Einherjar Blót is a modern Heathen celebration in honour of those who have fallen in battle, it coincides with the Commonwealth Remembrance Day that commemorates the end of the First World War. While this Faining has no historical equivalent, the members of the BC Heathen Freehold wish to give honour and remembrance in our own custom to those who made the greatest sacrifice for us.

At this time we host a faining to honour those who gave their lives in service to Canada, and our allies. Typical offerings are of food and drink to the Einherjar, to thank them for their sacrifices for our country. Odin, Freya, and the Valkyries may be honoured as well, for it is they who collect and lead the Einherjar in the afterlife.

This is also an occasion to point out to those that are new to Heathenry, Valhalla is a consolation prize. Most ancient Heathens regardless of tribe would have preferred to join their families with the ancestral grave mounds, the Valkyries chosen warriors from the field of battle miss out on that comforting reunion with their ancestors. On top of that Freya gets first pick of those chosen by the Valkyries, and takes her half to Folkvangr to serve her. Valhalla is the consolation prize for warriors who died far from home and were unable to join their kin within their ancestral grave mounds. While we honour their sacrifice, it is important to remember that Valhalla and Folkvangr are places of warriors, and most warriors are grateful to have survived to the horrors of war and have a chance to be buried among their kin when the time comes.

The Einherjar are warriors plucked from the field of battle in their prime, to train and prepare for the final battle at Ragnarok. Whether they reside in Folkvangr or Valhalla, they are dangerous men and women skilled in violence as a solution. Constant battle drills until the end of this world is not an appealing afterlife to most. Before you claim that you are destined for Valhalla, think on these things long and hard. Few meet the requirements of the Battle-Glad and the Lady-of-the-Slain, think on a more pleasant afterlife for yourself.

As we thank the Einherjar (glorious battle-dead) for their sacrifices, both while they lived and in giving up the peace of the grave to prepare for Ragnarok, keep in mind the old refrain we recite each Remembrance Day.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them “

4th stanza of For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon
Image of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial

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