[Welcome to our column, Talking My Path. Here, polytheists, witches, and Pagans of any tradition are invited to discuss and celebrate their spirituality in a series of five short questions. If you would like to participate, don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com.]
ev0ke: How do you define your particular tradition or path? Does it have a specific name?
EL: Asatru is one of the heathen religions, that is, the religions from the heath, the part of Europe north of the border between the Roman Empire and Germania. Asatru in Iceland and in the USA are a bit different, with the US variant including more continental gods and traditions due to the USA’s mix of ethnic groups.
ev0ke: Which Deities, powers, or other spirits are honored in your tradition?
EL: We have gods from three tribes: the Aesir, the Vanir, and the Jotnar; and also honor ancestors, land spirits, and a variety of other beings such as elves, norns, et cetera.
ev0ke: Among the various festivals and holy days celebrated in your tradition, which is the most important to you, and why?
EL: Yule and Ostara are the most important to me because they are big community celebrations, not just holidays I might hold by myself or with a handful of people. These days I usually attend Yule with a large group that gathers for one evening, and back when I lived in California I used to attend an Ostara festival each year which was a multi-day campout with a couple of hundred people. It was loads of fun and it really felt like a holiday, not like just another ritual.
ev0ke: Which texts, websites, or other resources would you recommend to someone interested in your traditions?
EL: I wrote my book Asatru For Beginners to answer all the beginner questions, and next year (2020) a new, updated, longer version is coming out called Asatru: A Beginner’s Guide to the Heathen Path.
ev0ke: Is there anything you would like to add, such as creative projects you are undertaking, festivals or events you will be attending, and so on?
EL: I’m going to be speaking about the Heathen Visibility Project at Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day on November 9th this year (2019.) I started the Heathen Visibility Project to fill image search returns for heathen-related search terms like Asatru and Thor’s Hammer with legitimate heathen religious images instead of the comic book and Nazi images I kept seeing used to illustrate news articles about Asatru — presumably because that’s what was on the first page of search engine results. Many people are joining the Heathen Visibility Project now, helping deny cultural space to Nazis. To find out more, see my blog post about the Project on my Pagansquare blog, Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen.