Friday, March 27, 2015

AFA Members - Your input for The Voice Needed ASAP!

Yes, it's that time again  -  time to send your articles and photos to The Voice!  While we were preoccupied by Ostara and such around here, the end of the month came roaring up on us unexpectedly. Please send news of your meetups and other events, large and small, to Karen at thevoice@runestone.org - written works in text format or in a Word document, and pictures as separate JPGs.

This is your exclusive AFA members' newsletter.  Help us make it even better by contributing your latest news!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]

Back After a Wonderful Week!

Whew!  First there was the incredible Ostara in the South event  -  then I went on a four-day spiritual retreat with some close AFA friends.  It seems like a year since I've sat at the computer, but now I am back, refreshed and inspired!  I am of course way behind on everything that has happened in my absence, so bear with me while I catch up. 

I loved that massive burst of AFA applications that came in right after the Ostara gathering!  The messages from all of you who were so moved by our time together made my day...my week, really.  My sincere thanks to Charlotte and all the other people who made it such a tremendous three days!

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fourth Point of the Declaration of Purpose: Restoring Community and Banishing Alienation

The fourth point of the AFA's Declaration of Purpose is this  -

"The restoration of community, the banishment of alienation, and the establishment of natural and just relations among our people:

Our ancestors had religious and social folkways that gave them a feeling of continuity and community, yet jealously preserved individual rights. We can and will reestablish this natural order among our people. Let us have an 'Ingathering of the Folk!'
"

The religious values of Asatru encourage sound families, and provide an extended family or tribe to support the basic family unit. We help each other materially, socially, and religiously. At the same time, we respect the urge for privacy and allow individuals and families the "space" they need to run their own lives. Our general feeling is that society might work better if families and the communities of which they are a part were encouraged to take care of each other, rather than relying on coercive "help" from outside sources such as government - which always has strings attached.

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blessed Ostara!

Ostara falls around March 20, the spring equinox.  This festival takes its name from a Germanic Goddess of the springtime, rebirth, and dawn. Variations of her name are found in Old High German (Ostara) and in Old English (Eostre,Eastre). Our modern word Easter is a direct equivalent..I am always astounded that the most important celebration of the Christian faith bears the name of a pre-Christian Goddess!

At Ostara we take pleasure and comfort from renewed life. The fields are green again after winter’s abuse, and new-born animals totter around on wobbly legs. We think on the quickening of life and what it means for ourselves, as parts of the natural order.  Many Christian Easter customs are directly lifted from pagan lore.  Eggs and hares have long stood for birth and rebirth. Even the common Christian “sunrise services” make more sense for a Goddess of the Dawn than for celebrating a resurrected Christ!

Of course, the solstice does not promise clement weather.  Many years ago, back in the late 1970's, I stood on a hill in the San Francisco Bay Area and welcomed the first day of spring in a sleet-driving storm.  I could not see more than a few feet, and all I saw was ice granules flying at me  -  but I persisted.  Life isn't just what we get; it's what we make it!

I will celebrate the occasion this year at "Ostara in the South," one of the AFA's four major national events.  Last year was a great success, and this year's gathering promises to be even larger.  But wherever you are for this season, may it bring you blessings and rebirth! 

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]

Monday, March 16, 2015

On Seers and Seeresses, Ancient and Modern

Throughout the ages, there have been men and women with the power to peer into other worlds. Shamans, mystics, or seers, they have seen wider realities than the one evident to our senses. These gifted individuals have traditionally come together in brotherhoods or sisterhoods dedicated to sharing and expanding their knowledge. Their explorations are the raw material of which religious truth is fashioned; all the rest of religious philosophy is commentary and custom, erected upon this bedrock of experiential knowledge.

Today’s seers and clairvoyants are poor imitations of these native psychonauts. Stripped from ancient traditions, filled with the discordant images and thoughts of modern culture, lacking the support of the age-old fraternities of wise men and wise women for support, how could most modern psychics have more than mediocre success? The men and women who gave us the recorded lore of the Germanic peoples benefited from a hundred generations of accumulated experience. Today’s seers do not have that deep context. They receive a degraded inheritance that is part wisdom, but also part quackery and self-delusion.

This is not to say that we should not try to repair this situation, but we should understand that we have much to regain.  Take mystical visions, whether your own or someone else's, with caution and learn as you go.

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Third Point in the AFA's Declaration of Purpose: Calling our Brothers and Sisters Home!

The third point of the Declaration of Purpose is..."The issuance of a call to all our brothers and sisters of the People of the North to return to this, their native religion and way of life:

We would impose Asatru on no one. But we earnestly invite those whose heritage it is, to return to the belief that is a part of them as surely as blood and bone."


Asafolk have traditionally been restrained when it comes to seeking converts. However, we do feel that our brothers and sisters will be healthier and happier once they have returned to the religion that expresses their heritage. We will never bully or bother people into joining us  - but we believe it is appropriate to let them know we are here.  Also, we need them! The restoration of our ancient ways, and the building of a secure future for our religion and our people, is a huge undertaking that can use all the willing hands we can find. For these reasons, we call our kin to rejoin the great family of men and women who honor the sacred ways of the Northland.

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Ostara in the South" Registration Deadline is Friday, the 13th!

The deadline for registering for "Ostara in the South" is March 13, this coming Friday!

Last year's event shattered all expectations, and this one will be even better!  "Ostara in the South" is one of our "big four" national AFA events scattered in the four corners of the continental US.  Steve and Sheila, as well as other key leaders from around the country, will give presentations.  If you are an AFA member or vouched-for friend of the AFA, you won't want to miss this!

The event page is at https://www.facebook.com/events/748910728498265/

You can register at http://ostarasouth15.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2139046045

Steve McNallen

Asatru Folk Assembly
http://runestone.org

[Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter with the handy links below!]