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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Heathen Visibility Project Does Halloween

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I was invited to do a community booth for the Halloween Spooktacular sponsored by Haven Craft, an interfaith nonprofit organization in Las Vegas. It was on short notice, so I had to try to pull it off with just what I already had, and I decided on a Take a Photo with a Viking booth for the Heathen Visibility Project. I already had Viking garb.

I also already had a battle axe, which was not sharp. I asked the event organizer Melissa if heathens attending as Viking garb performers could have traditional weapons, and got the go-ahead on that before loading it into my truck. This axe was traded to me by its maker, Tony Mortimer-Kalama, under the Steel for Steel local custom. I posed for lots of photos holding my axe, but this is the only one taken with my own camera. Most of the other photos in which I'm posing with the axe are pictures in which children in Halloween costumes are getting their pictures taken with a Viking by their parents. Lots of kids wanted a picture, and I am wearing heathen symbols on my garb, so the booth was successful in furthering heathen visibility.

Several times I also got to discuss the symbols I was wearing and the objects at my booth. When children were having their photos taken, they got to hold Viking style drinking horns. One time one of the parents had asked me about the meaning of the horns, and I explained that we use cow horns for ritual beverages in honor of the sacred cow, Audhumla, the great mother who nurtured the first gods and giants with her milk. It's been about a week since then and I am still moved that he told me, "I've read about this, but I've never heard it from the mouth of another."

Several other faith groups also had community booths at the event. There were many performers, vendors, games, and other attractions. The event was held outdoors in the Funkyard. In this photo, Melissa and I are standing in the backstage area of the Funkyard near the stairs up to the stage. Melissa is dressed as a Brewing Witch. She handed out candy from a cauldron to the children while giving a short talk about the Brewing Witch.

Image: Erin Lale as a Viking and Melissa Paige-Eggstaff as a Brewing Witch at the Halloween Spooktacular in Las Vegas, October 2018.

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners and other books. She was sworn to Freya as Priestess in 1989, given to Sigyn, and is a Bride of Odin and his brothers (Honir, Lodhur, Loki.). She has been a freelance writer for about 30 years, was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, is gythia of American Celebration Kindred, and admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. In 2010 and 2013, she ran for public office. She is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press for 5 years, and is the author of the Heathen Calendar 2017 and 2018.

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