Asatru – the contemporary branch of the original pre-Christian faith of the Norse/Germanic peoples – has a spiritual lineage that, while decidedly historical, is only recently reawoken, resulting in a limited number of commonly performed modern practices.
Despite that, common spiritual devotions are practiced by Asatruar (adherents of Asatru); among these are morning rituals. Note, though, that there are no man-made or Divinely imposed doctrinal edicts made upon the men and women who follow Asatru, so though many perform morning devotions like I outline, others may not. Such is the way of all folk religions.
While there is no absolute time for these rituals, other than in the morning, usually these devotions are observed at dawn or just after it.
Asatru morning devotions deliberately begin with an act of intent: putting the right foot forward. Quite literally – by putting out the right foot and stepping on it before the left foot touches the floor, the day begins the right way and in the right frame of mind. This is not as easy an act as it sounds, (people tend to forget which foot they want to use first thing in the morning) but once mastered, the simple act of it brings vigorous spiritual energy. Some Asatruar go even further and put on the right sock and shoe before the left ones are put on.
Next, the day itself is greeted. Most Asatruar stand, facing East where the sun rises, with their arms held up in a V (to symbolize Algiz, the rune of protection)— greeting the morning, and the sun (who is known as Sunna) — using words such as “Hail Sunna! Shine on me with your light and might! Hail this new day!” While it is nicer to look out of a window and actually see the sun as this is done, it is not particularly necessary. The ritual itself takes and gives out strength through intent and action, so where it is done is not as important as the fact that it is done.
For most practicing Asa folk, putting on their Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer) necklace is the next thing they do. This, too, must be done with intent and ritual devotion, saying (or thinking), words like “Hail Thor! May the might of Mjolnir bring luck and strength to my day”. The majority of Asatruar begin their more mundane daily routines at this point.
Some Asatruar, though, continue their morning devotions with a water ritual that washes away any lingering negativity from the previous day, and to clear the mind as well as the spirit. This is done simply by filling the bathroom sink with water (some people do go outside to a holy place, or harrow, with a bowl of water instead of staying inside), and washing the face, neck and arms while saying words to the effect of: “All negative energies are now washed away. I am renewed again.” This ‘used’ water is then poured away or allowed to run down the drain, taking with it any old bad energy it washed off.
Morning devotions can be adjusted or added to, creating as elaborate and complicated a ritual as a person wants, or they can be kept as simple as these basic practices I have outlined above. That they are, whether complicated or not, divinely effective is found in the deep spiritual mindfulness of the Asatru folk who perform them, every day. Every new day.