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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Butterflies Guided My Path

When I set out to scatter my mom's ashes in a place with trees in June 2020, butterflies literally guided me to the right place. I was driving along Kyle Canyon Road on Mount Charleston, Nevada, when butterflies started appearing, one after another. A lot of them. So many butterflies! So I pulled off the road. More butterflies appeared after I got out of the car. Different kinds, different colors and sizes.

I looked around: both evergreen and deciduous trees, check. Was there water? I didn't see water, but I saw a line of blooming wildflowers, reds and whites and other colors. That was clearly a dry watercourse. It would be a small creek when it rained or during snowmelt in the spring. In my mind's eye, it was flowing down to the larger river across the other side of the road, through a culvert. The butterflies were all headed in the other direction, though. I followed the dry streambed up to its source. It ended at cliff. There were many interesting rock formations and gnarled tree roots, and more flowers. That was the place. I decided to climb the cliff and scatter the ashes down onto the stream source from the top. I didn't realize it was going to be quite so difficult when I started out; it was loose scree and it grew more vertical toward the top, but toward the top there were also big sturdy tree roots to grab, which would have been easier to manage if I hadn't been carrying a box of ashes, leaving only one hand free. I managed it, though. I looked around up there, waited for a hiker and his dog to pass by (OK I petted the dog,) realized there was an easier way down-- of course! but that was alright. There was a breeze flowing from one side, so I positioned myself carefully to make sure the ashes would float away from me, opened the box and cut up the plastic inside. I spoke some words-- not a formal ritual, nothing actually religious since mom was an atheist, and realized I was smiling as I spoke. I was filled with an odd kind of joy at how perfect everything was. I let the ashes go and they sailed out over the edge and settled on the steep slope of the cliff itself. I was filled with peace.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Yggdrasil is the World-Tree in heathen mythology. It grew by itself in the deeps of time, before the worlds came to be. The worlds are the fruit of its branches. Some art of the World-Tree depicts all nine worlds in the branches, while some depicts the worlds of fire and ice below the Tree with the Tree's roots going down into them. That image references the story of the birth of the universe in which the magically charged void divided into two main powers called fire (energy) and ice (patterns.) The dynamic combination of those two powers gave rise to matter and everything else, including the Tree, the Sacred Cow that woke up the gods and the giants, the Well at the root of the Tree, and all the raw materials from which our world was made.

Throughout most of the retellings in Some Say Fire of the stories collectively known as The Lore, the World-Tree is pretty much as described in the mythology. During the parts of the story that take place during Ragnarok, though, the main human character P sees Yggdrasil from the deck of the Naglfarr, the boat made of nails. She is basically in space, but also in a higher dimension, and the boat is not as it seems. It’s not literally a Viking longship despite how it appears. The view she has of the Tree is meant to be literal within the story, though. And the Tree is rotted in the heart-wood, hollow, and the Well below it is on fire. This shows how messed up everything is, and how much Ragnarok is needed by that point. At that point in the story, someone really needs to push the reset button on the universe and make a new one, because the old one is no longer sustainable.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It's interesting to see how the myths of my ancestors are interpreted in a different country. The Norse gods appear in Oh, my God

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The Voluspa or Prophecy of the Seeress is one of the stories in the Poetic Edda. It predicts Ragnarok, the end of the world, and the universe, and the gods. Scholars of heathenry note that it bears a strong resemblance to the Book of Revelations in the Christian Bible. Some Asatruars believe in the Prophecy and some don't. Among those who believe in it, some place it in the future as written, and some place it in the past.

The Voluspa is a major plot point in the Fireverse. Early on, Odin receives this Prophecy and writes it down and it’s in a book in his library. He spends a lot of time and effort trying to make the next universe come out right, and he tries to follow the Prophecy, embracing prophecy rather than trying to change it. A lot of his actions result from his desire to make the next universe better than this one and set up things in this universe that will result in a better starting place for the next one. Loki reads this book while he’s still a young god and is horrified, but eventually he accepts his role and the necessity of what will happen. He has a chance to derail the prophecy by leaving Asgard before the binding takes place, but he chooses not to, because by that point in the story he has accepted Odin’s viewpoint that the events described in the Prophecy are necessary to make the next universe come out right.He remains in Asgard knowing he will eventually be bound.

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Valkyries are psychopomps, beings who carry the dead to the afterlife. They are called choosers of the slain, because they select warriors who die in battle to bring to Freya in Folkvangr or to Odin in Valhalla. Freya is the leader of the Valkyries and gets first pick. When the Valkyries are not attending a battle, they are found with Odin and the Einherjar, Odin's chosen warriors, in Valhalla.

The Fireverse Valkyries mostly have war duties. Although any of them might serve someone a drink in Valhalla, it’s not really exclusively Valkyries who do that. Odin has many dead humans for servants, and some of them are dead women who are basically Valkyrie themed waitresses rather than actual Valkyries. The actual Valkyries are unearthly powers.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

There are two gods named Vali in heathen mythology, Vali Odinsson and Vali Lokisson. Or are they really the same god?

Vali Lokisson

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Ullr in Norse mythology is a god who hunts with a bow in the winter on skis, and so, his distinguishing characteristics are the same as Skadhi's. Many heathens consider Ullr and Skadhi to be a couple or at least counterparts.

In modern times, Ullr is still a popular god. Ullr medallions are still worn by skiers for protection, even skiers who are not heathen or pagan. There is a brand of schnapps named Ullr which is marketed to skiers.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 34: Tyr and Zisa

Tyr is the original skyfather in heathen mythology. His major sphere of influence is justice. Zisa is his wife. Her symbol is the war boat, and she was identified by Tacitus as being the same goddess as Isis.

The Fireverse uses the names of gods as recorded in the Icelandic / Norse sources, unless the name is not recorded there. In the Icelandic, the name of Tyr's wife is not written down. However, Tyr is the same god as Ziu, and Ziu's wife's name is Zisa, so in both my novel Some Say Fire and in my personal practice I call them Tyr and Zisa.

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Zisa is not mentioned by Tacitus, in Germania Tacitus mentioned that 'some of the Suevi also sacrifice to Isis' , Tacitus does not

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