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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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.

Tom's marker has a Thorshammer symbol. He was a great supporter of the Heathen Visibility Project in life, and is still representing Asatru now in death. The symbol was available with a simple check box on a form because of hard work done by others to commemorate other military dead before him.
Tom was with me during the whole way from my house out there and back. He is usually present at my home, unless he is out doing the work of a Guardian. He does not usually hang around his ashes, but today he wanted to touch them. Mission accomplished.
I saw the Columbarium wall section where he was installed has filled in since his placement in 2020. I noticed the other symbols besides the Thorshammer and the various crosses and other Christian symbols. The wall shows America's diversity of religion. There are not only two Jewish Star of Davids, there are two Native American Feather Hoop symbols. All equal in death. All equal in honor.
Image: a raven on the peak of the roof of a building looks out over a military graveyard covered in USA flags. Photo by Erin Lale


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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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