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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My Recent News Fall 2022

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Ancestor Day

This year, my kindred decided to combine Disablot and Alfablot and hold Ancestor Day. Disablot is supposed to be for the female ancestors and Alfablot for the male ancestors. Yes, Alfablot means elf sacrifice, but the line between the elf mound and the grave mound was fuzzy for the heathens of historical times. Even though it's traditional, separating the ancestors by gender just didn't feel right to me, and I asked the rest of my kindred if they would like to combine the two days into one Ancestor Day. Everyone liked the idea so we planned it.

As sometimes happens, a lot of people missed the event, but I still gave the ancestors some foods, and told about them at the table, so the ritual still went fine. I even gave Tom a snickerdoodle cookie that my housemate made even though Tom isn't exactly an ancestor, by setting a plate on the part of the main house altar that has Tom stuff. I also set a plate plus some other foods on the altar to Embla, the Disir, and the female ancestors. I think I did well at increasing the female energy in Asatru even though not many living people attended the ritual.

The plan was for everyone to bring a food representing their personal ancestors, and tell a little about their ancentors and why they chose that. I originally intended to supply just two things, an apple streusel pie representing my Austrian and German ancestors, and my peri peri sauce souffle representing my African ancestors whom I had just found out about a couple of years ago. I ended up making more things because so many people had to call out but the other things didn't represent anything, they were just food. 

For several years the ancestor I've honored the most has been Lollus, who was a god and a saint in Germany in post-Roman times, was the originator of the name Lale in its various spellings, and who was almost certainly a deified Roman general who was briefly Emperor, or at least came close enough to have coins minted as Emperor Leilianus. When my brother and I started researching our family history, him using genealogy and me using dna testing, I never expected to see a portait of an ancestor from 2,000 years ago, but there he is right on coin trading sites: Emperor Leilianius. It would be really cool to have one of those portaits for my home altar but they're a bit pricey. For now I just have a download of the image. The god Lollus was associated with speaking in tongues, but the deepest origin of the word is Greek laleo which just means speaking.

Because one of my ancestors is a god that I can speak with using my godphone, my personal ancestor practice can easily get unbalanced toward the male side. I do have a practice of setting out gifts to Embla and the female ancestors, but I didn't have a known named female ancestor other than the mythological first woman that I especially honored. This year that changed. 

This year I started a fiber art project that many of my friends have contributed to. When I visited my aunt this summer, she gave me some lace for the project made by our ancestor Rose Anna Goodyear. Besides making beautiful lace tatting and crochet trims, she was also a friend of Sitting Bull. So now I have a named female ancestor that I honor, Rose Anna Goodyear. I talked about her and raised a toast to her during our Ancestor Day ritual.

After the ritual I got on the net and happened to see my brother's blog post about our ancestors. I thought the timing was serendipitous so I'm including a link here: November 4 2022 Hidden Costs of Unequal Power in the Falsification of History as Authorized Identities: Day of the Dead Part Two, Case of the Phantom Ancestor – Torch of Liberty ( 

The Pomegranate

Although I'm training my apprentice Margaret as an Asatru gythia, she already had a pagan practice before she decided to apprentice with me, and she still honors her favorite Greek gods. She did a ritual to Hades and Persephone at her home using pomegranates from my tree, and afterwards the dusty desert yard turned green and became truly a garden. 

The Samhain Soiree and American Halloween

At the Samhain Soiree 2022 hosted by Sin City Witches, I was one of the two Guests of Honor along with Ed Hubbard. This year I dressed as starlight, with silver, antique silver, and black clothes and jewelry. I had a great time at the Soiree. I'm looking forward to next year. Ed told me about his photo and film project, Pagan TV, and I invited him to come to my street the next night to film a real American experience.

My neighbors and I have our tables by the street and do our candy giving ritual outside. This was our third year doing this and our decorations just keep getting better, so now we're hopefully going to keep doing Halloween street fair style from now on. I had a bonfire on my driveway and we had hot sandwiches, and gave away candy, roasted marshmallows, and as a treat for the adults trick-or-treating, "witches' brew from the magic beans." That is, coffee, which was a big hit. My housemate gave Ed a tarot reading. He said he got some great photos. I look forward to seeing them someday. Ed recorded a couple of film clips of me talking about Las Vegas magical and spiritual topics, while I was dressed up as an astronaut. I'm excited about Ed's TV project. Pagan TV will be on Roku. I might even be on it. 

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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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