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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Novel Gnosis part 16: Honir

Like his brothers Odin and Loki, Honir can shapeshift, but his shifting power goes far beyond theirs. Honir is a soul changer. He can not only mask as other gods like Odin and Loki can, he can actually become other gods. Odin, Loki, and Honir can borrow each other’s powers. In the Fireverse, Loki used the soul changing power once, when he needed to get a wagon full of warriors into a city and decided to do it by driving a legitimate wood cutter’s cart through the main gate using the proper passwords, which he was able to do by taking not only the cart and the carter’s appearance but the carter’s memories too (the carter was a jotun, and the city was in Jotunheim.) He was able to do that by borrowing Honir’s powers.

Honir was rarely in the story much in the Fireverse because he actually lived in Vanaheim as a hostage, and only manifested in the story in the presence of both his brothers, usually only while they were on the triple throne. Honir didn’t have a physical body but he could manifest one if he wanted to. In one of the episodes in the story, the three brothers were called to Midgard to heal someone via summoning “God, Wod, and Locke.” Honir took the role of God, and thus, he responded to a prayer ostensibly directed to the Christian deity, although the formula clearly reserved that space for the brother of Odin and Loki.

Outside the Fireverse, because Honir left Asgard and went to Vanaheim it is difficult for him to receive any type of sacrifice other than a toast with some type of drink. He prefers to only receive sumbel toasts, which is the most common Asatru ritual, in which the person making the toast hosts the energy to the god by drinking it. It is still possible to make things such as jewelry and statuary that are dedicated to him, but these items must be used by the human rather than sacrificed to him.

Image: Viking Repose by Seb McKinnon, creative commons via Deviantart

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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.


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