Saturday, August 9, 2014


Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir, is the tool with which God Thor continually fights the Jotuns, to bring his goats back to life and to bless a bride at a wedding.  In other words, the Hammer is an object of protection, a bringer of fertility and new life.  A representation of the Hammer is commonly worn by members of the Northern religions.

The most important element of some Asatru weddings is the blessing of the bride with the hammer.  Traditionally, the bride is seated and after signing her with the hammer (making the sign of the hammer, an inverted "T"), the hammer is placed into her lap for a moment.  This is done to assure fertility in the marriage.

thor.jpgThe is also a custom for some called Hammer signing.  Making an inverted "T" on the body while facing North.  To make the Hammersign: Raise your right hand over your head, make a fist, and bring this fist down, passing through a strongly-visualized cloud of energy just over your head as you do so and touch the fist to your forehead.  Pronounce the name "Odin!".  Now bring the fist down to your breast, mentally tracing a blazing line of white energy, and say "Baldr!".  Going to the left and the right shoulders, say the names "Freyr!" and "Thor!" respectively.  All the while visualize the line of blazing energy you are tracing with your fist.

The Hammer Rite is simply a way of establishing ritual space.  This space is not as distinct as what one finds in traditional Wiccan Circles.  Rather, the Hammer Rite is more of a calling to indicate to ourselves, and to the Gods, that we’re about to perform a ritual.  Some have described it as a 'ringing of the bell.'

The Hammer Rite or Hallowing is one of those things that isn’t really cannon when it comes to Heathenism.  It’s not really based on much of the historical record.  In fact, a lot of people figure Heathens picked it up from the Wiccan’s Calling the Corners.  But as in magic, and faith, it’s the intent that matters if you cast it.

This part of the rite is performed when you are working in your home or other such place where everyday life usually takes place.  It serves to create a ritual space in which you may work more directly with the Divine.  In many ways the hallowing is similar to the circle-casting of the witches, but the level of energy is not usually so intense, nor does a great danger exist if the bounds of the space are crossed during a religious rite.

mjollnir_thors_hammer.jpgWhen one performs a hammer rite, one doesn’t create an inside and outside or even a ritual geometric shape.  The purpose of a Hammer Rite is to establish that a given space is being used for ritual.  It’s the recognition that we’re calling upon the Gods and Goddesses to be with us, as we exercise our will upon the universe.

If you begin all your ritual practices with this rite, hopefully it will become a matter of action and you won’t have to remember to do it.  Like breathing, it should just become a part of what you do.  It also gives you a brief time to focus your intent on the work you are about to be involved in.

There are many different ways, with several different items that can be used to do a Hammer Rite.  Some groups use two hammers and/or call upon two points (Fire and Ice, or North and South).  Other groups call upon four points; this gives the space more of a Wiccan feeling.  Still others use six points, the four directions plus above and below.


The easiest way to do a hammer rite is to go to one of your two points, and trace an upside-down “T” shape in the air in front of you, while chanting something appropriate: 'Hammer of Thor, Hallow and Hold This Holy Stead'.

After you’ve done one point, then you do the other.  That’s all there is to it.  Continue with the ritual or event within the sacred space.

Or if you are doing four points: Turn in all four directions and repeat this action, each time visualizing the sphere being drawn into your center.  'Hammer in the North! Hallow and Hold this Holy Stead! - Hammer in the East! Hallow and Hold this Holy Stead! - Hammer in the South! Hallow and Hold this Holy Stead! - Hammer in the West! Hallow and Hold this Holy Stead!'

It is often good to have some sort of short speech or gesture which marks the shift from the specifically ritual part of the event to the closing.  This can be as complex as a specific thanks addressed to each of the Divines who were called upon at the beginning of the rite, or as simple as a chorus of 'So mote it be' or 'Hail', a blast on a blowing horn or the striking of a staff against the ground.


Thor statue 545873_elnz.jpgAgain, there really is no must have law of a Hammer Rite.  Some use two points, four points or six points.  Some use an actual mallet while others use a silver hammer pendant.  Other people worry about which direction they should trace the Hammer in.  If doing things from right to left or left to right worries you, work out to your own satisfaction what it should be.

The important thing is that it is recognition of a sacred space.  A time to focus and honor the Divines before a ritual.


May the Holy Ones smile on our efforts.
May the Holy Forebears nod in approval.
May we be of Worth to our fellows.




Hammer Rite


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