Day of Remembrance for King Radbod of Fresia

King Radbod was the ruler of Frisia. That area along the Southeastern coast of the North Sea in what we refer to today as the Netherlands. This month we will spend a day honoring him and what he stands for. When we take the time to remember this King, take pause for just a second longer and consider the parallels in our time. Radbod was in constant conflict with the Merovingian Kings. That line of Frankish kings who fell in line with the directives of the Pope. A constant state of being derided and harassed because they were still a Pagan kingdom. When the whims of the Pope and the church changed directions to the Carolingian Kings, Frisia and its ports became an important and hotly contested resource between two kingdoms who simply assumed that Radbod would fall in line. Political intrigue, royal weddings, assassinations and many battles plagued the kingdom. All in the name of the church and the power in represented. The days when a man might make the way for his life by the strength of his own two hands, perhaps even to become a king, were rapidly vanishing.
His enemies, the Franks, were legendary warriors such as Charles Martel. But there were ordinary men as well, with weak spirits,they became priests and began to assume a greater role in the politics of the day as Bishops and Cardinals. Lesser men whose faith was in something outside of themselves. King Radbod, though he was greatly feared (even the rumor of Radbod forming an army caused the French to tremble) he was also wise enough to take into consideration the welfare of his people. Constant warfare and persecution began to wear the old king done. And soon he found himself standing at the edge of the baptismal pool. But unlike the kings around him, King Radbod enjoyed the thought of his ancestors standing in a long line behind him. They had been the ones who had supported him from the beginning. It was the very thought of them and living up to their deeds that propelled Radbod forward through the toughest of times. In the moment when Radbod had but one foot in the pool, he paused and looked at the priest, gayly adorned and doing his best to remind everyone around them that he was, in fact, greater than this king, because he was a man of the foreign god. In that moment, the whisper of a thought crossed Radbods mind. Perhaps it was no more than “we love you” or maybe it was “remember us”, maybe it was the look of disappointment in the eyes of the crowd. Disappointment at seeing someone they had fought so hard for, believed so fervently in, now stripped down to night clothes and preparing to engage in a foreign ritual so he might stay in power.
That split second was all that was required for one, very powerful question to arise in the mind of the Frisian King. He asked Wulfram, the priest and missionary to the Frisians “Will I see my ancestors in your Christian Heaven?” “No” replied Wulfram, “Those contemptible pagan ancestors do not reside in the glory of heaven”. At which point Redbod began to remember who he was. He stood up and removed himself from the baptismal pool. His fortitude arose from with in and he replied “I would rather spend an eternity in hell with my ancestors, than to spend it in heaven with my enemies, the Franks”.
In days gone by, many older heathens and Asatruars will tell you that their path was looked upon with disdain. It was discouraged, and people reminded us routinely that we would find ourselves in Hell. We are surrounded by easier softer paths lined with the comforts we take for granted. What would our decision be if those comforts were threatened because of our faith? King Radbod died in 719. His sons continued to fight the Franks. Radbod the Successor fought valiantly. Their struggle was I am sure a powerful one. Full of champions and heroes. Just like today, our wars at home and abroad have produced within our ranks many champions and heroes. Men and women more than willing to take up the challenge of life on these new terms we call Asatru. But it was the sentiment of a Pagan King, 1300 years ago, which has provided us with a thought process which reminds us that we needn’t fear all the forces the world has to throw at us. That we need not compromise with anyone concerning our right to raise a horn, worship our old gods and celebrate our ancestors. For no matter what may happen, they will be with us.

Gothi Bryan Wilton

Categories: News

Brownsville Monthly Food Distribution

We had another amazing day teaming up with the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank, Inc. to provide good food to good people in Brownsville and the nearby area. This go-around we were able to provide food for 94 families. Gothi Michael Hunter led us all in this service and, as always made the AFA proud. Thank you to all the AFA members that showed up and helped out. We are very glad for this opportunity to help our neighbors in this way.

This will be an ongoing service from 12 to 4 on the first Saturday of every month.

Categories: News

August 2018

July was a month of action, for myself and across the AFA! I started my 37th year off by flying up to my homeland of Alaska. I packed my mom and her things into a U-Haul and drove the 3,000 miles from Palmer, Alaska to Sparks, Nevada to start the next chapter of her life living with Mandy and I. What a drive! It is amazing see how much the landscape changes over such a long journey. I am a very fortunate man to get to spend time with my mom and care for her as she deals with her health challenges and advanced years.
In July, the Asatru Folk Assembly honored Asatru Pioneer Alexander Rudd Mills with his first annual Day of Remembrance. I am proud to see gatherings around the country starting to happen more and more in observance of these Remembrance Days for Asatru heroes. This month I was fortunate enough to gather to honor Rud Mills here in Reno as well as up in Alaska. It was great to spend time with old friends and new up in the Last Frontier and I always appreciate sharing a meal with my old kindred Der Volkstamm Auf dem Nordliche Bär.
For the second month in a row, AFA members at Óðinshof teamed up with the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank to provide food to the good folk of Brownsville, California. I am so proud of our members who volunteer their time to do this for our community. As usual, the Viking Brotherhood took the lead in this endeavor.
July has been marked by getting things accomplished. We have added Kindreds, expanding our Folkbuilder ranks to provide even greater coverage for our members, and we have seen a massive growth in local AFA gatherings far and wide. As summer turns towards fall, let’s all double up on our efforts and sprint towards fall with full vigor that we can all celebrate an abundant harvest.

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

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi
Asatru Folk Assembly
mattflavel@runestone.org

Categories: News

New Apprentice Folkbuilder in Alaska

I’d like to introduce our newest Apprentice Folkbuilder, Tyler Hansen. He will be Folkbuilding , In Alaska, with Folkbuilder Eric Whisman. Alaska is a big state and we are hoping to cover more ground and strengthen the Region. I’m looking forward to seeing what these gentlemen can do!

Hail the Folk!

Marc MacLeod
Folkbuilder Coordinator
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

July 2018

The Asatru Folk Assembly is at a new all time high and we are only getting stronger! What an amazing June and what a powerful start to the AFA year! Traditionally the AFA year runs from Midsummer to Midsummer. With a new year we have a new focus, for the next 3 years we will focus on Immortality and the symbol to guide that focus over the next year is the Trihorns. I have to say we are extremely well positioned to start that focus on Immortality. At present, the AFA has more members than ever before, we have members across the United States and internationally in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. We have 20 AFA Kindreds in the first 2 years of our Kindred Program, Kindreds all over the country but also in Sweden and New Zealand. This year’s Gothar class is 10 students ( and that is just counting the ones who were accepted this time around), that is more than twice any previous year. Midsummer at Óðinshof set a new attendance record for any AFA event!
What is perhaps most amazing is that, while seeing a meteoric rise in both membership and participation, we have seen an equally impressive rise in the quality and dedication of our membership. I never cease to be amazed at our AFA family, you all are the cream of the crop. I mentioned earlier that we are focusing on Immortality, we will talk more on that over the coming year. I would like to conclude by asking you to keep the idea of Immortality on your mind, Immortality for yourself ( building a legacy and developing your wod self), Immortality for the AFA (helping your AFA family build our church in a way for it to last for all time), and Immortality of our folk (taking care of our own, building our people, proud and unique, recapturing the dignity and creativity that shaped this world and will shape worlds to come).

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

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi
Asatru Folk Assembly
mattflavel@runestone.org

Categories: News

Day of Remembrance for Alexander Rud Mills

It is with great pride that I announce the AFA’s first annual Day of Remembrance for Alexander Rud Mills. Rud Mills lived from 1885-1964 and was the guiding light for the foundations of Asatru in Australia. In 1933 Rud Mills began writing books about our faith and in 1936 he founded the Anglecyn Church of Odin. Quickly he gathered the folk and a community of Asatruar was born. During the turbulent times of the Second World war, Rud Mills was bitterly persecuted by his government and the community that he built suppressed. All was not lost however. The writings and the vision of Rud Mills inspired others to take up the banner of our ancestral faith, perhaps most notably Else Christensen. Ripples from that first effort, that spark of what could be, have shaped and inspired the thriving faith we have today. It is high time we showed this Asatru visionary his due! Hail Alexander Rud Mills!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi
Asatru Folk Assembly
mattflavel@runestone.org

Categories: News

June 2018

It’s hard to believe that June is already upon us! As this month’s Voice will show, the AFA has been on fire. Applications for the 2018 Gothar class are the most on record (with still 2 more days to go). We have added new Apprentice Folkbuilders who are off to a great start in their regions. I can proudly say that for the first time we have an AFA member in South Africa! So many beautiful babies are being born that our Ladies can hardly keep up with making blankets for all of them. I am so very proud of all the hard work our wonderful AFA leaders and volunteers are doing.
Mandy and I have been making full use of the summer energy to get outside and hike. Just yesterday AFA Founder Steve McNallen had us join him on an amazing Wotan on the Peaks hike. I never notice how much I miss enjoying the outdoors until I make the point of getting out in the woods, it is always such a refreshment for mind, body and spirit. I encourage each of you to get outside this summer and let yourself be dazzled by the splendor of nature. That being said, I would also invite you to be dazzled by the splendor of your AFA family.
Midsummer is almost here! We would love to see you all at Óðinshof for the annual AFA Midsummer. If you cannot make it out this year, take heart, there are Midsummer events all over the country. Please contact your local Folkbuilder to find a Midsummer event near you.
The AFA is surging with energy and enthusiasm all around the world, go out and get involved! The AFA is not some organization “out there”, the AFA is a hof inside the heart of each member of our AFA family. Make the AFA happen in your area and in your home, reach out to your AFA brothers and sisters and fill the AFA with your energy and your enthusiasm. It is beautiful beyond measure to watch the AFA blossom and grow, every day, every week, every month, that is because of members like you! Thank you.

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

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi
Asatru Folk Assembly
mattflavel@runestone.org

Categories: News

May 2018

Happy May Day! I hope everyone was/is able to dance with your AFA family around the maypole and infuse this year with willful fecundity. Mandy and I just returned from an amazing AFA Hexennacht in the South. I want to give a heart felt thank you to our Upper South Folkbuilder Paul Hester. Paul and his lovely wife Kelly gave so much of themselves to make this event a success and they were able to bring down-home hospitality to all those who attended. I never cease to be impressed by the increasing quality of our national events, those of you who have attended can surely attest that the intimacy and family feeling gets better each time.
I am very proud of all the activity I have been seeing lately from the AFA. We have AFA Kindreds being established all over the country, not to mention in Sweden and Australia! Through the efforts of Folkbuilder Cameron Mottus and the colossal generosity of YOU amazing folk, we were able to raise and send much needed relief money to folks suffering in South Africa. Everywhere I look, new AFA babies are being born and AFA ladies and gentlemen are marrying each other, building strong relationships based on shared values and beliefs. Those of you who have been in Asatru for a long time know that this sort of thing was not always the case. The growth of, not only AFA members, but AFA families is a powerful testament to the legitimacy of our church and its bright future.
I want to finish by inviting you to attend AFA Midsummer at Óðinshof in June. Midsummer at the Hof is the biggest AFA event each year and it is a truly special event. If you have not been to our/ your Hof, it is hard to describe how it feels to have a place of our own, something real and permanent. I want to share that feeling with all of you. If you have been to Óðinshof, then you know how special it is and we want to have you back, for Midsummer. This year’s event will be an amazing celebration of our Folk and our Gods and we invite all our AFA family to come on out and be with us.
To all of you who have donated your hard earned money, thank you. To all of you who have donated your precious time, thank you. To those bold folk who have stepped up to become leaders in our AFA, thank you. Together we are a mighty force for our Gods and our Folk.

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

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi
Asatru Folk Assembly
mattflavel@runestone.org

Categories: News

April 2018

I am writing this morning with the sun shining in on me, gazing out at the beautiful blooms on the trees outside my apartment. Life is good and I am feeling springtastic! Everywhere I look, the AFA is a buzz with activity and vitality. Mandy and I just returned from Washington State where I was honored to speak at the Northwest Forum hosted by Counter Currents. These folks gave us great hospitality and a fantastic event. Mandy and I met some great people and we had the opportunity to introduce a lot of folks to Asatru.
In the AFA, we are about doing, with that in mind, Folkbuilder Cameron Mottus has initiated an effort to raise money for persecuted whites in South Africa. For those of you that may not know, white farmers are being savagely abused and impoverished. This abuse is racially motivated and, because they are sons and daughters of Europe, the victims are being largely ignored by the world. This is a tragedy, but take heart! There are tangible ways that your contributions can help these folk and, so far, the generosity of AFA members towards this has been overwhelming!
Speaking of DOING, the AFA is thriving and growing, now more than ever before, we have big things we want to accomplish, for our Gods, for our church and for our folk. We need your help! The AFA is looking for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your local Folkbuilder and they will be happy to get your information to the right people. With your help, we have great things ahead of us.
Hexennacht in the South is right around the corner. I cannot stress this enough, if you can make it…… take the leap and make it happen. These events are so very special and important, they literally change lives. I know that going to national events made all the difference in my life and in my soul. Mandy and I are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at this years Hexennacht and we would love to see each of you there and share a horns of warm and fellowship.
Last but not least, embrace the spring that surrounds you. Be inspired to get out, emerge from the hibernation of winter. Seize the might of the spring time sun and happen to life rather than life happening to you. This is a great time to be alive and a great time to be a part of the Asatru Folk Assembly.

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

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi
Asatru Folk Assembly
mattflavel@runestone.org

Categories: News