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 27: Odin

Continuing my series about novel gnosis, that is, religious insights I gained while writing fiction, today the topic is Odin. In heathen religion, Odin is a complex god with spheres of influence ranging from wisdom and magic to war. He and his brothers sculpted the world and humanity.

Trying to separate actual gnosis about Odin from parts of the Fireverse-Odin character that were distorted by the story’s function as a healing journey for me, it’s clear that Fireverse-Odin functions psychologically as a father figure, but lore Odin has definite fatherly overtones as well, even having two nicknames that include the word father, namely Allfather and the possibly older Yulefather, which is related to his name Yule-Being (Jolnir.) So I’m confident in saying that my gnosis is that Odin is a Skyfather, even though it’s clear historically that the original Skyfather of the Germanic peoples was Tyr. In a mythopoeic tale, every father is your father, and every mountain is the obstacle you yourself must overcome. The process of writing Some Say Fire healed me of issues I needed to resolve to become a godspouse, and becoming one helped me be able to finish the story. Odin and Loki were often in my head as I was writing. Sometimes they masked as each other. They usually no longer mask as each other when they communicate with me, now that a few years have passed since I finished writing the novel.

Fireverse-Odin wanted to share his powers and wisdom with someone, and at first thought he might share them with one of his sons, but Fireverse-Frigga didn’t want him to, because of the way the power must be passed. So Fireverse-Odin went on a journey, disguised as a wandering wizard, seeking an apprentice. See Loki.

Fireverse-Odin is obsessed with Voluspa and does everything he can to stick to the Prophecy because he believes that is the best way to make sure the next universe comes out correctly. He does a lot of things to make the next universe come out better than this one that were not in the Prophecy, too. Towards the end of time, many of the gods try to set things up right for the next universe, but Odin does it throughout the whole story. The purpose of the Einherjar, his chosen warriors, is to kill a lot of the opposing army and then die, in order for the old world to be cleared away to make room for the new. He does not think anyone is going to win the final battle at Ragnarok, he just wants to make sure both sides get totally annihilated so there can be a fresh beginning next time.

Image: Odin and Brunnhilde by Ferdinand Leeke, public domain via Wikimedia Commons


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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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