AFA: Blog

Words from the Alsherjargothi

Monthly Archives: July 2017

Why dress nice for a blot in honor of our Gods?

I get asked a lot of questions in my role as a Gothi of the Asatru Folk Assembly, but some questions come up more often than others. Probably one of the most common questions is “Why do some AFA members put on suits and nice dresses when participating in a Blot?”
There are actually several different reasons for this…..
First, and most obvious, is out of respect for our Gods and our holy rituals. Traditionally our Folk came before kings, queens, earls, etc. in all of their best clothing, looking their very best. When they would host guests, or go to the Thing again their finest clothes would come out…………Do our Gods deserve any less? Our Gods should be revered for the powerful, holy beings that They are, and one way of showing that respect, that reverence, is to look your best when presenting yourself before Them and when going to honour Them.
Another, less understood reason, is to put an individual into the proper mindset. A person entering into one of our holy rituals to honour our Gods should be doing so with a clear mind focused on the task at hand, not cluttered with the mundane everyday thoughts that often invade our thinking. By putting on your “ritual” clothes, something separate and apart from your everyday clothing, it helps to reinforce the idea that now you are stepping away from the everyday, profane world and entering into a timeless, sacred, otherwordly place and frame of mind.
No one is going to tell you that you can’t participate in a ritual because you have on a t-shirt and pair of jeans, we aren’t that kind of church, but this brief article should help answer the “Why are they all dressed up” question.

Blaine Qualls Jr.
Gothar Coordinator,
Asatru Folk Assembly

On Connections and Purpose

On Connections and Purpose

Having a conversation with a Christian earlier this week, we were talking about some of the difference between our religions.
One big issue they seem to have is that of the “purpose of life”. Although they claim that their purpose in life is to “love and serve God”, they still find an emptiness and a lack of connection.
I told him that as an Asatruar, the question of the purpose of life was a non-issue for us due to the fact that Asatru is all about both working in conjunction with the natural world as well as the realization and strengthening of the connections we have.
In true Christianity, the only connection one can really hope to make is the connection to their God above, anything else comes from the Germanization of Christianity, and this leaves a horrible disconnect and feeling of emptiness. (Raised a Christian, I can confirm)
In Asatru, our Purpose is realized through our connections.
We are connected to the Holy Powers/Gods & Goddesses above, the Earth Below, our ancestors behind us, our descendants before us, and our Folk around us.
The realization of these connections should immediately stir something powerful in is. There should be pride in it,
But there should also be a sense of responsibility to remember and honor our ancestors, to be dutiful and pass on to our descendants a name that is good and not tarnished, to our Folk around us to be a shining example and help those of our people become more than they were, to the earth to work with the natural order and to take care of this living planet, not just abuse it and use it for our own selfish means. And to the Holy Powers above, who’s existence within the Folk-Soul of our people is a constant inspiration and unique feature of our people. To honor them, our most distant ancestors, and to follow their examples by evolving ourselves and bettering ourselves in everything we do.

Eric Whisman
Folkbuilder,
Asatru Folk Assembly

Sowilo

Sowilo, “Sun” is the conquering mystery of solar empowerment. As the Sun is the source of life and power, light and energy, this rune teaches us of indomitable will and unstoppable determination. As we feel the Sun beating down upon us and we ponder the mystery of Sowilo, let us be inspired by the victory of light over darkness. Like the Sun, our ancestors rose from the east and conquered all before them as they rode west across Midgard, nothing and no one, not even the ocean, could stand in their way. As our people grew, this rune evolved from meaning the Sun to symbolizing victory itself. This rune is not just about victory over external foes. Sowilo also has much to teach us about victory over the stasis and blockages in our own hearts and minds, the Old Icelandic Rune Poem tells us “Sun is the shield of the clouds and shining ray and destroyer of ice.” As there is a time for stillness as taught by Isa, Sowilo is the rune of breaking free from that stillness and charging forth with dynamic action, unstoppable with purpose and will. Just as the Trundholm Sun chariot testified to our ancestors veneration of Sowilo, let this rune of victory inspire us today to action and glory in all we put our will towards!
Matthew D. Flavel
Alsherjargothi, AFA

New Apprentice Folkbuilder

I’d like to introduce our newest Apprentice Folkbuilder Michael Terry. Michael is a CDL driver trainer by trade and a organic vegetable farmer in the western part of Virginia. He has already started organizing meet-ups in the western part of the Upper South region and will be focused on building communities in the West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee area. If you are in these area’s and don’t know him, I suggest you reach out to him. This is how it’s done folks, real people, real events, and real communities!!

Hail the Doers!!
Hail the Folk !!
Hail the AFA !!

Marc MacLeod
Folkbuilder Coordinator, AFA

Happy Independence Day

In 1776, the founding fathers of the United States of America risked all. They pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in a quest to secure for their families and their fellows a new nation built upon values they believed in. President Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence acknowledged the ancestral inspiration of “Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon chiefs from whom we claim the honor of being descended, and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed.” The Asatru Folk Assembly would like to wish our members and their families a joyous and triumphant Independence Day.

Matt Flavel
Alsherjargothi, AFA