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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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. 

This morning I had gone outside and smelled monsoon. I had looked up at the sky and noticed the clouds and wondered, "Rain? That looks like rain. It smells like rain."

When I went out to do some errands, I thought about the local monsoon, which is what we call the summer weather pattern in which storms drive away the heat. As I have mentioned previously here on my blog, I had noticed an unusual amount of rain the fall that the first Thor movie came out, which is why I had started looking to see if the pattern held. The Marvel Thor movies are a little silly, but each time America honors Thor with a movie, and little children run around with toy Thor's Hammers and people think about and talk about Thor, it rains a lot. I noted that and hoped Marvel / Disney would keep them coming. Last year it was very dry and hot, and by this spring Lake Mead was so low they were finding dead bodies in it (bodies in barrels who were not meant to be found.) Now the lake level is a complicated thing involving interstate politics, but rain would help anyway, because it would break the heat and water the land. So I was hoping the pattern would hold. I have not yet seen the movie but I've seen lots of social media posts with low opinions of it. Then again, the reason I had even watched the first movie was because there were people on the net calling for a boycott and I wanted to see if it was OK for my fellow heathens. 

So I thought, maybe the content doesn't matter. Maybe all that matters is that people are thinking about and talking about Thor.

At that very moment, I felt a sudden pinprick of cold on my hand. "Was that-- a raindrop?"

A few more raindrops fell. Yes! It was a raindrop, and it meant yes! Thor doesn't care if the stories are silly, only that we honor him by speaking his name. 

I was overcome with joy. I wanted to toast Thor right then, but all I had with me was a flavored water I had just bought off the woohoo case. I asked within and it was OK, so I went ahead and raised a toast. 

After I got home, it started raining again, more heavily. This time I was able to toast with some hot coffee, one of his preferred beverages. 

Well now. I guess I have a movie to see. 

I'm setting this post to post on Thursday, the day of Thor. Hail Thor! 

Image: a Thor's hammer on a red 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.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Thursday, 23 June 2022

    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 complete trailer teasers on YouTube.

    For Lithe I adapter the I adapted the Invocation of the Thunder Gods from Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials Midsummer last year and used it again this year.

    Yesterday we had some storms come down I-95. They did some damage north of me and south of me. It must have knocked out the power because I had to reset my clock radio but so far as I can tell the worst I've had to deal with personally is going around the front yard and picking up the trash after the wind blew the trash can over. Elsewhere around town it did some damage to the traffic lights.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Thursday, 23 June 2022

    Hi Anthony! Yeah I thought the trailers were cringy. The entire idea of the movie is cringy. Disney says "Let's have female Thor!" Me, an Asatru Heathen: "Yes! Do Thrymskvitha! Put Chris Hemsworth in a white wedding gown! As it says in THE LORE!" Disney: "So we gave the hammer to Thor's cis female girlfriend." Me: --- --- .

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Thursday, 23 June 2022

    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 books by then and this story didn't inspire me to take it up again.

    Making the Thrymskvitha part of the Marvel Movie lore would have been great. I'm sorry they didn't go that route. The Gorr the god-killer plot doesn't really appeal to me either.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Monday, 27 June 2022

    Nods. Yeah. I've been following the internet discourse on the difference between having female heroes and having a male hero rebranded as female. Why not Valkyrie? Why does it always have to be Thor? It's not like no one knows what a Valkyrie is. This goes along with the related discussion on why sf heroines are often "men with b00bs" even if designated as women from the start. And why "strong female character" has too often been portrayed as "has physical strength and fights like a man" rather than "strong of character" or even just "an interesting character." I write and edit sf in addition to heathen nonfiction so I'm looking at these issues from a writer's and editor's point of view.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Monday, 18 July 2022

    Yesterday morning before my pool party there was a tremendous thunderstrike (the cat was not a fan, but it rained and I love it) and Thor got his promised Guinness toast even though I was abstaining from alcohol; I had a coffee and my housemate's friend did the beer toast. My ac went out during the pool party and I'm very frustrated about it. Today, after the ac tech said my ac was fixed this morning, I had my dr. appt. and the good news is I am allowed to have one drink occasionally, and on the way home I had a mental conversation with Thor that the next time it rained I would toast him with coffee with some liqueur in it. This afternoon the ac went out again (the tech is working on it right now as I type this while sitting under the ceiling fan) so while waiting for the tech I went for a swim to cool off and the clouds rolled in and I heard distant thunder and saw a lightning strike far away. (I could see it because I swim with my glasses on.) Normally I would get out of the pool at that point for safety but I still wanted to swim more and just hoped it would be ok. And then I saw it.

    A small patch of the sky cleared to blue and in it was a perfect white cloud in the shape of a heart.

    The thunder rolled! I said out loud, "Thank you! I love you too!" and kept swimming for a while. After I was safely back in the house it started raining. I got the coffee with a splash of butterstock liqueur ready and went out on the porch and lifted my toast. "Hail Thor! Thank you for the beautiful rain. And thank you for your cloud."

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