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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How I'm Making a Decision About a Convention part 1

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm facing a moral decision, and since I'm using signs, godphone, and divination in my decision making process along with the more usual method of asking my friends and fans for advice, I'm blogging about my decision making process here on Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen. The processes I'm using are relevant to the topic of this blog. Whatever decision I reach will also be relevant because it's about an opportunity to talk about Asatru and heathenry.

I received 3 money related things (one actual money, two possible opportunities to make money) all in a clump: 1. my first royalty check for my new book arrived! yay! 2. I got a couple of nibbles on getting a housemate, even though the suite isn't actually ready right now (the attic workers are arriving again in about an hour or so actually, as I write this), 3. there's an opportunity to be a paid speaker at an online pagan event. At first I thought I was being formally invited by the convention organizers, but it turned out to be just informal feelers via a presenter. An actual invitation would come later if I decide to fill out an application form to be hired as a presenter.

I need to decide whether to pursue (and eventually, to accept) opportunity #3. I want to promote my book, of course, and I'm always out for heathen visibility. This opportunity arriving in association with the other things seems to indicate a sign that it's a good opportunity for me. Three is a special and sacred number in heathenry. Not incidentally, this is the first time I've ever been offered an opportunity to pursue a PAID speaking engagement in a major pagan or heathen related event. Although I've done paid speaking at science fiction events, at pagan events I usually just get free tickets and maybe free content like books. The reason I'm hesitating is that the event is associated with Christian Day. Not as a speaker, just behind the scenes, and I would not have to deal with him personally at all.

I started my decision making process on this by making a friends-only post on my Facebook page asking for advice. I got conflicting advice. The advice generally fell into these categories: A. My voice is needed in the community, not in spite voices like Day's but because of them, to give people someone else to listen to; B. Working with Day would mean I would be someone the commenter could no longer support; C. Who? Who cares? Take the money and do my thing. D. The 3s mean this is something Odin wants me to do. E. What would Loki do? What would Odin do? What do they say? F. Seek divination from a diviner I trust. G. Aside from money, what would I gain by being a presenter at this convention?

Response D. is where I started, of course. The 3s are the reason I asked my friends for advice instead of just dismissing the idea out of hand. I take signs seriously.

Well, but I have a godphone, and response type E gave me a logical next step to take. What would Loki do? I easily heard that answer in my head: Loki would say "f them, haha, I'll do my own thing."

On the other hand, Odin would do almost anything for knowledge. So what does Odin say? I asked him, in my mind. His reply: "Do what you want, but if you don't pursue this opportunity, I will know that what you want isn't really money."

My immediate  mental response to that was of course, "No, I want it. I do want money." We're talking about $150 for a one hour to one and a half hour class. Not a life-changing amount of money, except for two things: A. I've never made $150 an hour before and that would catapult me into a position to demand more money for my labor later, and B. this is an opportunity provided by Odin and I have to go on to a next step to show him that I appreciate the opportunities he is showing me and that I do in fact want to make an actual living and have money and would like to continue to be provided opportunities to earn money.

So, I have to go on to a next step, and I have to do it now. The next step does not have to be applying for the job, though, and in fact, I actually can't do that right now, because the application forms won't even be available until July. So that is NOT the next step that I have to take now. It has to be something else.

Another step I could take is to ask about the convention's safety policy. I asked the person who messaged me about this opportunity and was told they don't have one. But, their site isn't set up for this yet, and won't be until this summer. So, I'm thinking, if I could influence this online convention to have a safety policy, that's a positive outcome I could achieve. That would be worth doing. But, I would really need to wait and see if they come up with one on their own first, which I would not see until they have their site set up for this. Or would I? Maybe I could relay my desire for a safety policy through the person who put out the informal feelers. OK yes, I literally thought of doing that while I was typing this out, so just preparing this blog has helped me work through my decision process.

But I also can't wait on further decision making to see if they do it or not. I'd have to wait til their have their website up next summer to see if they really do it, regardless of what they might tell me next. So, I still need to take another next step right now. My next step is to seek more advice. Divination advice, as per Response F.

I messaged the person who initially contacted me about this, "My next steps are: 1. I am relaying through you to the organizers that I would desire a safety policy on the website, and 2. I'm pursuing divination and will get back to you when I have the results."

Response G. isn't really advice exactly, but it did get me to clarify to myself what I am trying to achieve. This is not ONLY about money but the money is important because I wanted it and Odin is trying to provide it. Aside from the money, though: A big, popular online platform from which to speak would allow me to reach more people with my message. My message consists of: buy my book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path; participate in / promote the Heathen Visibility Project, which is simultaneously a pride project like Pagan Pride, a project meant to be useful to journalists and bloggers, and an anti-Nazi project, which is really important to the whole culture not just specifically to Asatru; for more info besides in my book you can read my blog (this one! ) and apply to join the Asatru Facebook Forum. More generally, my message is about how Asatru is done and how it got that way. I also have messages from the gods to humanity to communicate, including: respect and protect the Earth. These messages, especially the anti-Nazi and pro-environmental messages, may be more important than anything about Day. If I did a presentation, it would be specifically an anti-Nazi presentation. I'd talk about the Heathen Visibility Project and about how to counter Nazi magic.

Back to: what is my next step?

Response F. suggested divination, and that's my next step. I asked Odin if that was an acceptable next step and he said yes. He said he is only asking me to take a next step right now. Because 3 is such an important number in this decision making process, I'm going to ask 3 different diviners. Probably people who each use a different method or system. The first person I asked was not doing divination at this time. I'm about to ask some other people. I'll blog about my divination results in future posts in this series.

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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.


  • Mark Green
    Mark Green Wednesday, 10 March 2021

    Day is an abuser and a bully.

    Do as you wish, but I wouldn't touch anything he is involved with--or can profit from--with a thirty-foot sanitized pole.

  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees Thursday, 11 March 2021

    Tough stuff, and thank you for sharing it. On the one hand, we (Pagans) are lucky in that our community is small enough that when a person like Day is known to be a problem, we all tend to be aware of it. The number of tech conferences that I've been to or been a part of that likely had someone problematic within their organizing staff probably can't be numbered, but none of us could possibly keep track of all the people working in tech to know who's who. It's not that simple for us.

    With respect to exposure and getting the word out about your book and your very worthy projects, Audre Lorde's quote about the master's tools not being able to dismantle the master's house comes to mind. She, of course, was speaking in the context of a Black lesbian feminist, so I'm stretching things to some extent here, but I'd worry that working within the existing structures that Day creates would tarnish the work that I'm trying to do. Could that tarnish be cleansed? Probably, with time and effort, but does that time and effort detract from the work itself.

    I've wrestled with these thoughts myself. I look forward to your future posts because it's rare that this sort of thinking and the reasons for it are discussed openly.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Thursday, 11 March 2021

    Thanks for the replies! I've had one of my 3 divinations so far, with the advice being to not work with Day. and the other 2 divinations are coming this weekend. I'll be posting again after that.

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