Álfablót (Sacrifice To The Elves)
The Norse Halloween, occurring anywhere between October 28th - November 2, marked the end of the harvest season and is linked to the God Freyr.
The Álfablót signifies the entry to the first month of darkness, it is a time to make offerings to the powers of the dark, hidden ones, death, the mysterious and the ancestors, especially the Alfar (the male ancestors). The Dökkálfar (Dark Elves) represent the spirits of nature and the souls of departed men who still live among the Elves within the mounds. These dark powers are not evil, they are benevolent but will not interfere in human lives unless asked and given something in return. This Blót is to strengthen and prepare us for the dark cold months ahead and the lessons that will be brought to us during this time. We reach out and connect to our male ancestors to speak on our behalf to the Dökkálfar, to lend us assistance and protection during this time. Freyr is the Lord of the Elves and the Lord of Souls, he is a God of masculine energy, prosperity, fertility (especially of the land) and peace and so we pay special attention to honouring Freyr as well. We sacrifice to the ancestors and pray to them for their wisdom, their guidance and their healing powers.
This is usually a private celebration due to the worship of dead ancestors and such festivities took place in ones home, near a fire (inside or out), or upon the mound/ grave ones ancestors reside. A feast would be prepared and a plate of food would be placed at the head of the table for the ancestors who would come to visit. It was customary to not look at the head of the table once the plate was placed. This plate of food could be left out for 24 hrs then given to the land spirits or it may be consecrated to spirit and then consumed. Before the feast the floors shall be swept and the house smudged with Juniper and Mugwort to rid the house of negative energies.
Offerings to the dark, to the ancestors, to the unknown and mysterious can be as simple as some apples, seeds, grains, meat and/ or mead. Light a candle or start a fire, and burn some incense. These offerings are an action of respect to the Hidden Ones.
However you choose to celebrate Álfablót, let it be an invitation to go within and in-between.