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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Smell the Flowers

There is always something good somewhere, even in hard times, even in hard lives. "Stop to smell the flowers" has become a cliche, but we said it so much because it's useful.

In Taoist and Buddhist traditions they have the concept of the yin and yang, which are depicted always having a tiny spot of their opposite inside. Like the good in Darth Vader (lol, sorry, I'm such a geek I couldn't resist.) Heathen philosophy doesn't put this concept so starkly in a visual symbol, but in our mythology the entire universe was generated out of the dynamic combination of two opposites, the runes fehu (primal fire) and isa (primal ice.) So everything we see around us is both matter and energy, both power and pattern, both potential and the universal laws of physics that make potential reach its physically manifested form.

The world we live in is never one thing alone, but a myriad of forms and shapes and powers, variously seeming positive or negative to us depending on how they affect us. There may be death, but there is always also life.

Of course too much positivity can be as toxic as too much negativity, but in the midst of death and grief and fear and hardship, it helps to stop and smell the flowers.

Image: me smelling the flower of a mimosa tree, photo by Erin Lale

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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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