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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in heathenvisibility

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Heathen Visibility Project 2023 in Review

The Heathen Visibility Project was gearing back up in the early part of the year, continuing last year's trend. We were making more photos of people again, after pausing while groups and gatherings were sidelined by the pandemic lockdowns. However, a monkeywrench was thrown in the works by the sudden appearance of so-called "AI" art, and art websites' widespread embrace of it. What is being called generative AI is not true artificial intelligence, but since that's the term that's most commonly used, I'll be calling it "AI" as well (while hoping any true AI out there knows I'm not talking about it.) It's really just ML, machine learning.

Creators have to decide if it is worth continuing to create and share their work when the net is flooded with computer generated swill. The garbage churned out by "AI" / ML programs fills up searches, social media feeds, host sites, and sales sites, while human-made works become harder to find. Worse, the "AI" art and writing are based on the human-made work, mostly without the creators' consent. Some "AI" art prompts generate art with recognizable models and celebrity faces and sometimes even the watermarks of the artists whose works were stolen to train the "AI" systems. It's discouraging.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project 2022 in Review
The Heathen Visibility Project seeks to fill search engine space with free images of Asatru and Heathen subjects for the use of journalists and others. We want to see accurate, positive portrayals of actual religious Asatru people, gatherings, etc., rather than hate groups or fictional characters, illustrating articles about Asatru and Heathenry. This post is about new developments in 2022. For info on "How To" use the images or participate in the project, please see the linked posts at the bottom.
Project photos and videos created
In January 2022, for the first time since just before Tom died in 2020, I made a video on my Heathen Visibility youtube channel. It's not scripted or styled or anything but it does have a cute cat in it.

In August, as a result of a plan created with a magazine editor about advertising my book, I did a photoshoot with my book. Since the ad was for a magazine, I was going for an editorial look. I chose to dress as a modern, sophisticated city heathen rather than appear in ritual robes or in the historical garb which is common in images of Asatru and heathenry. Since I only needed one of the photos for the ad, I selected some of the others for use in the Heathen Visibility Project. (See my post Freya Glamor on how I achieved my look for the photoshoot to see one of the photos. A different one of the photos from that shoot is included in this post.)
In September, Amanda planned and led Haustblot for our kindred. Amanda is the first gythia I trained. Haustblot is an autumn seasonal and harvest ritual. Just before the ritual started, Amanda, I, and some of the ritual participants posed for a Heathen Visibility Project photo. (See my post Haustblot and Other Rituals to see the photo.)
In December, my cat Happy decided I needed to do a rune cat photoshoot as I was getting ready for a Yule ritual. The resultant photo is in my Heathen Visibility Project gallery on Deviantart, here: Rune Cat by erinlale on DeviantArt 
Search Engine Results
The Project is getting results. As a test, I searched terms related to the Project on the internet. I did a search on various Project related terms on Bing, because it's the search engine default from a popular browser. The top search results for the terms heathen, Asatru, #heathenvisibility and Heathen Visibility Project all return first page results that do not contain any racist or neonazi images. The first page results for these terms still contain a lot of fictional character images but none of them were Marvel. That's huge progress. The top nonfiction links for the terms #heathenvisibility and Heathen Visibility Project go to blog entries here on Pagansquare about the project. The top nonfiction links for the terms Heathen and Asatru go to various wiki and dictionary definitions and to religious websites or forums. This is excellent progress from where we were when we started. 
News Coverage
There has not been very much news coverage of Asatru and related topics this year. However, Asatru was mentioned briefly in an article on a major news site about Asian religions using swastikas. MSN (Microsoft Network, official news aggregator site of Microsoft the software company) ran an AP (Associated Press) article on modern issues about the Swastika. While the focus is on Asian religions, the article also mentions other symbols appropriated by hate groups and the struggle to keep such symbols available for religious use, including the Thor's Hammer. 
Link to the article: 

Heathen Visibility Project "How To" Links:

Resources for Editorial Use: 
How to Create and Share Images:  
Image: Erin Lale with her book. Erin is wearing modern dress and Asatru jewelry including a Thor's Hammer, standing on a city street in front of a mural of a cityscape. She is holding her book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Photo by Jim Connor for the Heathen Visibility Project. This photo is free to use for editorial purposes. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Raven at the Cemetery

When I went out to the Veterans' Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada, to lay flowers at Tom's marker, a large raven flew over the graveyard and landed on the peak of the roof of the building next to the Columbarium, which is where the urns and ashes are installed. I gasped in awe. I felt that it was one of Odin's ravens, come to watch over the warrior dead.

It was Memorial Day, 2022, and every grave had a small flag planted on it. The markers in the Columbarium had not been similarly decorated, though. I left flowers from my garden at Tom's marker.

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Heathen Visibility Project Resources for Editorial Use

The purpose of the Project is to enable media to portray our community accurately. The Heathen Visibility Project's goal is to fill search engines with heathen events, people, symbols, etc. that can be used to illustrate articles about the various branches of heathenry. All images tagged #heathenvisibility are free for editorial use.

To find Project images, search the heathenvisibility hashtag "#heathenvisibility" or the keywords "heathen visibility" on Twitter, Instagram, a search engine, stock photo site, etc., combined with the hashtags or keywords describing the subject of the images you want to find.

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Yuletide Heathen Visibility Project Photo Shoot

The Heathen Visibility Project has a serious purpose (see previous posts) but it's fun to participate. I take photos and am also in some photos. Many others create Project images.

All Heathen Visibility Project photos are available free to use for any newspaper, news station, magazine, reporter, journalist, media illustrator, blogger, etc. to use for editorial purposes to illustrate articles about Asatru, Heathen religion, and related topics. These images are free Creative Commons license images, free to use for non-commercial uses, attribution preferred.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project How To


What is the Project?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project Getting Results

The Project has enough images now so that when a journalist asked what images were available I was able to direct them to the #heathenvisibility hashtag and to Project galleries on Deviantart and Shutterstock. We always need more images, though, especially images that illustrate specific ideas.

The Project works through search engines, keywords, and hashtags, so tracking our success in getting Project images into search engine returns is an important part of the Project, so we can see what to try next. A standard Google search for the hashtag yielded some great results, for example, these links:

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