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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Midsummer Mermaid

For our Midsummer ritual, gythia Amanda, first of my lineage, surprised me by planning her first blot and bringing her mermaid tail, and so we did mermaid blessings in my swimming pool in the name of the Nine Mothers. We had been talking about doing a mermaid ritual for a couple of years but hadn't made specific plans to do one for Midsummer, so it was a delightful surprise for me. She and her husband also brought a Swedish Midsummer Cake and it was delicious.

The Nine Mothers of Heimdall are the waves of the sea, the daughters of Aegir. In my kindred we honor them as mermaids. My late companion Tom was a devotee of Heimdall. Amanda was already performing as a mermaid at Renfaire and Pirate Fest and so on before she joined our little kindred. So a mermaid blessing ritual was right in line with the powers our kindred honors.

After the mermaid blessing we had a pool party. It was a glorious day. The sun was hot-- it was 116 degrees-- and shone strongly on the water. There was just the gentlest hint of a breeze, and the water was warm. I had intended to play music over the outdoor speakers while we were in the pool but I was so excited by the surprise mermaid ritual that I forgot about music. We had an ice chest out by the pool so we could get ourselves beverages without getting out of the water.

It was just a perfect day. The only thing that could have made it any better would have been if we had managed to do the mermaid ritual while Tom was still alive. We remembered him in our sumbel toasts, though, and I kept a candle burning for him on the main house altar.

Honoring Heimdall and his Nine Mothers is Tom's legacy to our kindred. We're planning to do a Rainbow Season ritual again in September as we have been doing. Rainbow Season is the end of monsoon season, so it coincides with the onset of fall. Sept. 25th will also be the first anniversary of Tom's death. This year, for the second year in a row, there will be no Pagan Pride Day this fall, so we will do our own thing instead.

At our mermaid ritual, we took some great photos, some of which are good for the Heathen Visibility Project, both in their original form and as photomanipulations that look like watercolor paintings. An example is posted in this blog post. Happy Midsummer!

Image: mermaid Amanda bestows a blessing. This image is part of 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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