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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A Brief Guide to Thoughts and Prayers

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.

The first thing to keep in mind when trying to offer support to the people and / or the land in which an emergency is occurring: the people on the ground have a relationship with their own gods and land spirits and they also know best what they need. Just offer support and energy, don't ask for anything specific. The formula "I call on x goddess to do x" is best saved for gods you already know and situations you know a lot about.

Instead try this formula: "I offer this x to x goddess for the support of (her people / land / the workings her people are crafting.)" In this formula "this x" that you are offering should be sometime that creates or supports good energy, such as lighting a candle, offering food or drink, or something similar. Keep it simple unless you know of something specific you are sure is normally offered to the god or spirit to whom you are offering, or if people in the area affected have asked for something specific.

Thoughts and prayers for an emergency situation are a lot like charity. When people are trying to offer charity, a lot of times they try to think of something specific and concrete to send. This is how crates of teddy bears and clothes end up piling up. Most charities can use money more than any specific consumer goods donated by individuals. The same applies to prayers and spells: just send energy, don't give it a specific form that you thought of, let the gods and the people on the receiving end give it form and function.

The second thing to keep in mind is that if you contact a specific god or spirit and offer sacrifice and/ or ask for something you are starting a relationship. That relationship might go nowhere or it might go somewhere. Be prepared for whoever you contact to expect a continuing relationship.

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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.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Sunday, 27 February 2022

    Thank you, this helps to bring focus to my efforts.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Wednesday, 02 March 2022

    You're welcome, Anthony! Glad to be helpful.

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