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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Steel for Steel

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

There is a local Asatru kindred in my area which has a custom about steel weapons that has a parallel among the Theodish. Theodish magical theory holds that it is bad luck to give a gift of living steel. Living steel is a steel weapon that has energy and perhaps personality. Among the Theodish, living steel can only be bought, even if it's bought for a token amount. 

On Yule 2014, Tom and I attended sumbel with a local heathen kindred that is associated with a Renaissance Faire guild. Its leader has made some historical re-enactment weapons intended for combat sports. 

There is a local custom called Steel for Steel. When someone gives a person steel, the person must give steel back. This makes it so it's not a gift but a trade.

Tom gave the hosts each a folding pocket knife from us and our host gave us back a battle axe he had made. This custom prevents bad luck, since it makes the gift into an exchange.

When we left, I said, “Now Tom has to drive the old battle axe home.”  

Image: steel being forged, photo by blickpixel via pixabay

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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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