Heathen Terms

In Chase Hill’s rituals, we use some terminology derived from Old Norse (ON) and Old English (OE). We also use a number of words in Modern English (MoE) that are archaic, specialized, literal translations of words from other languages, or otherwise not in common usage in the wider culture. In an effort to make our rituals more accessible, we have compiled a glossary of terms and phrases we often use in our rituals.

ÆSIR (ON) or ESE (OE) – The gods of the Germanic cultures.

ALF, ALFAR (ON) or ÆLF, ÆLFE (OE) – Elf, Elves. Spirits of fertility, weather, and nature.

BLÓT (ON/OE) – A ritual that includes making offerings to one or more God or wight.

DÍS, DÍSIR (ON) – The female guardian ancestors who watch over family lines.

GOD-FULL (ON/OE) – Literally “God-cup.” In ritual, a toast spoken in honor of one or more of the Gods.

GOD-POST (MoE) – An image representing a God, carved out of a tree trunk and set upright in the ground (See also: WEOH).

GOĐI (ON) – A priest, the spiritual leader of a community. (Feminine gyðja, pl. goðar).

ETTIN, ETTINS (MoE), or JOTUN, JOTNAR (ON) – Giant, Giants; spirits of elemental power and wilderness.

FRITH (ON/OE) – Peace, specifically a state of productive relationship within a community.

HARROW (MoE) – from HEARG (OE) and HÖRGR (ON). An altar made of a pile of stones, also the sanctuary or grove in which the altar stands.

HLAUT-TEINN (ON) or HLÓT-TÁN (OE) – Literally “portion branch.” A sprig of evergreen that is used to sprinkle offerings of drink on the ground and participants as a blessing during blot.

HLAUT-BOWL (ON/MoE) – The bowl that offerings are poured into.

HLAUT (ON) or HLÓT (OE) – Origin of the word LOT and ALLOTMENT. The offerings, apportioned or allotted as blessings by sprinkling them over the participants and the ritual space.

LANDWIGHTS (MoE) – from LANDVÆTTIR (ON). The spirits of the land, natural features, plants, animals, etc.

SUMBEL (MoE) or SYMBEL (OE) – A ritual of toasts made to honor the Gods, ancestors, and heroes, as well as boasting about accomplishments, taking oaths, giving gifts, and performances of song and poetry.

“THUNOR WIHA THISNE EALH” (OE) – “Thunor make sacred this temple.”

WEOH (OE) – A physical representation of a God, usually in the form of a statue or figurine (See also: GOD-POST).

WIGHT, WIGHTS (MoE) – From VÆTT, VÆTTIR (ON) and WIHT, WIHTA (OE). A being. Technically this term refers to all beings, (gods, elves, animals, humans, giants etc.), but it is most often used to refer to spirits.

WYRD (OE) – Fate. Conceived of as all actions and choices in the past, which determine the unfolding of our future.

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