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

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