Fallfest III was truly amazing! Gothar Coordinator Blaine Qualls and Folkbuilder Jason Gallagher hosted an absolutely wonderful event. Fallfest has become one of the highlights of the year and one that Mandy and I always look forward to. Thank you so much to our entire Northern Plains AFA family for all their hard work and overwhelming hospitality!
We started off this fall right with Fallfest and we are keeping that momentum rolling as we prepare for Winter Nights in the Poconos. Winter Nights is always a powerful event and the setting is stunningly beautiful. I look forward to seeing all of you there as we honor our Gods and the Disir in Pennsylvania this month.
This month we take time to honor the Disir as the veil between the world of the living and the land of the dead becomes thin. The Disir are those sacred mothers of our folk that watch over us in death with the same love and care that they showed us when they were here with us in the flesh. In the dark nights of fall and winter our ancestors are close to us and our families, they look on. Let us take the time to acknowledge the ancestors, welcoming them in, remembering them, speaking their names with love and respect. I wish you all a magical Winter Nights and I hope to see you all in Pennsylvania as we honor our Disir.
Matthew D. Flavel
Asatru Folk Assembly
The Asatru Folk Assembly would like to wish all our folk a very special Winter Finding. May the chill in the air bring us closer to our friends, our families, and our Gods.
Today it is my pleasure to announce and welcome home The Three Rivers Kindred of California as an official kindred of the Asatru Folk Assembly. Gaining AFA affiliation is not an easy task. Kindreds must exemplify dedication, steadfastness and loyalty. It is beautiful to watch our community grow with a boldness that honors our Gods, Ancestors and Folk!
Please give a warm welcome and a mighty Hailsa to The Three Rivers Kindred!
Hail the Three Rivers Kindred
Hail the AFA!
Asatru Folk Assembly
Today we honor Hermann of the Cherusci . He is one of our greatest heroes from the distant past (approximately 17 bce-19ce). There are a few reasons why we take the time to remember Hermann der Cherusker, whose name is derived from Old High German ‘heri’ and ‘man’ meaning “Man of War.” He was the son of Sigimer, a Prince of the German Nation. He had lived in Rome as a youth where he was held captive but would later be educated and trained as a Roman soldier. Eventually he obtained Roman citizenship as well as a high honor status. Upon this he would be assigned the task of infiltrating Germania in order for Rome to take control of the area. He would ultimately reunite with his true folk, rally up German tribes and keep the Romans from conquering the land for many many years. In this Germania would continue to thrive and keep their traditions and culture from radically changing from foreign influences.
This brief glimpse into the deeds of Hermann is important because the vast majority of us have been virtually held captive by the interests of others who are not sympathetic to our Folk or our traditional values. Most of us are educated and trained in ways that would seek to destroy what had originally shaped us and gave us noble purpose. But, however, if we are able to tap into our true ancestral ways we are more likely to save ourselves from self-destruction. By rallying our Folk together for common purposes we become stronger and better equipped to take on the forces that wish to confuse our efforts of survival, frith and prosperity. To remain estranged from our Folk at this point is to leave our orlog in the hands of those who would have us surrender and deny ourselves for the establishment of a fate that we may never recover from. To unite is our only option if we are to recover from the battles waged against us. When we each make the effort to reach out to our Folk and build connections, when we turn to our lore for direction and determination, when we succeed in deeds that will shape our future in ways that are harmonious to us instead of those who aim to crush us, we come closer and closer to achieving what Hermann achieved all of those years ago.
So on the Ninth of September and during this month, ponder the actions you could make in honor of this concept and turn it into a reality. What can you DO to help your folk unite? In what ways can you challenge yourself to perform deeds that make a difference? How can you give your Folk hope and purpose to continue to work for our noble cause day in and day out, month after month, year after year? If we all do our part nothing can stop us from achieving our goals. Asking these questions of ourselves and following through with the answers we conceive show others that they can do the same. Help new members to get the fire of our purpose spreading within. Help those in your area make a difference that reflects the passion of our virtuous path. Be an example to the Folk at large that we are here, we are able, we are succeeding and being what our ancestors dreamed we could be if only we realized our potential. Others are still being educated and trained to be soldiers against their own well-being. We have lots of work to do to shake them out of it and guide them home. Those that seek to scatter our efforts for their own glory need to know that each day more and more of our Folk our waking up from this nightmare placed before us. Even more so we need to fully embrace this ourselves. Everyday we are actively getting more involved with each other, finding better ways to become all that we can be and not looking back. We our looking forward towards the guiding star of our ancestors, of the blooming of our folk in miraculous ways and to the successes of all our endeavors combined. We’ve seen progress and we seek to see more. So when you meet with your kindred, you speak with your fellow Ásatrúar, you make your next goal, know that we’re all in this together and we by uniting and persevering we can make each and every one of our sacrifices and deeds worth every second that we put into them.
HAIL the Folk!
HAIL the Doers!
HAIL the Memory of Hermann
and the Glory Ahead of Us!
Zach Cato, Midwest
Chieftain of Heimdall’s Midgard Kindred
Yesterday we had yet another amazing food giveaway in Brownsville. We were able to distribute food to 126 families totaling 325 people. Thank you to all the amazing AFA volunteers. Thank you to the Viking Brotherhood for taking the lead. Thank you to the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank, Inc. for giving us the opportunity and food to help our community in this way.
August marked the waning days of
summer and the beginning of the harvest season. It has been amazing to
see the photos of all our AFA family around the world celebrating
Freyfaxi. The great God Frey was honored across the land and we
began the first of the great harvest feasts of Asatru. As Summer fades
and Fall begins, it is a great time to take stock of what we have accomplished,
for ourselves, for our Folk, and for our AFA family. Now is a time to
bring in all the wondrous accomplishments we have made in our own lives and our
families. Now is also time to share all that we have built, produced, and
become with our larger AFA family. The harvest feast is a custom as old
as our Folk and something we celebrate and will celebrate for the next few
months. Let’s share the very best of ourselves with our AFA family, close
to home and around the world!
September is set to be an amazing month for the AFA, we are all
extremely excited for the 3rd annual Fall Fest in Minnesota. Our folk
will travel from across the country to celebrate and to worship with our AFA
family. Gothar Coordinator Blaine Qualls and Folkbuilder Jason Gallagher
have created one of the greatest events in the AFA year. Our Northern
Plains Folk are one of, if not THE, most committed and active areas of AFA
activity. Mandy and I as well as the McNallens are beyond excited to
celebrate with them this coming weekend.
If you would like to join us, there is still time to hop in the car and
head to Minnesota! If not, I would urge you to do everything in your
power to make it to Winter Nights in the Poconos in October. These events
are how I fell in love with the AFA and how I met some of my very best
friends. Winter Nights specifically is where I met my lovely wife.
These gatherings of the Folk build bonds that transcend distance and last a
life time. We would love to see all out AFA family at these amazing
Hail the Gods!
Hail the Folk!
Hail the AFA!
I would like to introduce Linus Borgström as our newest apprentice Folkbuilder. Sweden has been our fasting growing region this year, led by the great work of Anders Nilsson. Linus has very much been contributing to that growth. Thank you for stepping up and we are glad to have you!
Hail the Doers!
Asatru Folk Assembly
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
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.
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
Asatru Folk Assembly