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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Goddesses Brew 2019

Every year I've made the Northern Lights Goddesses Brew, I've added something to the recipe to honor additional goddesses. This year I added something for Hel and something for Sunna. This year's batch is going to taste similar to last year's, but sweeter. I think. I can never be sure how it will come out until I taste it. This is a story about the internal mental process by which I arrived at the ingredient to add for Hel (also called Hela.)

So there I was in my kitchen. I had all the usual ingredients out on the counter, ready to start this year's batch of brew. I had not decided on an ingredient to add for Hel yet. I usually like to plan ahead, but I had an hour of time to myself when I was not likely to be interrupted, and no more pressing task to accomplish, so I had decided it was time to get the brew going. I needed to figure out what to put in to honor Hel, and started considering and rejecting various ingredients. Nothing seemed quite right.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, the leaves can be roasted and eaten like artichoke but they're very fibrous. Around here people usually don't eat the lea
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've seen agave leaves in the grocery store, but I've never tried to do anything with them. I have never been served a dish that

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Cover Art Reveal for New Asatru Book

I'm excited to reveal the cover art and title for my upcoming book! Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path is coming Spring 2020 from Red Wheel / Weiser.

The more I look at this art, the more I like it. I don't know who the artist is, but they must know a lot about magical symbolism.

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August and September 2019 Heathen Pagan and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts during August and September include Oktoberfest, a two-week celebration beginning in late September and ending on the first Sunday in October (Munich, Germany,) and Schafer Sonntag, the 2nd sun in September (Switzerland.)

In Northern Tradition Pagan and some Lokean sects, Loki’s Day is on the heliacal rising of Sirius. It precesses 1 day every 4 years. It moves from August 8th to August 9th in 2019. The Lokean sects that dedicate July for Loki began doing so when the heliacal rising of Sirius took place in July.

August

1
Freyfaxi (American Asatru),
Haustblot (American Asatru),
Loaf-Fest (American Asatru),
Liðasblót (American Asatru),
Elben Segen (German Reconstructionist)

9
Day of Radbod King of the Frisians (American Asatru, American Odinist),
Loki Day (Northern Tradition, Lokean)

15
Month of possible date of Hoietfescht ends (Urglaawe)

21
Hlafmaest (Theod)

23
Schaferlauf begins (Swabian Germany) 

25
Schaferlauf ends (Swabian Germany)

28
Freyfaxi (American Odinist)

September

1
season of possible date of Almabtrieb begins (Germany)

9
Day of Herman the Cheruscan (American Asatru, American Odinist),
Day of Queen Sigrid of Sweden (American Asatru)

22
Winter Finding (American Asatru),
Vetrablot (American Asatru),
Harvest Home (Urglaawe),
Erntfescht (Urglaawe),
Erntedankfest (Germany)

Oktoberfest begins (Munich, Germany) 

28
Zisasege (Urglaawe)

30
season of possible date of Almabtrieb ends (Germany)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Was Odin Human?

The Asatru FAQ series is my answers to questions asked on my forum, the Asatru Facebook Forum. Frequently Asked Question: Was Odin human?

My answer:

That's a fairly common interpretation, but I personally don't think he was.

The logic of the interpretation of Odin as human who ascended to godhood goes like this: Tyr was the original Sky God and King. Odin appeared in the culture suddenly. Odin's myth includes a shamanic initiation, or possibly two-- the Tree and the Well. He was therefore a great mystic to ascended to godhood.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Indeed, but he didn't have access to the full range of heathen mythology that we have today, and didn't know the story of Odin-and
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Gesta Danorum is not very early, it was written in the early 13th century. Scandinavian countries were Christianised between 8th
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Wasn't it that historian Saxo Germanicus who first identified Odin as some ancient king?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Hospitality

A question that comes up periodically in the heathen community is how to apply the virtue of hospitality in the modern world. Many heathens try too hard to make the square peg of ancient stories about kings fit into the round hole of an average modern city dweller's life.

The modern list of religious virtues called the Nine Noble Virtues that some heathen groups preach dates to the 1970s, but was based on historical literature. This literature was largely stories of interest to the patrons of poets, and those patrons were kings. In attempting to live how these stories say is an honorable way to live, many heathens are unintentionally trying to replicate a lifestyle that only applied to those at the very top of the social hierarchy in historical heathen times.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Bad Ancestors

FAQ: I want to be a good heathen and honor ancestors but my ancestors were bad people. Who can I honor?

Related FAQ: I'm going to be attending a sumbel in which there will be a round toasted to the ancestors, but I was adopted and don't know my ancestors' names. Who can I honor?

My answer: One can honor Askr and Embla, the first man and woman according to heathen mythology (made by Odin and his brothers.) One could also honor any gods that appear in one's family tree. According to heathen mythology, everyone is descended from Rig, whom most Asatruars consider to be an aspect of Heimdall, thus, anyone could honor Heimdall. There might also be other gods one could include among ancestors, depending on one's family line. I have honored Lollus as an ancestor.

You don't have to honor your literal biological ancestors to be a good heathen. When the sumbel horn is passed in the ancestor round, you can honor the mighty dead whom you admire whether you are lineally related to them or not. You can honor your personal heroes, the elders of your path, a writer who influenced you-- that's my personal hope of ever being remembered, since I have no children. You can honor the founders of your nation, city, profession, or art. Honor your spouse's ancestors. Toast your favorite childhood teacher, the composer of your favorite song, or anyone with whom you have an emotional connection.

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Victoria Wednesday, 14 August 2019 · I honour the mothers and fathers of my ancestral lineage. Heathens get too wrapped up in in
June and July 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Maienzug (Aarau, Switzerland) takes place every year on the first Friday in July. It's an example of a moveable feast, that is, a holiday that is not on the same date every year. The following is a list of holidays with fixed dates which are celebrated by heathens or heathen-derived cultures.

June
8
Lindisfarne Day (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Day of Sigurd (American Asatru, American Odinist)

21
Midsummer (Urglaawe, England),
Hleifblot (American Asatru),
Líða (Theod),
Mittesommer (Germany),
Sommersonnewende (Germany),
Hochsommer Fest (Switzerland),
Midsommar (Norway),
Midsommardagen (Sweden)   

July
7
Lindenfest begins (Geisenheim, Germany)

9
Day of Unn the Deep-Minded (American Asatru), Lindenfest ends (Geisenheim, Germany)

15 Month of possible date of Hoietfescht begins (Urglaawe)

29 Stikkelstad Day (American Asatru)

31 Month of possible date of Honoring of the Weisskeppichi Fraa ends (Urglaawe)

Some moveable feasts require knowing the date of other feasts to derive their dates. Pinkster is on the fiftieth day after Easter, aka Whitsunday (in Deventer, province of Overijssel, Netherlands)
Pinkster Bruid or Pinksterbloem on Whit Tuesday (in Volte, Ootmarsum, Markelo, Rijssen, Hellendoorn, Hengelo, and other communities, province of Overijssel, Netherlands.)

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome, and thanks! Have a great day!
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Right ... thanks for the explanation. Have a beautiful weekend!
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    It's on the official calendar of some groups. I'd guess it was probably intended as "fight the Christian oppressor." That was a po
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Hmmm ... Is "Lindisfarne Day" an actual thing? Seems a bit of an odd and disturbing event to celebrate ... I wonder what others i

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