Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

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

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Crafting a Valknut for Odin

Coming up on the one year anniversary as a Bride of Odin on June 28th, 2015, I asked Odin what he wanted for our anniversary, and he said he wanted something to represent him in my "shrine." I clarified with him what he meant by shrine, and he meant the glass display cases on the wall where I had recently starting putting spiritual souvenirs. So I made a Valknut. I made two, in fact, one for the monthly anniversary which is every 28th of the month, on May 28th, and one for the one-year anniversary on June 28th.

I made the first valknut from silk ribbon on a silk hoop. I made the template for it on the 27th and made the art object itself on May 28th. The paper template helped me put the points of the triangles in the right places. It was interesting making a val-“knut” (knot) as a fiber craft, with the lines of the triangles crossing over and under each other like a real knot.

For the June 28th anniversary, I made a Valknut on paper, with runes at each of the points representing the various names of Odin (Wotan, Wod), Honir (Wili, Vili) and Loki (Ve, Lodhur.) That day did not go as I had planned. The day before, on the 27th, I fell head first into 3 feet of water while cleaning the pool. I wrote about that in my post about attending the last Ravenwood festival in a wheelchair.

I managed to complete all the most important parts of my plan for our anniversary despite my injury. I made the paper Valknut with the runes while sitting at my desk, so that was no problem. I couldn’t hold it in my hands while using the crutches, though, and I had to stand up to get it into the wall altar, so I carried it in my mouth.

I still made a toast, too, but I couldn't stand up as I usually do because I couldn't manage to pull the cork on the mead while holding myself up with crutches. (This was the day before I borrowed a wheelchair to bring to Ravenwood.) The apricot mead I had saved turned out to be going slightly off, having saved it a little too long, and I felt bad because there I was, in a house and body I had only managed to clean up imperfectly because of the injury, doing imperfect ritual with an imperfect sacrifice. But Odin accepted it, and he accepted me as I was. Imperfection is the nature of humanity, and he accepts us in our natural condition. 

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, American Celebration, and other books. She has been a sworn Priestess of Freya since 1989, is a Bride of the Ninefold Odin (Odin, Honir, Lodhur, Loki) and given to Sigyn. 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. She is gythia of American Celebration Kindred.

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