Sunday, October 12, 2014

Winter Nights Agenda Posted Online - Starting Time, 1 PM Friday!

Our schedule for Winter Nights is now posted on the AFA web site.  Go to http://runestone.org and you will find a link that says "Download Event Schedule" centered under the event banner on the first page. It will take you to a pdf you can print. 

Please note that the starting time is 1 PM on Friday, not later as stated elsewhere!

Notice, also, that there is an auction scheduled for 5 PM Saturday  -  you will want to have your checkbook, because this is a good opportunity to pick up some very fine items!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Winter Nights Registration Open Until This Evening!

AFA members and friends can register for Winter Nights in the Poconos through 8 PM Pacific Time tonight and still get the discounted rate!  Costs will go up after this evening.  You don't have to actually pay tonight; just get us your registration form and you can pay when you arrive.

Just go to the AFA site at  http://runestone.org , scroll down the page until you get to that big blue "Register Now" button, and do it!

For those paying at the door, please bring your checkbook or cash.  We will try to use a card reader but wifi at the camp is not very reliable.

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Music Line-Up for Winter Nights in the Poconos!

We always have good music at Winter Nights.  Our frequent guests are of course Michael and Annabel Moynihan of Knotwork, and Changes with Robert Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk.  Their performances consistently bring us a joy and inspiration enhanced by the decades of friendship many of us share with them.

Knotwork will be back this year, including the talented guitarist Robert Ferbrache along with Michael and Annabel.  Knotwork recently returned from an extensive European tour and no doubt will have fascinating stories to tell abaut what's happening on our mother Continent.  Robert and Nicholas of Changes are returning, too, and we know we can expect their special mix of music and anecdote, with memorable -  even astounding!  -  conversations to follow around the fire. 

Last year we also had the Italian band, Tears of Othila.  Their charming personalities warmed us on the chilly nights.  They won't be with us, but we do have a new treat:  emerging neofolk band Blood and Sun.

As usual, the AFA brings you the best of the old and the new.  If you are an AFA member, or a vouched-for friend of the AFA, you want to be there with us!

http://tinyurl.com/o9ynhxg

Steve McNallen



Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Winter, Ragnarok, and Overcoming

This weekend we attended a wonderful Winter Nights gathering in mid-California.  One of the many highlights of the event was the Odin-Blot, given by Mike Hunter.  Mike set the stage by talking about the coming of winter, and how life can either die out or overcome and thrive through the challenges of ice and snow and deprivation.  So it is with us, and so  -  Mike pointed out  -  it is with the Gods at Ragnarok.  By will and exertion, they leave behind all that is dross, all that is flawed and compromising, and rise to a new and purified level.

Whether you accept this view of Ragnarok or not, this idea is a powerful one.  We accept challenges and exert our will, or we succumb to inertia and lose the evolutionary struggle.  This is the way of Nature, and it is the way of Overcoming, of upward evolution.  Let us choose to become more than we are!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

AFA Members! Just Days Left to Register for Winter Nights in the Poconos!

Just a reminder  -  October 10 is the last day for regular registration for Winter Nights in the Poconos!  You DON'T have to pay by that date, just register!

AFA members who DO decide to pay in advance will get a discount on a tee shirt custom-designed for this year's event, and will get a guarantee on sizes.

You must register in advance to be guaranteed admission to the event.  Those who simply show up at the door may or may not be admitted, depending on available space.

While we always welcome vetted friends of the AFA, we especially encourage members to be there with us  -  we're expecting a capacity crowd and we don't want to have to turn AFA members away!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Gods

The Gods, the Goddesses...What do we know about them, really?  They are elusive presences, obscured by the distracting flow of media, trivia, and effluvia that make up life in the modern West.  How do we see them?  How do we FEEL them? 

We have a few tattered and often contradictory myths to show how they were perceived a thousand years or more ago.  But the Gods  move in powerful images, stirring in those parts of our own being that are beyond our consciousness.  They echo in our instincts, and appear unbidden and disguised in our dreams.  And rightly so, for what are myths if not the dreams of the race?  The Gods and Goddesses are Mysteries that tantalize us and lead us onward.  Their elusiveness makes some doubt that they are real at all...And then they come slamming into our lives, and the Mystery touches us and often leaves us changed in the process.

Collin Cleary, writing in his excellent book Summoning the Gods, is right; if you seek the Gods and Goddesses you must look beyond and behind the meaningless clutter and noise of modern life.  Get away from the city.  Turn off your television -  better yet, throw it away.  Turn off your phone.  Quit responding like a rat to the manipulators' stimuli around us.  Learn to disobey.  Let Nature speak to you on its own terms, and -  though it may take time and practice  -  you will sense the Divine behind the mundane, the numen behind the phenomenon.  That which is "real" is not what is Real.

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Odin, Hear Me!

This is a prayer (if that's the word) to Odin I wrote back in the 1970's, and published in A Book of Uncommon Prayers, available through the Asatru Folk Assembly.

Odin! Rune-God, Raven-God, Wolf-God, Odin!  I call out to you, not as a slave, or on bended knee, but on my feet and open-armed, a befits your offspring.  Watch me as I struggle.  But the fight and the fame must both be mine; grant me that victory which I win by might and main.  If I fight well, Odin, take me into Valhalla, where I may feast and drink and be merry with your heroes until the time comes to fight once more.  Odin, hail!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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