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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Odin's Third Eye

Sometimes insights come from lighthearted conversation rather than deep mystical trances in the woods. This is one of the challenges we face in these times of isolation: the challenge of just have conversations with other heathens or mystics or etc. Internet forums and plain old telephones come to our rescue. It isn't always enough, but this time it was.

I was talking on the phone to another heathen and mentioned the solar lights I added to my pool this year, claiming I have a light-up pool eyeball. Of course I was just joking when I said, "My pool is Mimir's Well and I swim in it every day, and at night I swim with the light-up eyeball. I don't think it's Odin's eye, though, it's the eye of a monster. The monster that lives in my pool."

We had a laugh over that, and a more serious conversation about eyes and wells and symbols and visions. She and I had both had visions in which Odin appeared to have both eyes intact. In my novel he is missing an eye, just like he is in the lore and in the popular stories in which he comes to our world as a vagabond and people can meet him. Those are stories in which he is testing people to see if they recognize him with the clue of his symbolic sign of one eye. Odin is a shape shifter and can appear in many forms. In the lore he appears as an eagle and a snake and as the witch Wecha. So, he can appear in our mind's eye with one eye or with two. But if he has an eye in each socket, what of his eye in the Well of Wisdom, where he sees all that ripples through the water? Which of his eyes is the eye through which Wisdom enters him?

Our conversation prompted me to keep thinking about this question. It would never have occurred to me to ask the question if not for our conversation, so that led directly to this insight.

Later, I was thinking of that question in the water, while I was alone and letting my thoughts drift, and the answer came to me. Like many such answers, it seemed so obvious after I thought of it.

If he still has two eyes after giving one up, the eye in the Well of Wisdom has to be his third eye. That's his wisdom eye.

Image: Street art of a raven with a third eye, "Third Eye Blind by Doly" by wiredforlego is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0



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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.


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