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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

Recently there was a discussion in the Asatru Facebook Forum that evolved a subthread about Godan, the name of Odin among the Lombards. I received some gnosis, and so, since this blog is Gnosis Diary, I'm going to tell you all about it.

As background to the Godan discussion: The main thread had been affirming the original poster's exploration of Asatru as a possible path, which grew into discussion of Unitarian-Universalist style religion, which eventually branched into the Godan discussion. It was pointed out that the name Godan was the origin of the English name God for the Christian God. This led to a question of whether they were the same god.

At this point Odin spoke in my head. (Which is not unusual for me at all, as you see if you read the past few years' blog posts, and we had just been communicating during my daily morning coffee ritual a few minutes before, so this was not a remarkable occurrence except that he had a message he wanted conveyed.) "I am not the same god."

Since the original post was a new seeker's intro post, when Odin joined the conversation in my head I wanted to be sure to express it in a way that would not be received as argumentative or unwelcoming. I remember very well how people reacted to my first few reports of messages from the gods, like "Don't poison the Earth," which I had to completely recast as "Love nature and care for her" before people found the message acceptable, when I first started receiving this type of gnosis a few years ago when I was opened to the gods by writing fiction. So with that in mind, I crafted my comment.

Additional background: the comment to which I was responding also mentioned the "chosen people" thing, which I why I included a reference to it in my answer. One of the differences between Odin and YHVH is that Odin doesn't have a chosen people. Some of the heathen gods were patrons or ancestors of species tribes or nations in historical times-- the Lore specifically says the Langobards were named by Frigga who favored them in a war, for example-- but they never said other people couldn't worship them. So the comment to which I was responding started off by commenting about the name Godan being borrowed for the name of xian God, and also included a reference to YHVH having a chosen people.

So here is the comment I created to convey my gnosis in a way that other Asatruers would find unobjectionable:

True. So if people want to reclaim the name God / Godan for Odin that's fine. The being most people mean by the name God is someone else entirely, who may or may not be still the same god whose name was taboo; since that god did have a chosen people and most modern day xians are not from that people it begs the question who that guy really is anymore, but that's beyond the scope of a study of heathenry so I have no answers there. One thing I do know, well two things, firstly that all outlooks from atheist to unitarian-universalist to soft polytheist to hard polytheist are part of modern Asatru and are welcome here, and secondly that Odin is not YHVH because he told me so. That's another thing that is welcome here: gnosis. Because the gods are here now.

(comment finished with smiley face emojis.)

So, here is my opinion about what it's like to have gnosis like this: it's easy to communicate with the gods. What's hard is figuring out how to talk about communicating with the gods in a way that other people won't knee-jerk want to argue with. I think there are probably lots of people who have gnosis like this and just don't talk about it because it's so hard to talk about. That's one of the things I want to help with by writing this blog and also by running the forum: to normalize talking about gnosis so it will be easier in the future.

I know I succeeded in crafting my response correctly because my comment led to a nice discussion of the other person's gnosis and opinions. Which led to the related but distinct discussion of how different is Odin from Godan from Wodan, and how different is one person's Odin from another person's Odin. I think Odin, Godan, and Wodan are simultaneously different and the same. And for the second question, I like the metaphor of the godphone, where everyone has a distinct phone number and might get the wrong voicemails if they dial in from someone else's. When I receive gnosis I always know if it's just for me or intended to be conveyed to other people. The very few messages I receive to convey are such a small percentage of the conversations I have in my mind with my gods that they stand out like a red tree among yellow and green trees. Like looking a hillside full of trees in autumn and there is only one maple tree in the whole forest. Usually the only time I can just directly relay a message without trying to craft a way to say it nicely is when I'm giving a rune reading, in which case people already expect and want a message. This is a skill it took me years to learn, and I'm not sure I'd really say I've mastered it yet; if I had, perhaps it would be easy. lol.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
An Inspiration on the Way to a Funeral

Several people important to heathens and pagans have died recently. Singer Andrea Meyer of Hagalaz Runedance was shot with a bow and arrow in Norway. I did not know her personally, so I don't know if she is now in the arms of Hel, or has been taken into Valhalla or Folkvang due to dying by weapon, but I think perhaps she went where poets go, which is wherever they want.

I placed a copy of a Hagalaz Runedance album on my main house altar yesterday, along with other mementos of the recent dead. It joined a fabric memento I had just placed there, which participants in the memorial for Phyllis Stewart of Ravenhold wore at her memorial service, which you can see in the photo that illustrates this post. I was on my way to that funeral when I had an inspiration experience.

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Woden’s Moon – Wednesday Wonder Invocation

Woden is also known as Odin, whom superhero fans now know from the wildly popular Thor movies, is at the top of the Nordic pantheon of the gods. He wields mighty power and is also associated with Mercury, with rulership of communication and keen intelligence. Woden even appears in olden Persian mythology, wherein he is credited with creating the moon on a Wednesday. Remember to offer thanks to the generous deity for gifting us our lovely lunar disk. Place dill and rosemary, two herbs for all-around mental strength and clarity, in your burning bowl. Light a yellow candle and use this to light the herbs. Patchouli incense adds power to this ritual; light this to power up your mental faculties and walk around your personal space to imbue this scent of smartness all around your work area. This will open your mind and abet your ability to create, whether your intention is to write a letter, a speech, prepare for a job interview or any project where you need to give your best. Once you feel focused, speak this spell:

I call upon you, great Woden
On this, your day
By my hand,
And with your blessing,
The fire of my mind
Burns bright,
Burns long,
Burns eternal.
Deep gratitude
On this day
Under this moon
Which you have given,
Blessings to all.
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Sometimes insights come from lighthearted conversation rather than deep mystical trances in the woods. This is one of the challenges we face in these times of isolation: the challenge of just have conversations with other heathens or mystics or etc. Internet forums and plain old telephones come to our rescue. It isn't always enough, but this time it was.

I was talking on the phone to another heathen and mentioned the solar lights I added to my pool this year, claiming I have a light-up pool eyeball. Of course I was just joking when I said, "My pool is Mimir's Well and I swim in it every day, and at night I swim with the light-up eyeball. I don't think it's Odin's eye, though, it's the eye of a monster. The monster that lives in my pool."

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Continuing my series on novel gnosis, that is, religious insights I gained via writing my unpublished novel Some Say Fire, today I'm talking about Odin and the number 3. Three as a sacred number recurs in many stories in heathen mythology, that it, the mythology of the pre-Xian peoples of northern Europe. It also occurs again and again in the broader context of pagan mythology in the rest of Europe and related cultures. Odin's symbol the Valknut is a set of 3 interlocking triangles.

In the Fireverse, the universe of Some Say Fire, Odin’s 2 wolves Geri and Freki are generated out of Odin. Like his 2 ravens and his 2 brothers, he creates them by dividing himself. He has the power to divide himself into 3 parts and he does it 3 times: once each to create the wolves, the ravens, and his brothers.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
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.

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