The term “folk” can mean many things. It can be the people assembled for a particular Asatru event or the attendees at a specific ritual. On a larger scale, it “folk” can refer to any tribe or nation (in the original sense of the word, referring to those descended from a common source). The Goths and the Vandals were each a distinct folk - and the totality of people of Germanic descent also constitute a folk, of a higher order.
As we have come to understand the connections between the native European peoples, we see that they are members of the Greater Family - bound together by blood and by a general culture that is overwhelmingly Indo-European. This larger family, too, is a folk, and we often capitalize it as “Folk” to point out its overarching position.
But there is more. In the notice on Winter Nights found elsewhere in this issue, I write of the “Folk Within” and the “Folk Without.” The first of these is made up of those of European heritage who have returned to our native religion…primarily Asatru, but also those other related European tribal religions such as those of the Celts, Balts, and Slavs. The “Folk Within” are the ones who have returned to the old faiths of their ancestors.
The “Folk Without,” on the other hand, is the large majority of men and women who share our ancestry and our general culture, but who have not “come home” to one of the religions native to
One of those obligations is to make the Folk Without aware that their native religious traditions still exist and are relevant in the present age. We must keep the door open for that day when they may decide to seek out the elder paths of their ancestors. A related obligation is to awaken their identification with the Greater European Family as a whole - to remind them that we are indeed bound by ancestry and tradition.
At Winter Nights, we will study ways in which ritual can further our own personal evolution, serve our immediate religious community…and help us awaken our brothers and sisters of the Folk Without.