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.

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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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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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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My 2 Weddings, Part 2: The Dark Honeymoon
The first 5 days after I received Loki's ring were turbulent and sometimes dark. He was not the delighted and playful skinriding presence I had grown so used to. I was vaguely aware of him as a dark ball of anger somewhere distant from me. 
 
Some of my online relationships exploded, and I had to cut ties. But, some long time acquaintances suddenly grew closer and turned into friends. 
 
At first, I wondered if Loki's absence might be a test of faith. Then I realized that I was better off without the people he kicked out of my life. Old acquaintances suddenly, inexplicably contacted me to renew and deepen old relationships. I realized that Loki had been away arranging my life for my benefit. 
 
I would never have guessed in advance who Loki would kick out of my life, and who would grow closer. I suppose that's the reason he arranged this part of my life for me, because I didn't guess right all the time about who I should be friends with. All the people I fought against online in those few days claimed to be Lokeans. Only when I was trying to get them out of my online friends lists did I discover some of them were not who they seemed to be.
 
The biggest surprise was grower closer to a longtime acquaintance who avoided Loki. Despite that, we started sharing our personal gnosis with each other, and beta reading each other's writing. We evolved into friends as well as colleagues. One of the lessons to learn here is that when people on different paths respect that my path is my path, your path is your path, and we don't have to walk the same path to be friends, we can walk together on our different roads in friendship.
 
Image: fire in darkness, by Anupam Sunil, Creative Commons license, via Wikimedia Commons
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My 2 Weddings, part 1: Loki

On April 28, 2014, I was reading reading a novel in bed. My eyes closed and my Kindle slipped from my hand onto the pillow. Instead of drifting off to sleep, I drifted into hypnogogia, that dreamy state in which I am awake and aware but can't move and can see images as if I were dreaming.

Loki appeared, and I expressed anxiety that he and the other gods would stop talking to me when I was done writing the book they were inspiring me to write.

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The Morality of Chaos

I've been reading Warhammer: Trollslayer. And today's google doodles have many alternate versions, but one is a fox. What do these two things have to do with each other? Read on.

Tom N. lent me his copy of Trollslayer because there's some transparently heathen content in it. Aside from the things copied from Tolkien, like the dwarf warrior character, which are ultimately derived from Norse mythology through the lens of Tolkien, there is also the point of view character's religion. Felix, the narrator and Gotrek's sidekick, worships Sigmar, a Thor-like god (whose worshippers have a few structures borrowed from Christianity, but not enough to obscure the meaning of wearing a hammer symbol around one's neck for protection.) 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Loving
    John Loving says #
    *waves at Erin* On Chaos, A chaotic alignment doesn't equate to be evil... Chaotic Evil... is more let us burn the village down be
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi, John. (waves back.) Yep. Thanks!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm glad to read that I wasn't the only one who related that Nolan chart to the AD&D alignment chart. I've enjoyed AD&D over the
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks and you're welcome!

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