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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project 2022 in Review
The Heathen Visibility Project seeks to fill search engine space with free images of Asatru and Heathen subjects for the use of journalists and others. We want to see accurate, positive portrayals of actual religious Asatru people, gatherings, etc., rather than hate groups or fictional characters, illustrating articles about Asatru and Heathenry. This post is about new developments in 2022. For info on "How To" use the images or participate in the project, please see the linked posts at the bottom.
 
Project photos and videos created
 
In January 2022, for the first time since just before Tom died in 2020, I made a video on my Heathen Visibility youtube channel. It's not scripted or styled or anything but it does have a cute cat in it. https://youtu.be/Bz5RVLBGm64

In August, as a result of a plan created with a magazine editor about advertising my book, I did a photoshoot with my book. Since the ad was for a magazine, I was going for an editorial look. I chose to dress as a modern, sophisticated city heathen rather than appear in ritual robes or in the historical garb which is common in images of Asatru and heathenry. Since I only needed one of the photos for the ad, I selected some of the others for use in the Heathen Visibility Project. (See my post Freya Glamor on how I achieved my look for the photoshoot to see one of the photos. A different one of the photos from that shoot is included in this post.)
 
In September, Amanda planned and led Haustblot for our kindred. Amanda is the first gythia I trained. Haustblot is an autumn seasonal and harvest ritual. Just before the ritual started, Amanda, I, and some of the ritual participants posed for a Heathen Visibility Project photo. (See my post Haustblot and Other Rituals to see the photo.)
 
In December, my cat Happy decided I needed to do a rune cat photoshoot as I was getting ready for a Yule ritual. The resultant photo is in my Heathen Visibility Project gallery on Deviantart, here: Rune Cat by erinlale on DeviantArt 
 
Search Engine Results
 
The Project is getting results. As a test, I searched terms related to the Project on the internet. I did a search on various Project related terms on Bing, because it's the search engine default from a popular browser. The top search results for the terms heathen, Asatru, #heathenvisibility and Heathen Visibility Project all return first page results that do not contain any racist or neonazi images. The first page results for these terms still contain a lot of fictional character images but none of them were Marvel. That's huge progress. The top nonfiction links for the terms #heathenvisibility and Heathen Visibility Project go to blog entries here on Pagansquare about the project. The top nonfiction links for the terms Heathen and Asatru go to various wiki and dictionary definitions and to religious websites or forums. This is excellent progress from where we were when we started. 
 
News Coverage
 
There has not been very much news coverage of Asatru and related topics this year. However, Asatru was mentioned briefly in an article on a major news site about Asian religions using swastikas. MSN (Microsoft Network, official news aggregator site of Microsoft the software company) ran an AP (Associated Press) article on modern issues about the Swastika. While the focus is on Asian religions, the article also mentions other symbols appropriated by hate groups and the struggle to keep such symbols available for religious use, including the Thor's Hammer. 
 
Link to the article:
 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/asian-faiths-try-to-save-swastika-symbol-corrupted-by-hitler/ar-AA14BZ3y?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=560920e6818047ea96028e06b8065f3b&fbclid=IwAR0jTrQEpotol8kvlUhu8ozWWA6KkLAHYam0fO23QXWAjWZkygLIv9wND2A 

Heathen Visibility Project "How To" Links:

Resources for Editorial Use:
https://witchesandpagans.com/heathen-visibility-project-resources-for-editorial-use.html 
 
How to Create and Share Images:
https://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/heathen-visibility-project-how-to.html  
 
Image: Erin Lale with her book. Erin is wearing modern dress and Asatru jewelry including a Thor's Hammer, standing on a city street in front of a mural of a cityscape. She is holding her book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Photo by Jim Connor for the Heathen Visibility Project. This photo is free to use for editorial purposes. 

 
 
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The Poetic Edda is one of the basic texts of The Lore, the collectively decided cannon of Asatru and related Heathen sects. Thorstein Mayfield has made a new translation, with extensive footnotes. It was sent to Witches and Pagans Magazine for review.

This new translation of the Poetic Edda is subtitled A Heathen Study Edition: Mythological Poems. Author Thorstein Mayfield holds a Master’s in Literature from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He is a founding member of Woden’s Folk Kindred in Texas, the organization that owns the publishing company which published this book.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I like science metaphors when talking about heathen concepts that differ from the ideas common in our current modern American culture. In the Fireverse, my fictional universe based on heathen mythology (see previous entries on that topic), the main human character is an author stand-in who gets a guided tour to the worlds and time, like the main human character in Dante's Bible fan fiction. Like me, she likes science and especially physics as spiritual and religious metaphors, so, the Hel-Boat looks like a Viking longship but behaves like a spaceship, landing and taking off from the Nine Worlds as if they were planet type worlds rather than the dimensions the main character knows them to be. Metaphors for the multipartite soul didn't come up in Some Say Fire because the main character is already in her afterlife after the opening scene, but I'm thinking about them now.

Reading Heathen Soul Lore Foundations to review it (review coming soon), I encountered a metaphor for the various parts of the human soul based on alchemy, especially the idea of refining salts to transform substances into other things. This metaphor just doesn't work for me because I'm not into alchemy. During my daily morning coffee ritual I had a conversation in my mind with Odin about metaphors for the soul.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Recent Short Gnosis Experiences

Since this is Gnosis Diary, here are a few short entries of my recent gnosis experiences.

A Story About Cucumbers

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Haustblot and Other Holidays

In September 2022, Amanda planned and led Haustblot for our kindred. Amanda is the first gythia I trained. Haustblot is an autumn seasonal and harvest ritual. When my kindred was creating our ritual calendar for 2022, I asked the kindred members if we wanted to do Rainbow Season for fall again this year, and Amanda volunteered to do Haustblot instead. Just before the ritual started, Amanda, I, and some of the ritual participants posed for a Heathen Visibility Project photo.

I'm so proud of Amanda. I'm delighted she worked a pomegranate into the ritual since it came from my tree. I still got in a Rainbow Season toast to Heimdall on behalf of Tom, and also a toast to Tom, during the sumbel portion of the ritual.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Random Experiences with Asatru Gods

I have a few more religious experiences to relate and I've collected them here because they are each a bit too short to post by themselves.  I've posted so many experiences here on Gnosis Diary, and I keep thinking I'm done surely, but then I have another one! lol. 

In the summer of 2022 I got to do 2 things I'd been wanting to do for a while: 1. have a "book tour stop" where I speak and promote my book, and I did that at Occulture Faire Las Vegas, and 2. go to a science fiction convention just to enjoy it rather than as a panelist, so I could have the kind of fun I used to have when I was younger and hadn't started having all my time scheduled to speak when I went to an sf con. I mainly wanted to enjoy the costuming and the music and filking (that means an sf themed bardic circle) and I got to do that too. 

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've only been to one SF convention in my life. It was called Atlantacon and held down at Virginia Beach back in the 80's. I rem

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

During one of the many monsoon storms this summer, after my usual coffee toast to Thor, I lit some candles. Mostly I lit them because during the previous evening's storm the lights had gone out momentarily, but of course the candles are also beautiful, and I lit some of the ones on the main house altar too, so it became a bit of a ritual also. Usually during a storm my housemate and I watch the lightshow and the rain, but this time I felt restless. I was also physically in need of some relaxation due to having fallen trying to take a walk the previous day, so I decided to take a lovely bath to try to relieve some hip pain and so on. I was not intending to take a ritual bath or do anything with spiritual significance, but sometimes these things just happen. The last tiny bit of my umbilical cord fell off. It came right out of my belly button. And no, it was definitely not lint. 

There is an old saying, "cutting the cord," meaning becoming an adult, stopping being dependent on one's parents. I felt that having this tiny bit of paper like skin come off meant that I'm completely free now. It's been about two and a half years now since my mother's death. She was not interested in an afterlife with gods, and stated many times she did not believe in gods, and did not want to participate in religion after her death, so she reincarnated rapidly after her death. I only communicated with her afterwards enough times to know she was happy with where she went and that she knew I was doing ok without her, and we have not maintained contact. She has literally passed on. And I have gone on with my life, as much as I could during the pandemic. I've become the house holder, and the decision maker of the household, and I like it. This was a symbolic sloughing off of the last vestiges of childhood and dependence. How odd to have this feeling at 53.

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