Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.

Answering Questions About My New Book Part 2

Here are some more questions and answers about my new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, and about me and my other books and projects. This book is the ONLY official, authorized new version of my out-of-print book Asatru For Beginners.

With that out of the way, here are some more of the questions and answers. Part 1 of this 2 part series ran last weekend.

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Honoring the Dead: Secondary Burial in Minoan Crete

[Content Warning: This post contains a photo of human skeletal remains.]

When we talk about funerals, many of us think of the deceased being either cremated or buried in a grave, and that's the end of the process. But for the ancient Minoans, it was only the beginning.

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Disambiguation: Asatru For Beginners and Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path

The only official, authorized new version of my book Asatru For Beginners is my new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. It was published on the 1st of this month by Weiser Books. The upcoming book announced on Facebook by Mathias Nordvig last Sunday titled Asatru For Beginners: A Modern Heathen's Guide to the Ancient Northern Way is NOT my book. I don't know the man, he is not my heir or apprentice, and his book is not my book's successor. Do not be confused.The only successor to my out-of-print book is my new book.

Look for my name, Erin Lale, to be sure you're getting a genuine Erin Lale book. My name is a brand. Erin Lale is a brand you know and trust. I've earned it over the past 2 decades since I first published Asatru For Beginners. Here follows a more detailed timeline for those interested in more of the story.

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I am Bear, I am Wolf: Anger Meditation

Unexpected angering news waited for me on the internet on Sunday. I had been having such a great day. I had finally gotten to see my companion and organize his stuff for him at his care center, after having to just deliver his mail and supplies to the front door of his care center for months, due to pandemic restrictions. While I was clearing out a pile of months' worth of old magazines one of the workers mentioned it had gotten so big it tipped over on the workers a few times, so I suspect they may have allowed me in to organize his space because of that. Regardless, it had been really nice to finally see him in person.

I had come home, tested my blood sugar to see if it was safe to get in the pool before eating, and it was not, so I devoured a home grown pear first. Let me tell you about this pear. It was perfect. Soft, juicy, sweet but not insipidly so, everything a pear should be. I had a nice swim, and then a good lunch, and signed into the net thinking "Oh, I'll just check my messages and then log some work hours in at my new job." (I had recently started a new job on top of my writing career and my home business doing life management / property management, and of course my gythia duties and service to the heathen community but that's volunteer work. I had also recently given up my home business dyeing fabric because of my failing grip strength.) My friends, nothing good ever comes from "Oh, I'll just."

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Answering Questions About My New Asatru Book

On August 1, book launch day for Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, I hosted an online book launch party on my social media instead of having an in-person book launch event. People posted some questions to my social media. Here's an unroll of questions and answers from the event.

Question:
What changed for you, from the beginning to the end of writing this book? How did writing this book change you?

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Holding Events in the Time of Corona

While my state was on Phase 1 lockdown, I did not hold or go to any religious events in person. However, Nevada entered Phase 2 in the beginning of summer, and while online activities helped, I wanted to find a way to hold a kindred event safely. I decided on an entirely outdoor event, and since it reached 114 degrees out during the week I wanted to hold it, that meant holding it in the pool.

Starting with knowing this would be held in the pool, I designed an event around the theme of water. Last year during the Rainbow Season ritual, which honors Heimdall at the end of monsoon season, we had also honored Heimdall's Nine Mothers. I thought it would be appropriate to honor his mothers again this summer, just before the beginning of monsoon season. Heimdall's mothers are called the waves of the sea, and daughters of Aegir. Aegir is one of the gods who is of the Jotun tribe, and sometimes Heimdall's Nine Mothers are seen as mermaids. So I came up with the Mermaid Party.

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The Mysteries of Minoan Writing

One of the reasons we call Modern Minoan Paganism a revivalist tradition instead of a reconstructionist one is that, unlike many reconstructionist Pagan traditions, we don't have any ancient texts to work from. Yes, the ancient Minoans were a literate society, but so far all of their scripts and writing systems are untranslated.

Take, for instance, the cup pictured at the top of this post. This is a photo from Sir Arthur Evans' monumental multi-volume work Palace of Minos, a record of his excavations at Knossos (now in the public domain). The artifact in the photo is a terracotta cup with writing on the interior in what may very well be squid ink. That writing is in the script rather unimaginatively known as Linear A, and it's still undeciphered.

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