Words from the Alsherjargothi - Charming of the Plow 2018

As I write this, Mandy and I are getting settled into our new apartment in Reno Nevada. It is absolutely beautiful here nestled in the mountains, we are thrilled to start putting down some roots. With that in mind, we have already found a great location to host monthly meet-ups so if you are in the area we look forward to having you join us.

In February we gather with our AFA families around the world to Charm the Plow. This is a time or preparation for the great things we want to accomplish this year, a time to penetrate the unyielding earth and plant the seeds of that which we wish to harvest. This is a time to bless the tools of our industry and prepare for the ways that we each plan to work our will so that we might manifest great things for ourselves, our families, and our folk. This is a time to emerge from the stasis of winter and prepare for the spring.

As you each Charm the Plow, be mindful of the mystery of Jera, this cycle of planting, tending, harvesting, and celebrating that was so essential to our ancestors and empowers us today as well. When you all read this, Mandy and I will be on our way to the AFA Southern California Charming of the Plow. We look forward to seeing all our AFA family and sharing with them in friendship and in celebration. I can't urge you all strongly enough, if you can make it out to an AFA event, gather with your AFA folk. It takes time and perhaps it takes travel, but Asatru happens out in the world with your Folk, gathered together in celebration and worship. I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego and if not I wish you a very powerful Charming of the plow where ever you are gathered under the Trihorns!

Hail the Gods!
Hail the Folk!
Hail the AFA!

Matthew D. Flavel
Asatru Folk Assembly

P.S. Though we are in a different state, we are actually an hour closer to Óðinshof.

Asatru is an expression of the native, pre-Christian spirituality of Europe. More specifically, it is the Way by which the Germanic peoples have traditionally related to the Divine and to the world around them.

From Iceland to Russia, from the frozen north of Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, the Germanic peoples wandered and settled over a span of thousands of years. Today, their descendants are spread around the world. We may refer to ourselves as Americans or English, Germans or Canadians, but behind these labels lurks an older, more essential identity. Our forefathers were Angles and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings - and, as sons and daughters of these peoples, we are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by the centuries.

Asatru is our native Way. Just as there is Native American religion and native African religion, so there is native European religion. Asatru is one of its expressions. It gave our ancestors comfort in millennia past, and it can give us strength and inspiration today.

The word "Asatru" comes to us from Old Norse, the tongue of ancient Scandinavia, where it means "those loyal to the Gods." Since the ancient Scandinavian version of our Way is the best documented, it has given us much of Asatru's terminology and imagery. The soul of Asatru, however, is not confined to the Scandinavian model, but encapsulates the belief of all the Germanic peoples. Indeed, Asatru reflects the deeper religiosity common to virtually all the nations of Europe.

As a part of the great European Folkway, Asatru has a number of characteristic beliefs. Some of these are: