Do you like the attitude you see here? Do you like what you see at our web site, http://runestone.org? The AFA is a membership organization and we are always interested in recruiting men and women who believe in our principles and want to take a stand for our Gods, our Folk, and a better world. You can see full membership information at http://runestone.org/membership/index.html.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Many of you know about Viking, the replica of the Gokstad Viking Ship that was sailed across the
But now there’s a chance…if you pitch in and vote on the Internet for this project to receive a $55,000 grant from American Express. And you can vote EVERY DAY between now and October 10th! The winning project is guaranteed a generous grant - a grant that may be the last chance for this aging Viking ship.
If we succeed, Viking will become an educational resource inspiring school children as well as tourists from across the country and around the world. You can help make that success a reality.
The AFA is proud to throw its support behind this noble cause. Please visit the links below - the first is a newspaper account of Viking and the grant that might save it; the second link tells you how you can cast your vote - today and every day between now and October 10th!
Fundamental to the faith of Asatru is the idea that we are kin and friends to the Holy Powers. We are kin because Heimdal planted the divine seed in the wombs of our foremothers; friends, because we exchange gifts when Gods and humans come together in sacred space at our most fundamental religious rite, that of the blot or blessing.
This attitude contrasts sharply with the relationship found in most other religions, where humans are slaves to the Gods and Goddesses, fit only to obey and to serve their divine masters.
Unfortunately, we often assume from this difference that it is acceptable to be extremely casual during ritual, treating the Holy Powers much like we would treat our buddies down at the local bar. Back in the early 1980’s, one manifestation of this attitude was a version of the song “Give Me That Old Time Religion” featuring irreverent verses about an endless series of pagan deities, including Odin, Thor, and Freya, among others. We thought it was really funny, especially after we had had a few beers or passed a few horns of mead around the campfire - but by then, almost anything was funny.
In retrospect, this attitude was shameful, wrong, and immature. I am happy to say that in the Asatru Folk Assembly we have grown beyond this behavior, but as a movement we wasted precious years in such childishness.
I contrast this puerile prankishness with the seriousness with which our ancestors approached the Divine, and I am appalled. The old tribes built a protective network of ritual and custom around interaction with the Holy that encouraged deliberation and an awareness.
Yes, we do share the same ultimate nature with the Gods and Goddesses. Odin, Vili, and Ve (or Odin, Hoenir, and Lodur, depending on the version of the lore you choose) gave us this gift by shaping the components of our souls to resemble their own, and thus to share the potential of Godhood. But while we are alike in essence we are overwhelmingly different in magnitude. Our souls are like the ephemeral sparks struck by flint and steel, while theirs are roaring blast furnaces. Our task is to grow to more resemble our Holy Kin, but we have…well, a long way to go. It does not behoove us to be casual or overly familiar; such behavior can only mislead us into thinking “we are as good as they are” - egalitarianism at its most foolish.
Often I wonder if many of those who pepper their blots with casual reference to their Godly buddies really believe in the Gods at all. To treat Odin with anything other than the deepest awe is to ignore the terrible mystery that cloaks him, but even Thor, friend of man, is not your “bud” like the guy down at the club who buys you a drink. The Goddesses, too, received their somber sacrifices in olden times.
I am not saying we should tremble before the Holy Powers, but even the most approachable of them surpasses us in evolution to a degree we cannot really comprehend. It is wrong to trivialize them or to trifle with them, and we should go before them only with a profound reverence. Those who object that “the Gods want to hear us laugh” need to wake up and realize that there is a time for laughter, joking, and prankishness - but that time is not when one is standing before the Gods and Goddesses of our Folk. Save your laughter for the hearth, and if you would laugh with our Elder Kin let it be at the convivial feast where the Holy Powers sit unseen among us.
No one will take Asatru seriously until we start taking our Gods and Goddesses, our faith, and ourselves seriously. When our lives are imbued with reverence and sincerity toward the powerful, awe-inspiring, transformative beings of Asgard and Vanaheim, then the world will stand up and take notice!
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.
Famous Norwegian Viking burials re-examined - The two women found in the Oseburg ship burial, and the man interred with the Gokstad ship, were recently studied for additional information they may yield. Someday, we must evolve religious protocols to cover cases like this and to ensure proper care for these remains.
Viking treasure trove found in Swedish garden - A collection of silver coins from the late 900s and early 1000s has been found on the
Icelanders open to the existence of elves and ghosts - Only thirteen percent of those surveyed said that the alfar definitely did not exist. Eight percent were sure they were real, and the remainder fell in between. For some reason, the Icelanders just do not seem inclined to give themselves over to materialistic rationalism and the acquisition of “stuff.”
Tara campaigners carry the struggle to the
Ongoing population replacement in the
Our Western traditions of freedom under law derive overwhelmingly from the culture of
Government keeping tabs on British motorists through GPS system - The company running the GPS system for cars in
Bill to forbid many veterans from owning guns - A bill before Congress would make it illegal for any veteran who had ever been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome to own a firearm. “Only slaves may not own weapons.”
“Real ID” as control grid - As the databases are made more complete, and are interlocked with those of
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.
Two-thirds of polar bears to be extinct by 2050 - The polar bear is an icon of the northernmost ice and snow, the fur-clad Lord of Thule. As such, he represents the Hyperborean mythos in all its grandeur. But extinction looms, and by the end of the century the polar bears may not exist, outside of a few miserable specimens in zoos. For us Northern folk, Ursus maritimis is a connection with our deeper psyche and we must not passively submit to his murder.
Norwegian polar explorer sounds alarm - One of the premier explorers of the Pole warns us of the changes now taking place. "The ice was around three meters thick 17 years ago…This time, we measured the ice every day and we didn't find any ice that was thicker than two meters."
Ice-free summers at the North Pole in just over twenty years - According to Dr. Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver, "If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice, then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the
How climate change will affect the world - As in the link just above, the climate models once again do not reflect the speed or severity of the looming disaster. In almost every case, the real situations on the ground and on the ice turn out to be worse than what the models predict within a given time span.
New low cost solar panels ready for mass production - Construction is ready to start on a factory producing more efficient solar panels at a price much more affordable to ordinary people. Keep an eye on this one! Might there not be some good financial opportunities here for Asatruar?
Want to get started with solar energy? - This organization features lots of information to help you decide if solar energy is for you, and to facilitate your family’s conversion to solar. Good for the planet? Definitely. And good for your pocketbook, too.
Solar energy tours near you (in the