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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Heathen
Heathen Visibility Project: part 2 How to Participate

Step 1 Take photos of:

A. People (only include people who want to participate in the Heathen Visibility Project! ) including:

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Heathen Visibility Project: part 1 Why Heathen Visibility?

Last month I had to search for public domain or creative commons license images of heathen or Asatru related rituals, gods, altars, etc. to fill up the upcoming Heathen Calendar 2018 because I didn't manage to get 12 images from living artists for various reasons. (Some artists didn't finish on time, some didn't want to sign the tax form, whatever.) I had searched for public domain classical art last year for this year's calendar, and I had previously searched for some public domain heathen related images to illustrate my blog, but this was the first time I had searched for contemporary images that might be photos of actual people. I did not find much. Artists have uploaded tons of various images to sites where people can license their images, either for money or for free as the artist prefers, using a creative commons license or another type of license. So there are places to put such images where the artists could possibly get something back for their work, if they wish. I don't know yet whether I will do another Heathen Calendar next year; it depends on how many people want one. But if I do, it would be great to have some good stock photos of heathens doing heathenry to choose from. 

Just before I did those image searches for the Calendar, I had been doing image, text, and guide searches for guides to how to tell heathen symbols from hate symbols, to create the Trollslayers' Guide, which is a guide for the group moderators of the American Asatru group on Facebook to use to do background checks on people applying for membership. (We have a strict no-Nazis rule.) The publicly available guides all have various flaws and none of them were written by heathens. I'm actually thinking of trying to expand the Trollslayers' Guide into a full blown public guide to how to tell heathen symbols from hate symbols, written by heathens for heathens. The terrible thing that I discovered while looking at all that is that some of our actual religious symbols that are not inherently hate symbols are being used by haters, publicly, where they are being photographed as news and the images propagated at the speed of news. I'm tired of the loudest voices using our symbols being the hate groups. I want to drown them out in a sea of louder voices. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Review of Horn of the Kraken

Set in the Fate of the Norns universe originated by Andrew Valkauskas, Horn of the Kraken by Stephen B. Pearl is the first in a new series within that universe. This is a universe full of magic and fantastical beasts, where the Norns choose human champions. Based on historical conversion-era Europe, featuring some historical figures such as Eric Blood-Axe, Horn of the Kraken is also set during Fimbulwinter, the prelude to Ragnarok. Fimbulwinter is the breakdown in the cycle of the seasons in which the sun never rises again and winter lasts until the end of the world. The world’s central problem is the mass failure of agriculture, and the world’s politics centers on the impact that would have if it occurred during the Viking Age. The villains, who are Christians out to convert the heathen and control the world’s economy and political structures, are using a mysterious new superweapon, the Horn of the Kraken.

Into this come five chosen heroes. Fjorn is a nobleman and a fighter/bard. Politics stalks him because of his bloodlines. Sigurlina is a seidhkona, a type of heathen witch with powers of necromancy and healing. She serves Freya and is sworn to avenge her family against Christian ruler Hakon. Audun is a rune master who has a near-death experience at the hands of the Christian enemy that echoes the story of Odin’s runic initiation on the Tree. Ragna is a thief. She tags along to get out of town ahead of trouble. Vidurr is a werewolf who serves Surtr, the king of the fiery underworld who is prophesied to fight against the gods at Ragnarok and destroy the world. Vidurr’s sole desire in life is to avenge his family against the Christian “crusaders.” Although those who serve Odin and those who serve Surtr are theological enemies within heathenry, they join forces against the outside threat of the Christians. Pearl knows enough about heathenry to portray both the Odin’s man and the Surtr’s man as having no god-based conflict with the Freya’s woman.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Gods Helped Me Find My Way

I was trying to navigate to a new destination, where I was planning to present gifts. Gifts are holy in heathenry. So, although outwardly I was just driving to a party, spiritually I was traveling on my path as a gythia. When I arrived at the point where public street met private street, I had an adventure.

Gifts have spiritual significance in all sects of heathenry, not only the gifts presented to gods but also gifts given to other human beings. Gifts that have special significance for life events and for important occasions within the culture also have special spiritual significance, both in heathenry generally, and in American Celebration style Asatru as we practice in my kindred, in particular. This occasion was for three co-occurring special life events for the recipient. The gifts I had made included a bottle of my home grown lavender brew dedicated to Sigyn, so this gift also had a special significance for the goddess as well. The recipient had recently participated in a ritual I had led honoring Sigyn, and this gift was meant to help her deepen her relationship with the goddess.  

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Taking Over an Asatru Internet Forum part 2

When I first became a forum admin on the American Asatru group several years ago, I was invited to do so because the group creator liked my book Asatru For Beginners.  I said yes because I had just had a bad online experience in a different group and wanted to help create a space that would be better. I wanted to create a troll free space where heathens could talk about their heathen religious stuff free of mockery by trolls and safe from online harassment and stalking and other internet ills. I wanted to create a group which would be a supportive religious community where people could find friendship and advice about life in addition to religion. I envisioned a space where there would be fun things to do, and which would be especially supportive toward creators such as authors, artists, and musicians. The group became that.

Before I joined the management team, the American Asatru Association group was already a space that screened membership applications to keep out neonazis and white power gang members and other such undesirables, in addition to keeping out trolls. It was also already a group that welcomed heathens of any sect, not just Asatru, and from anywhere in the world, not just the Americas. It welcomed universalist, tribalist, and folkish Asatruars, and was a Loki-friendly group. Those policies stayed the same while I was adminning under the original group owner, and I plan to keep them in place. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for the link. I think I became fascinated with Norse Myths from reading D'Aulairs' Book of Norse myths as a child and t
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Also Anthony, if you're interested in posing a discussion topic to the group, you're welcome to join and ask the members. How one'
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony, there might well be some members who started with that book. The recently completed Heathen Demographic Survey, availa
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Congratulations on your new position, I hope you have fun with it. One of the books I have on my computer desk is "Norse Magic" b
Taking Over an Asatru Internet Forum part 1

Once again, as I did before when I became manager of the old MSN Asatru group, I've just taken over management of an Asatru internet forum. There are a few notable differences from the last time. Firstly, this time I'm fully prepared and qualified to run an internet forum. Secondly, this time I wanted the job. Thirdly, the internet is different than it was back then. Fourthly, MSN Asatru had about 200 members, and the American Asatru group on Facebook, formerly known as the American Asatru Association, has about 4,500.

With both groups, I inherited an established forum with its own established procedures and expectations. MSN Asatru was a free for all. I didn't screen members or moderate posts, excepts to remove commercial spam, and to remove posts that violated the terms of use of the MicroSoft Network, which meant I removed anything even vaguely pornographic, including any nude images. Images were not used on forums very often back then, because posting an image in one of the one MSN Groups required an image host site and some basic knowledge of html.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Teaching Folk Dance at the Moot part 1

Folk dance is ritual. Dances are performed for holidays, weddings, the agricultural cycle, and to bring people together. I’m going to teach folk dance at an upcoming heathen gathering.

At the dawn of agricultural, newly settled villagers who needed to work together on farm tasks danced together to learn how to move as a unit and co-ordinate with each other, and to build team spirit. Those are also some reasons for military marching. There are folk dances that actually are forms of military drill, such as the vari hasapikos, a Greek men’s dance for a four man team, that teaches how to read a leader’s hand signals and follow them in unison.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Dancing Goddesses is a fantastic book. I recommend it.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    My local library has a copy of Dancing Goddesses: folklore, archaeology, and the origins of European dance by Barber. It's a fasc

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