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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Becoming a Mermaid (Again)

I want to be a mermaid again.


When I was young, my best friend had a pool, and we spent countless hours each summer turning into prunes and pretending we were mermaids. We practiced holding our feet together, flipping imaginary fins as we swam, or, more often, sat on the bottom of the shallow end, having a mermaid tea party.
Somewhere along the way, however, I grew too self-conscious of my body in a bathing suit, and I taught myself not to like the water. I’d never been a strong swimmer, so for years I was able to believe that I simply didn’t like being in the water, preferring to dip my toes in the ocean rather than submerge my whole self. Even when, a few years ago, I worked my way back down to a weight were I felt healthy and sexy, I still clung to the belief that I hated going into the water. As I slowly gained weight and lost confidence, it never even occurred to me to question my often-repeated mantra that “I just didn’t like to be in the water”.

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Urban Witching: Full Moon (with Frogs)

About half an hour before moonrise, we meet up at the coven bench in the park, big enough to hold a whole coven. Well, almost.

We catch up, laugh, dish a little. It's August, almost September, so zucchini bread, curds and apples circulate along with the wine.

When bats begin to wheel, it's time to make our magic: down the hill and around the lake, still high with summer rain, we go. We stride purposively, silent with intent. Cowans clear the way without realizing it. Frog after frog hops along our path as we walk: tens of them, scores of them. Clearly the frogs have magic of their own to make tonight.

We circle, right shoulders to night water. We meet up again where we started, where the three paths join. By Bat, by Moon, by Frog: So mote it be.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Young-couple.jpgIn my line of work, you have to develop patience.

Whether I am at the dentist or a dinner party, as soon as someone learns that I am a teacher and writer of Native American Studies the questions start flowing. Most questions are asked out of sincere curiosity, and I am usually glad to educate these folks. However, sometimes people will flatly say with a huff, "I  thought all the Indians were dead" or "Indians can't read and write." As I said, over the years I have developed a lot of patience! Because of so much benign, and sometimes obviously racist, ignorance, I have dedicated myself to teaching about Indigenous cultures and histories as widely as possible--most people are respectful and genuinely want to learn more. But what we need is everybody to work on raising awareness about Native people today, not just educators like me.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Killing the God

To the best of my knowledge, in the entire 3000-year span of its existence, not once in ancient Egyptian art do we see the death of Osiris at the hands of his brother Set.

If true (and my knowledge of the field is nowhere near exhaustive), this is a remarkable fact, and makes some profound suggestions about the thought-life of the ancients.

What is shown endures. What is shown is empowered. What is shown is made real.

So that the death of a god, the Great Sacrifice, while—terribly so—a necessity, can never in itself be an inherent good.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Indeed. The midnight Resurrection service is one of humanity's great liturgical masterpieces. Until you've been to Orthodox Easter
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I was taking my history of western Art class back in the early 80's I remember the teacher mentioning that art in the Eastern
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a powerful, shocking image, to be sure. As an outsider looking in, it's hard not to see the crucifix as an image that glorif
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Many of us who identify as Christian are also horrified at the fixation on the Crucifixion and how that fixation has twisted and o

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_cornucopia.jpgHere are some suggested offerings for Frey:

  • FOOD: Pork, poultry, possibly fish. Root vegetables such as potatoes and turnips, also garden vegetables such as squash and tomatoes. Frey is also partial to cherries and raspberries, and is very fond of homemade whole-grain bread, especially if the bread is sliced with local honey on top. Wholegrain crackers and good cheese are another good offering.
  • DRINK: Dark beer, dark ale, stout. For nonalcoholic beverages he will take apple cider, lemonade, vegetable juice, or cherry juice. He also likes herbal teas, including teas with berry flavors (such as raspberry).
  • CANDLES: Frey likes golden-yellow or leaf-green candles, earth tones or white will suffice.
  • INCENSE: “Sensual” scents such as musk, sandalwood, and patchouli, but also “rain” is very much enjoyed.
  • OTHER OFFERINGS: Gold dollar coins, lucky pennies, green or honey amber stones, as well as figurines of boars, stallions, stags, and ships. A cup or jar of whole-wheat flour, or barley. A sheaf of wheat. Antlers. Your sexual fluids. If you can afford it (or better, craft it yourself), a torc or sword would also be a fine gift to put on his harrow.
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Fireverse 1: Fiction Writing As Gnosis Generator

My path has taken a few sharp turns over the years, but I like to think of it as switchbacks on the same path up the same mountain. If I couldn't handle the turn, I'd be off my path.

In the Fireverse series of posts, I’ll be telling the story of how my relationships with the gods changed because of writing the unpublished, overgrown novel Some Say Fire. The book is a healing journey, and writing it opened me to receiving inspiration from the gods and to connecting with my own subconscious. The book is about the length of Lord of the Rings and took me about a year and a half to write. In writing it, I spent many hours thinking about the gods, retelling their stories, and being mentally open to receive their messages. There is more than I can put in a series of blog posts, even a rather long series. I’ll tell the most significant gnosis, and the most important events.

Here on the Gnosis Diary blog, I’ve been telling the story of my personal journey on my heathen path more or less in chronological order, and now we’ve caught up to where I was when I started writing it. I wanted to write Gnosis Diary because I have gnosis to share, messages given to me for humankind in the form of a novel that is at times horrifying, which some other heathens to whom I’ve shown it have found offensive, and which may be unpublishable. How can I share what I’ve learned if the book is never published, or if it’s published and never reaches a mass audience? How can I be sure people will realize which parts are actual gnosis and which are just part of the story?

Here on Gnosis Diary, I can pick out the parts of Some Say Fire that are genuine gnosis, and not only relate what flowed out when I was writing, but also interpret it outside the context of the story and tell what I think the message means. I already did that with the early post on this blog where I quoted part of a scene inspired by Sif and interpreted it as a message to humanity to stop using GMO Roundup Ready grains that poison the land. Hardly anyone liked that post, so I felt I had not gotten my message out enough, and that I needed to do something else to help the earth, and that was what led me to participate in the editing of A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.

I also already relayed a message to humanity to please stop misusing the Rainbow Bridge, and that it is not a destination but the way to Asgard, and if one intends to go somewhere else, to please direct one's companions to where one expects to go, and if one wishes to direct one's animal companions to the Northern gods, to send them to the gods associated with them, such as cats to Freya and dogs to Nehellenia or Zisa. I concluded with a list of animal associations with the Norse gods. No one much liked that message, either, but people did like the list, so I expanded it and worked it into the new, expanded version of Asatru For Beginners that I'm working on.

When I write fiction or poetry, I often hear lines of dialogue or lines of poetry in my head. That’s quite common among writers. Over the decades that I’ve been writing, I have sometimes felt that what I wrote was inspired by Odin. For example, I wrote the poem Skadhi: Water Cycle by hearing it in a dream, waking up, and copying it down verbatim. Like a lot of other writers do, I’ve often heard fictional characters talking to each other in my head. So when I set out to write Some Say Fire, at first I didn’t realize that sometimes I wasn’t just hearing characters with the names of the gods talking, sometimes I was hearing the actual gods. I had never heard them speak before. Some people possess a “godphone,” but I’ve never been one of them. I didn’t even realize it when they started talking directly to me rather than each other. I just thought that meant there was a character that represents me in my book, so I put in a human protagonist. I didn’t realize it was really them until they started doing real things, and then it terrified me, because of some of the things I had written about them by then. In the 25 years between when I became Priestess of Freya and when I started writing Some Say Fire, I had never heard the gods speak to me. Writing this book cracked open my mind to them so that I could hear them. I usually don’t experience automatic writing, either, but I did sometimes while writing this book. I put my fingers on the keyboard and things flowed out.

I call the universe of Some Say Fire the Fireverse. It differs from our own world in some ways. Many of the things in the book are meant to show how messed up that universe is, so as to show why the Fireverse needs to end and be restarted so a better world can come about, which is the goal of the heroes of the novel. Some of the gods are different in the Fireverse, too. For example, Fireverse-Odin is as different from Asa-Odin as Marvelverse-Odin is. Nonetheless, writing the book became both a healing journey and a vehicle for receiving gnosis. I’ll be writing about those things in this series of posts.

Image credit: Francisco Farias Jr. via Public Domain Pictures

Today is the 28th. This date has personal significance for me, which will be explained in a later post. This is the date on which I honor the northern trinity each month, so it's an excellent day on which to begin the Fireverse blog series. Odin and his brothers are separate gods with distinctly different personalities, and yet they also appear in fused forms and borrow each other's powers and appear as each other. In honoring them, I have learned to embrace mystery over taxonomy. I'm learning to be comfortable with paradox. Today, I hail the tripartite god by all of his names: High, Just-as-High, and Third, Odhinn, Vili, and Ve, Wotan, Wili, and We, Odhinn, Honir, and Lodhur, Odin, Honir, and Loki, and by all his other names aspects and all possible combinations thereof. On this day I say: Hail the ninefold Odin!

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leslie J Linder
    Leslie J Linder says #
    awesome! I just looked at eternal press. looks great! I may have something to dust off. have a great day.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Excellent! You have a great day, too!
  • Leslie J Linder
    Leslie J Linder says #
    Good idea for a project! I also have (more than one) large novel sitting in a dusty box, and they also were very spiritual process
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks! If it's genre fiction, dust it off, I might want it for Eternal Press.
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 27

Wildfires sweep the Pacific Northwest, sending clouds of toxic smoke into the air. Oslo construct a special "highway" just for bees. And FiveThirtyEight's Christie Aschwanden takes a look at the hard work that goes into scientific research. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on the Earth and science-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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