea that one would prepare themselves in the same manner as the dead is not too far-fetched, and we can consider other dimensions of this rite as well, including the use of special clothing, which in one sense is called Blótklæðiand in the other Helskóar (Hel-shoes). ( an excerpt from Æfinrúnar1: A Book of Sedian Rites and Prayers Bk. 1: The Reconstruction )


Tools: Skurðgoð of Njǫrðr, Three Basins, Linen Towel, Hamarr, Comb.


Biðja– Pray

Once you are ready to begin the bathing, gaze into the water of the center basin with full reflection and meditation. See the spiritual cleansing before you. Then open the rite by performing Hamarsigna ( Hammer sign ) over the basins and saying to Njǫrðr:

Biðjum Njǫrðr
í hugum sitja,
ræðr fyrir gǫngu vinds ok stillir sjá ok eld.
til sæfara ok til veiða. Á hann skal heita

Hann er svá auðigr ok fésæll,
at hann má gefa þeim auð landa eða lausafjár.
Á hann skal til þess heita.

Hjálpaðu nú Njǫrðr-Auðr, ek kalla þik nú
Laug skal gera:
þvá hendr ok hǫfuð, kemba ok þerra,
Á hann skal til þess heita.

Heill Njǫrðr!

We pray to Njǫrðr
sitting in thought
he rules the course of the wind, and stills sea and fire,
for seafaring and for hunting, for this he shall be invoked

He is so prosperous
and abounding in wealth, that he may give
them a wealth of lands
or of movables.
For this he shall be invoked.

Help now Njǫrðr-Auðr, I call upon you now,
A bath you shall give: wash hands and head, comb and dry.
For this he shall be invoked.

Hail Njǫrðr!

Mimisbrunnar Laug– Bath of Mimir’s Well

Look again to the central basin, and focus upon the impurities wrought by your mind. As yo do so begin chanting the rún poem for Ás (a) three times while visualizing the rún or having an image of it before you. Take the comb, dip it into the water of the central basin, then use it to comb your hair.

Óss algingautr ok ásgarðs jǫfurr,
ok valhallar vísi.

Óss is Aging Gautr, and Ásgarðr’s prince, And Lord of Valhǫll.

After the third and final chant, use the towel to wipe your head dry. Then say:

Sá var aukinn sónardreyra.

So was he augmented with Sónar Dreyri.

Hvergelmirs Laug– Bath of Hvergelmir

Now look into the northernmost basin and focus on the impurities wrought by your hands, chanting the rún poem for Lǫgr three times, while either visualizing the rún or having an image of it before you. Between each chant dip your hands into the water, and after the final chant rub your hands together to fully wash them.


Lǫgr er vellandi Vimur
ok viðr ketill
ok glömmungr grund.

Lǫgr is bubbling Vimur
and broad geyser
and land of the fish.

Then dry them off and say:

Sá var aukinn svalkǫldum sæ.

So he was augmented with Cool-Cold Sea.

Urðarbrunnar Laug– Bath of Urð’s Well

Next, gaze into the southern basin, with full intention. Meditate upon any impurities wrought from your words or breath. Then chant the rún poem for Úr (u) three times, each time splashing some of the water onto your face and washing it.

Úr er skýja grátr
ok skára þverrir
ok hirðis hatr.

Úr is weeping clouds
and hay destroyer
and herder’s hate.

Afterwards dry your face with the linen cloth, then say:

Sá var aukinn Urðar megni.

So was he augmented with Urðr’s Strength.

Now meditate upon the cleansing that has taken place, feeling the washing of mind, body, and spirit. Then conclude the bathing by chanting the sacred formula ALU (alu) nine times. Then conclude the rite with the following:

Þveginn ok mettr
ríði maðr þingi at,
þótt hann sét væddr til vel;
skúa ok bróka
skammisk engi maðr
né hests in heldr,
þótt hann hafit góðan.

Washed and fed
rides a man to the þing,
though he is not well clothed;
shoes and breeches
should a man not be ashamed
nor of his horse,
though he has not a good one.

Afterwards, make sure all of the water is libated at the base of a sacred tree.

Æfinrúnar2: A Book of Sedian Rites and Prayers Bk. 2: The Sacred Rites-