When an Asatruar or Heathen moves to a new place they often do a landtaking ritual, which is to help assume ownership of the new land they have moved to, mold it into a suitable habitat for our workings we do, and to make an offering to the current landwights that live there. Land plays a very important part in Heathenry: many rituals, rites, celebrations and offerings are done outside. Many of the deities and wights worked with embody some aspect of the land. And our ancestors appreciated the land much moreso. Landtaking rituals are different for each person, but tend to have the following elements: Fire, hammer signs, an offering/a dedication and a celebration.
The ritual begins with fire. Fire is carried around the new property. You can use a candle, lantern, stick that youve stuck in the fire, or even something as simple as a lighter. Walk on the outskirts of the new property with the fire, and as you walk you can make a statement to the wights about claiming the land in your name for yourself and your kin. Night is the best time to do this.
At cardinal points the hammer sign is made, normally on the edges of the property. Be sure to note any sacred points on the property. Our ancestors often considered natural places as sacred (mountains, rock formations, springs, rivers, lakes, and mounds for the dead- as these are all places the landwights like to inhabit). After youve gone around the outskirts of your property making the hammer sign, come to the middle of the property and make the sign once more in the middle. This is a good time to follow up with the hammer-rite if you know it.
An offering is then appropriate to the local land wights, as you are moving onto their land. Some people make spirit houses for the wights living on the land. You can offer them tobacco, milk, mead and beers, and shiny things. Thank the new wights for accepting you onto their land, and thank the old wights from the previous land you lived on for treating you so well. It also would be a good idea to make a dedication to the wights you work with, especially any deities you honor.
After this is done, you can celebrate with a blot. If it is appropriate, you can do a seasonal-blot or an all-gods blot. If you have brought dirt with you from the previous land you lived on, you can sprinkle it atop the new land and welcome the wights you worked with from the old land to come with you to the new land. If you had placed godpoles or stangs in the ground of your old land, its important to remove them when you leave- and do another hallowing for them when you place them into the new land.
Landtaking- A Sacred Part of Our Heritage by Chris Haviland
Our Sacred Land by the Raven-Wolf Kindred
If you'd like to know more about certain topics:
Hammer Hallowing: http://www.spellsofmagic.com/coven_ritual.html?ritual=2408&coven=628
Spirit Houses: http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=484088