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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The Apport by the Roadside

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In February 2017, I was walking along a road with my friend and fellow author Jodie Forrest. What happened next, she described as an apport, a word I had to look up. It means an object produced during a spiritualist séance.

It was a sunny winter day in southern California. Ravens danced above an open field. There were always ravens around wherever Jodie was.

We were talking about Novel Gnosis, a nonfiction book to which we each contributed a chapter, that we expect to be published soon. Novel Gnosis is a spiritual experience or spiritual wisdom gained from writing fiction. She mentioned that in her chapter she wrote about an encounter with Thor that she had while having an asthma attack. I related my experience with the god Lodhur, one of the three brothers who sculpted humanity in Norse mythology, that I had while having an asthma attack.

I said, “In the old language of heathen lore, physical inspiration and spiritual inspiration are the same word. It’s the name of Odin, Odh-inn, inspiring one.”

Jodie nodded. “Other languages have that concept, too.”

She asked me if the gods had ever given me a message for humankind. “Yes, I got a message for all humanity from Thor. ‘Stop poisoning the Earth.’ Getting that message out was the one of the main reasons I decided to start writing my Pagansquare blog. After I had blogged about that, that post didn’t get very many likes. People like adventure stories, but they didn’t like the exhortations. So I felt I hadn’t reached enough people, so when my fellow Pagansquare blogger John Halstead posted about wanting to create A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment, I jumped on that and volunteered to help write and edit it.”

We were going uphill, and my long-winded speech had me out of breath. Jodie said she saw some litter by the side of the road, so we stopped to look for it. “I don’t see it now. I looked like a chapstick.”

A tall eucalyptus tree cast a long shadow across the black asphalt road and the sunken, damp ground beside it. Green grass grew wild farther from the road.

I saw something on the ground. “It’s there, between your feet.”

She picked it up. Her blue eyes widened with astonishment. “It says Natural Inhaler. The gods sent you an inhaler.”

I took it, and sniffed it. “It’s minty.” My voice came out normal. I was no longer out of breath.

“They sent that to help you with asthma and to approve of getting Thor’s message out.”

“Yes. And now I have a story to tell.”

Image: A photo of my spiritual souvenir wall altar, with the Natural Inhaler next to the jewelry I had previously dedicated to Lodhur, which had come apart just prior to the trip on which this event occurred.

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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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