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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Erin Lale

Erin Lale

Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners. An updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, is coming in 2020 from Red Wheel / Weiser. Erin 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, created the Heathen Calendar 2017 and 2018, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.

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A Scent for Odin

This is a story about inspiration. I was chatting online with a friend and received some inspiration, which came to me as a poetic description, and then he used that prompt to meditate and receive his own inspiration, which came to him as a formula for his craftwork. 

My local friend Derin Deschain is a perfumer. He is Romani, and a hedge rider and witch. And this week he has green hair, lol. He sells his perfumes from his Etsy store Cherry-ka's Trunk. 

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Save the Monarch for Sigyn

Earth Day is coming soon. Earth Day used to be Arbor Day, when people planted trees. Some modern Asatruars call it Yggdrasil Day, meaning day of the World-Tree. Although every day should be Earth Day for pagans and heathens, for those who are looking for a way to commemorate it, I have a suggestion: save the Monarch Butterfly. 

Butterflies symbolize many things across many cultures. Modern heathens and pagans have come to associate the butterfly with the goddess Sigyn. The process started with personal gnosis, became group gnosis, and eventually found some foundation in the lore, as I explore in my upcoming paper "Sigyn: Butterfly Goddess," scheduled to be published soon in Witches & Pagans Magazine.

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Asatru FAQ: Do I Need a Kindred?

Frequently Asked Question: Do I need a kindred to practice Asatru?

This question is usually accompanied by a story like this: "Someone on a forum said I can't be a heathen by myself because Asatru is community oriented, but someone else told me I can't just go join a kindred like a church and I should just practice by myself, and someone else said heathenry is about family and I shouldn't even try to practice with other heathens."

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Slavic Pagan Holidays 2018 part 2: Spring

These holidays are drawn from various Slavic traditions and nations. Some of them are reconstructed and some of them are continuously celebrated in their countries of origin. Some of the continuously celebrated holidays are also celebrated by Christians. 

April

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Asatru FAQ: The Valknut

The valknut or "Knot of the Fallen" is used by contemporary heathens as a symbol of Odin. Those dedicated to Odin, most but not all of whom consider themselves warriors, wear a valknut to indicate their dedication. Some heathens say that wearing a Valknut means you are willing to die in battle and hope to be chosen to become an Einherjar, one of Odin's warriors in Valhalla. 

Odin and his brothers are a trinity (or triple god, depending on how you see it.) The brothers Odhinn, Honir, and Lodhur sculpted the world out of the body of Ymir, the primal giant, and sculpted the first humans out of driftwood. They are creator gods. The trinity has three sets of names: Odhinn / Honir / Lodhur, Odhinn / Vili / Ve, and Odin / Honir / Loki. In other languages, these names have slightly different forms. For example, Odin and Wotan are basically the same god, although one could have different experiences with the different cultural variations. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Long ago in the public library I remember coming across a book titled: "The men in the Pink Triangle". On the back of the book wa
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony, I'm not an expert on that part of history, but it is my understand that the black code was for political opponents of

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Asatru FAQ: Caregiving?

Frequently Asked Question: How do I deal with a family member in hospice care?

My answer:

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Asatru FAQ: Should I Do Daily Devotions?

A Frequently Asked Question about Asatru is: "Should I be doing devotional practices every day?"

My answer: "Should" doesn't get one very far, in my experience. If what you feel like doing is the standard holidays, do that. If you feel like doing no more than occasionally thinking about the gods and other powers, do that, then-- and if 30 years later you suddenly are excited about sharing joyous times with them, then there you go, change to that. "Should" makes things into church-on-Sunday boredom and obligation, and who wants to be somebody's boring chore? Not the gods, as far as I know. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks!
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    Love this! Having a drink with spirits is my favorite way to initiate and deepen relationships with them. I also love the emphasis

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