It’s that time of the week again. Friday means it’s my entry for the Pagan Blog Project. We’re on the Second week of the Letter B and be sure to check out the other posts written this week.
Last week when I was talking about Blots I mentioned a bit about Sumbel, the rite of ritualized toasting done after a Blot or separately on it’s own. Before I said how it has a minimum of three rounds, where the Drinking Horn is passed to each person and they say something. Remember that everything said over the horn is sacred and the words reverberate throughout the Nine Worlds.
The first round is to the Gods, the second to the Ancestors, and the third is for Oaths, Toasts or Boasts.
What is a Boast?
Boasts are telling of some accomplishment over the horn for all the worlds to hear. They aren’t bragging because bragging often has the connotation of something not fully earned or being over inflated in its telling.
Boasts include telling everyone of the promotion you got at work, the healthy birth of a child, or fulfilling some personal goal. The last is very important is that goal was made previously as an Oath over the horn at some prior Sumbel.
So What’s My Difficulty with Boasts?
I was raised, as I think many of Northern European mutt heritage were, that you keep your emotions pretty close to the cuff and bragging is wrong. When I first encountered the ideal of boasting I just couldn’t do it. Really though the biggest reason was I doubted if anything I had done was worthy of a boast. I was no great war-hero, I had never saved another persons life, I then had no children, and when I first entered Heathenry I didn’t even have a job. I was in college full-time.
It was probably not until I’d participated in half a dozen sumbels or so that I finally did my first. Previous to that I just stuck to Toasts. After I did my first, which I don’t honestly remember what it was, I realized something. It felt awesome to vocalize a true accomplishment, have everyone recognize it and here that resounding Hail! in return. I also realized as long as I truly felt it was an accomplishment and deserving of a Boast then so would everyone else. No one was going to call me out in the middle of Sumbel over a Boast.
That’s reserved only for Oaths. We’ll get into that when we get to O.
Boasts are Good for the Soul
Make sure to acknowledge your accomplishments and let others too.
Don’t keep it to yourself!
Go ahead and start it here. In the comments leave me a boast about something you’ve done recently!