from The Voice 2012
In October a truly historic event occurred named Winternights in the Poconos. The AFA hosted it’s first major event in the Northeastern United States. The gathering was held at historic Camp Netimus in the beautiful Poconos Mountains of Northern Pennsylvania among the crisp fall leaves. It was a weekend full of powerful rituals and deep fellowship. It was another spiritual charged weekend with new and old friends.
News and updates from Members across the Nation:
Here’s a mini-report about yesterday’s Nevada County Food and Toy Run where the AFA had two booths. Emily and Diane had spent preceding weeks shopping, baking, and roasting pork so our “Pulled Pork Plates” were ready to go when the 2000 bikes rode into the fairgrounds. Meanwhile, Sheila set up a booth right next to it with AFA materials, and stayed pretty busy talking to the folks wandering by. We had perfect weather with clear skies and about 60 degrees, in the prettiest fairground setting in California. It was simply a great day, very busy and upbeat.
Thanks go out to all who helped: Diane, Jim, Sandy, Katie, Thorgrun, Knute, Linda, Marc, Lindsey, and Sheila. And a very special thanks goes out to Thom Staser, friend of the AFA and organizer of the Toy Run for twenty years, who offered us free space and who encouraged us to have an information booth. How did we do? We cleared about $500, including some book sales.
Deep South. We had a pretty busy year here in the Deep South during 2012. Towards the beginning of the year the Asatru Alliance held a day moot at the European Street Cafe in Jacksonville. We had a great turn out of AFA members at this event. Shortly thereafter the Asatru Alliance held a weekend moot in Georgia that was attended by several AFA members. There, we were privileged with handful of us traveled by air and car to attended the AF/\s Midsummer in the Sierras, and what a spectacular event that was. Several of us attended a Njord blot that was held for a friend’s deployment. Yet again, we had members who drove and flew to attend the AF/\s Winter Nights in the Poconos. As to be expected with the AF/\s major events we had great speakers, musicians, and very powerful rituals. There was a luncheon held in downtown Savannah, which afterwards we visited some of the cities historical sites. A small group of our Deep South members partook in a beach clean-up in St. Augustine. Out of all the groups that attended the event, our AFA members collected the most trash. We also had many small meet ups with members throughout the year.
Sylvia Sawyer, one of the Folkbuilders for the Northeast attended the Buffalo Pagan Pride day for the AFA, she met a lot of people there and got the news out about the AFA. She and husband, Alan, attended the Winternight in the Poconos. Alan and Sylvia led a small Kindred in West New York area and have monthly book studies for Asatru.
Mark Macleod, one of the Folkbuilders for the West, attended the yearly event, Midsummer in the Sierra’s in June. With the help of his kinsfolk, they attended and helped with the March Moot at Camp Norge, hiking and picnic at the Sequoia Big Tree State Park, BBQ at Jack London State Park and their day trip Muir Beach. They did fundraising at the Nevada City Toy Run for the AFA.
Denny Boltenhouse, Folkbuilder of the Midwest. He set up a table to advertise the AFA at a huge outdoor market. He organized a moot at the Hofbrau Haus in Pittsburgh. He spends he time meeting with people interested in information an the AFA throughout the region.
Bryan Wilton, Folkbuilder for Central Corridor, He attended the Ostara Meetup at Heavener Runestone, A midsummer event in Eureka Springs Arkansas hosted by White Wolf Kindred, He held a small Winternights celebration in his home. Him and his sons drove to CA to attend the AFA midsummer event along with Robbie Ashmore and his family.
Judy Floyd, Folkbuilder for South Central, Co-hosted a 4 day event is April and hosted a 1 day event is August.
Daniel Updike, Folkbuilder for Canada, started folkbuilding in September 2012. Note from Daniel – In September Har’s Hall Kindred (which started in January of 2012) was established enough to create a membership criteria. At the same time we took part in the “Pagan Pride” celebration in Edmonton, where we represented Asatru to the community at large. We passed out a great deal of literature to the public about the AFA and I gave a 45 minute lecture on our faith to those in the general Edmonton community who had come to see the event. Most were non-pagan.
We held a pubmoot in October for Kindred members to bring interested people to for information on Asatru. We had a turnout of 10 people.
In terms of the rest of the country, we are starting online public meetings through an ingenious software platform called “anymeeting”, which is a free service that allows conference with up to 200 people at once. We held a meeting this month, and had a small turnout of 4, but this is new and will grow. It is the situation in Canada (a LARGE territory) that many AFA members are scattered and isolated. It is my hope to use the technological toys of our age to provide a way for our people here to unite and break the isolation barrier -that everyone can feel that they are an active part of what’s going on here in our own country in the AFA.
AFA members in Har’s Hall Kindred along with myself are also putting out a bi-monthly podcast called “Northern Runes Radio” in an attempt to bring a sense of connection to our folk, both here in Canada and around the world. Also to attract listeners who are not yet awakened to who they are, and give them inspiration to look into their true ancestral heritage. So far, NRR (Northern Runes Radio) is now listened to with varying audiences in Northern Runes Radio.
In Alaska, we started the year with a small gathering for Ostara, where we feasted on rabbit stew. It was a record year for snow and we walked down a path with 4 feet of snow on each side, to preform a Blot at the edge of a beautiful lake under the bright stars. Half way during blot we had realized that we had built the fire on top on the dock not the lake! We completed the blot and then laughed at the large burning hole in the dock. The first large gathering we had was Midsummer. We feasted on a turkey that was raised by Matt Flavel. It was an all day event in which everyone, old and new friends, helped prepare the feast and blot. We enjoyed an amazing blot by Matt, then feasted. It was a good feeling that the only hitch was we had to find another table for all the guests. The night ended with a moving sumble and then Matt, Channcie and Eric being whisked to the airport to catch a flight to Midsummer in the Sierra’s. We had various other gatherings throughout the year including but not limited to a flag blessing, Day of Remembrance for Radbod, Day of Remembrance for Hermann of the Cherusci, Day of Remembrance for Erik the Red, Winternights, Feast of the Einherjar and Yule. Matt and Channcie were able to attend the wonderful Winter Nights in the Poconos. As a group we had decided that we wanted to meet everyday of Yule, that was harder then planned. But during the days and nights of Yule we met for Mead Tasting, Gift Exchange, Dinner, fires with a large feast and blot on Mother’s Night.