AFA: Blog

Words from the Alsherjargothi

Category Archives: The Runes


Tiwaz, Tyr is the mystery of cosmic order, ever true, constant as the Pole Star. The Tiwaz rune is named for the god Tyr, in fact this name became the word for divinity itself. The roots of Tiwaz go even further back to the ancient Aryan word Deiwos meaning “celestial god”. The Aesir are gods of consciousness and order, shaping an ordered cosmos from chaos, Tiwaz represents that divine order. The Old English Rune Poem tells us “Tiw is a guiding star; well does it keep faith with princes; it is ever on its course over the mists of night and never fails.” The world we live in grows ever more complex, we live in an age where words like “right” and “wrong” are unfashionable and moral choices are dismissed as “shades of grey”. Take heart, Tiwaz teaches us the lesson of moral clarity, principles of order that are timeless and guide us through the thickest mists and the darkest night. This order was visualized by our ancestors as the Irminsul, the world pillar that held up the sky above us and fixed the earth below us. Simplifying things to principles of time honored right and wrong, making judgments from those firm values gives us confidence and surety. Let us all hold our heads high as we stand for order and principle “well does it keep faith with princes” to do so.

Matthew Flavel
Asatru Folk Assembly


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


Perthro, “lot cup” is the mystery of the unfurling future, the rune of orlog and of wyrd being born into reality. We all come into this world with an orlog laid down by our ancestors, for good or for ill, this is where we start. We build our wyrd by our actions, by great deeds we build a bright future for ourselves and our folk. None of us know what the future will bring, peace and abundance or struggle and strife. It is easy to become stressed about the future and to fear the unknown. The great heroes of old however, were marked by facing the future with joy and boldness, testing their luck and the wyrd the had built for themselves. “Lot box is always play and laughter among bold men, where warriors sit in the beer hall, happily together.”, so says the Old English Rune Poem. Do right, build a powerful hamingja and face the future filled with joy and courage. Struggles will come, face them with a confident bearing and let the die be cast. We were built for struggle, struggle is how we win glory, struggle is how heroes are made. Together, let us laugh and raise a horn, ready for whatever the future may hold, proud and bold as the heroes of old.
Matt Flavel
Alsherjargothi, AFA


Eihwaz, “Yew” is the powerful mystery of transformation and ascension. Eihwaz represents Yggdrasil, the world tree that orders our cosmos and connects the chthonic to the celestial. Just as our cosmos is likened to a tree, so are each of us. Within us all there is a “world pillar” an axis that connects the primal nature of man with his divine potential. Fathoming the mystery of Eihwaz we learn to delve deep down into our core and to evolve ever upward into the infinite. The Old English Rune Poem says “The yew is a tree with rough bark, hard and fast in the earth, supported by its roots, a guardian of flame and a joy upon an estate.” the Old Norse Rune Poem tells us further more that the “Yew is the greenest of trees in winter; it is wont to crackle when it burns.” Let us be like the eternal yew, evergreen with hope and joy in life’s winters. Let us be thick skinned, solid and rooted in our folk and our identity. Perhaps most of all let us burn hot, passionately reaching ever upwards toward the stars always climbing ever closer toward divinity.

Matt Flavel
Alsherjargothi, AFA