Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Erin Lale

Erin Lale

Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Message in a Film Roll

When I finally cleaned out my mom's desk I found a roll of film. I expected that there might be pictures of her on it and I was thinking of it as a sort of message from the dead before I saw the pictures, and I was right-- but also wrong. There were pictures of my gramma on it. Mom's mom.

I saw the images as digital files dropboxed to me from the film developer on the 9th, which was the 9th anniversary of gramma's death. If that weren't enough, earlier that day I'd also gotten an automated reminder message in my email from a memorial website about gramma. It took me longer than it should have to figure out what she was trying to tell me. It was simple: she wanted to be remembered.

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I read in one of the Seth books by Jane Roberts that we lay out our journey through the afterlife in the dreams we have while aliv

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Hel's Mojito

It's my longstanding gnosis, which begun as novel gnosis but was later confirmed in the current universe, that the goddess Hel likes blue agave. Thus, tequila. Thus, mojitos.

A mojito is made of tequila, mint leaves, sugar syrup, and lime juice. In the summer season, I have fresh mint in the garden, so I pick it fresh. I usually put in some flavored sweetened syrup instead of simple syrup that is only made of sugar and water. One of my favorites is elderflower tonic, which I also use for vodka cocktails. Hel doesn't seem to care what else is in the tequila as long as it's Patron. Patron the drink is a pun on patron god, and was novel gnosis from my unpublished novel Some Say Fire. I didn't realize until much later that it was more than a symbolic pun and she actually does like it, but if you have a different relationship with that goddess you might toast her with a different kind.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Retitled Books

When a major publisher publishes a new edition of a book that was previously self published or published with a minor publisher, the new publisher often retitles the book. There are two main reasons for that: firstly because book titles are a marketing tool and in the new digital age every word in the title is an important keyword and search term; secondly, to prevent confusion on the part of readers over which edition they are buying. The key word, pardon the pun, in this concept is "edition" meaning something that is edited. A new edition and a new title imply that the book has been changed, hopefully for the better, and the new edition is not just a reprint. It's important for my readers to know that Asatru For Beginners is the old book and Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path is the new book.

Here is a list of pagan and heathen books that have been retitled. This list was crowdsourced via my social media and my forum, the Asatru Facebook Forum. Many thanks to all who contributed to the list or pointed me in the right direction so I could research the complete titles and names.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Odin's Third Eye

Sometimes insights come from lighthearted conversation rather than deep mystical trances in the woods. This is one of the challenges we face in these times of isolation: the challenge of just have conversations with other heathens or mystics or etc. Internet forums and plain old telephones come to our rescue. It isn't always enough, but this time it was.

I was talking on the phone to another heathen and mentioned the solar lights I added to my pool this year, claiming I have a light-up pool eyeball. Of course I was just joking when I said, "My pool is Mimir's Well and I swim in it every day, and at night I swim with the light-up eyeball. I don't think it's Odin's eye, though, it's the eye of a monster. The monster that lives in my pool."

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Thoughts About My Ancestor Mystery

I've been cogitating about my previous post, Solving an Ancestor Mystery with DNA, and what the new information means to me. Firstly let me state that the Cherokee Freedmen were culturally Cherokee regardless of DNA, so when I talk about the revelation that my supposed Cherokee ancestor was "really" African, I'm not implying that anyone else's Freedmen ancestors were not "real" tribespeople. I'm only talking about me, and my personal ancestors.

There must have been a good reason why my dad's family were not living in a Cherokee tribal community at the time of the earliest living memories to which I was exposed growing up, and the stories I've previously heard about why that was are now suspect. It seems likely that my Freedmen ancestors left because they could, because they were freed. My dad's early spiritual teachings to me were Native American in character, not African, referencing the corn spirit and other spirits native to this continent. His teachings set me on an animist spiritual path in harmony with the land spirits, which I continue as an Asatruar. He never specifically stated what tradition he was, though.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Oh, cool! Does Finland have a tradition about that?
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When you mentioned that you call your drum Grandmother Elk I immediately thought of Finland.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Solving an Ancestor Mystery with DNA

Asatru is one of the paths that includes ancestors among the beings we honor. That doesn't always have to be one's own personal literal biological ancestors, as explored in a prior post. However, many heathens go in for genealogy, and for those who have done so and hit a wall, or for adoptees and others who don't know anything about their ancestors, the corner where modern science and capitalism meet has provided home DNA tests.

My brother has extensively traced our family genealogy and uncovered some interesting things, but there was one mystery the paperwork could not answer for us. We had been told that we were part Cherokee. The summer after I graduated from college, which was about a year after my father died, I went looking for my Cherokee roots and drove across the country, all the way from California to the Qualla Boundary reservation in North Carolina. I utterly failed to connect to the land spirits, the people, or even the artifacts in the museum. I went camping nearby in the Great Smoky Mountains and did not connect to the land there either. I tried looking for records, and whether I approached via writing or in person, I hit a wall of silence everywhere I went. I tried to connect spiritually, and decided that was not the path for me. I had already been following a heathen path at that point, but that was about when I found a local California Asatru organization, and when I went there I felt right at home, welcome and connected, so I was affirmed on my path. But the unsolved mystery of the elusive Cherokee ancestors stayed in the back of my mind.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Audio Resources on Asatru and Heathenry

If you are blind or visually impaired, or just prefer audiobooks to print or ebooks, there are links at the end of this post for your use. I have a limited number of free codes for the audiobook of my new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, and I would like to give them to readers of my blog who are blind. I am also giving these codes to the blind in my forum, the Asatru Facebook Forum, and on my social media. These codes will all be gone after this month, August 2020.

Here is a link to my new book on Audible. Right now Audible is giving away free copies of my book when you sign up for a 30 day trial of Audible.

...
Last modified on

Additional information