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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A Dream and Some News

For those waiting for me to report some more personal gnosis here on Gnosis Diary, today is the day! I had a significant dream, another gnosis experience, and I also have a few news items to report. I'll start with the dream. The gods usually don't appear in my dreams. This one felt very different from regular dreams.


I dreamt I was given a treasure map. It looked like one of those pirate treasure maps one might see in a movie. It was a map to ancestral treasures, and I was supposed to go hunt for the treasures all over the place using the map. Instead I commanded the ancestral treasures to rise from the map and come to me. Blue balls of light rose from the map and came to me. I said my action out loud as if I were playing a tabletop role playing game: "I grasp them with my arthritic witch hand." (After I woke up, I really had a what the heck moment wondering why I said that even though it's an accurate description.) I screened the energy to make sure it was all good energy and then absorbed it. Loki was standing there. He said, "That's cheating! I like it."

backup forums

Because Russia has banned and blocked Facebook, the Asatru Facebook Forum has activated our backup forums on MeWe and Discord. We'll have them go back to backup dormant status after Facebook is accessible to everyone again. The main forum is also still active but I'm not doing any Official Threads or other content designed to increase forum activity right now.

Laurie Wise

The family of Laurie Wise posted a week ago that Laurie has left mortal existence. I hope she has had an easy passage and is now on to her destination. It must be especially hard for her family having her pass so soon after her husband Kirby. I've expressed condolences to her family on behalf of myself and of the rest of the Trollslayers. Laurie brought a lot of forum modding experience to our team and she will be missed. Hail to Laurie! As is my custom, I raised a toast to her, and also one to Hel asking that if Laurie has not arrived at her proper destination yet that the goddess help her get where she is supposed to go.

book in bookstore

For the first time, I saw my book on a shelf in a bookstore (a book that I didn't bring there to hold a signing event, that is.) I have been waiting for this moment my whole life. Or at least since I published my first poem as a small child. The pandemic delayed my going into a bookstore to see if my book was there because the local bookstores were locked down when my book was released in 2020. I was unable to do signing events locally and was also unable to travel to the festivals where I would expect to sign my book, because they were canceled too. I pivoted to internet promotion as much as I could. Recently it occurred to me that all the local stores were open so I drove on over.

I snapped a pic of my book on the bookshelf in my local Barnes & Noble and posted it across all my social media. A reader commented on my Minds post. Minds review from Raven Wulfgar: "Having read this one, it is one I recommend if you are looking to dip the toes into the water. It's a great introduction and a very lovely gateway into that which we believe. Even if you're not inclined to believe it but just want to understand it, this book serves that purpose as well." We had a conversation about R. W. having read the audiobook version of my book and my fan re-shared it again with another great review! "I'm telling ya, you need this book. No agendas, no BS. I'll tell you what, take this challenge. Cross-reference this book with The Poetic and/or Prose Edda. You'll see exactly why I recommend it. "

root gnosis

For years, I had a feeling of being unsafe when I walked on the pavers leading to my side yard gate. I thought it was because they were a tripping hazard since they were uneven. I was not able to do anything about it before I became the house holder, and since I thought the safety issue was tripping and falling it wasn't my highest priority, but I got around to the project at last and when the workers removed the pavers and dug out the area for pouring cement, a large tree root was exposed. A tree root that not only went under the foundation but also under the gas meter. Yikes! I imagined the gas line breaking, a crack in the foundation, fumes building up. The root went under the foundation of the house but it was just the garage, well, but that's where the car is, and of course when one turns on an internal combustion engine it throws a spark. My writerly imagination had no trouble picturing what could happen next. Yes, I would say that could be described as unsafe. My feeling was entirely correct. I would call that a sixth sense experience.

Of course I had to stop and have a conversation with the tree and explain why this was unsafe for me and get permission to cut the root. It was fairly easy to talk to the tree because this is my sacred pine tree from which I regularly cut branches to use to asperge blessings onto ritual participants, and I always ask the tree for permission every time, so I've been talking with it for years. With the tree's understanding and agreement, the work proceeded.

Ostara or Sigrblot

Ostara, also called Eostre, is basically pagan Easter. It's a Germanic or English holiday. Like most American Asatruers, my ancestry and cultural referents are actually German rather than Icelandic. My grandparents on my mom's side spoke German as their first language, and I grew up hearing my mom speaking German with her same age and older relatives. I also have Germans on my father's side, although they are from before the founding of the USA, and come with some interesting other ancestries.

Sigrblot is an Icelandic holiday which was celebrated in historical heathen times and which some modern Asatruers also celebrate. It means Victory Sacrifice and is performed before going to battle, and also generally performed in the spring before Viking raiding season.

I don't do a Sigrblot myself because I'm not planning to do any fighting and don't need to sacrifice for victory. If you're going to volunteer in Ukraine, of course do a Sigrblot! And possibly say hi to the Slavic gods on whose territory you will be living and fighting.

Some heathens do a Sigrblot and try to apply it to some other type of success. Success and victory in battle are not the same thing. A sacrifice for prosperity, or fertility of the soil, etc. are different than a Sigrblot. Ostara is more suitable for a general celebration of springtime, and has built in activities for the small children to keep them occupied while the grownups are toasting. Plus, it resonates with Americans as part of our culture. My kindred, American Celebration Kindred, celebrates American holidays as well as Asatru ones, hence the name. We will be celebrating Ostara with an egg hunt for natural dyed eggs for the children as well as the usual toasting and blessing in the Asatru style, followed by feasting. Eggs are definitely on the menu. Not sure about the bunny stew. Happy Ostara!


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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.


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