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

Day of Remembrance for Raud the Strong

This month, we focus on a hero of the folk by the name of Raud the Strong. To start out to tell his story and why he is important to the folk, we need look no further than the first virtue: Courage. These days are trying times with many outside pressures- men and women of courage such as Raud the Strong are needed now more than ever. Whether this be by our fighting men on the fore front of danger, or our fellow folk making everything work in our communities and families.

His deeds come to us in the reading of the Heimskringla (The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway) by Snorri Sturlason. He is described to us as a man astute in his dedication to Odin and Thor, whom was also a well-known practitioner of the art of Seiðr. Hailing from Godey in the Salten Fjord of Norway, he quickly became a target of King Olaf Trygvason during his reign as King Olaf had recently acquired control of Norway from Jarl Haakon. With his new-found power in Norway, King Olaf set out to convert and baptize by the sword whomever he could to consolidate control over the region.

Hearing of King Olaf’s plans, Raud quickly assembled a force of men on ship and foot to confront King Olaf whom was coming from the south in Halogaland, which he had previously proselytized. A good friend Thorer Hjort joined Raud’s host adding another ship and many more men. When the two forces met, a fierce sea battle ensued. Raud’s ship was renowned as a large ship, with a gilded head formed like a dragon. He sailed the ship with extreme skill which was attributed to his use of Seiðr and being a powerful Wizard. He and Thorer were forced to retreat however, with Thorer being killed. Raud was able to escape that day, but he stood up to King Olaf and confronted him on his own terms.

King Olaf continued onward to continue to search for Raud. Sailing into the Salten Fjyord where Raud was said to be, he encountered a terrible storm which delayed him for a week, of Thor’s doing no doubt. He then encountered a Bishop by the name of Sigurd, which gave him counsel and advised him to continue baptizing and of Raud’s whereabouts.

Coming to Godey where Raud’s home was, King Olaf and his men disembarked their ships and made for the home. Immediately upon entering Raud’s property and home everyone staying there, including Raud were bound and arrested. Some men and servants were killed by Olaf’s men, and some were not. Raud was spared and brought before King Olaf. King Olaf demanded that Raud renounce the Gods and be baptized- Raud would have none of this. Standing true to his faith and the Gods, Raud exclaimed against the Christ and made a mockery of the false God by saying he would never believe in Christ. Naturally, King Olaf did not take a liking to Raud’s proud defiance.

King Olaf ordered that Raud was to die by the most terrible means. He was bound on a beam of wood, and a pin of wood affixed in his mouth to keep it open. There are different versions of how Raud was put to death for his bravery resisting conversion, but the most popular was that an adder was fashioned to be put down his throat. It is said that the adder would not go into his mouth- and that a drinking horn was placed, and the adder forced down the horn with a hot piece of iron. Raud died from the adder chewing through his side after being forced down his throat. King Olaf took Raud’s property, baptized his men whom were willing, and killed the rest. For this martyrdom we know Raud the Strong as a hero to our folk.

This is a very important story telling the importance of standing true and strong to your convictions, values, beliefs and ultimately our faith in the eye of adversity. You will encounter many challenges throughout life where your values are tested- will we stand the ground as Raud did in direct opposition of the Tyrants in life such as Olaf? Life presents us with these challenges day by day. Live up to the example set forth by Raud the Strong and see what richness the power of conviction can add to your life. Let us all give remembrance to the courage in this example! The Gods expect no less of us, and the character of our folk deserves no less either!

Hail Raud the Strong!

Rocco Urman, Three Rivers Kindred

Categories: News

New Year’s Day 2019

WE DID IT!

I want to officially start off 2019 by announcing that we have paid off Óðinshof! Thank you to all of you who contributed to make this happen. From those who donated 3 years ago to those who got up over the top in the last few months and everyone who donated along the way, from the bottom of my heart…………THANK YOU!

Fundraising and planning for Hof #2 begins today…

There are a few other exciting developments to start the new year. First, as you may have noticed, we have renamed this publication “THE RUNESTONE”. The Runestone was the premier Asatru publication from the early days of the Asatru Free Assembly until the end of the last century. We are currently digitizing and archiving old editions of The Runestone to make available on the website. It is our hope to carry on the proud legacy of this seminal publication in our monthly news letter. To this end we will be adding more articles and publication to our issues, already bursting at the seems with activity reports.

Next, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work Clifford Erickson has been up to for us. Please take a few minutes to checkout our new and improved website at www.runestone.org . This site is a work in progress and there are many things we would like to do with it in the coming year. This newly remodeled site is beautiful AND useful! Thank you Cliff for all your hard work.

Finally, starting this year, we have a new and exciting way for members to financially contribute to the AFA instead of the membership dues. Introducing the Hoftollar. The Hoftollar was a tax in pagan Iceland that supported the religious infrastructure. The AFA Hoftollar is percentage based giving. If all the members of the AFA paid 10% of their income to support our church, we would be able to purchase 5 Hofs, equivalent to Óðinshof, every single year. If every member paid just 1%, we would be able to purchase 1 Hof every other year. This will be a game changer in the coming year ans we bring more and more of our folk home. If you are interested in supporting us in this way, please contact your Folkbuilder and they will be happy to get you taken care of.

The Gods have blessed immensely in 2018, lets apply ourselves diligently to earn their blessings in 2019. We are starting the year with tremendous momentum, there are big things in store. I am so excited to see what all we can achieve together in 2019. Thank you all for for your support, your enthusiasm, and your hard work. Our AFA family is the very best there is.

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

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

Categories: News

Twelfth Day of Yule

We close out this beautiful Yule tide with thoughts toward Wisdom. As we take stock of 2018 and get ready to conquer 2019, what have we learned? If you have had a glorious 2018, those glories come with lessons, learn from them and accelerate your victory in the coming year. If you had setbacks and failures in the past year, there are even MORE lessons to learn and opportunities to take those lessons into the new year. We all, victors and vanquished alike, have the opportunity, no, the DUTY to be better in 2019. May we learn and grow. May Wisdom be our guide as we set out upon our new year. I wish, with all my heart, for every member of our AFA family to WIN, in 2019 and forever, may you all have a year of love, of joy and of victory. Hail the Yule Father! Hail the Victory Father! Hail the God of Wisdom! HAIL ODIN!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

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Eleventh Day of Yule

Following upon yesterday’s theme, today we celebrate Loyalty. Loyalty is one of the greatest of virtues. Loyalty builds real bonds, the kind that last and can be trusted. Loyalty is easy when all is flowers and rainbows. Loyalty is hard when there is storm and struggle and consequence. Thank you to all of you who stand, and have stood, Loyally with the AFA through struggle, through controversy and the sniping of Lilliputians. You Loyal Ladies and Gentlemen have built the victory that we are now enjoying and have ALWAYS enjoyed. Today we shall victoriously share a drink to Loyalty!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

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Tenth Day of Yule

Today we turn our attention to Steadfastness. The ability to build anything that lasts is predicated upon the ability of people to be Steadfast. This year, the AFA began our focus on immortality. As a church, we build our immortality on the Steadfastness of our members and leaders. We are building something that will last for our children’s children to be a part of. We are building an institution to honor our Gods and our Folk into eternity. We are honored to have such Steadfast members of our AFA family and leaders who are committed to the long term, to the immortality of our Folk, our Faith and our AFA. Hail to those who stand fast!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

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Ninth Day of Yule

Today we consider Truth. This year I would like to talk about being honest with yourself. Telling Truth to others is often scary but telling Truth to yourself can be terrifying. I would challenge us all to take moments to reflect upon what we REALLY believe and accept the consequence to shape our lives accordingly. I would also suggest that this is a great time of year to be brutally honest with ourselves about our faults but ALSO to be honest about our strengths. This is not a time to bemoan our shortcomings. This is a time to plan to FIX shortcomings and build upon our strengths in 2019. When we tell Truth to the world, and to ourselves, we hold our heads high and can move forward with a moral authority and authenticity that is palpable to those around us. Be brave and embrace Truth!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

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Eighth Day of Yule

On the 8th day of Yule we honor Individuality. Our Folk have always honored the hero, the one who stands tall and achieves greatness. This Yule I would encourage us all to BE the hero. Do more. Be more. Odin is the God of heroes and those who grow, those who evolve and those who ascend. It is the nature of our Noble Folk always to strive for more, for better, even the bounds of this Earth cannot hold our aspiration to become more. We look to the stars, not merely as a curiosity but as a destiny and a goal. I challenge each of us to reach for the stars and EVERY day become a little smarter, a little stronger, a little better. Direct your Individuality ever upward towards greatness!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

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Seventh Day of Yule

Today is all about Community. I am so proud of our AFA Community…our AFA family. This Yule we have 23 strong and proud AFA Kindreds celebrating around the world. In the United States, no matter where you are, you have AFA brothers and sisters close by with very few exceptions. Community is all about people, people that come together to be part of something bigger than themselves. Thank you to all our members and all our AFA Kindreds that make our Community the very best in Midgard!

Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Categories: News

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