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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My interview on The Bard's Archive

Asatru and Heathen religion in the modern age was the topic of my recent appearance on The Bard's Archive. This is a video interview, and includes some cute video of my cat Happy. Viewers also get to see my main house altar. I got so wrapped up in the topic, when Garret asked at the end if I had anything to add, I forgot to say "Buy my book!" lol. The link to the video appears at the end of this post, below my other news. 


Two recent gnosis experiences

I've had a couple more recent gnosis experiences. One was literally about "my Odin and other peoples' Odins" like the famous essay, I think it was by Beth Wodanis? (I tried to look it up to be sure of the author but search engines are now one of those things that just don't work like they used to, unfortunately. I couldn't find the essay.) The other one was about the goddess Skadhi. 

Someone Else's Odin

Not everything I do as a gythia is as exciting as having my writing published or appearing on a video channel. Somes it's background checking new member applications to the Asatru Facebook Forum, to keep out Nazis and trolls. Sometimes it's co-ordinating the schedules of my kindred members to find a date and time we can all get together for a ritual. 

Sometimes it consists of chatting with other heathens online. I have an unfortunate tendency to be able to connect to other peoples' aspects of gods from their descriptions of events when I'm chatting with them online, when the person and I are interacting. It doesn't usually happen from reading a book or blog, so that's pretty safe. It's unfortunate because sometimes it affects my connection my own gods and their aspects. I blogged about the time I accidentally connected with someone else's Loki and Sigyn and how that blew out my ability to hear some of the goddesses for a long time, and how they had to take action to reconnect with me. It's also happened to a lesser extent with other people and their aspects of gods, and each time I have to cut that connection to reconnect with my own. Some of those people I've maintained friendships with, others not. 

Recently when I chatted online with someone who is dedicated to Odin. I must have started to form a connection with his Odin because it affected my connection with mine. The day after I chatted with him, while I was doing my morning coffee ritual, I noticed the problem. I was still able to speak with my Odin about it and he handled it for me. 

I had to tell the person with whom I had been chatting that I can't hear any more descriptions of what his aspect is like or what he says. I had to draw that boundary so I can maintain my own connection with my own aspect of Odin. I had to tell the person that I can't chat about exactly what his Odin is like, or feels like, says, or does, but we can still talk about other things. It turned out he had already decided not to share any more about that anyway. So it turned out well. 

My ability to connect with other people and the human and nonhuman beings that are important to them is only unfortunate under the unusual circumstance when I accidentally connect with someone else's version of one of my gods, which has only happened less than a handful of times in my life. Usually, that ability is very fortunate, literally, because it's one of the abilities I use in fortune telling. When I read runes, I am using my knowledge of the runes, my intuitive senses, and my connection with Odin and with the ancestors, but if I could not also connect with the person for whom I am reading none of that would precipitate a reading for them. I've done uncounted rune readings over the years. It's easier to read in person, but I have done rune readings by phone and by internet chat too. So the ability is really not unfortunate at all. Since I've already experienced the disaster of connecting with someone else's god channel, I know to be wary of it and back off. Odin handled it for me this time, and he has assured that specific wrong being won't be around me again. I still need to not invite it back though, so I will be refraining from hearing more about it. 

Growing Closer to Skadhi

I call the group of gods to whom I'm closest my god pile. Recently there's been a change of which gods are in my god pile. I've become close to Skadhi again.

I grew close to her in my early 20s when I lived in California and I used to go snowshoeing and cross country skiing with the Sierra Club at the club's lodge on Donner Summit. The poem I consider my best is Skadhi: Water Cycle, which was inspired by Odin during that time. A few years ago when I was writing Some Say Fire inspired mostly by Loki and Odin, due to writing most of the book from Loki's perspective I found myself with much less of a connection to Skadhi even though outside of the Fireverse, real life Loki doesn't have a problem with her. 

This winter, my housemate got a reading that pointed to her needing to connect with the winter powers, and I started thinking of ways to help her do that, starting with getting close to Skadhi. I'm not sure if my housemate got close to her, but I got back in touch with her myself. I promised Skadhi that if I saw snowflakes falling from the sky that I would make hot cocoa with peppermint and raise a toast to her. The snowflakes fell and I made the cocoa and toasted her with it. And another day, snow fell again. My housemate and her fellow and I stood on the front porch watching the rain and it turned into snow and then hail. It was delightful and magical. It's now spring but when I close my eyes I can see Skadhi in my mind's eye, smiling. 



Link to my interview on The Bard's Archive: 

This video goes live today (May 4, 2023.) Check it out!



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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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