Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen
My personal experiences, including religious / spiritual experiences, modern life on a heathen path, community interaction, and general heathenry.
I’m Erin Lale, author of Asatru For Beginners, and this is my first post in my new Gnosis Diary. I’ll be telling the story of my personal gnosis journey from the beginning, starting with the next post, until I catch up with the current time.
I’ve been a sworn Priestess of Freya since 1989, and recently also became a bride of the triple Odin. I work with all the gods of the heathen pantheon. All my earliest spiritual experiences were with Native American land spirits and animal totem spirits, though. I did not know the heathen path was my path until I was 17.
When I was 5, I came home from kindergarten wanting to know which group of children was allowed to play with me, so I asked my father, “What religion are we?”
My father was part Cherokee and Shawnee. His response was, “Listen to the corn. Listen to the wind. Listen to your heart.”
That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I still listen to the corn, but now it speaks with the voice of Sif, the heathen goddess. She has a message for humanity.
Since late last year, I’ve been writing a novel based on Norse mythology, and I have been getting frequent flashes of UPG—Unverified Personal Gnosis—while writing. Sometimes I see a vision or hear the gods talking, and sometimes I just put my hands on the keyboard and words flow out. This is a common experience among fiction authors. It is usually not actual gods talking, but sometimes it is.
The following extract from my work in progress is the vision Sif gave me while I was writing. After the extract I explain what I think it means.
Extracted from my novel in progress, Some Say Fire:
Thor entered Sif’s temple. It was built of white marble and gilt embellishments, almost in the Roman style. It was open to the air on all sides and a gentle breeze drifted through it, but the central sanctuary was visually closed to the outside. Thor walked into the space where he knew Sif would be waiting for him near the large white bowl where the offerings to her from Midgard appeared.
Sif lay sprawled by her sacrificial bowl, unmoving, all color drained from her skin, a stalk of wheat dropped near her hand.
“Sif!” Thor rushed to her, knelt and took her hand, which was as cold and white as the stone around her. He put his ear to her heart, and heard nothing. He kissed her and she did not stir.
He roared his grief to the nine worlds and tore his hair. “How could you be dead?”
He looked around for any clue as to what might have killed her. If there had been any marks of violence on her body, he would have picked up his hammer and gone to take revenge on the murderer. But there was no sign of what killed her, and nothing in her temple but the offering.
Thor picked up the grain she had dropped, the same kind as filled her bowl. It looked like wheat, and it smelled like wheat, but it was not wheat. It was poison.
Thor carefully laid out her body in a funeral arrangement before her altar. Her gold wig detached from her head and slipped off. It no longer had the magic of growing like her hair, waving in the wind like a field of wheat. The endless cycle of reaping and sowing had broken. It looked like thin metal wire again now, just as it had the day Loki had brought it to Asgard.
Loki. There was a thought, a vague hope. Thor picked up Sif’s hair and the stalk of wheat and stumbled weeping from her temple. He ran like he was chasing giants until he came to Sigyn’s little flower garden full of birdsong.
Loki sat against the trunk of a tree, reading a leather-bound volume. He stood as he heard Thor thunder down the path.
“Sif is dead!” Thor yelled.
“I didn’t do anything!” Loki protested, dropping his book.
Thor threw the stalk of wheat on the ground. It blackened the moss where it touched and the flowers around it wilted.
“What are you doing to Sigyn’s garden?” Loki grabbed the stalk, and the death stopped spreading. “Is this what killed your wife?”
“Come with me.” Thor grabbed Loki by the arm and hustled him away from Sigyn’s cottage.
“I can’t fix this, Thor,” Loki said. “I can’t raise the dead and I can’t restore Midgard’s food to the way it’s supposed to be. Purifying is not my power.”
“I came to Sif’s temple today for the annual Ritual of the Plough.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“I need your help. Shape shift into Sif.”
Loki saw that Thor was pulling him to the temple, where no man but Thor was allowed. “I would be delighted to transform for you. Let me just pop back to my place and get some things.”
Loki tried to pull out of Thor’s grip, but Thor held on to his sleeve.
“No. Put on Sif’s clothes.” Thor pushed him into the inner sanctum, where Sif’s body lay cold and growing stiff.
“You’re mad with grief.”
Thor put Sif’s wig on Loki’s head.
“Not her hair!”
“The ritual must be completed by noon. Put on the clothes.”
What I think Sif’s Message means:
This is a warning to humankind to stop using poison GMOs.
In this scene, genetically modified grain killed Sif. It’s been killing her for years, killing the earth, ultimately killing us humans, too. The poison grain that grows its own pesticides, its pollen contaminating more and more land with each gust of wind, spread over the Earth until there were no heritage grains left.
This is a graphic description of what it feels like to Sif to have those poison GMOs planted and growing and harvested. It feels to her like we humans are ripping off the grain goddess’s hair, putting it on a shape shifter, and pretending it’s her.
Sif gave me this vision to give to humanity to tell us to stop killing her before it’s too late.
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