Midsummer Solitary Rite (Norse)

posted on July 18, 2021
Related: Summer Solstice, Norse Culture

by Anthony Thompson


The participant gathers the following offerings (vegetable oil may be substituted if necessary):

  • Earth Mother: Corn meal
  • Fire/well/tree: Incense, silver-colored item (e.g., coin), branch
  • Heimdall: Alcohol
  • Outdwellers: Beer
  • Bragi/Saga: Oil, honey, or alcohol (e.g., Goldschläger)
  • Ancestors: Food/bread
  • Nature spirits: Grain
  • Gods: Alcohol
  • Deity(ies) of the occasion: Sunna, Loki: Loki: alcohol to burn; Sunna: oil to burn

The participant also fills the Well with fresh water and places the blessing cup and branch next to it. He/she then performs a brief pre-ritual meditation to quiet the mind, clothing in her/his usual ritual garb.


Participant gathers at the ritual area and sounds a musical signal three times, then says:

I am here to honor the gods.

Honoring the Earth Mother


Nerthus, Earth Mother, (nearth’-uhs)
You stand solid beneath my feet,
Cold of rock, hardness of ice (or warmth of stone)
Carry me on to night’s next night
Support me well, Njord’s twin (neye’-ord)
Vanir Mother strong sea sister (vahn’-ear)
Bring faith to fruit Birch-bright one
Honor to you, your rhythms true
Hail Nerthus!

Participant sings Blossom Lifter (1x):

Earth Mother, Blossom Lifter
Bloom with the wheat,
Bloom with the rye
Bloom with barley
And bloom with all grains
Earth Mother, Blossom Lifter
Bless what I eat,
Bless what I drink,
Bless what I harrow,
And bless what I sow
Earth Mother, Blossom Lifter
With all these things, let me rejoice
I give to you, and you give to me

P makes an offering and says: Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice.

Grounding and Uniting with the Tree Meditation

Participant performs the “Tree Meditation”.

Establishing the Sacred Grove through Fire, Well, and Tree

Sacred Fire

Participant says:

Sacred Fire, holy woods
Warm light to fill the hall
Nine realms are known
With my words this night
Let all realms hear the call
Light fires within, warmth to the True
Fire’s flame burns to form the garth
Woods kindle well, with the fire of the hearth.
As I call the Kindred forth…

P lights the sacred fire and places incense into it to hallow the space, then says:

I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire, burn within me.

Sacred Well

Participant says:

Holy Well waters deep
Three streams strong gathers the flow
One of Wyrd shining ones know (weerd)
Another yet icy, serpent-safe
Last of wisdom, many eyes to see
What is, what was what will be
Watching sisters of örlog, three (oar’-lahg)
Many eyes look on, watching well.
As I call the Kindred forth…

P silvers the well and pours water from the well to the blessing cup, then says:

In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters, flow within me.

Sacred Tree

The Tender of the Tree says:

Mighty Tree middle of all
Nine realms full its branches make
Much knows Har, High One hung; (hahr)
Ygg’s steed hight, ever green stays. (igg ; hite)
Serpent below eagle above
Squirrel between Nith-hewer gnaws
Ash-wood tall wet with white dews
Strong-standing true I seek shelter
As I call the Kindred forth…

P dresses and censes the bile, then says:

From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within me.

Opening the Gates Between the Worlds

P prepares an offering for the gatekeeper and says:

Heimdallr, Holy One Hallinskihdi, Whitest As (hime’-dahl ; hallin-skihdee; ace)
Son of nine waves, Sire of Jarl’s sons (yarl)
Shining guardian, Gjallarhorn holder, (gyallahr-horn)
Rune-shower Rigr, Hight Jotun bane (rig ; hite ; yo’-tun)

Great golden-toothed Turner of hearths,
Unsleeping reed-giver Who hears the wool grow
Well-known wise watcher, I ask your help now:
Bïfrost bridge-warder, Open the ways once again. (bee’-frost)

P sings (3x):

I invoke you Heimdall, opener of every gate
I invoke you Heimdall, opener of every gate
You will reach me, you will teach me, and reveal my fate.
You will reach me, you will teach me, and reveal my fate.

P makes an offering and says: Heimdall, accept my sacrifice.

P: Let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, let the tree open as a gate between the worlds, and let Manannan walk with me in all ways. Let the gates be open!

Offering to the Outdwellers

P pours a cup for the Outdwellers and takes it out of the ritual space, then says:

You who come from the outer dark,
You who stood against the gods and man,
You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind,
Take this and trouble not my work.

Bardic Inspiration

P calls to Bragi asking for the gift of poetic inspiration:

Bragi! Odinson!
Best of the wordsmiths and first of the skalds,
You with the tongue of gold,
Whose words are like the finest mead,
I ask you best of bards,
To inspire me and make my words mix well.
Bragi, let your inspiration flow!

P makes an offering and says: Bragi, accept my sacrifice.

Honoring and Inviting the Three Kindreds


P: Ancestors old Heroes renowned
Blood of my veins, Strength in my soul,
Grandmothers, Disir, Wise watching women,
Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.
Grandfathers, Alfar, light-alf, dark-alf, black-alf,
Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.
Great heroes of eld, might-memory knows,
Your valor shines still, I offer you welcome.
O Ancestors of blood and heart, I call you forth!

P sings Mothers and Fathers of Old (1x):

From far beyond this mortal plane, mothers and fathers of old
I pray that you return again, mothers and fathers of old
To share with me the mysteries and secrets long untold
Of the ancient ways I seek to reclaim, mothers and fathers of old

P makes an offering and says: Ancestors, accept my sacrifice.

Nature Spirits

P: Land spirits Keepers of place,
Wise with weather, Your knowledge runs deep.
Luck and prosperity, Your blessings fall,
Honor to you, I bring this night.

Landvaettir great Ancient as earth,
Boulder-homed, Water-homed,
Land wights old, Guardians true,
Your strength strong still, I offer you welcome.

O Spirits of the natural world, I call you forth!

P sings Fur and Feather (1x):

Fur and feather and scale and skin,
Different without but the same within.
Many of body but one of soul,
Through all creatures are the gods made whole.

P makes an offering and says: Nature Spirits, accept my sacrifice.

Gods and Goddesses

P: Aesir, Vanir Shining Ones all,
On Itha Plain met Many moons past,
Of Ask and Embla, My ancestors first,
Many things made, Of the gods we all come.
None of you gods, is not mighty indeed,
Of soul, sense, and being you have given us well,
Taught us of runes, Of faith and troth,
Of right-mindfulness, and honor true,
O Shining Ones of magic and might, I call you forth!

P sings Hail All the Gods (1x):

Hail all the gods,
Hail all the goddesses.
Hail all the holy ones,
We dwell together.
Lords of the sky,
Ladies of the sacred earth,
Spirits and the Ancestors,
We dwell together.
Hail all the Gods!
Hail all the Goddesses!
Hail all the Gods…and Goddesses.

P makes an offering and says: Gods and goddesses, accept my sacrifice.

Meditation of Merging the Energies and Re-Centering

(Meditation of merging and re-centering is done.)

Ritual Precedent and Honoring the Spirits of the Occasion

The summer solstice is not only the festival of Sunna, associated so strongly with fire, but it is also the death of Balder. His death signals the beginning of the end, since it is the first step on the road to Ragnarok. It is then that the fire giants will tear out of Muspelheim to fight the gods. This is a necessary part of the cosmic unfolding, for it is through the fire of Muspelheim that Balder is reborn to establish the new world order. The summer solstice is thus both the funeral of Balder and the foreshadowing of his rebirth. As I contemplate the fiery warmth around me, I know that this is a Turning Point in the “Wheel of the Year” and that all things change, and I give honor to the Kindreds who are with me through the Turnings of the Wheel.

Honoring Sunna

P: Sunna, bright one, mother sun,
Skoll-fleer, Mani-sister, Glen-wife,
Mundilfari- and Glaur-daughter,
You who ride through the sky in your great chariot,
Pulled by Arvak the early riser and all-swift Alsvid,
I give honor to you this day,
At the height of your glory,
On this day of days, I have gathered to praise you.
Sunna, join with me in this celebration of light!

P offers oil to the Fire and says: Sunna, accept my sacrifice!

Honoring Loki

P: Loki, sly one, shape-changer, trickster, and sky-traveler,
Farbauti- and Laufey-son, Jötun-kin and Aesir-kin,
Odin-brother, Hella-father, Fenris-sire, Sleipnir-mother,
Sig-spouse, Balder-slayer, Gungnir-gatherer,
O fiery master of guile and deceit,
You who gave the gods their treasures,
And who will be free again to fight the gods at Ragnarok,
We honor you today in all your clever forms.
Loki, join with me in this celebration of light!

P offers alcohol to the Fire and says: Loki, accept my sacrifice!

General Praise Offerings to the Kindreds

P: I have called the Kindreds here today and it is right to give them praise: A round for the ancestors, a round for the nature spirits, and a round for the gods.

(Three rounds of praise offerings: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods.)

P: Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have given you praise and honor! A gift calls for a gift, and I pray to you as I offer up these sacrifices. Accept them, open my heart, and give to me of your blessings.

An Omen for the Blessings is Taken and Shared

Participant quietly chants (1x):

Come druids all, ovates and seers
And let your minds be still.
Earth, sea, and sky will lend no fears,
As the gods reveal their will.
Let every heart sing praise to them,
And all my works be skilled.
Claiming their blessings to the very end,
As the gods reveal their will.

P then takes the omen, interprets it, and records it.

Receiving the Blessings of the Gods and Spirits

P raises the blessing cup high and says:

Wyrd’s well waters, I waited to reveal,
Three women weaving, Scores cut and laws laid,
Women writing örlog for the sons of men.
Well have I witness to the glory of gods,
Giving gift for gift, great ones all.
The waters received, wetness of galdr.
Words were spoken and runes were read,
Wyrd was revealed And weal I await.
With these waters let the blessings flow…

Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have praised you and received your blessings. Hallow these waters and give to me of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da! Behold the waters of life!

P sings (1x):

I pour the waters, raise the cup,
Drink my share of wisdom deep.
Strength and love now fill me up,
As the elder ways I keep.
As the elder ways I keep.

P then drinks a draught from the blessing cup.

Thanking the Kindreds and Spirits

P: Kindreds have come heeded the calling
Honor was given and honor received.
Great are my dead, and great are my heroes,
Great are my land wights, and great are my gods.
With each call I make to our Kindreds true,
They heed my calls more, and our troth stronger be.
Rite ending, words waning, our troth stronger still,
I carry it well with me all ways
Honor to the Kindreds for ever more.

P: I have called upon the Kindreds and they have answered! With joy in my heart I carry their magic into my life and work. Each time I offer to the powers they be come stronger and more aware of my needs and worship. So as I prepare to depart let me give thanks to those who have aided me.

Sunna, Ich danken sie!
Loki, Ich danken sie!
Bragi (or Saga), Ich danken sie!
Heimdall, Ich danken sie!
Goette, Goettern, Ich danken sie!
Naturgeisten, Ich danken sie!
Vorfahr, Ahne, Ich danken sie!
Nerthus, Ich danken sie.

Closing the Gates and Ending the Rite

P: Now by the keeper of the gates and by my magic I end what I began.
Let the fire be flame,
Let the well be water,
Let all be as it was before.
Let the gates be closed!

I have done as my ancestors have done, and as my children will do, and the Kindreds have answered. I go now, a child of the Earth, in peace and blessings. The ritual is at a close. So sind sie!

posted on July 18, 2021 | Related: Summer Solstice, Norse Culture
Citation: "Midsummer Solitary Rite (Norse)", Ár nDraíocht Féin, July 18, 2021, https://ng.adf.org/ritual/midsummer-solitary-rite-norse/