Charming of the Plow

In February, the Asatru Folk Assembly celebrates Charming of the Plow. Charming of the Plow is an Asatru holiday that celebrates the preparations for the planting season. In ancestral times as well as in more rural settings, the plow is blessed and the first furrow is dug. Often this ceremonial furrow is filled with cakes and offerings for a productive season. In the AFA we often plant a tree on this day. A key symbolism of the plow is the willful penetration, by our Folk, of the hard and unyeilding soil. Things don’t just happen, We inflict our will upon life and WE make things happen.

For Asatruar, this is a time to “charm” the implements of your own productivity. Entreating the divine to bless your tools and your plans for the year is essential to start things off right. Inviting the divine into our plans and intentions is a great way of making us aware of the sacrality that should be a part of all you do. The AFA encourages all Asatruar to be industrious in all that you do. Dream grand dreams. Make solid plans. DO big things. And after hard work, reap a bountiful harvest.

The Asatru Folk Assembly wishes all our folk a happy and meaningful Charming of the Plow.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Day of Remembrance for Eyvind Kinnrifi

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR EYVIND KINNRIFI

It is on this day, February 9th, that we remember and honor Eyvind Kinnrifi who was tortured and murdered in a most gruesome fashion. An unforgivable act by none other than Olaf Tryggvason.
While today we don’t face death for ours, Eyvind’s actions are much like our own; refusing world rejecting monotheism through a steadfast loyalty to the ways of our ancestors. Eyvind stood tall in the face of death by refusing forced conversion to christianity and remaining loyal to our Gods and Goddesses.

Cattle die and kinsmen die,
Thyself too soon must die, but one thing never,
I ween, will die,
fair fame of one who has earned it.

It takes a tremendous amount of bravery and loyalty to stand against the cruel wave of conversion while so many others did not. You and all others who have made similar sacrifices have earned your spots in history. For your unfaltering love of the Gods and Goddesses may you forever be remembered.

Hail the Gods and Goddesses!
Hail the Ancestors!
Hail Eyvind Kinnrifi!
Hail the Folk!
Hail the AFA!

Submitted by Gothar Program Student
Schuyler Palmer

Categories: News

Facebook Live Tonight

Just a reminder folks , I will be doing a scheduled Facebook live Q&A session tonight at 6 Pacific. This is the first one and we are trying it out so be kind. I look forward to having these chats with my AFA family and answering any questions you all might have. See you this evening!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly



Categories: News

February Food Distribution

On Saturday, February 2nd, amidst the pouring rain, Members of the Asatru Folk Assembly, Viking Brotherhood, and many other volunteers, both old and young (Including a troop of local Cub Scouts), opened up the doors to Óðinshof, and helped to feed our local community of Brownsville. We cannot state enough, how thankful we are to our membership, and to our volunteers, who take part in this effort to help out our neighbors. This opportunity has been tremendous, and we are glad to be able to help out!

Categories: News

Dressed for Success

In a recent edition of AFA Founder, Steve McNallen’s weekly YouTube show, I took a fairly critical stance on “garb” or Viking reenactment dress. I wanted to take a moment to explain my thoughts on dress and the AFA’s position in this regard.

There was a period during the early days of modern Asatru where it was the norm for folks to wear Viking reenactment garb for events and rituals. There was an idea that by trying to recreate the look and feel of the Viking age, folks could better connect with our Gods and more “authentically” practice our religion. Perhaps that was a necessary stage in order to reject what folks were used to and embrace something that was very different. Perhaps folks felt better connected to an idealized time, a better time for our folk’s spirituality, by attempting to imitate the dress of that period. Happily, our religion has grown and developed over the last 50 years and, in the AFA, we no longer feel the need to reenact something dead, instead, we enact something living and vibrant in our own day and in our own real lives. Just as the Vikings did not dress up as cavemen in order to be more spiritual, we do not need to dress up as Vikings to be pious.

Just as our ancestors approached the divine dressed in their very best for their time, in the AFA we approach the Gods looking our best for our time. It is very important that we present our best selves when we come together to worship our Gods and ancestors. If we dress in a shirt and tie for a wedding, for a family reunion, for a nice dinner out, for court, for any number of “special” occasions, why would standing before the very Gods of our folk deserve any less respect or reverence in how we dress? Since AFA members started dressing up, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the piety of events. I have noticed an increase in how well dressed AFA members carry themselves and feel about what they are doing. Dressing our best, looking our best, was always important to our ancestors. When you are at your best those around you are inspired. In the AFA we want to raise the dignity of all our folk. In the AFA we want to show reverence to our Holy Gods and Honored Ancestors in all things, including our dress. Our Gods deserve our best. Our ancestors deserve our best. Our Church deserves our best. And our loved ones deserve our best.

Last but not least, be it dressing slovenly, overly casual, or in reenactment garb, we NEVER want to make ourselves or our Gods the object of mockery. How we are seen in pictures and by those with less context matters. When we are in our “Sunday best” we convey that we are serious, dignified, reverent, and good looking. When we are in reenactment we are seen, at best, as apeing a dead faith, at worst as silly LARPers. In the AFA we are charged with the sacred duty of representing our Gods here in Midgard, We always want to be good stewards of that responsibility. We realize that sometimes and for some purposes, a piece of ritual attire may be very appropriate and we also realize that individual members will vary in what they think to be their best or how to best present themselves. As for our Church, we will always strive to be our best AND to look our best in an endless effort to be worthy of our Gods and Ancestors.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Facebook Live 2/7

As promised, I will be experimenting with a Facebook live Q&A session on Thursday evening at 6 PM Pacific. Please join me and feel free to ask any questions you might have about the AFA and Asatru.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Sean Saindon named Manager of Odinshof

At the turning of the year we made our final mortgage payment, the Hof is now wholly ours. As we worship the Gods of Order, we will bring that order into how we run our Hof and the Hofs we will have in the future. The AFA is proud to announce the installation of Sean Saindon as the Manager of Odinshof. From here forward, all activity related to Óðinshof goes through Sean so he can insure maximum efficiency and excellence for our Gods and Folk.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi, 
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Ragnarok-and-Roll with Stephen McNallen

I had a great chat with our founder and my friend Steve McNallen last night on his show. I was honored to be a guest and I had a great time. I invite you to click on over and give it a listen. We cover a number of good questions from Steve’s viewers.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

South Africa Fund

The plight of our folk in South Africa is heartbreaking. Once proud families have been reduced to staggering poverty and hunger. Murderers terrorize the remaining farms. Countless numbers of our kin live in shanty towns, often these enclaves are, literally, in a garbage dump. As is so often the case, the elderly and the children are hit especially hard. The South African regime shows no pity for our folk and actively works for their humiliation and destruction. The AFA may not be able to “fix” things…..but we can all help make them better.

Last year we raised thousands of dollars to help these suffering sons and daughters of Europe. Together we showed that we care and we made sure children were fed, babies had formula and housing was set up. By each of us pooling our resources, small contributions are able to do big things. Children cannot eat “our feelings go out” and “likes” don’t keep them sheltered at night. If you are able, PLEASE give what you can and lets do some good for these poor cousins of ours. To donate, please go to http://www.runestone.org/donate/ . Thank you for doing something about this.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

2019 Event Schedule

I’m pleased to announce the AFA’s 2019 event schedule!

If you have never experienced a AFA event, you are missing out. This is where the magic happens and real, face to face, bonds of friendship are made. All of our events are packed with inspirational speakers, powerful ritual, kids activity’s, AFA leadership, and plenty of time to socialize, building bonds for a lifetime. All of our events are for members, their family’s and vouched for guests, that being said, there is plenty of time to make contact with the event organizers, get involved, and make yourself known. This is looking like a record year for the AFA, get involved and be a part of the solution.

Marc MacLeod,
Folkbuilder Coordinator
Asatru Folk Assembly
mmacleod@runestone.org

Charming of the Plow

Feb. 15-17, Texas
cbrown@runestone.org

Ostara in the South

Mar. 22-24, North Carolina
phester@runestone.org & sherul@runestone.org

Ultima Thule

May 24-26, Sweden
anilsson@runestone.org & lborgstrom@runestone.org

Midsummer at Odinshof


June 21-23, Northern California
jroesner@runestone.org & rharlan@runestone.org

Fallfest


Sept. 6-8, Minnesota
bqualls@runestone.org & jgallagher@runestone.org

Winter Nights in the Poconos


Oct. 18-20, Pennsylvania
cerickson@runestone.org & mdenuzzio@runestone.org

Categories: News