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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Sumbel at Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day 2018

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Last Saturday, Prudence Priest and I conducted an Asatru sumbel ritual at Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day 2018, at the Unitarian Universalist Church. I acted as gythia (priestess, aka gydhja) and Prudence acted as valkyrie (mead woman.) We were in the workshop space, rather than the speaker space, because sumbel is an audience participation ritual where everyone makes a toast. Our ritual was packed, and went very well.

Before beginning the ritual, while waiting for all participants to assemble, I explained the Heathen Visibility Project (see my post with that title) and let participants know where to sit or stand if they wished to be in the photos or to not be in the photos. More photos of this event are available on my Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt pages.

We had two horns for the sumbel, one containing alcohol and one containing a non-alcoholic beverage for those who preferred not to drink alcohol at that time. The alcohol horn had my home grown Northern Lights Goddesses Brew in it; several participants expressed appreciation of the Brew.

In the video below, Prudence is singing her Valkyrie song while I use my knife Lalaknifr to break the seal on the non-alcohol bottle. I am wearing full ritual robes while Prudence is in a more understated dress as she had to leave for the airport right after the ritual. This video was taken by Raven.

I received positive feedback after the ritual. Thank you to all the participants and to those who made this event possible.

Image: Prudence (far left) holding one of the horns while a participant uses the other horn to make a toast. Photo by Cathy.

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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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