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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Erin Lale

Erin Lale

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.

This blog post is about the modern religion Asatru. It's not about science and so it's not about when life begins. This is about when Asatru teaches that a being becomes a person. A person is a member of a society with rights. This is about souls and the way society recognizes human rights and the rights of other types of beings. 

Asatru is one of several modern Heathen religions based on the historical Heathen cultures, which are generally the cultures spanning the areas and time periods of Germania, Scandinavia, and Scandinavian colonies such as Iceland. Iceland has a unique place in Asatru as the culture that wrote down many oral traditions and gave us a lot of the literature on which we base our collectively decided canon we call The Lore. 

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Thor Love in a Raindrop

One might think a grocery store parking lot an unlikely place for religious gnosis. Truly, one does not need to adventure into the mists of a primeval forest or climb to the peak of a mountain to experience the gods, for they are all around us all the time. Though I enjoy a nice hike, of course, the gods are there wherever I go. 

It was the day after the summer solstice. I had not done any big ritual on the solstice with my kindred. I had gotten up to try to view the Parade of Planets before dawn, which proved to be less than perfect viewing despite the clear night, since I live not quite 6 miles from the brightest place on Earth (the Las Vegas Strip.) That afternoon at tea my housemate and I clinked teacups as if they were drink glasses and toasted the beginning of summer, so we did have a ritual, even if it was brief and simple. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Nods. Yeah. I've been following the internet discourse on the difference between having female heroes and having a male hero rebra
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Yes, I remember seeing the Jane foster Thor back when we still had a comic book shop in town. I had pretty much dropped comic boo
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony! Yeah I thought the trailers were cringy. The entire idea of the movie is cringy. Disney says "Let's have female Thor!"
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've seen a trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder at the theater and I have mixed feelings about it. I haven't looked at the complet

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Green Fairy Meditation Plus News

An artist friend of my housemate was at the house and said he wanted to paint the Green Fairy but he'd never seen her. So of course I immediately got the necessary things from the wet bar: the absinthe, the sugar cubes, and so on.

I had not originally intended to lead a meditation, just supply drinks. But after we all had some, his speech sped up and he started telling stories about his past nonstop, so rapidly that I thought the fairy would never get a word in edgewise. He might not notice her if she arrived. So I improvised a guided meditation. Those few who have heard what my voice sounds like when I'm guiding a meditation or ritual experience, that's how I sounded. I made my voice slow and calm.

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The Raven at the Cemetery

When I went out to the Veterans' Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada, to lay flowers at Tom's marker, a large raven flew over the graveyard and landed on the peak of the roof of the building next to the Columbarium, which is where the urns and ashes are installed. I gasped in awe. I felt that it was one of Odin's ravens, come to watch over the warrior dead.

It was Memorial Day, 2022, and every grave had a small flag planted on it. The markers in the Columbarium had not been similarly decorated, though. I left flowers from my garden at Tom's marker.

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Anchor Token

When a small object simply appears in my life as if by magic, I generally interpret it as a sign of favor or a gift from the gods or other beings. Especially so if it a meaningful symbol that is easy to interpret. So when a tiny plastic anchor manifested on my back porch, it was clear to me that it was a numinous event. Here is the story of that day.

It was the first really hot day in May here in the Mojave Desert just south of Las Vegas. It was not quite going to break 100 but it was definitely going to be hot enough to go swimming. I was really looking forward to swimming season because swimming is my most reliable and best pain relief. It's great for my whole body and particularly the old knee injury but it's my old neck and shoulder injury for which swimming is the best relief. Long time readers of my blog will recall that ironically I got those injuries when I fell in while cleaning the pool. All winter I try my best to keep my shoulder from locking-- that year when I was running for office and had no time to even go to the public hot tub in the winter, I spent months trying to do my hair with only my left hand because I couldn't get my right up high enough, and it's something I hope never to repeat-- and this winter there had been several days warm enough for me to heat up the hot tub, and of course there is always the shower or bath, but actual swimming is best. The first two winters of the pandemic the public pool had been closed, but this year it was open. But after two years of never going to an indoor public place without my mask, and being unable to get the second vax or boost, I was cautious of swimming at the indoor public pool, and every time the pain in my neck and shoulder got so bad I was considering going anyway the weather had turned and I had been able to get in the hot tub. I had never actually gone to the indoor public pool this winter, although I was glad to know it was available if I needed it. Maybe by next winter the pandemic will be over, I hope.  So I had made it through the winter with my arm still working and without dying of the plague-- I had gotten sick with something or other on New Years' weekend but couldn't access testing in my local area for love or money, so I don't actually know if I had Covid or not, but I didn't have the can't smell thing so maybe not-- and now it was about to be swimming season at last.

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Summertime Ukrainian Ridnoveri Holidays

If you have recently contacted the Slavic gods and are looking to deepen your connection to them, here is a list of holidays observed by some Ridnoveri groups and individuals. Ridnoveri is a modern Ukrainian pagan path. Other Slavic peoples have their own paths, which share many gods and characteristics but don't always have the same holidays.

Some of these holidays have a Christian history and some Ridnoveri pagans are Christopagan. I have done the math to translate these from the Julian calendar, traditionally used by Orthodox Christians in Slavic countries and also by Slavic pagans, to the Gregorian calendar generally used in English speaking countries.

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As recently reported in the Wild Hunt, it appears that a Ukrainian news agency reported that Ukrainian witches are planning a ritual against Putin. The Wild Hunt indicates this article may be propaganda by Russia, since it was picked up by Russian state controlled media after the Ukrainian article ran.

link to Wild Hunt article: https://wildhunt.org/2022/03/pagan-community-notes-week-of-march-28-2022.html

link to Ukrainian article: https://www.unian.net/society/ukrainskie-vedmy-provedut-31-marta-ritual-na-otstranenie-ot-vlasti-putina-novosti-ukrainy-11756578.html

I make no claims for whether this really originated from Ukrainian witches. I don't have the kind of intelligence assets that would allow me to make that determination. The article itself indicates the ritual is being done by both Ukrainian witches and foreign allies, but only includes ritual instructions for second part of the ritual, the part that is not a curse but is instead meant to be supportive of the fighting forces in Ukraine. Curiously, the gods called upon in the instructions include Heathen (Norse / Asatru) gods in addition to a Slavic god. War is inherently violent, so even though the second part of the ritual is not a curse but appears to be positive magic, it is still in support of violence, so don't participate if you are not comfortable with that.

This article calls for a 3 part ritual, with each part to be performed at a different time. The first part was in March and has been done. April's ritual is in support of Ukraine's armed forces.

This ritual calls for these words: "На победу нашего великого народа, на удачу, успех и открытие дорог! И пусть все боги войны - Один, Тор, Перун - сопутствуют нам!" Roughly translated, this means "For the victory of our great people, for good luck and to open the way! I call on the gods of war, Odin, Thor, and Perun, to help us!"

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Latest war magic news: Ukrainian video evokes an Old God (tw: graphic) https://twitter.com/pilotmsv/status/1513131559834079234 a
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, great ritual! Great use of checking with the pendulum too.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    After the invasion I felt an impulse to do magic in support of Ukraine. In the morning before breakfast I light a candle and say:

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