Chase Hill Ritual Practices
Beyond the yearly celebrations and calendar we follow, Chase Hill performs at all or most of its rituals particular practices that differentiate our tradition from that of Heathenry as a whole. What follows is a list of those practices that are a distinct part of our tradition, and yet are not necessarily held in common with our fellow Heathens. Any such list, by nature, can only be a partial one. Community custom is woven throughout all practice, and even those practices that seem identical to those of other groups are sure to have nuances unique to the group that performs them.
The Landwights Rite
As a symbol of our connection with the land where we practice, Chase Hill Folk always begins its rituals by performing a sung invocation to the spirits of the land, followed by offerings. This song is particular to the location on which it is performed, honoring by name the spirits of local geographic features.
The Ancestors Rite
As part of the main ritual, or as a separate ritual accompanying the main one, Chase Hill usually honors our Ancestors with song, meditation, prayer, and offerings. While the particulars of this practice are still evolving, the importance of encouraging individual connection with one’s own ancestors has been a continual thread through our rituals.
Chase Hill uses an adapted version of Swain Wodening’s Fire Hallowing to mark sacred space before all rituals occurring outside the demarcated precinct of the Harrow, as well as using it within the Harrow a few times a year to reinforce the sacred nature of that space.
Chase Hill begins many rituals by reciting a version of Sigrdrifa’s Prayer, one of only a handful of surviving ancient prayers to the Heathen Gods, and significant in that it honors a large swath of the great holy powers of Heathenry – Day, Night, Earth, Gods and Goddesses.
As part of its honoring of the gods and spirits, Chase Hill always includes a time for participants to give personal votive, food, drink, or spoken offerings to the beings invoked, alongside the communal offering(s). This is to allow individuals time and space to connect to the ritual, and a voice in our community’s communion with these beings
Alcohol during Ritual
To honor the personal decisions, preferences and needs of our participants, Chase Hill always provides two horns during ritual for the Godfulls – a horn of alcoholic drink, and a horn of nonalcoholic drink. Both are considered offerings to the gods, both are carried by the Ealubora to each participant during the Godfulls, and participants may choose either horn for their toast.
In every ritual, Chase Hill endeavors to use music to honor the gods – whether written specifically for the occasion, or traditional music that creates an appropriate atmosphere. This music is usually sung by all the participants together, with minimal accompaniment (usually drum or other beat).
As part of every ritual, Chase Hill takes a moment of silence to allow the gods and spirits space should they wish to make their presence known to the community.
Pouring out the Offerings
At the end of each ritual, Chase Hill uses a modified version of the ritual ending used by Raven Kindred North: the Ealubora pours out the contents of the hlot-bowl on the landwights’ altar and says “from the Earth to us, to the gods, from the gods to us, to the Earth.”