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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The Manifesting Frog

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I love frogs and toads. I used to play with them as a child in California’s Central Valley, and my dad nicknamed me for them. Later, as a teenager in Sonoma, I saved tree frogs when their marsh habitat was drained for development, transferring them to our yard. Here in Nevada, I’ve put frog and toad statuettes all over the back yard, for many reasons: because I like them, because they are traditional garden helpers, and because people have given me these artworks over the years because they knew I liked frogs. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to find a tiny ceramic frog in my garden, except the ones I put there weren’t under the earth.

I was digging up some datura seedlings to give away, and noticed a different sort of seedling growing too close to the cement bottle wall. I was pretty sure it was a Yellow Mountain Columbine, which is not a true columbine but a biennial wildflower that gets to be a huge plant in its second year, so I didn’t want it growing where it would break the wall. A big enough plant will crack cement as it grows. I dug it up too, and then thought I really ought to move it, not just remove it. I should replant it elsewhere in the garden. I noticed an empty spot and shoveled in with my hand trowel, and brought up something hard as stone but which clearly was not a stone. So much damp, reddish clay soil clung to it that I couldn’t tell what it was at first, but I could see bright green porcelain in a couple of places. I knew it was some sort of gift, but right then I needed to replant the plant and then get on with my datura project, so I set the novel object aside until I was finished gardening. As I worked with the datura, I found that I’d cut off a leaf that contained sphinx moth eggs, so I set that aside too, to photograph and then move to a different datura plant.

When I got back to my present and cleaned it off, I saw it was a small frog statuette. At first I wondered if I had put it there and just forgot about it. But no: all the little frog statues this small were indoors; I only put ones at least as big as my hand in the garden. This just—appeared. It manifested in response to my transplanting a wildflower instead of tossing it, showing respect for the individual life of a plant.

So, this was a gift. But who was it a gift from? After a few moment’s consideration I realized it must be from the landwight. Not everything is about the gods. Usually the landwight shows his approval by growing things, by making my garden full of life, to fulfill my desire for what my garden should be like. But “full of frog statues” is part of the design I’ve shown him, too. I put the new frog statue on the outdoor window ledge on the back porch, looking out at the garden, facing toward where I found it, a symbol of the blessings spread upon the land.

Image: frog statuette with bokeh background, photo by Erin Lale

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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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