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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Revising My Successful Book

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm nervous about messing with success. Nonetheless, it's time for a new edition of Asatru For Beginners. Modernism has arisen in Asatru since I wrote my book, and a beginner's book needs to describe that. Also, on some topics in heathenry, we know more than we did around the turn of the millenium. I'm tempted to subtitle the new edition, "New and improved! Now with more gods!" 

One thing that won't be changing in my book: in my intro, I mention that my father was Native American. That information is right up front for three reasons. 1. to tell racists that my book isn't for them, unless they stop being racists. 2. To tell other mixed-race people like me that if they are called to this path, that is OK. There are a lot of mixed-race people in American Asatru, reflecting the wider American society of which we are a part. 3. Because my father's advice, "listen to the wind, listen to the corn, listen to your heart" was one of the major spiritual influences on my life which started me down the path that led to Asatru. 

I started revising my book a couple of years ago. As lead admin at the Asatru Facebook Forum, I am in a position to know what questions newbies most frequently ask about Asatru as they start down their own paths, just like when I originally wrote this book when I was the manager of MSN Asatru. Just like when I wrote my book, I'm collecting their questions and my answers.

The current edition of my book includes the FAQ file from the old MSN Asatru Group as its first chapter. One of the most frequently asked questions back then was about Kennewick Man. Hardly anyone asks about that now, so that question will be deleted from the new edition. A question I often get now, that no one asked back then, is how to set up an altar or shrine to the gods. I always preface my answer to that question by letting the questioner know that a shrine is not required, but if they want one, they might want to start with a basic one and add to it as they go along. 

Some of the questions I receive and the answers I give are on more of an intermediate to advanced level, and therefore don't belong in my beginner's book. There are also frequently asked questions that I answer briefly in my book, but which I'd like to go into more detail about here on the blog. I'm still trying to keep the book's word count down, although I've abandoned the goal of keeping it to the original 20,000 words. (I originally chose that length because my mom who taught high school English said the average kid found books longer than that to be intimidating. Today's kids are from a different generation and most of my book sales are ebooks anyway so a physically large print book isn't as much of a problem.)  

I'm planning a series of blog posts in which I'll post my answers to common questions about Asatru. My Asatru FAQ series is coming next here on Gnosis Diary: life as a heathen.

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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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    Thesseli Sunday, 24 September 2017


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