Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Asatru Folk Assembly: Like Us? Join Us!

There are a LOT of folks out there who like our posts and the AFA Facebook page, make great comments, and send friend requests...and we really appreciate that!  Just a thought, but maybe those of you who haven't put in applications to join the AFA should give it some consideration!

If you're folkish Asatru and agree with what we have to say, and if you want to make a difference for the future of our religion and our Folk, go to http://runestone.org and check us out.  While you're at it, check out the Declaration of Purpose on that site, because that is our defining document.  Like it?  Send us an application. 

We're not for everyone and we don't pretend to be.  But if we are for you...let's get together!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Deadline for The Voice is Right on Top of Us!

All AFA members, just a heads up that we need your input for your monthly members' newsletter, The Voice, as soon as possible!  Tell us about your gatherings and meetups, and send us pics if you can!  Try to get these to us by tomorrow. 

A reminder to all out branches in other countries: You are our brothers and sisters too, so tell us what's new with you!  Please send material to thevoice@runestone.org - written works in text format or in a Word document, and pictures as separate JPGs.

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assemby
http://runestone.org

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

An Asatru Attitude: Worthy of Valhalla, and Worthy of Midgard!

My morning Asatru devotionals are an important part of my religious life. First, I greet the day with the (slightly modified) words of the valkyrie Brynhild in the Eddic poem Sigrdrifumal -


Hail to the day! Hail to the sons of day!
Hail to night and its daughter!
Gaze gently on me standing here;
Give your blessings on my battles!

Hail to the Gods! Hail to the Goddesses!
Hail to the all-giving Earth!
Wisdom and lore grant me, as long as I live,
And healing hands.



Then I recite a rather longish prayer I have developed over the years. It includes the petition, "May I be worthy of Valhalla..." No surprise there; I am sure many of us hope and strive to be accepted into Odin's hall. But perhaps fewer ask the next item: "May I be worthy of Midgard, worthy of life."

We often take life here in our world for granted. Jaded and habit-driven, we ignore the treasures that surround us. The first ray of the sun's rising, the piping of the finch in springtime, the breath of a breeze against our skin...Those who say material existence is evil are wrong; it is a veritable paradise, if only we will look, and listen, and feel. Life is good, and we should daily embrace it to ourselves.

The gift of life is a great one, and I try to be worthy of it by being aware of the beauty around me...by serving life rather than death...by protecting this Earth, our home, as best I can...and, when I sit down to food, by thanking the life that died that I might live - for I would not take that life in vain.

Hail to the ancestors and the Holy Powers, who gave us life! May we live fully and with awareness!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The AFA's Declaration of Purpose - A Refresher

The Declaration of Purpose is the AFA's permanent policy, our guiding star.  It is a statement of our principles as well as the implicit aims of our organization.  If you are in the AFA, you have signified by your initials on the application form that you had read it and agree with it. 

Because this document is so important to us, I am going to repost it over the next few weeks, one point at a time, for two reasons:  Prospective members need to see exactly what we are about, and those who are currently members need to be reminded of the things that distinguish us from other groups. 

Without further introduction, then, here is the first point in the Declaration of Purpose of the Asatru Folk Assembly  -

1.  The practice, promotion, development, and dissemination of the religion of Asatru:

We are a religious organization dedicated to practicing and spreading Asatru. Furthermore, since that religion lives and grows, its development is a continuing process.

Asatru today is a reconstructed version of what our ancestors practiced. We have adapted it to the context of modern life, but the essence remains the same. The challenges of our age are different from those that confronted our ancestors, but the code of honor and nobility that spoke to our forebears' souls speaks to ours as well. In the AFA, we don't have to dress up like Vikings to live true to the Gods, nor do we turn our backs on the age in which we live. We practice Asatru in the here-and-now, and make it available to our kin.

COMMENT:  Asatru today must be relevant to the problems, issues, and needs of ordinary men and women living in the twenty-first century  -  people who have to worry about jobs, marriages, raising children, and how to live a noble life in an ignoble age.  Asatru must also address the "big questions" about the nature of human beings and of the Gods, the purpose of life, and the afterlife.

Stephen A. McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Membership in the Asatru Folk Assembly: Ready When You Are!

What makes the Asatru Folk Assembly different?

We have a clearly defined orientation, as described in our  Mission Statement and our Declaration of Purpose.

We are a living, breathing community which encourages the interaction of our members and a commitment to each other, to our Gods and Goddesses, and to our Folk.

We intend to make a difference.

Many of you reading these words have "Liked" the AFA and Steve McNallen on Facebook  -  you've read our material, you've seen our videos on You Tube.  Are you ready to stand alongside us?  Are you ready to rise up out of this age of superficiality and decay, and create something better?  Then go to our web site.  Look at our "Events" page to see the growing extent of our community.  Read our Declaration of Purpose under "About the AFA."  We may not be right for you...but if we are...We are ready when you are!

http://runestone.org

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly

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Wanted: AFA Entrepreneurs!

There are quite a few AFA members who are in business for themselves, either part-time or full-time.  I want to actively encourage and support this!  After all, the Asatu Folk Assembly is not just an international organization  - it is a community, a body of men and women who care about and support each other.

As many of you know, we have featured several member-owned businesses in our monthly newsletter, The Voice.  I want to make these a regular feature, but I need your help:  If you are an AFA member with a business, drop us an email and tell us about yourself and your enterprise.  How did you make the decision to start?  What obstacles did you face, and how did you overcome them?  What is the single most important advice you would give to someone contemplating going into business?  And of course tell us how potential customers can contact you.  Send your mini-essay to afa@runestone.org, with a title like "Entrepreneur piece for The Voice."

Let's get prosperous!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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Thoughts on Ragnar's Death Song

Ragnar Lodbrok is the legendary Norseman celebrated in the modern series "The Vikings." More authentically, Ragnar starred in his own saga, Ragnars saga lodbrokar. His life ended when he was thrown into a pit of serpents by King Ella, but he died calmly, singing a song celebrating the feats he had performed in a lifetime of warfare.

It is good to contemplate our deaths, because that in turn forces us to look at our lives - what we have accomplished, and what we have left undone. In Asatru we have a saying that “We are our deeds.” If this is true, reflection on our deeds is a valuable spiritual exercise - and summing up those deeds in the form of a climactic “death song” would be even better.

What would your song tell your children and their descendants about you? That you were true, or a scoundrel? Did you do great things, or was your life spent in front of the television? Did mighty passions move through your soul, or were you just another automaton fulfilling the command to produce, consume, and obey?

Live well, die well, become immortal. Hail Ragnar!

http://tinyurl.com/l2ong4s

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

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