New Apprentice Folkbuilder

The AFA is proud to welcome Katee Allen of Idaho as the newest member of our Folkbuilding team. We are very excited to see the growth of our Northwest region and to welcome the new members. Katee will be a great help to Joe and Johnny as we move forward. Thank you Katee for stepping up.

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Þórshof: Second Hof of the Asatru Folk Assembly

It is with Immense joy and pride that I announce that the AFA has established a Hof in honor of Asa-Thor in North Carolina. This is the Second Hof of the Asatru Folk Assembly, coming four and a half years after the establishment of Óðinshof in California. This hof comes after more than a year of effort, of trial and error, of excitement and heartache. We have the very best people in the AFA, and many devoted sons of the Aesir put their all into making this a reality.

I promised you all that once we paid off Óðinshof, we would immediately begin making the second hof, Þórshof, a reality. It took longer than I had anticipated but I swear to you that we did our best from January 1, 2019 to make good on that promise.

Sincere thanks are due to Gothar Coordinator Blaine Qualls, Folkbuilder Jason Gallagher, and Ryan Hanson for their efforts over and over to push the rock up the hill.

Special thanks go to Law Speaker Allen Turnage for his steady wisdom.

The greatest of all thanks and appreciation go to Gothi Svan Herul, Champion of Thor, this hof exists because of him and his family’s dedication to this holy purpose.

The AFA is overjoyed to establish this hof for the benefit of our AFA Family.

Most of all, the AFA proudly offers this hof as a testament to our worship and loyalty to the divine thunderer, Asa-Thor.

Hail the Folk!
Hail the AFA!

HAIL THOR!!!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

New Apprentice Folkbuilder

I am pleased to announce Adam Hudak of Pennsylvania as the Asatru Folk Assembly’s newest Apprentice Folkbuilder. Adam will be working with Gythia Catie Erickson and me to build our AFA family in the Northeast North America region.

Adam is a valued member of the Lansdale Tru Folk kindred and we are thrilled to have him join our AFA leadership team. Adam has already hosted several Wotan on the Peaks hikes with AFA members and we look forward to seeing Adam’s continued efforts to bring all of our Folk back home.

Hail the Gods!
Hail Adam Hudak!
Hail the Asatru Folk Assembly!

Clifford J Erickson
Folkbuilder, Witan
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Asatru Church Honors Asgard

by Stephen A. McNallen, Gothi
From The Runestone Spring 1998 #21

“Be all here blessed. May all ill be banished, all hatred cast out, and weal and well-being prevail, that we may listen to the wisdom within us and without us. In the sign of the Hammer, so may it be!”

So begins another public religious service of the Asatru Community Church, now in it’s fourth month of, bringing the Aesir and the Vanir to our community.

When the AFA first announced our “church services”, some muttered that we had sold out to Christianity – but as anyone who has attended our ceremonies can say, that’s not the case! Quite the contrary; the ACC honors the Aesir and vanir in ways entirely comfortable to the average Asatruar.

After the opening, we call on the Gods and Goddesses, asking them to give us their blessings, then I talk for a few minutes on some subject relevant to Asatru. This might be an exhortation to strive for higher spiritual development, or it might be a lesson on the nature of the Holy Powers. I tell a story from the myths. A reading, generally from one of the Eddas, concludes this part of the ceremony.

Up to this point we have dealt with the deities, so now we turn our attention to our human kin… “In the heart of each of us do the Holy Ones dwell, as we strive for the best. As in one, so in many, for we are a host, a people, a Folk vigilant and mighty.” We state our will to be strong and free, and to endure despite all hardship.

“Let the shining Sun ever find our Folk as it looks over the affairs of Midgard! Let our people be plentiful in the world, that all humankind knows of our greatness! Let the tongue of our Folk be always heard in the land that the Gods may rejoice in us! Let us not be an autumn without a spring, but rather a people ever-born and ever new, with mighty deeds on the loom of Fate. To this we bend our hearts and our wits, that we may live in the Gods, and they in us. By our ancestors, and by our descendants yet unborn, so be it done…”

Having honored the Folk, we call upon Odin in song and then and then transition into a blot honoring one of our deities. The structure now is more familiar, with the usual invocation and the filling of mead with might. I walk in a circle around the standing people, sprinkle them with the power-infused fluid to give to them the blessing of the God or Goddess.

After the blot is ended, I change into mundane clothes and we chat over coffee and cookies. Once again Asgard is honored, and the Folk affirmed…

So come join us, and see for yourself!

Categories: News

Memories from the Mountains: Althing 17 (1997)

by Sheila McNallen
from The Runestone Winter 1997 #20

As one who attended the past three Althings, I’ve been impressed by the traditions which go back to those long-ago Althings of the first AFA. But each event is also a unique package of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds – encompassing wonderful meals, conversations, rituals, and evenings by firelight.

For Steve and I, this particular Althing had even greater significance, as we would pledge our troth in marriage before our Gods and the assembled Folk…

The small caravan of Calasa kindred made it’s way across the Great Salt Lake Desert in the wee hours of the morning. One more obstacle lay between us and Althing 17 – a ruddy-colored mountain range jutting up from the Utah floor. A few miles east of Ogden our vehicles climbed through a fissure bordered by sheer walls and waterfalls, to emerge on the other side in a Nordic-looking valley. It was green and gold with alfalfa and autumn flowering sunflowers, with rural farms spaced neatly as far as we could see. The road led us to a country park at the eastern end, where we dropped down to a rushing stream thickly bordered with willows and cottonwoods.

The first landmark was a rustic meeting lodge which would be the site for the mead tasting Saturday and Valgard’s famous spam breakfast on Sunday.

We were greeted by Eagle Kindred’s Hraesvelg who showed us to the camping areas hidden along the stream next to the road. At the opposite end of the park, the road merged with a large playing field which was ideally suited to Viking games and the “market place.” And hidden in the trees was a grove, a fairy glen of sorts, which would be the sumble and wedding site in the hours to come. Old friends arrived throughout the day – names from “Asatru-past,” from places far-away; all were greeted with handshakes or hugs.

Kindred banners were flying high when the procession, led by Valgard Murray and Hraelsvelg, reached the Thing meeting place Friday afternoon. Hraelsveg conducted the Tyr blot, honoring the God who rules the Thing and brings justice and order to the work at hand. This was followed by the Blessing of Weapon Steel by Valgard Murray, Secretary of the Asatru Alliance. Steve McNallen then did the Tyr invocation, officially opening the Thing. Esteemed guest from England, Heimgest of the Odinic Rite, assisted the other gothar during the ceremonies.

Thing business focused in two areas. One was the introduction and formal application to the Asatru Alliance by new kindreds. Their representatives were well-received by the Althing delegates and several new kindreds are now aligned with the AA.

There was also a message of greeting by Osferth of the Odinic Rite Vinland. These stirring words were read to all assembled by AOR(V) kinsman, Hnikar,”…As the fully functioning Vinland branch of the Odinic Rite, we would like to let members of all the Asatru Alliance Kindreds as well as the members of the Asatru Folk Assembly know that we stand by their sides as comrades and friends and will work together toward the furtherance of Odinism in Vinland now and in the future…”

Perhaps the most significant event at the Althing was the official formation of the International Asatru Odinic Alliance (IAOA). Three international organizations, the Asatru Alliance, the Asatru Folk Assembly, and the Odinic Rite have agreed to support one another and honor our ancestral religion through a formal association. The document signed by a representative of each group includes a Preamble and Bylaw. As a tribute to Valgard’s dedication to making this a reality, he was chosen as the first leader. or Allsher-jargodhi. serving a term of three years. This was indeed a history-making event!

Hnikar’s description of the formal sumble conveys the power which manifests as the Folk come together in praise and ritual. “The highlights of the holy Sumble were many, too many to mention. Kevin’s dedication to the Kennewick Man, a union across nine thousand years, Annabel’s lyrical voice speaking of her loved one, something as ancient as our kind and as new as the newest love… but above all, one moment shines most… Michael Moynihan stepped toward the fire beneath the starry sky, when his horn was filled with the sacred mead by Valkyrie Karen Taylor, and sang. Drawn into the spirit of the ancient rite, all were filled with the fire of the faith. When we finished, the assembled roared their approval.”

Saturday afternoon while many were competing in the Viking games, several vendors, including Calasa Kindred, had tables and booths displaying wares. There was a fine array of edged weapons, jewelry, books, quilts, and hanmade clothing. Our kindred had a product line of carved stones with Celtic and Norse motifs which we made in the weeks preceding the Althing. To assist with the fine work of the Worldtree Outreach Program, we proudly donated a stone to the auction held that evening.

One one remarkable feature of this Althing was the great number of school age children. They seemed completely in their own element – little Tom Sawyers, Huck Finns, and Becky Thatchers, always running here or there, oblivious to the adults much of the time. The emphasis on “traditional family” was certainly conveyed by Eagle Kindred of Utah.

For the use of us in Calasa Kindred, the other special event was the Saturday evening wedding of Steve and myself. Although this was wedding number two as we had proceeded it with a civil ceremony, it was particularly important to say our vows in the company of our kin and the Mighty Powers. We had made tentative wedding plans before leaving California, but unforeseen circumstances kept some of the main participants from making the trip to Utah. Saturday afternoon was one of sunlight and shadow as thunder clouds made frequent sweeps across the sky. Should we-could we, go ahead with the ceremony? With Valgard’s counsel, we decided that this was indeed the right time and place.

The pattern which emerged was one which echoed from ancient times. We no longer measured time by clocks but by waning sunlight. With a small procession, I would walk to the grove in darkness where Steve would be waiting. Would there be a few friends? a few dozen? I became very self-conscious as I dressed in my bridal gown, but suddenly at my side, like women of old – were three who took charge, who allayed my fears and doubts. And outside my tent was a retinue of honor guards in full Viking costume, who pledged their honor for my safety and well-being – should anyone attempt to kidnap “the faire bryde”.

In darkness we assembled. Michael Moynihan took first steps and began a rhythm on his bodhran. I couldn’t see Valgard, who was next, but could sense his calm presence; then came the first two guards with spears pointed skyward. I recall the excitement of taking my first tentative steps towards the grove. Julie Tobin and her children were behind me, the odd sound of a stroller in this surreal setting. And bringing up the rear were two more Viking guards. All light disappeared as we walked beneath the canopy of trees – but new sounds emerged. Annabel’s fiddle came to us in the darkness and spires of fire sparkled through the trees.

We entered the clearing to a huge circle of wellwishers. It was like a scene from BRAVEHEART with firelight glinting off of helms and spears. Steve and I were duly blessed by Valgard in true Asatru fashion, using a ceremony written years ago for the Arizona Kindred. We made vows and exchanged gifts. The group roared it’s approval of our union as flashes of lightning lit up the grove. Several of us joined hands and danced to Annabel’s gift of more Celtic music. Then Annabel and Michael honored us with an Irish step-dance which brought back ancestral memories to many of us.

Hugs, kisses, champagne, and cake had been lavished on everyone when Mighty Thor told us it was time to end the show. With a swipe of his hammer, the shy let loose a downpour of rain. After parting wishes, people ran off to campfires or tents, or to the mead tasting … each carrying a memory of a wedding that transcended time.

With the golden gift of morning we packed our gear, then we feasted one last time with new and old friends. After a breakfast, Valgard, Steve, and Heimgest prepared for one more Asatru “first” by doing a radio interview with a station from Portland, Oregon. The Parker home in Ogden was made available for this outstanding piece of Asatru promotion.

Three special days which changed every one of us. New friends, closer alliances, connection with the Gods. That is the way with Asatru gatherings – for all times.

Categories: News

Opening the Doors – at the Asatru Community Church (1997)

by Stephen McNallen, Gothi
from The Runestone Winter 1997 #20

A few weeks ago, The Asatru Community Church held it’s first service in Nevada City. A second followed – and then a third – and then more!

True, other groups have held open discussions, lectures, and rituals – but this was a full-fledged Church service, complete with sermon, singing, ritual, and even a church bulletin!

I deliberately made the event “visitor friendly” by patterning it after the kind of religious gathering with which most ordinary folk are familiar. “To take the Gods to the Folk, you have to go to where the Folk are at” – and that means “where they’re at” psychologically, more than physically!

Here’s how one of our typical services went: A Hammer-signing opened the meeting, followed by a short sermon of the Gods and Goddesses. I then made announcements from the bulletin and gave a talk (You could call it a sermon…) on the ancestors. Then we affirmed the virtues of Asatru in a call-and-response format, and I told the story of Thor’s visit to Utgard and used the tale to make a moral point. After Thorgrun read relevant verses from the Edda, the Folk-blot began.

With participation from the assembled people, we honored our folk and sang praises to the Gods. The core of the ritual was a Thor-blot. Altogether, we spent about forty-five minutes honoring the Mighty Powers.

The response was fantastic! Local newspaper reporters were present, and gave us a wonderful write-up.

More recently, we held a Frey-blot for Yule and welcomed the reborn sun. Twenty-three people showed up – most of them local folk who had never before been exposed to Asatru. They ranged from young children to one woman who must have been more than seventy years old! The entire crowd accompanied us to a local residence for stories from the myths, a potluck meal, and Asatru hospitality.

The Asatru Community Church meets every other week and already has already booked services through March. There has been no hostility from the local Christian churches. Once we’re established, we’ll hold a reception for local ministers, just to let them see we’re “for real”.

Will this work where YOU live? Maybe, or maybe not. Nevada County is a pretty exceptional place. Our goal is to become accepted here, to bring those who are ready to Asatru, and to become more recognized as a legitimate, if unusual, voice in the community.

Onward with our Gods and Folk!

Categories: News

Ordination of Gothi Svan Herul

On Saturday March 14th, at AFA Ostara in the South, Svan Herul was ordained as a Gothi of the Asatru Folk Assembly. In the presence of our holy Gods and the assembled Folk, Svan took his oath and was welcomed into the proud ranks of AFA Gothar. This comes after over a year of study and well over that of service to the Asatru Folk Assembly. We are proud to have Svan as a Gothi and we are fully confident in the service and leadership he will provide for our Folk.

Hail Gothi Svan Herul!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR OLVIR OF EGG

Olvir of Egg was a Gothi of our ancestral ways during the reign of Olaf Tryggvason – a man wholly committed to the Ancestral ways of his people. Olvir was called before the king to explain why the ancient rites were still being held in his home district despite an edict to the contrary.   He did his best to explain everything away as just a gathering of the people for camaraderie and and social drinking. Olaf let him return back to his district, but was still very suspicious of the happenings in Olvir’s village.

Soon a man from Trondheim, Olvir’s home area, informed the king that Olvir and others were planning a spring celebration in honour of the Gods. Olaf gathered 360 men and five longships and set sail for Trondheim, arriving in total secrecy under the cover of darkness. Olaf and his men surprised everyone, Olvir was killed outright and all his lands seized by the king; others in the village were tortured, mutilated, driven from their homes and left to die by this “holy” king. Sadly that wasn’t the end of this sad tale, Olvir’s wife, now a widow, was married off to one of the king’s retainers and Olvir’s young children raised by a new father.

Olvir’s tale is not one of joy to be sure, but it is a tale with a valuable lesson for us today. Olvir tried his best to protect his folk, ultimately it wasn’t enough and he lost his life and all he loved. Today we to face our own trials, and while no one is hunting us down and slaughtering us for our beliefs(yet!) we still feel the need to protect our families from an ever encroaching immorality alien to our ancient ways.

So what do we do? What can we do?

Stand tall as individuals, raise our children in the elder ways, join together with others like us, build communities of tru folk across all of Midgard, and most important of all…… hoist the beautiful trihorn flag of the Asatru Folk Assembly, fly it proudly so that it serves as a beacon for others of our kind seeking a home in this crazy time.

Olvir, and others like him, kept our ways alive long enough for them to be recorded so that generations later brave men and women could find it. Find it, fan the embers left for them into a blazing fire, and attract men and women like us to the fire that was Asatru. We are the recipients of something amazing, we are the recipients of our own tradition…..our own ancestral religion. Never forget the gift given us by the martyrs of our way.

Hail Olvir!!!

Blanie Qualls
GothaR Coordinator,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

Pre-Thing Report (1997)

By Steven A. McNallen
From The Runestone: Summer 1997 #19

As many of our readers know, the Asatru Folk Assembly has strong links with the Asatru Alliance. Both the AA and the AFA, along with the Odinic Rite, are founding members of the new International Asatru/Odinic Alliance, and we share both a common history and an overlapping membership. The AFA’s Calasa Kindred, for example, is a members of the alliance.

When Calasa offered to host a pre-Althing gathering for the Alliance, it was our way of showing support. Additionally, it was an opportunity to get together with some of the leading lights of Asatru in Vinland and to talk about the challenges we face, as well as lift up a horn and catch up on gossip. We accomplished all all this and more, from June 13-15.

Perhaps the remark most heard over the weekend was that the gathering had a pervading sense of harmony, of Folkish family, to it. Indeed, not a harsh word or negative comment was heard to break the common purpose and cooperation.

Delegates and guests were greeted with a banner-lined road leading into the twenty-four acre site, and the spacious meadows and wooded patches provided plenty of room for camping. A thunder-storm on the night of the 12th kept the fire danger down, lowered the temperatures into an unreasonably mild range, and refreshed the wild flowers.

Counting children and babies, a total of at least forty-five people attended the event.

Friday was given over to setup and socializing, punctuated by a simple ritual of greeting and dinner. At each meal, the food was blessed by a different gothi, with the idea of spreading duties and participation among all the kindreds. we topped off the day with informal discussions around the campfire.

Saturday was our work day. Valgard Murray opened the Thing with a Tyr-blot and a blessing of weapons. I gave the Thing invocation, and we got down to business. The major item on the agenda was the preamble and by-laws of the International Asatru/Odinic Alliance. Delegates argued the wording back and forth, and finally breezed through the last few points. The resulting version will be forwarded to the Odinic Rite for their recommendations.

Throughout the gathering we made special effort to provide food in keeping with our ethnic heritage. Cornish pasties, smoked salmon, red cabbage and Danish dishes tempted palates and filled plates.

Three kindreds petitioning for admission at the next Alliance Althing introduced themselves and answered questions regarding their accomplishments. All three kindreds have strong ties with the AFA, so once again the links between the two organizations were emphasized. That evening, a sumble witnessed the usual range of toasts, as well as an amazing poem based on the LAXDAELA SAGA, and a rendition of one of Josef’s songs praising Odin. Later, Michael and Annabelle played a number of traditional Celtic tunes on bodhran and fiddle. Robert Taylor danced by firelight, when he wasn’t entertaining us with stories or making insightful analyses of the state of the movement.

On Sunday, I was gothi as we offered blot to Odin. It was, after all, Father’s Day, so why not honor the All Father? At one point in the rite, participants named a male ancestor in whose memory they gave blot. More music and singing of some of Odin’s names by the Folk gave the rite an added dimension. Immediately afterword, Barbara and Joe were married with the wedding ritual used years ago by the old Asatru Free Assembly. Breakfast – featuring the traditional Spam and a delicious array of traditional foods – celebrated Father’s Day, Odin’s gifts, and the wedding simultaneously.

By late afternoon all the delegates and guests had departed, but the memories, and accomplishments, remain strong!

Categories: News

Freedom for the Folkmother (1997)

by Stephen A. McNallen
from The Runestone Summer 1997 #19

Else Christensen will be a free woman in early October, ending an injustice that has dragged on for several years. The challenge now is to head off another wrong, by preventing her deportation to Canada upon her release!

Else was one of the founders of Odinism/Asatru in North America. Beginning in the early 1970’s, she published THE ODINIST and was leader of the Odinist Fellowship, first from Canada and later from Florida.

When she was railroaded into prison on dubious testimony some years back, we all knew this was an injustice. When the Feds announced they might try to deport her upon the completion of her sentence, the AFA could no longer sit idly by. we retained an attorney, Mr. Jimmy Browning of Breckenridge, Texas, to defend her and we continue to monitor her situation.

So, what’s happening lately? Here is the latest, in her own words:

“THANKS… FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THE LAST YEAR – OR SHOULD I SAY PASSING YEAR – I APPRECIATE WHAT YOU’RE DOING FOR ME.

THIS LEADS ME TO THINKING OF JIMMY BROWNING. I’VE JUST WRITTEN HIM ASKING TO REQUEST A HEARING BEFORE THE IMMIGRATION JUDGE. I MAY GET ONE BEFORE RELEASE WHICH WOULD BE MUCH TO PREFER. OTHERWISE, ON MY RELEASE DATE (OCT. ’97) I WOULD BE PICKED UP BY THE MARSHALS AND THEN TAKEN TO A HOLDING PLACE UNTIL THE HEARING CAN BE HELD. I HOPE I HAVE ENOUGH POINTS IN MY FAVOR TO STAY IN FLORIDA BUT WE’LL SEE HOW IT COMES OUT; THERE MAY BE A MIDDLE GROUND OR WAYS TO GET AROUND THE PROBLEM…”

The AFA will be conferring with Mr. Browning to see what more we can do to help Else in this situation.

In the meantime, Else hasn’t been sitting idle. With the help of friend Rick, she’s planning a web page which will be her public voice upon release, and she’s continually in the middle of a good book. She works with other alternative religious groups and has taken part in assorted projects behind the walls. The movement stands ready to benefit from Else’s energy and wisdom once she among us again!

Categories: News