Concerning offerings and the official rituals of the East Coast Thing:
To try and help avoid any of the occasional confusion that comes with having so many people come together, we’re providing this small overview of how offerings will be conducted this ECT.
There will be shrines (ves) set up in a designated location (The lower field. You won‘t miss it). At each ve there will be containers in which offerings can go (Please see the guidelines about which types of offerings are allowed for each ve). Everyone is free to give offerings to the ves, either on their own private time over the course of ECT, or during a designated ritual at that ve. Please check the schedule to see if there is a scheduled ritual at a ve that you are interested in.
On Saturday night we will hold the Main Blót. During the blót, all of the offerings that have been given to the gods at their respective ves will be handled by designated blót officiates and will be ritually given to the gods through a fire (excluding the Ancestors, Landvættir, and Loki). These offerings are intended to be from the community as a whole, to the gods. If you have an offering you wish to give to a god or the gods in general, please make sure you have gone to the Ve-Stead before the Main Blót, or give your offering to the fire after the blót has officially concluded! There will be no window DURING the blót for individuals to make announcements or give offerings.
The ECT Ritual and Ve Committees are dedicated to giving everyone an enjoyable ritual and religious experience. If you have a special concern or request, please speak with one of the listed members of those committees so that we can try to accommodate you. The following are some more common questions are concerns, with an answer provided.
Q: “What if a deity I wish to blót to doesn’t have a ve?”
A: The Ve Committee will be erecting a Regin Ve that is not dedicated to any specific deity, this ve will simple exist as a sacred space where individuals may honor any of the Gods that are not otherwise represented. Personal ritual may be conducted there and offerings that are left at this ve will be given to the fire along with the offerings from the other ves.
Q: “What if a deity I wish to blót to doesn’t have a scheduled blót?”
A: The ves are open to attendees 24/7 for the duration of the event. Whenever is good for you, and as long as no one else happens to be doing their private thing at the time, you can make your offerings.
Q: “I’m concerned my offering is fire hazardous/I don’t want my offering to burn.”
A: If you feel like your offering would be a fire hazard, or if you do not wish it to be burned, please speak to the person or people listed as responsible for that ve. You may also contact Denise Bowen, the Ve coordinator. If the ve keepers feel that any offering represents a hazard, they will set it aside and seek to find the person making the offering in order to discuss a safer alternative to burning. Any closed bottles of alcohol will be opened and poured into an offering container, the bottles will be recycled.
Q: “What if I don’t have an offering?”
A: This one is easy. The answer is- “It’s ok! Offerings aren’t mandatory, and when they are, they are provided by the ritual officiate.”
Q: “What if I have something I want to announce to the community?”
A: Main ritual is not the place. Please feel free to contact any member of the ECT planning team. We can find a good time for you to make your announcement. Usually any time we are all gathered in the dining hall is good.
Q: “What if I have an offering I want the community to witness that I make?”
A: Main ritual is about community offering, not solo offering. We are taking what has been offered individually and communally committing them to the fire. This doesn’t mean that my or your offering becomes a gift from everyone- like as if we all signed the card that was supposed to be just from you, but it does recognize that we are a community and our offerings as a whole do represent us as a community to the Gods. This is one of those times when a whole is, if not greater than, at least something in addition to just the sum of its parts. If you feel that your offering deserves its own special moment, and/or it is important to have witnesses to your offering, the ves are available for personal rituals and you can invite whoever you wish to be there to come and witness. Check the ve ritual schedule (which will be posted closer to the event) to make sure that your ritual won‘t coincide with a scheduled ritual and you should be good. You can always contact the respective ve keepers if you have questions about doing your ritual at a ve.
Please feel free to speak to someone on the Ritual or Ve Committees if you have any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you.
ECT Ritual and Ve Committees