The mission of Asatru’s clergy, called Goðar, is to rally the Men and Women of our Folk, the Sons and Daughters of Europe in Midgard, to come together for our common spirituality and purpose. We do so in a manner that is confident and noble. The Asatru Folk Assembly is constantly evolving while maintaining continuity in leadership.
One of the most significant moments in Asatru Folk Assembly history was the passing of the duties and responsibilities of Alsherjargothi from Stephen McNallen to Matthew Flavel. The role of Alsherjargothi, Old Norse for “Chieftain of All the People”, demands leading those who make up the Asatru Folk Assembly as well as tending to the spiritual needs of our Folk and looking out for their interests.
|Alsherjargothi Matthew Flavel, Nevada|
Our Ancestors relied on the counsel of wise Men and Women in all manner of things to ensure things ran smoothly. Similarly, our Alsherjargothi has an advisory council, just like a CEO or Head of State.
The Witan and our Lawspeaker are there to help. The historical role of the Lawspeaker was to memorize, know, and recite all aspects of the law of the tribe or group of people who they represented. Witan is derived from the Old English “Witangemot” (Meeting of the Wise), nobles who served as an advisory council to the Anglo-Saxon Kings.
Our Witan provides counsel, wisdom, expertise, and guidance on all things relating to the Asatru Folk Assembly. Together these fine Folks provide us with outstanding leadership, direction, and purpose as we continue to implement the Asatru Folk Assembly’s Declaration of Purpose, Statement of Ethics, and Law of the Hall.
|Lawspeaker Allen Turnage, Florida||Witan Clifford Erickson, Pennsylvania|
|Witan Svan Herul, Virginia||Witan Brandy Callahan, Minnesota|
Goðar of the Asatru Folk Assembly are the religious leaders of our Folk. The position of Gothi or Gythia is one of leadership and service to our church. They inherently bear many responsibilities, such as leading marriage ceremonies, funerary rites, naming ceremonies, land takings, coming of age rites, and other rituals for our community. Goðar also organize Asatru Folk Assembly and community events, assist with the formation of new kindreds, provide counseling services, and educate those not familiar with our tradition. Goðar often engage in many other forms of public service that are generally expected of the Clergy in this day and age. This is not an easy responsibility, but it is an honorable path. As Ordained Clergy, all Asatru Folk Assembly Goðar carry weight in most states and regions, have legal rights, and legal recognition for ceremonies performed and services rendered to their community due to the direct support and association with the AFA, which is a religious, non-profit organization.
The curriculum is an in-depth study, organized in a collaborative style that is akin to the time-tested apprentice-mentor dynamic, and so each year a mentor is granted to facilitate the learning experience for each new student. Through the course of the program, the student can expect reading and composition assignments, regularly scheduled phone and/or video conferences, educational discourses, ritual performances before leadership, spiritual tasks and assignments, testing, and more. The propriety, professionalism, patience, timeliness, dependability, communication skills, and aptitude of each student are under constant review throughout the curriculum. It is important to remember that students can and have failed the program by not maintaining the aforementioned to a high and acceptable standard. Upon graduation, new Clergy is required to fulfill an obligation to the program, such as mentoring a new student. Each of the Asatru Folk Assembly Goðar is expected to remain active with the AFA, online, at Asatru Folk Assembly events, and in their local region.
The Asatru Folk Assembly Goðar Program is designed for those who have already given their time and service to the Folk. The Goðar program is only open to Asatru Folk Assembly Oathed Folkbuilders. By the time they are ordained, each of our Goðar has already put in substantial work building our church and has shown concern for our Asatru Folk Assembly family. That is the foundation of leadership and service this program is built upon. Each of our Goðar is contributing member of society and maintains a professional and well-composed demeanor at all times.
Hof is the Asatru term for a house of worship or a temple. Since the modern resurgence of Asatru in the 1960s, there has always been a dream to have a hof. Reading publications from those early times, all the way up through the 1990s and early 2000s, a hof was “right around the corner”. The Asatru Folk Assembly now has three Hofs, each dedicated to one of our Holy Gods. Establishing Hofs to our Holy Gods, the Aesir, is the greatest calling and also the greatest success of the Asatru Folk Assembly in the twenty-first century.
A Hof district is a geographical territory focused around a specific Hof. Within each district, we have Folkbuilders and Goðar. The Folkbuilders are the people you would reach out to for inquiries on what is going on within your district as well as inquiries about membership with the Asatru Folk Assembly. Goðar of the Asatru Folk Assembly the religious leaders of our Folk. The position of Gothi or Gythia is one of leadership and service to our church. They inherently bear many responsibilities, such as leading marriage ceremonies, funerary rites, naming ceremonies, land takings, coming of age rites, and other rituals for our community.