Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Only when we realize we are a river will we stop drowning in puddles.
Icelandic Asatruar are the subject of this very interesting and informative video.
A plan to relocate a famous pre-Christian statue in Northern Ireland has roused the passions of the local people. Wouldn't it be wonderful if pride in the ancient ancestors became the factor that united the Irish after all this time?
Genetics reveals that the people of the British Isles, far from being “diverse,” are incredibly homogeneous. In fact, Europeans as a whole are “the most homogeneous of the great continental races.” The oft-heard line that “we're all mutts” or “we all have mixed ancestry” (usually fielded as an argument against any sort European pride or identity) is just not true. We are a people.
The British government is predicting that fifteen million people will resist the national identification cards their leaders have planned for them. This would, of course, render the plan entirely unworkable. Long live the rebels!
A new legislative proposal in Pennsylvania would require all gun owners to register their weapons, as well as pay an annual fee on each one. Understandably, they are upset.
Face scans, argue this essay, will never be reliable.
Scientists continue to speculate on what is killing off colonies of bees.
The increasing acidity of the oceans is threatening not only corals but shellfish, whose calcium carbonate exteriors are in danger of dissolving. The implications for the food chain are vast.
This is the authoritative source on getting the optimum fuel mileage in automobiles.
As we reported in the last issue of AFA Update, orangutans are expected to be extinct in the wild within a decade or so. Scientists are trying to learn more about their cognitive abilities to see if they can help them adapt to a changing and hostile environment.
This article echoes one we ran a number of months back. Planting trees to combat global warming works only if the trees are in southerly latitudes - preferably the tropics. So rather than planting a tree in Canada, send a donation to have on planted in the Amazon.
Sharks have been around for 400 million years or so, but now they are being fished out of existence by unscrupulous harvesting methods. The pressure is on the sharks because of the collapse of fish populations in general. Better teach your children to eat jellyfish, because that's about all that will be left for them.
Newsweek's op ed piece dismissing global warming claimed that the author, Richard Lindzen, receives “no funding from energy companies.” Well, it just isn't true. Nor has Lindzen been very consistent in his opinions over the years.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The Runestone is the re-introduced bi-annual publication of the Asatru Folk Assembly, focusing on all aspects of Folkish Asatru and related subjects of interest to Folkish Asatruar.
As a fine-bound paperback, with ISBN, The Runestone will be sold through the AFA, as well as through online booksellers, such as Amazon and Powell's. Issues will also be available at various Asatru events, while supplies last.
The target readership is AFA members, Asatruar, and those with an interest in Asatru and indigenous northern European history and spirituality. We aim to publish pieces written in a lively and informative style, for an interested and well-read audience.
No maximum or minimum word counts – we understand that material often dictates length.
Please include footnote references and/or any indication of further reading that you deem desirable.
Submit via email attachment (preferred) or through the mails; standard manuscript format (Times New Roman or Courier 12, at least 1 inch margins all around, double spaced, paginated).
Please indicate in your cover letter if you have artistic/illustrative material that could be used to accompany your piece.
Deadlines are June 30 and January 30, for the fall and spring issues respectively. Please feel free to submit at all times; work received after each half-yearly deadline will be considered for the following issue.
We offer, at this point, one contributor's copy, and free ad space for our contributors' own projects (at AFA discretion). Contributors to each issue will also be able to obtain additional copies of that issue, at a discounted price, for their own distributive use.
Please feel free to contact the editor to discuss ideas, if desired.
The Runestone accepts articles, essays, interviews, poetry, short stories and reviews of Asatru related material for each issue. Contributors do not need to be members of the AFA to be considered. Re-prints accepted at editor's discretion.
The Runestone asks for one-time rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication. You also have the option of granting archival/electronic rights, but this is not required.
Please feel free to forward these guidelines on (although we ask that you do not post them on any blogs or sites).
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So much for my bitching and moaning. Let’s get back to the land wights ( Maybe I should be making offerings to the computer wights, instead…)
Last time, I described my campaign to save the land Sheila and I are renting from possible development after we leave this place for our new home. I wrote how I leave gifts of oatmeal (and beer) for the land wights, and how I am working on the appearance and all-around tidiness of the place.
But what’s this land wight stuff all about, anyway? What are land wights?
Taking the saga Lore at face value, they appear to be “land spirits” or entities that dwell in the environment - in rocks, pools, hills, and so forth. But the saga accounts don’t really tell us much; they’re only second-hand reports describing our ancestors’ perceptions. The actual nature of land wights still eludes us.
I wonder if they are really individuated, distinct beings at all. Maybe they are “virtual entities” in the sense that they are temporary manifestations of “Earth energy” or the innate life force in the landscape. In such a scenario, this energy might not assume a personified form at all, except when perceived by us. This doesn’t in any way invalidate or contradict the saga reports, of course, so perhaps this will forever remain a hypothetical point…But pondering hypotheticals can still be fun!
Land wights do, however, remind me of the devas supposedly active at a place in Scotland called Findhorn. This is a place - a spiritual community of some sort, as I recall - that gained fame back in the 1970’s for its ability to grow the most amazing crops in completely unsuitable soil. The devas, as they revealed themselves, claimed credit for the phenomenon. It’s been a decade or two since I read anything on Findhorn and its devas, but readers interested in land wights might want to do an Internet search.
I think I’ll post some more on land wights tomorrow, assuming of course that the computer wights cooperate!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
As some of you know, Sheila and I are building a home on some acreage a few miles from where we are now renting, and we will be moving there in the near future. As we ready for the transition, I find myself already missing the place that has been our home for the last thirteen years or more. It consists of twenty-four acres of wooded sanity and privacy that happen to be seven minute’s walk from a shopping center. Deer, owls, a bobcat, foxes, and many other animals make it their home. We’ve given countless blots here, and hosted Asatru events to include the Gathering of the Tribes back in 1999. We’ve buried our beloved pets here. I’ve lived on this land longer than any place in my life, with the exception of my boyhood home back in
I’ve worried that the landlord will develop these acres after we leave. It would be a shame to see this land paved and the wildlife driven away, so I’ve been working with the land wights - the intelligences or spirits of the land, the unseen beings who live here and guard the place - to keep that from happening. My goal is to strengthen these wights, to give them might and main so they can hold this home as their own.
In practical terms, this work takes several forms. I’ve been making weekly offerings to the land wights, in the form of big steaming bowls of oatmeal - which I’m told they like - laced with a generous gob of butter and a bit of half-and-half. (I presume that, even though they are Californian land wights, they don’t worry about cardiovascular disease.) Also, I’ve started taking better care of the place by reseeding the patchy spots on the lawn, watering regularly, and generally cleaning up.
Tomorrow I’ll make a post speculating on the mechanism and the effectiveness of these practices, but for now I’ll just note that the place is really looking good. In some strictly non-logical way, I feel this land and the living things on it are somehow healthier than they were. I won’t try to defend that feeling with science; I report it for what it may be worth and I will save my comments for later.
Suffice to say, I am happy with the way this is going - not just for the wights and the land, but also for the good it has done my spiritual life.
More on all this tomorrow!
Saturday, April 7, 2007
It has been a long time since the AFA has published a journal on actual paper. In response to urgings from many of our most active members, we are initiating a high-quality publication that will appear twice a year. It will be titled The Runestone in honor of the magazine we put out some years ago, and will feature thought-provoking articles pertaining to our religion and our Folkways. Juleigh Hobson has agreed to take on the task of pulling all this together for us.
Each issue will be printed in a book format, assigned an ISBN number, and made available for sale through a variety of outlets.
Stay tuned for more information as this project develops.
Monday is the last day to urge the government to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act! These magnificent beasts may be effectively extinct as early as the middle of this century. Already, scientists are witnessing polar bears drowning (as the ice shrinks and they have to swim farther to land), cannibalism due to a habitat that no longer provides enough food, and weight loss that threatens their ability to reproduce. If you feel motivated to do something about this, please go to http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/polarbearsos_0207 .
Polar bears, the fur-clad lords of Hyperborea, are an integral part of the northern mythos. It will be a poorer world without them.
Friday, April 6, 2007
…when you can donate it to us? The AFA is a nonprofit religious organization, so your contributions are tax-deductible. You can remit by sending us a check or money order made payable to the Asatru Folk Assembly, or by going to our web site and finding the “Make a Donation” button on the left-hand side. You can even arrange payroll deductions if you like; email us for details!
The AFA has been around since 1994, but its roots go all the way back to the first stirrings of the Germanic religious revival in the
The mission of the AFA is "to practice, promote, and further evolve the religion of Asatru, thus forging it into a powerful and effective tool for building a better world." Note the active tone here: We want to make a difference!"
Since its founding, the AFA has sponsored countless gatherings, published successful newsletters, and been repeatedly quoted in the national and international media. The AFA has proposed new ideas, challenged the status quo, and generally pushed the boundaries of the possible.
We are a membership organization and we do accept your tax-deductible contributions!
Please visit our web site at http://runestone.org.
We are a people - Germanic people, part of the Greater Family of European peoples, following the ways of our ancestors.
Only when we realize we are a river will we stop drowning in puddles.
Is it the end of the line for
How much sun should European-descended people get to be healthy? It depends on the time of year and geography, but here are some guidelines.
Our Western traditions of freedom under law derive overwhelmingly from the culture of
George Orwell’s house is surrounded by surveillance cameras - really! Big Brother is watching the home of the man who wrote 1984.
Beware the risks of “facecrime” - surveillance cameras now able to read the expression on your face! More on the culture of the closed-circuit television camera and the decline of the West.
The proposal of an “xxx” domain for porn was only a distraction…The real news at the Internet conference was the demand by Homeland Security to have the “master key for the DNS root zone.” In English, that means no more Internet anonymity through IP address spoofing, and greater ease in penetrating your computer.
The FBI lied to get court approval for surveillance warrants. Shocking.
The Earth is our mother, called variously in our mythic lore Frigga, Nerthus, and Jord. As the most intelligent species on the planet, humans end up making many decisions for all the other forms of life that live here - so let us choose wisely.
The latest IPCC report was released today. To see the actual 23-page “summary for policymakers,” go here: http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM6avr07.pdf .
Orangutans in the wild are headed for the edge of extinction within five years, given the rate the rain forests of
In 1960 there were a million chimpanzees spread across 25 countries in
We tend to think of global warming as something that may be a problem in the future, but an upcoming report focuses on the way a changing climate is affecting animals ranging from plankton to polar bears, now.
Is another dust bowl coming to
Seal pups drown by the thousands because ice in the southern part of the
Sunday, April 1, 2007
All well and good…as far as it goes. Personally, I’d list The Alamo,
While treasuring tales of our ancestral culture, we must find ways to bring that culture into the present. Think outside the obvious Norse “box” and seek films that affirm our values, regardless of the historical setting.
And, while you’re at it, don’t miss The Guardian!