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.

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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

This post was prompted by the outpouring of support for Ukraine I've seen on social media. It could apply to any future emergencies too, though. I have seen some very well intentioned people calling on Slavic deities with whom they do not usually have a relationship and I just wanted to write a little guide to how to craft supportive prayers or spells outside one's usual area of practice to respond to current emergencies in the world.

I'm not going to get into political analysis here because it would be off topic for my blog which is about my personal gnosis and experiences with the Asatru religion. If any of my readers would like to see my commentary on military and intelligence matters, I have some posts on my social media about it, as I have been asked to comment because I studied the Soviet Union. This post is just about writing prayers and spells. Writing is my thing now.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome, Anthony! Glad to be helpful.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you, this helps to bring focus to my efforts.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

They're burning books in Tennessee. Supposedly "witchcraft" books, and I would tell you all to go read them, except they mean Harry Potter.

Read that too, if you wish, and if you haven't already. I haven't read it myself, but some younger people I know loved it as kids. The controversy over Harry Potter is that it supposedly promotes witchcraft. The author has become controversial due to anti-trans statements on social media, but the book series does not have much to do with that. There are ways to read a book without putting your money into it, if that is a concern for you.

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Since there is a discussion going on outside the heathen community about fairy tale dwarves, due to Disney planning yet another remake, let's discuss fairy tale and mythology dwarves. To us, members of the heathen and pagan communities, myth does not mean fictional, it means religious literature. Most of the Norse myths, and depending on the specific sect, many of the Germanic fairy tales as well, are known as the Lore, meaning religious canon.

The Dwarves of heathen mythology that both some modern heathens and heathens of historical times worship are not humans, they are the residents of Svartalfheim. Svartalfheim means Dark Elf Home. It is generally thought that 'dark' here refers to their underground world rather than to their appearance. The Dwarves appearing small seems to be fairly arbitrary in the Old Norse, just like the size of Giants, who can appear either much larger than the gods or the same size as the gods. Fairy tale era dwarves in German are all seen as small, but fairy tale era elves and fairies are also usually seen as small, and they were not always small in their original depiction in older Lore and literature. In English, the Modern English word Dwarf and the older word Dweorg both referred to small beings who were connected to the earth element, and to small people and living things in general. Like Dwarf, Fairy is another English word that refers to a non human entity but is sometimes used to describe human beings. Let us not confuse them. The English word Giant is yet a third word that refer to a mythological or fairy tale being or could refer to a human being, and even objects can be referred to as giant.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Glad you found the book recommendation useful! Disney and other movie houses seem to be doing a lot of remakes. TV and streaming
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    The Duergarbok looks interesting. I think I'll add it to my wish list. As for the Disney remakes I enjoyed The Jungle Book and
Heathen Visibility Project Resources for Editorial Use

The purpose of the Project is to enable media to portray our community accurately. The Heathen Visibility Project's goal is to fill search engines with heathen events, people, symbols, etc. that can be used to illustrate articles about the various branches of heathenry. All images tagged #heathenvisibility are free for editorial use.

To find Project images, search the heathenvisibility hashtag "#heathenvisibility" or the keywords "heathen visibility" on Twitter, Instagram, a search engine, stock photo site, etc., combined with the hashtags or keywords describing the subject of the images you want to find.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I don't do New Year's Resolutions. There is an undercurrent of cynicism about them that implies that giving one's word, even to oneself, is really not a big deal. I don't want to follow that way of thinking. Promises to myself or to the universe can never be a joke to me, because as a heathen my word and my honor are real things that affect real life. Nonetheless, I find myself making new starts in several areas of my life anyway.

It's only a few days into 2022 and I've found myself making a change in what I (and my housemate) give to the landwight, after discussing it with the gnome. I also am going to do some garden tasks to arrange things properly. For example, recently there was a killing frost so the morning glories are dead for the season, and I will be able to clear out the planting bed where Margaret temporarily buried her pet snake Narcissa, because her family had not yet gotten a house at that time, and I made plans to clear the planting bed tomorrow and have her family come move Narcissa this weekend.That was always part of the plan since it was supposed to be temporary in the first place, but I am now motivated to actually get the clearing work done while I do the other garden things I need to do tomorrow.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Redoing Some Sacred Jewelry

I finished this project this week. The longest, lowest string (not pictured) of the jewelry for my gythia apron had had temporary repairs made too many times and the latest pics I saw of myself in it (from the Yuletide Heathen Visibility Project Photoshoot) convinced me to finally do something permanent with it. Because the repairs had gotten ratty and lopsided over the years, and I wanted it to look nicer. So, I took the pendants and big beads off, added more big beads, strung it on chenile yarn, and made it to be worn with other pendant necklaces, so the new version has no central pendant. The Thor's hammer in the photo is an independent pendant, hanging in the blank spot of the new necklace, as I planned. The small beads removed from the string are now displayed on a kintsukoroi plate near other special things.

This week I also got back in touch with the goddess Skadhi. I had been close to her in my early 20s when I lived in California and used to go snowshoeing and cross country skiing on Donner Summit, where I stayed with a Sierra Club group at their private lodge. It was back then that I wrote / was inspired by Odin to write my poem Skadhi: Water Cycle, which I still think is my best poem, even 30 years later.

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Yuletide Heathen Visibility Project Photo Shoot

The Heathen Visibility Project has a serious purpose (see previous posts) but it's fun to participate. I take photos and am also in some photos. Many others create Project images.

All Heathen Visibility Project photos are available free to use for any newspaper, news station, magazine, reporter, journalist, media illustrator, blogger, etc. to use for editorial purposes to illustrate articles about Asatru, Heathen religion, and related topics. These images are free Creative Commons license images, free to use for non-commercial uses, attribution preferred.

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