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A Suitable Word for Sacrifice

By Swain Wodening

Theodsmen have long held that the word blót only refers to a blood sacrifice. Usage of the word in Old English would seem to support this (I am not familiar enough with Old Norse to say if this is also true of it, but from what I have seen it is). Therefore, a word had to be found that covered non-blood sacrifices. Garman Lord settled on faining, a word derived from fain, and adverb meaning “gladly” which came ultimately from the Old English verb fægenian “to rejoice.” The idea was that folks should rejoice at the giving of items to the Gods. The problem is that the word faining has no basis in the lore as a word for sacrifice. It is a modern usage, and while it has caught on in modern Heathenry as meaning a non-blood sacrifice it has no basis in ancient practice. We have many other words from the elder tongues that are better suited. Old English gild “a sacrifice.” and gildan “to sacrifice” are both candidates and have the advantage of modern derivatives in yield and yielding.

Read the original article at: Swain Wodenings Blog

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