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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Mom and the Neighborhood Bengal

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The last time my mom ever sat on the back porch, enjoying the sunshine, she said she wanted to have her ashes scattered by the cat graves so she could see Beni one more time after she dies. A few minutes later, she saw him. Or at least, she saw a cat that looked like him.

Mom had just switched from oncology care to hospice care. She had previously said she wanted her ashes scattered other places, including a specific park in Sonoma where we used to live, and a park here in Henderson with a memorial tree, and the redwoods in California, and up on Mt. Charleston. She was looking at the part of the yard we call the Shadow Garden, after the first cat buried there, when she made this statement, so I wasn't sure if it might just be a passing fancy. But I was sure she really wanted to see Beni-Wan Cat-Obi again, another of the cats buried there. She often said he had been her favorite cat.

This presented a challenge. Beni-Wan Cat-Obi had long since left his bones behind and gone over the Rainbow Bridge to Folkvangr to be with Freya. Mom did not want an afterlife, at all, so she was not going there. She was bound for Hel to be recycled into her constituent parts and reborn into new life. This was already set. Internally, without saying anything out loud, I prayed to Freya and asked her if it were possible for mom to see Beni again despite not being destined to go where he had gone.

That was when a cat walked across the top of the cement block wall that separates our back yard from the other yards in the neighborhood. Like Beni, it was a Bengal Cat. It was the same spotted golden color with white cheeks and chin that our Beni had been.

"Beni!" mom called out to it. I could tell it did not look exactly the same as Beni, but to mom it was Beni. She got her wish.

Thank you, Freya.

A couple of weeks later, the same cat walked across the block wall again, when my brother was here. He snapped this photo of it with his phone and put some kitty food up on the top of the fence for it. It ate some, but not all of it, so this cat must have been a pampered indoor / outdoor cat, not a hungry stray. I have so much else to say about the past few weeks, but I wanted to tell this cute story first.

I meant to write about this before, but everything just got so busy, and I knew I already had a post scheduled to automatically post itself (the World Chillout Day post) so I could just ignore my blog for a while and it would keep itself going. Now I'm ready to start writing about my spiritual experiences of the past few weeks. I'll be posting more soon.

Image: Bengal Cat on cement block wall, photo by Jay Lale.

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners. An updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, is coming in 2020 from Red Wheel / Weiser. Erin was sworn to Freya as Priestess in 1989, given to Sigyn, and is a Bride of Odin and his brothers (Honir, Lodhur, Loki.). She has been a freelance writer for about 30 years, was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, is gythia of American Celebration Kindred, and admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. In 2010 and 2013, she ran for public office. She is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press for 5 years, created the Heathen Calendar 2017 and 2018, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.

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