Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious / spiritual experiences, modern life on a heathen path, community interaction, and general heathenry.

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Erin Lale

Erin Lale

Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, American Celebration, and other books. She has been a sworn Priestess of Freya since 1989, and recently also formalized a relationship with the threefold Odin. She has been a freelance writer for about 30 years, was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is the Acquisitions Editor at Caliburn Press. In 2010 and 2013, she ran for public office as an out heathen.

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No Less a Woman

 

I ran across a fascinating word while copyediting a book a few years ago. Naditum is one of the five genders in Sumerian paganism. It's a gender, a biological sex-- meaning those born female appearing who turn out after adolescence to be infertile-- and a social class, the priestess caste. The idea really resonated with me, even though that’s not my tradition. The various heathen traditions don’t have a specific gender word for those identified female at birth who cannot have children and instead become priestesses. In heathenry, that’s still a woman.

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No Ascension for Me

Science fiction influenced me to expect that the next step in the evolution of humankind is to ascend to become a being of pure energy. That philosophy is called transhumanism, and it saturates popular science fiction.

I was born a science fiction fan; my dad was a Star Trek fan, and if I had been born male my parents had intended to name me DeForrest, after DeForrest Kelly. The classic Star Trek had several species of energy beings, and humans were on the path to becoming like them. Many of the science fictions I encountered later in life had that idea in them, too. In some of them, a very advanced human could evolve during his lifetime. In Babylon 5, a character who was a telepath turned into an energy being (and blew up, dangerously for everyone around him, but well...) Characters in Buffy and Stargate ascended and became energy beings, and chose to come back to Earth. I even wrote ascension into my own fiction. In my Punch series, a character ascends upon death. A character ascends in Some Say Fire, too, but that's symbolic; it represents the unification of the conscious mind with the subconscious and the inner child.

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  • Elizabeth Blakely Toews
    Elizabeth Blakely Toews says #
    I respect your opinion Erin, and that of Loki. All humans I have discovered though, were not created equal. Also I have come to kn

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Butterflies Across Nevada

The first time I traveled with Tom was October 2014, on our first trip to Front Sight. I saw tons of ravens and butterflies. One might not expect a gun club to double as a wildlife refuge, but it has a lot of open land, including large undeveloped areas where people aren’t allowed. The first day out in the open desert, I saw lots of ravens. One raven flew over the range with prey in its beak. And the butterflies! Yellow ones, white ones, blue ones, brown ones, two different kinds of orange ones, even a couple of Monarchs!

Butterflies are Sigyn’s animal messengers, just like ravens are Odin’s. I took both those signs as cosmic thumbs ups.

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The Goddess Diet

I promised in a previous post that I would write about how I lost weight avoiding GMO wheat and corn. Here is how I did it.  I’m calling this the Goddess Diet because it was the goddess Sif who wanted me to buy no GMO wheat or corn.

The god who was with me when I was first making the small decisions that eventually became the Goddess Diet was Loki. Loki skinrode me into a grocery store. When he realized what was in there and that I intended to eat it he turned very dark and angry—not at me, fortunately. He saw that I eat poison because I’m poor by the standards of the society I live in. He was with me as I read labels and asked for products no one carried.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thank you!
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Hi, Erin, rock on! I gave up wheat and gluten in 1980. I didn't know about gluten, I just gave up wheat without even knowing why
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony, I'm pretty sure that only deals with government labeling requirements. It shouldn't affect a privately operated volunt
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I signed a lot of petitions to my congressman and senators to vote against the DARK act which bans GMO labeling. It passed anyway

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Wild Goose Chase for the Name Aurkonungr

I started my quest to find the name or word Aurkonungr while reviewing Lecouteux’s new Encyclopedia, which has an entry for Aurkonungr saying it is a name of Honir. Some of the entries had citations to sources, but not that one. Because I had never heard of such a name for Honir, I set out to find the source. Long did I trek through the mountains up the rocky river, seeking the source, the well of wisdom, beset by skaven and… ahem, no, I sensibly got on Google, which returned 0 results. That word literally does not exist on the internet. Well, it didn’t—it does now, ironically, here in this blog post.

Members of the American Asatru Association’s Facebook discussion group helped me track down where Lecouteux was most likely to have gotten the word from. Although aurkonungr does not appear on the net, there is exactly one return for a reasonable variation of the word, árkonungr: “et, que Ynglingasaga qualifie plusieurs rois de árkonungr, gódr árkonungr, roi, bon roi à moissons” from Tripertita: fonctionnels chez divers peuples indo­européens by Georges Dumézil.  This word is only written that way in French. In Icelandic texts, it's written as two words, ár konungr. 

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  • Carl Gustav Lindstrom
    Carl Gustav Lindstrom says #
    Ah ok - I wasn't sure if it was the latter, or a combination of the two.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome. This isn't a web host site, it's the website of a company that publishes magazines.
  • Carl Gustav Lindstrom
    Carl Gustav Lindstrom says #
    Hello, Ok - Yeah I was not selected, but at the same time I did not know how to get in touch with her. I did not quite understan
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Carl, if Anne has selected you to be one of the pagansquare bloggers, you should have received instructions on how to do it.
  • Carl Gustav Lindstrom
    Carl Gustav Lindstrom says #
    Hello Erin Lale, I hope you don't mind me asking for your help here. I just joined this site and it doesn't seem to be very user
Reconnecting with Sigyn, Part 2: My Wings

 

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  • katherine manaan
    katherine manaan says #
    this was wonderful. thank you.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome! Glad you liked it!

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Where Poets Go

After my 2 wedding visions, I was no longer sure where I would go when I die. For 25 years I had expected to go to Freya in Folkvangr. I had previously had a brief glimpse of Odin appearing to me at death, as I related in my post Seeing My Own Death in the Runes, but I had not really thought that I would go to him because I thought his humans went to Valhalla, and Valhalla was only for the battle dead. I don't expect to die in battle, and I would not really want to join the army after death anyway, and that's what going to Valhalla means. It's not Heaven or Paradise, it's a training base for the Last War. It did not sound appealing to me. 

I didn't want to fight on the other side either. I had always expected to sit out the Last War, as Freya's dead humans are not prophesied to participate in it. I always pictured Folkvangr as a place where both battle dead and some other types of people went. And cats. I pictured cats.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once read that we lay our path through the afterlife in the dreams we have while living. If that's true then I have two or thre

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