Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious / 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, and recently also formalized a relationship with the threefold Odin. 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 as an out heathen.
Reconnecting with Sigyn, Part 2: My Wings

 

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  • katherine manaan
    katherine manaan says #
    this was wonderful. thank you.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome! Glad you liked it!

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Where Poets Go

After my 2 wedding visions, I was no longer sure where I would go when I die. For 25 years I had expected to go to Freya in Folkvangr. I had previously had a brief glimpse of Odin appearing to me at death, as I related in my post Seeing My Own Death in the Runes, but I had not really thought that I would go to him because I thought his humans went to Valhalla, and Valhalla was only for the battle dead. I don't expect to die in battle, and I would not really want to join the army after death anyway, and that's what going to Valhalla means. It's not Heaven or Paradise, it's a training base for the Last War. It did not sound appealing to me. 

I didn't want to fight on the other side either. I had always expected to sit out the Last War, as Freya's dead humans are not prophesied to participate in it. I always pictured Folkvangr as a place where both battle dead and some other types of people went. And cats. I pictured cats.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once read that we lay our path through the afterlife in the dreams we have while living. If that's true then I have two or thre
Reconnecting with Sigyn, Part 1: Learning From My Mistake

A godphone is like a computer that automatically signs you into your email; if you're using someone else's and you don't know how to sign out and sign back in as yourself, you'll accidentally get their messages instead of yours. If you don't realize what happened it can be really confusing.

Continuing the story of my personal journey on my path from the part where I broke my connection with "Other-Sigyn" as related in my post My Two Weddings Part 4: Odin and Honir: 

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Sif's Wheat, Part 2: Her Idol

The Sif doll seated on the harvested wheat. This is a Lithuanian doll that I bought in an amber shop along with some amber in 1989. Shortly after I dedicated part of my garden to Sif last year, I was walking past the display of folk art in my house where I used to display this doll and it called to me to dedicate it to Sif. So I did a dedication ritual, which I related in my post A Doll for Sif. I moved the doll to my Spiritual Souvenir display, which is kind of a wall altar.

I almost always make, remake, or repurpose things to dedicate rather than buying things new for that purpose. I feel that conserving resources is part of how I live as a heathen.

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Sif's Wheat, Part 1: Harvesting in June

The Wheel of the Year is different for me than it was for the ancient Northern Europeans. I live in the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada. Part of respecting nature is respecting local conditions rather than trying to stick to what a book says should be because that's the way the ancestors did it. 

Last December, as I related in my blog post Planting Heritage Wheat for Sif, I planted locally adapted arid-lands wheat in a small garden area dedicated to her. Here are my results. I harvested this wheat in early June. 

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi, thanks, I haven't ground and baked it into bread yet. At the moment it's on the table as a display for Sif. I'm posting a pic
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've never tried growing wheat before; though I did try growing sweet corn one year, but it looks fine to me. The real proof is i

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My 2 Weddings, Part 4: Odin and Honir

June 28, 2014 was exactly my 2 month Lokiversary, although I was so deep in my writing I didn't realize it.

I made the mistake of following the suggestion of another human being about a meditation on Loki and Sigyn. When I I went into that half awake, half asleep state of hypnogogia, I accidentally connected to the gods through someone else's filter. At the time, I wasn't aware of the idea that each person connects with their own personal aspect of a god. Later, when I read "My Odin and Other People's Odins" on Beth Wodanis's blog, it helped me understand what went wrong that night.

I ended up in a vision I was not meant to have, in a place I was not meant to go, dealing with some version of the gods who were not my own. Due to what I heard, I became terrified that Sigyn was going to make Loki leave all his human brides, including me. 

I was not just afraid of losing my god-husband, I was afraid of losing my mind. I knew that the process of writing Some Say Fire was healing me of those last vestiges of old hurt that I had thought would never heal. I knew that I had to complete the process to be fully healed, and I needed to continue to hand my problems over to Loki as my higher power to do it. My mind was under renovation and if this process just stopped in the middle I wouldn't be 98% healed like I was before it started, I'd be living in a torn-down ruin of a mind with the walls ripped open and the flooring ripped out. And I was not just afraid of losing my mind, but afraid of losing it AGAIN. Afraid of going back to how I'd been before therapy in my 20s. 

I started crying, and I couldn't stop. I bawled so hard I started to wheeze and have an asthma attack. Other-Loki was oblivious. Other-Sigyn told me to get out. I did what she wanted. I brainscrubbed by doing the Freya meditation that I hardly ever did anymore because it fills my whole body with Freya's light and no other god could be with me when I did it. I deliberately broke our connection because that's what they wanted me to do.

For the first time since Loki had come to me as Lodhur and filled me with the divine breath, I was having an asthma attack and I was by myself. I had come to trust Loki/Lodhur to always be there for me to fill me with breath. I was blossoming in my offline interactions with other people because I did not have to skip things held in smoking venues anymore. And now I couldn't breathe. And he wasn't there to help me.

I tried to wait it out. That works sometimes. It works if I got an attack because of exercise and I stop exercising and lie down and be quiet. I could feel the light of Freya in my heart, like I always could since I dedicated to her in 1989, but I couldn't hear her, or hear any of the gods. There was a terrible silence within.

I still couldn't breathe right and this had gone on for half an hour and it was starting to become a real medical emergency. I needed the divine breath. The divine breath is actually Odin's power. I knew that the only reason Loki was able to give me that breath is because he and Odin could call on each other's powers at will. So I called Odin. And I was filled with breath. I could breath, and my body relaxed. Odin put his arms around me, Odin's face looked down on me gently, Odin's voice comforted me, Odin's divine breath filled my lungs.

I had always suspected that I might come out of this process of writing this book as Odin-claimed. Looking back at having come to heathenism through rune magic, having been inspired with his poetry and learning bersarkrgangr, having once been ready to swear myself to him the day that Freya arrived and claimed me instead, having had that vision during runecasting that I would end up with Odin after my death, having become convinced that the being coming to me as Loki was sometimes really Odin, and that it was their combined form Lodhur that gave me breath, and that they were both separate and not separate, all this led up to this moment.

I saw particles of gold lifting from the ring Loki had put on my hand, rising like steam. "No, I still want that," I said. 

But it lifted away. Then it floated before my eyes and I saw two new metals join it. Over Loki's bright gold, he twisted on a wire of silver and fused it to the gold, for himself. Then another wire of something else, something not quite visible, became fused to it, and that was for Honir. Honir's wire was clear with a blue vein through it. I found myself with the revelation that Honir was a soul changer.

I said, “I want that ring back.”

The ring went back on my left ring finger. Changed. Married to all three of them now. To the triple Odin. Still a Bride of Loki, yes, but with the whole brother trio now. I could not just see it but feel it. I could feel the ring on my hand, feel the pulse in my finger like there was a physical ring on it.

I still can. 

 

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My 2 Weddings, Part 3: May Day with Loki

May Day 2014 was the first ritual I attended after Loki started skinriding me almost every day. Because he could be present in my body at any time, I have to be sure that every ritual I go to is a Loki-friendly one put on by Loki-welcoming people. If Loki isn't welcome in main ritual space, and he's in here with me, then I can't enter main ritual space.

It would not make any sense for me to put a lot of time and effort into getting to a ritual if I can't be sure I'll be able to participate in it. Luckily, there was a ritual I could attend right in my local area. 

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