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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 5: Bragi

Bragi is the god of music. He is married to Idunna, whose apples keep the gods from aging.

Fireverse-Bragi is probably pretty different than the Bragi of this universe, because the Fireverse needed a character within Asgard society that would actively oppose the teller of the story, who was Loki, and the opposition character became Bragi. Loki is usually cast as the opposition character in most traditional tellings of the mythology, but of course he would not cast himself in that role.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 3: Asgard

Asgard is not really a three dimensional physical space, but in the Fireverse it has a geography suitable for the human to whom the story is told to understand. The World Tree can be reached from the top of a hill. It’s not growing out of the hill but is next to it and Odin is able to grasp one of the branches in order to hang from the tree. From that hill, one can look sheer down into forever. On one side of that hill there is a cliff with a stone seat carved into the hillside. There is a little foot path to the seat. This is Odin’s seat of seeing. From there, he can look into Jotunheim, or Midgard, or wherever. Just in front of this throne, the path broadens a bit and there is a short wall at the cliff edge, just right for Odin’s ravens to perch on.

On the other side of the hill stands Valhalla. It is just as described in lore, made out of spears and shields and having many doors and the Einherjar within, and a pig of unlimited bacon, and a goat whose milk is mead, and the triple throne where High, Just As High, and Third sit and rule. These are Odin, Honir, and Loki. Honir does not have a physical form unless he is manifesting between Odin and Loki. He sometimes manifests in the middle throne while Odin and Loki are both in their thrones. Odin sits in the sky throne, that is, the throne of air. Loki’s throne is fire and water. Honir’s throne is earth and ice. Just as it says in lore, the Einherjar go out and fight all day and then are resurrected and party all night in Valhalla. So, the Einherjar are not there during the day. In the Fireverse, Odin holds court in Valhalla in the day, with a lunch for any gods who want to drop in; when he’s not there all these processes continue to happen.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Authentic Viking Tattoos?

 

A frequently asked question is: How do I get an authentic Viking tattoo? There are lots of art designs that Asatruars and other heathens wear, but if you you want something historically accurate to the Viking Age, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Heathen Gods as Ideals

Picture the Platonic ideal of a cloud. Is it oval, white and fluffy? Set against a blue sky? Pretty, static, happy in a mild and calm way? Or did you imagine a thundercloud squirting rain and lightning and booms and rainbows and wind in all directions, wild and raw? Starting wildfires and putting them out? Fertilizing the earth, growing crops, and also flooding them, knocking them over, sheeting them with ice?

We are not always talking about the same ideal when we picture something as natural and observable as a cloud. How much more nebulous-- how much cloudier, as it were-- is the picture when we talk about such a thing as masculinity, in toxic and non-toxic flavors? Or any other quality that is socially constructed?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
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.

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My new Asatru book is available for preorder!

My new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path is now available for preorder. It is scheduled to be published in August, and preorders will turn into live orders automatically when the book goes live.

I'm really excited about my new book! Of course I won't be able to go to as many in-person events as I had hoped. Any festivals and so forth I miss out on this year I hope to be able to get to when they reopen. I'll just have to plan on a post-pandemic belated book tour.

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Asatru FAQ: What's With That Dude Snorri?
Oh, Snorri. OK, the first thing to understand is that he was a Christian writing down heathen stories. He was both trying to preserve his ancestors' dying culture AND trying to stamp it not only with his true believer Christian convert religious views but ALSO his pro- King of Norway political views.

Secondly, he was writing specifically for other poets, to explain the stories behind kennings, which were essential code for court poets of the time period. Basically poetry of this time read like "Grimnir at TEnagra, his arms wide" or some stuff like that. The point of Snorri's writing was a decoding manual.
 
The Prose Edda is NOT to be treated like an inerrant Bible.
 
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Announcement:
My upcoming book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path now has preorder links!
 
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Asatru-Beginners-Guide-Heathen-Path/dp/1578637023/

Barnes and Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asatru-erin-lale/1135232720

IndieBound (independent bookstores)
https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781578637027
 
Image: drinking horn, photo by Erin Lale
 
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