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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Swords and Swimming

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This post covers 3 topics:

1. the Swords and Swimming ritual, my kindred's summer ritual this year;

2. the Desecration of Stonehenge today, June 19, 2024;

3. My latest appearance on The Bard's Archive, with a link.

We had our summer ritual as the Swords and Swimming ritual this year. I got the idea for this from a conversation with Prof. Kant at the American Academy of Religion, so of course I invited her as our special guest. 

We used our swords to draw up blessings from ancestors and beloved dead from the realm of the dead to bless ourselves and other family members present. Ancestors doesn't just mean people related to you, it can also be found family, your favorite author, or even plants. Plants are ancestors too. Some ritual participants took home a sunprint of flowers from the garden. Then we held a standard sumbel and blot, especially asking for blessings from the mermaids, the Nine Mothers of Heimdall. 

We had our feast first, did our ritual at sunset, and then had a night swim with solar pool lights.


There is terrible news for pagans and heathens today. Vandals have desecrated Stonehenge. According to the Wikipedia page, "Statements by the organization also stated that the date of the protest one day prior to the summer solstice intentionally coincided with the planned gathering during the summer solstice." This means this was an intentional hate crime directed against pagans. 

Link to Wikipedia page on Vandalism of Stonehenge June 19, 2024: 

 This news broke today, so there may be new elements of the story coming to light later.


In positive news, I was interviewed on The Bard's Archive again. This time I talked about the Heathen Visibility Project, how generative "AI" is affecting the Project and makers of art and writing. I also introduced viewers to my new kitty Sweetheart. 

When I watched this, I cringed at how many times I said "uh" and couldn't think of the next word. However, the information was great and it was a great interview. It's always great talking with host Garret Pray, who can really draw a lot of great responses from a guest. He's already invited me back for another show later in the summer, in which I'll be weaving as we talk. Take a look at how my kitty holds onto my paper for me lol. 

My appearance on The Bard's Archive in June 2024: 


Image: Photo of Erin Lale conducting an Asatru ritual. She has a sword in one hand and orbs of light in her other hand. Creative Commons, editorial use only, for the Heathen Visibility Project.

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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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