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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Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar Projects

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm creating a Heathen Calendar and a Slavic Calendar for 2017. I've accumulated holidays from various heathen traditions for the Heathen Calendar, including American Asatru, Icelandic Asatru, Theod, Forn Sed, Forn Sidr, American Northern Tradition, etc. I've also collected holidays from various Slavic traditions, including Old Slavic, Modern Rodnovery, and American Rus.

This is how I came to start this project. The company for which I work was recently purchased, and I'm now working for the same person who published my book American Celebration at Spero Publishing. One day Alan mentioned he'd like to start publishing calendars. And I emailed back, "Calendars, ay? You know what would be cool?" So there we are. Caliburn Press / Spero is going to start with two calendars, a Heathen one and a Slavic one, and hopefully add more calendars in future years.

When I started this project, I didn't realize how much work it was going to be. Now I know why no one has produced a modern calendar with all the different heathen holidays on it. Some holidays on old lunar calendars are set by moon phases, in the old Icelandic calendar all months started on Sunday, most of the historical records that provide Christian calendar dates equivalent to their country's then-current heathen calendar provide dates for the Julian calendar which then have to be translated to the Gregorian calendar, and there's a modern holiday for which I had to appeal to my friends to tell me how to calculate the heliacal rising of Sirius for future years. I've collected quite a list of holidays, but I'll be open to adding more right up until I turn the project over to the boss, which won't be until after I select 12 artworks for each calendar.

I'm looking for classical paintings to illustrate the two calendars. In future years, we hope to use art by living artists, but at least for the first year, we plan to use art that has fallen into the public domain due to its age. I've been deep in Google Image Search. I decided on paintings because I think full color art would look best on a calendar in print. These decisions necessarily mean most of the art will be from the Romantic era, but I promise: no horned helmets.

If anyone would like to suggest art, or holidays, for either the Heathen or Slavic calendars, please comment with your suggestions.

Image: Golden Tears by Gustav Klimt. I see this as an image of Freya, who wept tears of gold and amber while she searched for Odh ("Inspiration.")

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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.


  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Wednesday, 03 February 2016

    How cool! Excited to see them when they are done!

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Thursday, 04 February 2016

    Thanks! I'll post when they're in print.

  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener Friday, 05 February 2016

    Can you point us to more information on the "American Rus" you mention? First I've heard of it.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Friday, 05 February 2016

    American Rus holidays are modern additions to the Slavic pagan calendar which are celebrations of Rus heroes, particularly the early kings and queens such as Sviatoslav, Olga, etc. They are Days of Remembrance such as the ones that American Asatruars added to the traditional Asatru calendar. So for example, Icelandic Asatru has Thorrablot and Sigrblot, and some sects of American Asatru have a Day of Remembrance for Unn the Deep Minded, while the traditional Slavic holidays honor Slavic deities such as Perun and Mokosh, while American Rus holidays honor specifically Rus people, that is people from early Kievan Rus who were not Slavic people but Scandinavians.

  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener Friday, 05 February 2016

    Are there any American Rus groups? Links would be helpful.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Saturday, 06 February 2016

    Not specifically, as far as I know. The American Rus holidays are only celebrated by American groups that honor multiple traditions and multiple pantheons. The American Rus holidays were supplied to me along with a list of the traditional Slavic holidays from an American heathen source as holidays observed by groups who celebrate Russian and Slavic holidays in addition to heathen, Celtic, etc. So the groups that celebrate those holidays wouldn't be specifically American Rus groups, but multi-tradition groups such as some groves, kindreds, CUUPS, and other groups that try to be inclusive of all the reconstructed traditions of the local group's members.

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