Advice to Newbies
By: Boars Heart
My personal advice to "newbies" is the same as what I was first given, and it's served me well: Just Do It!!! :-)
Honestly . . . this isn't ceremonial magick, where every detail has to be just SO, or Catholicism, where you have to learn a whole catechism (cataclysm? lol) before you can take communion . . . the Aesir and Vanir are your Elder Kin . . . and as interested in you as you are in them. Speak your heart, offer them not what you intend to become, but who you ARE.
For myself, I begin each day by setting out some honeyed coffee for the hearth wights (I'm in an apartment too---but the STOVE is the modern version of the hearth!) in a small cup. On weekends I add some of whatever I'm having for breakfast.
Following that, I hail Sunna, greet the day, hail my ancestors and my disir, and worship Frey, to whom I'm oathed, and then do a sort of "roll call" hail of the Aesir and Vanir. What I've found is that whoever's wanting a word with me, or to impart something to me, will "show up" when hailed . . . get goosebumps, or a surge of emotion, IOW, stop and add some praise kennings (titles, honorifics, lore-based descriptors---Frey, for example, is harvest god, barley god, god of field and forest, frith and frolic, grain ripener, blossom burster, son of Njord, brother of Freyja, husband of Gerd, and so forth . . . ) and be open to whatever thoughts may come.
Not everybody does such an extensive morning ritual, I'm sure, but I've found it helpful.
My blots, like yours, are also solitary, and for the 'biggies' I generally use a fairly elaborate 9-step outline, a stripped down, modified version of whatever appropriate blot outline I've found on line . . . for my weekly (more or less) more impromptu blots, I simply face north, hammersign, hallow an offering (generally either honey wine [mead] or barley wine [beer]), hail a god/ess, offer them some (in a horn or goblet), have some of the offering myself (it's a good thing, to ingest some of what a god/ess has blessed and partaken of---you're taking some of their nature into yourself), and pour the rest out---I like to recite "From the gods to the earth to the folk, from the folk to the earth to the gods" when I do that.
Seriously, it really is much easier to do than explain . . . don't be afraid to "wing it," you'll learn as much about HOW to do a blot by actually doing one as you will from any book out there.