Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, modern life on a heathen path, community interaction, and general heathenry.

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Erin Lale

Erin Lale

Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, American Celebration, and other books. She has been a sworn Priestess of Freya since 1989, is a Bride of the Ninefold Odin (Odin, Honir, Lodhur, Loki) and given to Sigyn. She also works with other gods of the Asatru pantheon. She has been a freelance writer for about 30 years, was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is the Acquisitions Editor at Caliburn Press. In 2010 and 2013, she ran for public office. She is currently gythia of American Celebration Kindred, and Board Secretary and a forum admin at the American Asatru Association.

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Sacred Jewelry for Lodhur

Dedicating jewelry to specific gods or goddesses and wearing it to honor them is something that many heathens and pagans do. Most heathens have a Thorshammer pendant, although for some of us it is not so much for Thor as it is just to identify as heathen. When I want to dedicate something to a god, I usually try to make it myself or repurpose something I already have, to use both less money and fewer of the Earth's resources (green living and frugal living usually run together.) 

Approaching my 2 year anniversary with Odin on June 28th, 2016, I asked my ninefold god-husband what he would like for our anniversary. It was Lodhur who spoke. “Acknowledge me more.”

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Rose Drink for Freya

Planning a ritual, I was thinking about what sort of drink to offer to specific gods, and listening inwardly to see if my plans were acceptable. Freya said she wanted rose.

I had gotten into the habit of smelling the pink rose in the front yard for Freya. It's an antique breed with a wonderful scent. I clarified: Did she want more of that? Yes, that rose. To cut the flowers and bring them inside? No. To eat.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    After I posted this, I received an ad for the opening of a new grocery story in my town. I just went to it and they have the Fenti
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember seeing a recipe for candied violets. I think the same thing can be done with rose petals.

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Message in Coins

One time during the time period when I was learning how to follow the Goddess Diet to honor the goddess Sif, I was preparing for a potluck, and I went to the grocery store. I saw some corn on the cob. I thought, “That would be great to bbq. But I don't know whether it's GMO or not.”

Then I remembered that the GMO corn is a yellow corn. If the corn is some other color then it's not GMO. So I checked it and it was white corn, so I bought some. At the checkout, I was thinking, "I really hope I'm right and that I did this right for Sif."

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  • Megan Gypsy Minx
    Megan Gypsy Minx says #
    I've never personally looked at coins before but it's truly amazing how the universe provides insight everywhere.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've come across Canadian pennies before; though I understand they've stopped making them, but I've never come across an Australia

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Crafting a Valknut for Odin

Coming up on the one year anniversary as a Bride of Odin on June 28th, 2015, I asked Odin what he wanted for our anniversary, and he said he wanted something to represent him in my "shrine." I clarified with him what he meant by shrine, and he meant the glass display cases on the wall where I had recently starting putting spiritual souvenirs. So I made a Valknut. I made two, in fact, one for the monthly anniversary which is every 28th of the month, on May 28th, and one for the one-year anniversary on June 28th.

I made the first valknut from silk ribbon on a silk hoop. I made the template for it on the 27th and made the art object itself on May 28th. The paper template helped me put the points of the triangles in the right places. It was interesting making a val-“knut” (knot) as a fiber craft, with the lines of the triangles crossing over and under each other like a real knot.

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No Less a Woman

 

I ran across a fascinating word while copyediting a book a few years ago. Naditum is one of the five genders in Sumerian paganism. It's a gender, a biological sex-- meaning those born female appearing who turn out after adolescence to be infertile-- and a social class, the priestess caste. The idea really resonated with me, even though that’s not my tradition. The various heathen traditions don’t have a specific gender word for those identified female at birth who cannot have children and instead become priestesses. In heathenry, that’s still a woman.

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No Ascension for Me

Science fiction influenced me to expect that the next step in the evolution of humankind is to ascend to become a being of pure energy. That philosophy is called transhumanism, and it saturates popular science fiction.

I was born a science fiction fan; my dad was a Star Trek fan, and if I had been born male my parents had intended to name me DeForrest, after DeForrest Kelly. The classic Star Trek had several species of energy beings, and humans were on the path to becoming like them. Many of the science fictions I encountered later in life had that idea in them, too. In some of them, a very advanced human could evolve during his lifetime. In Babylon 5, a character who was a telepath turned into an energy being (and blew up, dangerously for everyone around him, but well...) Characters in Buffy and Stargate ascended and became energy beings, and chose to come back to Earth. I even wrote ascension into my own fiction. In my Punch series, a character ascends upon death. A character ascends in Some Say Fire, too, but that's symbolic; it represents the unification of the conscious mind with the subconscious and the inner child.

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  • Elizabeth Blakely Toews
    Elizabeth Blakely Toews says #
    I respect your opinion Erin, and that of Loki. All humans I have discovered though, were not created equal. Also I have come to kn

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Butterflies Across Nevada

The first time I traveled with Tom was October 2014, on our first trip to Front Sight. I saw tons of ravens and butterflies. One might not expect a gun club to double as a wildlife refuge, but it has a lot of open land, including large undeveloped areas where people aren’t allowed. The first day out in the open desert, I saw lots of ravens. One raven flew over the range with prey in its beak. And the butterflies! Yellow ones, white ones, blue ones, brown ones, two different kinds of orange ones, even a couple of Monarchs!

Butterflies are Sigyn’s animal messengers, just like ravens are Odin’s. I took both those signs as cosmic thumbs ups.

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