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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The Day I Cast Out Satan

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Continuing the story of my personal journey on my heathen path, I had to confront an entity that answered to a name of Satan-- I won't write the actual name here. This thing was dark, cold, and evil; it was definitely not an angel, fallen or not, nor any kind of light-bringer, so although it answered to Satan, it was not Lucifer. 


It was my senior year of college. It had been less than a year since I had become a Priestess of Freya, and I had still never met another heathen. All the people I knew from whom I could get advice on magic, religion, and spirituality were Wiccan. When I used spells they gave me, I simply understood the titles Lady and Lord to refer to Freya and Freyr, which are, after all, also titles of the same meaning. When I had to confront an evil from the Christian pantheon, all I had to work with was my faith in Freya, my self, a Wiccan house blessing, and salt.


A quote from my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts:


     “I felt a pall hanging over my apartment.  I thought it was just my imagination, because of all the bad things that had happened that year.  Then my housemates came to me and said they had been using a ouija board to contact a dead aunt, and she was telling them frightening things.  Among other things, she reportedly ordered one of the girls to marry another teenage student living next door, and if she did not her soul would die.

     “O.K.,” I said.  “Firstly, souls don’t die.  That’s the point of having them.  Secondly, this is not your aunt.  Would your aunt say something like that to you?”

     “Well, no.  Unless it was true.”

     “It’s not.  Souls don’t die.  This is something evil, pretending to be your aunt.  How is the ouija board used?”

     They described the procedure.  It violated every magical dictum possible.

     I shook my head.  “This calls things indiscriminately, by force, with no protections set up at all. It’s no wonder you ran across something evil.  I can protect the apartment, but you have to do your part.  Stop calling it.  I can’t keep it out if you call it back.”

     “O.K.  We won’t use it anymore,” they promised.

     I called a friend and asked her how to seal a house against evil.  She described a simple rite involving symbols of the four elements, which were to be brought to every room to cleanse it, and used to stop up the portals of the doors and windows.  I performed the house blessing, and the pall lifted.  Then it came back.

     The next day my housemates came to me again.  “We couldn’t help it.  We just had to talk to her again.  But now we’re scared.  Please help us.”

     This pattern repeated itself until the multilayered, many times sabotaged protections pulsed in my mind like a drum, as evil battered against my walls.  I consulted a friend about it, who suggested treating it like an addiction, and I tried that, but it did not help.

     One of the girls using the board was also named Erin.  Since she was blonde, she was Erin Light and I was Erin Dark.  Our shared names, and my involvement with the apartment’s protections, made me vulnerable.  I felt the evil entity hungering for me.  I reinforced the personal protections around my own room, but still I felt the drumbeats by night, in my sleep.


     “…One day I opened the hall closet to get out the vacuum, and saw snakes.  I slammed the closet door and ran into the bathroom, and there were snakes in the toilet.  I rushed into the living room, where some of my housemates stood chatting with a boy.

     “Snakes!” I spat.  “I saw snakes in the closet!”

     The boy asked, “What are you on?”

     “I’m serious!”  I turned to my housemates.  “That’s where you’re keeping it, isn’t it?  In the closet.  You used it again!”

     “I’m sorry,” said Erin Light.  “It knows the future.  I can’t just set it aside.”

     Michelle seconded, “We tried to throw it away, but we couldn’t.  It’s, I don’t know, important.  Or, I don’t know.”  Michelle was rarely at a loss for words.  She was a classical Chinese beauty...  Her family owned a city block in Hong Kong...  Looks and [wealth] had not spoiled her intellect, however.  There was only one logical explanation for her confusion.

     “That’s compulsion.  It’s now calling you the same way you called the entity.  The use of force is a two way street.  You did not give this spirit a choice about appearing for you.  If you really want to know the future, or contact your aunt, there are better ways to do it.  Tarot cards, for example.  The difference is the compulsion.  You want to stay away from that.”

     The idea took root, I could see.  “How do we do that?”

     “There are books on the subject.  Easily available.  In the meantime you can protect yourselves by wearing quartz crystal.  You can get that in the same place as the books.  I can throw this thing out again, but this is the last time.  It’s easier for it to get in every time you call it.  I have to cleanse the board itself, take away its power.  And I have to cast out the entity that’s calling itself your aunt.  Not just cleanse the house, but get rid of the thing first.  And you absolutely cannot call it back this time.  There are better ways to see the future, and proper times to speak to the dead, times when they naturally want to be seen.”

     “O.K.” they said.  I sent them all out to a bookstore to get the things they would need to substitute for their use of the board.  Then I took water and salt and cast it into the corners of the rooms, everywhere there was a corner, even cabinets.  I drew protective signs on the doors and windows, as I had done so many times before.  When I reached the hall closet I found the ouija board.

     It was packaged as a board game, made by a game company.  I was horrified that it was intended for children.  I opened the box and unfolded the board.  It did not look evil.  It had sun and moon signs on it, sacred signs of my own religion.  I salted the board and set it aside for disposal.

     Continuing to the back of the apartment, the atmosphere grew thick.  There was a resistance in the air, like moving through water.  When I reached the back room, the large room that Erin Light shared with another girl, where the seances were held, I almost expected to see dripping ectoplasm.  There was nothing to see.

     The temperature in the room dropped.  I felt a presence, like the hungry, evil things of Cavedale Road.  “I cast you out in the names of the Lady and the Lord!”  I repeated it, louder each time, advancing across the room.  I felt its eyes on me, its ancient gnawing maleficence.  I shouted, louder, louder, standing my ground, wanting to flee.

     I was unsure of my own abilities.  I thought of running out and trying to find a priest, someone experienced with operations such as this.  Exorcism was not one of the more common functions of a heathen priestess.  Then I realized most of them would be not only inexperienced but disbelieving.  I knew that I was the expert.

     With that realization came knowledge.  Old, old knowledge came to me.  I knew that in all my past lives, I had been an exorcist.  I had fought this thing before.  I had fought it in all my lifetimes, down through the centuries.  It came to me that I knew its name.

     The name was one I would have scoffed at, an hour before.  It was outside my tradition, a being in which we did not believe.  Yet the knowledge was bone-certain.  I never considered setting it aside merely because it was the name of the Christian devil.  Clearly, though such an entity could not exist, some entity which answered to that name did.

     “Out, Satan!  I cast you out in the names of the Lady and the Lord!  Out!  Out forever, and trouble us no more!  I cast you out by your own name, %^*!”

     I drove it from the room, casting salt and advancing until I reached the window.  I sealed the portal in saltwater with the sign of the star.  Then I relaxed, panting and smiling like a winning runner.  The thing was gone.  I had triumphed over the enemy.

     When I next saw my housemates, they were sitting on the floor of the living room with books and cards, studying the tarot.  I felt the distinct lack of spirits, dead or otherworldly, and smiled.  Michelle wore a protective crystal.  They had their safe substitutes, and with no more need to call spirits with the ouija board, I knew the void-dark hungry thing which answered to the name of Satan would not be coming back.”

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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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