Traditionally the Asatru Folk Assembly has celebrated the 9th day of each month with a remembrance day to a hero or well known person relevant to our native folkways. In an effort to make our membership more aware of these important folk heroes and to again honour their memory we will be posting a short article each month on that month’s honoree.
In August we have traditionally celebrated King Raedbed (Radbod) of Frisia. Radbod’s story actually begins with his predecessor, Aldgisl, who, as king, allowed a christian missionary to spread his alien ways across the land. Aldgisl and many of the local sub-chiefs accepted this new faith……within just two years of this missionary’s arrival Aldgisl was replaced by Radbod, who still held true to the ancestral ways, as king.
As with many leaders of his time, Radbod allowed missionaries to enter his land and talk of their new faith. At constant war with his christianized Frankish neighbors Radbod even eventually agreed to be baptised in this new faith, but as the day neared for his baptism he had one nagging question, “What had befell his ancestors who never accepted this alien faith?”
The monk, when asked, in unusually direct and honest fashion answered, “Why those godless heathens are in hell burning alive for all eternity.” Obviously not the answer Radbod was expecting……the christian missionaries were driven from the land, even pushing the Franks completely out of Frisia. His steadfastness gave his people a few more years of freedom from alien oppression. Radbod remained true to his ancestors and their folkways until his death in 719 CE.
What a role model for today, here is a man who took a stand for his ancestors, for his people, when not doing so almost certainly would have been easier. How can we emulate that in our daily lives? How can we channel that honour and integrity in our spiritual path?
First, and foremost, we can honour Radbod with a blessing and draught of the horn in a small remembrance celebration.
We can not back down when alien creeds try to harm us with lies and gossip. Show our pride in our ancestors, our pride in those who forged this path we now tread.
We can meditate on Othila, the final rune in the rune row. The rune of ancestral homelands and of ancestral blood. The sacred enclosure that protects and embodies our folk. Meditate on how our choices and actions can strengthen this enclosure.
Finally, enjoy your freedom. That same freedom that Radbod gave to his people. Stand tall and proud, free of any bedouin taint and giving your children a chance to be strong, free, and true to their ancestral folkways.
Asatru Folk Assembly