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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Asatru News Spring 2024

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'll be participating in a round table discussion at the American Academy of Religion conference at UNLV in March. The title is History of Mystery: Pagans in Las Vegas. I plan to blog about the experience here, so stay tuned.

Next up on this post is my brief report about another author's article, with a link. After that I relate some of my recent personal gnosis.

About AI* from an Asatru perspective

The Wild Hunt ran an excellent essay about AI* in February. It's particularly about the relationship between Odin and creativity and wisdom. It's also particularly about university courses as the author is a professor. His university administration laid off most faculty and told the ones left to have AI chatbots write their courses, and to have the students use AI chatbots to write their essays and exams.  

Ásatrú and Artificial Intelligence - Arts & Culture, Culture, Living, Pagan Voices, Paganism, Perspectives, Religion, Science ( 

*What we call AI these days is not true artificial intelligence. It's just ML, Machine Learning. Chatbots are just fancy autocorrect working off plagiarized texts, and the art versions are the same thing but with images. 


And some gnosis here on Gnosis Diary:

One day during a rainstorm I was sitting and moping about having just found out my old egg allergy had reactivated. I had wanted to bake cookies while it was cold, and didn't know if I could still have them. I wondered if I could have bread, because it has eggs in it. I still have a little of an old box of egg replacer from before my egg allergy had gotten under control, but that was so long ago it was before I was trying to eat a diabetes control diet, and egg replacer just replaces the binding function in recipes, it's nothing like eggs nutritionally. Eggs are a zero carb protein, and egg replacer is basically just starch. And of course having to use it would mean I could only eat bread I baked, nothing from the grocery store. I enjoy baking bread but there were issues with this idea. So, I thought, can I eat bread?

The goddess Sif came to me and said yes I can eat bread. Bread, cookies, sandwich buns, anything from her special province, anything I would normally dedicate the first bite to her. I can eat it and she will keep me safe. 

So I celebrated by baking oatmeal cookies. Instead of vanilla I used some of the very last of my Northern Light's Goddesses Brew whiskey. I made several flavors of chips (sugar free white chocolate, sugar free dark chocolate, etc.) and set a plate for her with one of each flavor. I set the plate on my main house altar and applied the Sif (Bilskirnir) and Thor (Thunderstrike) perfumes to my arms. I ceremoniously said Hail Sif and ate one of bite of each cookie for her, before finishing the rest of the plate for myself. I can feel her smiling even as I write this. 

I must point out that this occurred after years of devotion. I started out trying to get non-GMO breads and other grain based items into stores where I could buy them, at her request. I developed personal rules for my shopping behavior, and taught them to others. I promoted her desire for this here on my blog and elsewhere. I've dedicated many bites of bread, corn tortillas and just about anything else based on wheat or corn over years of time. And this occurred, also, after I developed a godphone and got used to being open to the gods' messages. This didn't just happen, it happened because of the relationship we developed over years of interaction. 

Also, I didn't ask. I was just considering how to deal with my problem and she showed up spontaneously. Again, this is because of the relationship we had already built. I had been offering to her for hers and she made it possible for me to continue to offer to her in the same way. 

All of this is to say: I know some people think they can just summon a god they've never met before and ask them for something just because it's in their sphere of influence. That's not how this works. Yes, the gods love all humans, but that's like me saying I love all cats. I'm only opening a can for the ones who live in my house. 

So, with those caveats out of the way, let's return to how wonderful this is. I'm sitting here at the computer writing this while full of oatmeal cookies with the goddess watching over my shoulder. This is so awesome! This is exactly the sort of experience that this blog exists to share with my readers. When I was originally asked to write Gnosis Diary, Anne said she wanted me to show what it feels like to do heathenry. THIS is what it feels like to do heathenry. It feels like baking cookies. And eating them. Safely. Trusting the goddess and riding on a mental and spiritual high from this alone. 

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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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