Words from the Alsherjargothi - Winter Nights 2017

Winter is here, the huntsmen ride and the veil is thin between the worlds. October has been a fantastic month for the AFA and the chill in the air has invigorated the souls of our folk. I want to thank Witan Clifford Erickson for the amazing job he did hosting the 6th annual AFA Winternights in the Poconos. It is hard to believe it has been 6 years since the AFA's first national gathering outside of California. Imagine that! 6 years ago, the AFA had only hosted one national gathering each year here in Northern California...in 2017 we have had 5 successful national events! We were all blown away by the truly national character of Winternights this year with folks filling the hall from all across the country, some driving 28 hours to celebrate with their AFA family. The highlight of the event for me was Gythia Patricia Hall's Disablot, I was shaken to my very core and I can say with with surety that hers was the most powerful Blot I have been apart of. Thank you very much to all those who attended the event and to all those that labored to make it such a success, the quality was at an all-time high. The following weekend at the Hof, we had a fantastic Winter Nights celebration. We were honored to have Sheila McNallen preform our Disablot, she did an amazing job and we were all moved and thankful. I am so proud to see these local events growing in attendance but also in quality, not only here at the Hof, but around the country as well as our international AFA communities.

In October, the call has been raised to increase our fundraising so that we can meet the ever growing needs of our church. The generous response has been amazing! Thank you to all who have donated to the "Pay Off the Hof" campaign and thank you to those who will donate in the coming weeks and months, the fundraiser runs until 12th night. Last but certainly not least, special thanks to Folkbuilder Bryan Blue who has taken the unprecedented step of pledging 5% of his income to the Asatru Folk Assembly! This is a huge leap forward for us as a church and for our ability to function to the high standards worthy of our holy Gods and noble ancestors. As more champions of the folk step forward with this sort of commitment, we will see our activity soar to new heights and Hofs begin to appear across the land. Thank you Bryan and thank you to all of our very generous AFA family. May you all enjoy the warm embrace of your folk and your ancestors this winter.

Hail the Gods!
Hail the Folk!
Hail the AFA!

Matthew D. Flavel
Asatru Folk Assembly

Asatru is an expression of the native, pre-Christian spirituality of Europe. More specifically, it is the Way by which the Germanic peoples have traditionally related to the Divine and to the world around them.

From Iceland to Russia, from the frozen north of Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, the Germanic peoples wandered and settled over a span of thousands of years. Today, their descendants are spread around the world. We may refer to ourselves as Americans or English, Germans or Canadians, but behind these labels lurks an older, more essential identity. Our forefathers were Angles and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings - and, as sons and daughters of these peoples, we are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by the centuries.

Asatru is our native Way. Just as there is Native American religion and native African religion, so there is native European religion. Asatru is one of its expressions. It gave our ancestors comfort in millennia past, and it can give us strength and inspiration today.

The word "Asatru" comes to us from Old Norse, the tongue of ancient Scandinavia, where it means "those loyal to the Gods." Since the ancient Scandinavian version of our Way is the best documented, it has given us much of Asatru's terminology and imagery. The soul of Asatru, however, is not confined to the Scandinavian model, but encapsulates the belief of all the Germanic peoples. Indeed, Asatru reflects the deeper religiosity common to virtually all the nations of Europe.

As a part of the great European Folkway, Asatru has a number of characteristic beliefs. Some of these are: