We understand that Hlautbolli or Blótbolli is a term that must relate to the Underworld fountains, which also corresponds to the ritual usage of the bowls and relates to the sacred kettles. The fact that Hvergelmir means "Roaring Kettle" certainly confirms this. Three vessels with three sacred liquids referring to the three fountains that each contain their own specific drink. This is a symbol that permeates our lore and is the basis of our creation story.
From our research we have determined that the Blótbolli or Blótbowl, being the same as the Hlautbolli, could be modeled after ancient urns that were used in divination, as we see in Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum (see below). Since much of the purpose surrounding the rite involves reaching into the Underworld and influencing fate, it is fitting that a symbol of death would be used in such cases. Given that we have archaeological finds that show us how these urns were constructed, this gives us a basis upon which we can reconstruct this concept fully.
In this regard, it is likely that having three bowls would be a substitute for having one Hlautbolli, a mead vat, and a cooking kettle, which leads us to our connection to the three wells. In the Skaldskaparmál (ch. 5) there are two vats (ker= vessel, wine-cask, mead-vat) and a kettle (ketill) that contain the “Blood of Kvasir,” but two of which are given names for Mímir’s wells. Óðrœrir is the name given to it in Hávamál 140, and Són is the same as Sónar Dreyri (The Blood of Són) seen in Hyndluljóð (37), and we also see in Sigrdrifumál (13) that the mead in the well is equated with the “sap which had leaked from Heiðdraupnir’s (Mímir’s) head, leading us to believe that in the original story Kvasir was likely Mímir himself. This also gives us a basis upon which we can see the sacred vessels as replicas of the holy Underworld fountains.
The Landnamabók and Kjalnesingasaga 2 tells us that the bowl was made of copper, whereas we find ancient urns made of clay. It may have been that the literary record is skewed here, or perhaps the copper bowls have not been discovered. If we are to follow Saxo (bk. 8), a replica of the mead-fountains would have silver and gold utilized in their construction. In either case, we can look to these records to see how we can develop a ceremonial practice using markings and materials that best suit what we are trying to accomplish.
There is also the drinking bowl, which is called Skál, which later became a form of salutation or salute. The word is used in the Eddas for the vessels of the Gods, so it is something we should recognize. In Skáldskaparmál 24 we are told that when Hrungnir came into Ásgarðr “then those bowls (skálir) were brought in from which Þórr was wont to drink; and Hrungnir swilled from each in turn” (Váru þá teknar þær skálir, er Þórr var vanr at drekka af, ok snerti Hrungnir ór hverri.) We also see the skál used in the drinking of minni, which we will examine under the Sumbl (see).
It is possible to view the three bowls as separate ceremonial devices when considering the altar or stalli, and we will be providing layouts later on for both. In the smaller setting one can see there being an offering bowl (Blótbolli), a sprinkling/divining bowl (Hlauttbolli), and a drinking bowl (Skál). Each bowl represents a different well, with a different purpose.
-Excerpt from Æfinrúnar book 1