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Paths Blogs

Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.

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Novel Gnosis part 3: Asgard

Asgard is not really a three dimensional physical space, but in the Fireverse it has a geography suitable for the human to whom the story is told to understand. The World Tree can be reached from the top of a hill. It’s not growing out of the hill but is next to it and Odin is able to grasp one of the branches in order to hang from the tree. From that hill, one can look sheer down into forever. On one side of that hill there is a cliff with a stone seat carved into the hillside. There is a little foot path to the seat. This is Odin’s seat of seeing. From there, he can look into Jotunheim, or Midgard, or wherever. Just in front of this throne, the path broadens a bit and there is a short wall at the cliff edge, just right for Odin’s ravens to perch on.

On the other side of the hill stands Valhalla. It is just as described in lore, made out of spears and shields and having many doors and the Einherjar within, and a pig of unlimited bacon, and a goat whose milk is mead, and the triple throne where High, Just As High, and Third sit and rule. These are Odin, Honir, and Loki. Honir does not have a physical form unless he is manifesting between Odin and Loki. He sometimes manifests in the middle throne while Odin and Loki are both in their thrones. Odin sits in the sky throne, that is, the throne of air. Loki’s throne is fire and water. Honir’s throne is earth and ice. Just as it says in lore, the Einherjar go out and fight all day and then are resurrected and party all night in Valhalla. So, the Einherjar are not there during the day. In the Fireverse, Odin holds court in Valhalla in the day, with a lunch for any gods who want to drop in; when he’s not there all these processes continue to happen.

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Novel Gnosis part 2: the Alfar

The Alfar (elves) live in Alfheim. Just like the jotnar living in Jotunheim and the dvergar living in Svartalfheim, the Alfar are really living in Alfheim even when they seem to be living in Midgard (the human world.) They can all go to other worlds but they all live in their dimensional homes regardless of whether that home appears to have a physical location in Midgard.

In Iceland when they are going to build a road, they will try to build around the “elf church” (sacred place of the alfar) but if it’s too hard to reroute they can ask them to move. The elf-whisperer isn’t really asking them to move their home, just the portal between the worlds. My novel-gnosis is that such a place is really more of a dimensional gateway than just a place where they live. Destroy the place on Midgard and you destroy the gateway, but if you ask nicely before building the road they may be able to move their gateway first.

Image: elf woman by SilviaP Design via Pixabay

P.S. if you like my writing you can find out more here: https://www.erinlaleauthor.com/

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Novel Gnosis part 1: intro

In this series of posts, I will be presenting some of my novel gnosis, that is, my religious insights gained via writing fiction. Most of these come from my unpublished behemoth Some Say Fire, in which I retold the entire corpus of heathen mythology, with original work inserted interstitially, like in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Some of my novel gnosis comes from my Time Yarns Universe, which has both published and unpublished works in it.

What does novel gnosis look like?

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Asatru FAQ: Authentic Viking Tattoos?

 

A frequently asked question is: How do I get an authentic Viking tattoo? There are lots of art designs that Asatruars and other heathens wear, but if you you want something historically accurate to the Viking Age, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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The Heathen Gods as Ideals

Picture the Platonic ideal of a cloud. Is it oval, white and fluffy? Set against a blue sky? Pretty, static, happy in a mild and calm way? Or did you imagine a thundercloud squirting rain and lightning and booms and rainbows and wind in all directions, wild and raw? Starting wildfires and putting them out? Fertilizing the earth, growing crops, and also flooding them, knocking them over, sheeting them with ice?

We are not always talking about the same ideal when we picture something as natural and observable as a cloud. How much more nebulous-- how much cloudier, as it were-- is the picture when we talk about such a thing as masculinity, in toxic and non-toxic flavors? Or any other quality that is socially constructed?

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Colour Magic

Colour magic

 

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Holy Cusswords

Holy cusswords, [email protected]&m*n! Cussing is of course a euphemism for cursing, which can mean using a socially unacceptable word, naming a power in an undignified manner ("taking the Lord's name in vain") or formally casting bad magic. Present day Asatruars use the Old Icelandic word blot, meaning sacrifice, as a name for one of our rituals. In modern Icelandic, the word has become blota, which means a cuss word. That which is holy transformed over time into what is a curse and then into what is an empty phrase that may once have been a curse, merely a cuss now. Or is it still a curse? Or is it still holy?

Words have power; that's why a magic spell is called a spell, the same word that means to write a word. When we use a minor cussword like f--- or sh-- that refers to a bodily function, the thing that makes it a cussword is the social taboo of the word and of the action, that is, it refers to something society considers unacceptable to do in public. The same goes for cuss words that refer to parts of the body; they are socially taboo because they refer to body parts normally covered by clothing. These words and concepts are not inherently bad, merely socially taboo. But more religious oriented cusswords like d--- or the name of a god are in another category. To say d--- is to literally curse, that is, to place a curse of damnation on someone or something. If we believe in magic we should be cautious about using such words. If we believe in gods we should be respectful of their names. To say H--- is to call upon Hel, goddess of the dead. The situation may call for that, or it may not. We should be mindful whether the situation calls for calling upon such a god.

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