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What is Asatru?

Updated by the Asatru Alliance as of - 02.28.2260 Copyright Asatru Alliance, 2010. Designed by Longship Studio.

What is Asatru?

Long before Christianity came to northern Europe, the people there - our ancestors - had their own religions. One of these was Asatru. It was practiced in the lands that are today Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other countries as well. Asatru is the original or native religious belief for the peoples who lived in these regions.

What does the word Asatru mean?

It means, roughly, belief in the Gods in Old Norse, the language of ancient Scandinavia in which so much of our source material was written. Asatru is the name by which the Norsemen called their religion.

When did Asatru start?

Asatru is thousands of years old. Its beginnings are lost in prehistory, but it is older than Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or most other religions. The spiritual impulses it expresses are as ancient as the European peoples themselves - at least 40,000 years, and perhaps much older.

Why do we need Asatru? Aren't most people who want religion satisfied with Christianity or one of the other established religions?

People are attracted to the better-known religions because they have genuine spiritual needs which must be filled. People are looking for community and for answers to the big questions: What life is all about, and how we should live it. For many people today, the so-called major faiths do not have answers that work. Asatru has answers, but it has not been an alternative for most seekers because they haven't known about it. Once they realize that there is another way - a better, more natural, more honorable way - they will not be satisfied with anything less than a return to the religion of their ancestors.

Why is the Religion of our Ancestors the Best One for Us?
Because we are more like our ancestors than we are like anyone else. We inherited not only their general physical appearance, but also their predominant mental, emotional, and spiritual traits. We think and feel more like they did; our basic needs are most like theirs. the religion which best expressed their innermost nature Asatru - is better suited to us than is some other creed which started in the Middle East among people who are essentially different from us. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are alien religions which do not truly speak to our souls.

Why did Asatru die out if it was the right religion for Europeans?
Asatru was subjected to a violent campaign of repression over a period of hundreds of years. Countless thousands of people were murdered, maimed, and exiled in the process. The common people (your ancestors!) did not give up their cherished beliefs easily. eventually, the monolithic organization of the Christian church, bolstered by threats of economic isolation and assisted by an energetic propaganda campaign, triumphed over the valiant but unsophisticated tribes.

Or so it seemed! Despite this persecution, elements of Asatru continued down to our own times - often in the guise of folklore proving that our own native religion appeals to our innermost beings in a fundamental way. Now, a thousand years after its supposed demise, it is alive and growing. Indeed, so long as there are men and women of European descent, it cannot really die because it springs form the soul of our people. Asatru isn't just what we BELIEVE, it's what we ARE.

Wasn't the acceptance of Christianity a sign of Civilization - A step up from barbarism?

No! The atrocities committed by Christians, Muslims, and Jews throughout history are hardly a step up from anything. The socalled barbarians who followed Asatru (the Vikings, the various Germanic tribes, and so forth) were the source of our finest civilized traditions - trial by jury, parliaments, Anglo Saxon common law, and the rights of women, to name a few. Our very word law comes from the Norse language, not from the tongues of the Christian lands. We simply did not and do not need Christianity to be civilized.

You say that Asatru was the religion of the Vikings, among other early European Cultures. Weren't they a pretty bloodthirsty lot?
Modern historians agree that the Vikings were no more violent than the other peoples of their times. Remember, the descriptions of Viking raids and invasions were all written by their enemies, who were hardly unbiased. Both the Islamic and Christian cultures used means every bit as bloody, if not more so, than the

Norsemen. It was a very rough period in history for all concerned!

We keep talking about the Vikings. Does this mean that Asatru is only for people of Scandinavian ancestry?
No. Asatru, as practiced by the Norse peoples, had so much in common with the religion of the other Germanic tribes, and with their cousins the Celts, that it may be thought of as one version of a general European religion. Asatru is for all European peoples, whether or not their heritage is specifically Scandinavian.

What are the basic beliefs of Asatru?

We believe in an underlying, all-pervading divine energy or essence which is generally hidden from us, and which is beyond our immediate understanding. We further believe that this spiritual reality is interdependent with us - that we affect it, and it affects us. We believe that this underlying divinity expresses itself to us in the forms of the Gods and Goddesses. Stories about these deities are like a sort of code, the mysterious language through which the divine reality speaks to us. We believe in standards of behavior which are consistent with these spiritual truths and harmonious with our deepest being.

How does Asatru differ from other religions?

Asatru is unlike the better-known religions in many ways. Some of these are: We are polytheistic. That is, we believe in a number of deities, including Goddesses as well as Gods. We do not accept the idea of original sin, the notion that we are tainted from birth and intrinsically bad, as does Christianity. Thus, we do not need saving. The Middle Eastern religions teach either a hatred of other religions or a duty to convert others, often by force. They have often practiced these beliefs with cruel brutality. We do not claim to be a universal religion or a faith for all of humankind. In fact, we don't think such a thing is possible or desirable. The different branches of humanity have different ways of looking at the world, each of which is valid for them. It is only right that they have different religions, which of course they do.

Do you consider the Norse Myths to be true?

The myths are stories about the Gods and Goddesses of Asatru. They are ways of stating religious truths. That is, we would say they contain truths about the nature of divinity, our own nature, and the relationship between the two. We do not contend that the myths are literally true, as history.

What about these Gods and Goddesses? Are they real?

Yes, they are real. However, just as most Christians do not think their God is really an old bearded figure sitting on a golden chair in heaven, we do not believe Thor (for example) is actually a

muscular, man-shaped entity carrying a big hammer. There is a real Thor, but we approach an understanding of him through this particular mental picture.

Do followers of Asatru pray to their Gods and Goddesses?

Yes, but not quite the way most people mean by the word. We never surrender our will to theirs or humble ourselves before them, because we see ourselves as their kin, not as inferior, submissive pawns. Nor do we beg and plead. We commune with them and honor them while seeking their blessing through formal rites and informal meditation. Living a full and virtuous live is a form of prayer in itself. Our religion affects all parts of our lives, not just those fragments that we choose to call religious.

Don't you worship stones and trees and idols?

No. These objects are not Gods, so we don't worship them. We do sometimes use these items as reminders of a God or Goddess, and we believe they can become charged with a certain aspect of the divine energy, but we would never confuse them with the actual deities.

What are the Standards of Behavior taught in Asatru?

Some of the qualities we hold in high regard are strength, courage, joy, honor, freedom, loyalty to kin, realism, vigor, and the revering of our ancestors. To express these things in our lives is virtuous, and we strive to do this. Their opposites - weakness,

cowardice, adherence to dogma rather than to the realities of the world, and the like - constitute vices and are to be avoided. Proper behavior in Asatru consists of maximizing one's virtues and minimizing one's vices. This code of conduct reflects the highest and most heroic ideals of our people.

Don't all religions believe in these things youve just named?

No. People may honestly believe that this is the case, but examination does not bear this out. They believe in freedom, yet their scriptures say they are slaves to their God. They accept that joy is good, but their teachings laden them with guilt because of some imaginary original sin. Their instinct is to understand Nature's world from verifiable evidence, yet they are trained to believe black is white, round is flat, and natural instincts are evil without question when the teachings of their church conflict with reason or with known facts. Many of us instinctively believe in the values of Asatru because they have been passed down to us from our ancestors. We want to believe that other religions espouse those values, so we see what we want to see. Most people just haven't yet realized that the major religions are saying things that conflict with the values we know in our hearts are right. To find northern European virtues, one should look where those virtues have their natural home - Asatru.

What do you have to say about Good and Evil?

Good and evil are not constants. What is good in one case will not be good in another, and evil in one circumstance will not be evil under a different set of conditions. In any one instance, the right course of action will have been shaped by the influence of

the past and the present. The result may or may not be good or evil, but it will still be the right action. In no case are good and evil dictated to us by the edicts of an alien, authoritarian deity, as in the Middle East. We are expected to use our freedom, responsibility, and awareness of duty to serve the highest and best ends.

What does Asatru teach about an Afterlife?

We believe that there is an afterlife, and that those who have lived virtuous lives will go on to experience greater fulfillment, pleasure, and challenge. Those who have led lives characterized more by vice than by virtue will be separated from kin and doomed to an existence of dullness and gloom. The precise nature of the afterlife - what it will look like and feel like - is beyond our understanding and is dealt with symbolically in the myths. There is also a tradition in Asatru of rebirth within the family line. Perhaps the individual is able to choose whether or not he or she is re-manifested in this world, or there may be natural laws which govern this. In a sense, of course, we all live on in our descendents quite apart from an afterlife as such. We of Asatru do not overly concern ourselves with the next life. We live here and now, in this life. If we do this and do it well, the next life will take care of itself.

Does Asatru involve ancestor worship?

Asatru says we should honor our ancestors. It also says we are bonded to those ancestors in a special way. However, we do not actually worship them.

We believe our forebears have passed to us certain spiritual qualities just as surely as they have given us various physical traits. They live on in us. The family or clan is above and beyond the limits of time and place. Thus we have a reverence for our ancestry even though we do not involve ourselves in ancestor worship as such.

Does Asatru have a holy book, like the Bible?

No. There are written sources which are useful to us because they contain much of our sacred lore in the form of myths and examples of right conduct, but we do not accept them as infallible or inspired documents. Any religion which does this is deceiving its members about the purity and precision of the written word. The various competing factions of Middle Eastern religions are proof of this. Their conflicting interpretations cannot all be correct! There are two real sources of holy truth, and neither expresses itself to us in words. One is the universe around us, which is a manifestation of the underlying divine essence. The other is the universe within us, passed down from our ancestors as instinct, emotion, innate predispositions, and perhaps even racial memory. By combining these sources of internal and external wisdom with the literature left us by our ancestors, we arrive at religious truths. This living spiritual guidance is better than any dusty, dogmatic holy book, whose writings are often so ambiguous that even clerical scholars disagree and whose interpretations change with the politics of the times.

Asatru has been described as a Nature Religion. What does that mean?

We treasure the spiritual awe, the feeling of connecting with the Gods and Goddesses, which can come from experiencing and appreciating the beauty and majesty of Nature. Our deities act in and through natural law. By working in harmony with Nature we can become co-workers with the Gods. This attitude removes the opposition between natural and supernatural and between religion and science. For us, following a Nature religion means recognizing that we are part of Nature, subject to all its laws, even when that offends our Christian-influenced misconceptions. We may be Gods-inthe-making, but we are also members of the animal kingdom - a noble heritage in its own right. Our ancestors and their predecessors prevailed through billions of years of unimaginable challenges, a feat which must awe even the Gods themselves.

Where did the universe come from, according to Asatru?

Our myths describe the beginning of the universe as the unfolding of a natural process, rather than one requiring supernatural intervention. Followers of Asatru need not abandon modern science to retain their religion. The old lore of our people describes the interaction of fire and ice and the development of life from these - but this is symbolic, and we will leave it to our scientists to discover how the universe was born.

What are the Runes, and what do they have to do with Asatru?
Runes are ancient Germanic symbols representing various concepts or forces in the universe. Taken together, they express our ancestors' world view. Their meanings are intimately connected with the teachings of Asatru. Our myths tell how

Odin, father of the Gods, won them through painful ordeal so that Gods and humans alike might benefit from their wisdom.

How is Asatru organized?

Asatru is non-authoritarian and decentralized, expressing our love of freedom. While we do have definite tenets, we have little dogma. There is no all-powerful spiritual leader whose word is law, no pope of Asatru to dictate truth. No guru or priest has an exclusive direct line to the Gods. The Gods live in you!

The Role of the Gothar in the Asatru Community


The old norse word "Gothar" is the plural form of Gothi or Gythia. The Gothar are the collective priesthood of the Asatru Community. Proper pronunciation in Old Norse is: Gothar (gothar). It literally means: those who speak the godly tongue. We know from many surviving ancient accounts that the Gothar played a pivotal role in the founding of Iceland and the development there of a system of government known as the Godic Republic. This ancient method of self government was known as the Althing. At the Althing the Gothar of the 36 districts of Iceland met annually to read the Law, settle disputes among the Folk, and mete justice to law breakers. This concept of self rule has been practiced since antiquity by the people of the North. We will deal in greater detail in a future article titled "The Althing", but here we will discuss the role of the Gothar in the contemporary Asatru Community. In ancient times, as we know from the writings of Tacitus in The Agricola and The Germania, the Teutons worshipped their Gods and Goddesses in holy groves and by sacred springs and rivers. Tribal priests and priestesses presided in these matters. We learn from Adam of Bremen of the great Temple of Uppsala, where great public Blots were held, again presided over by the Temple Priests. There are also numerous Saga accounts of the Hofs maintained by the priests for public worship in Norway and Iceland. From all of this we learn that there were people who specialized in conducting public worship of the Gods and Goddesses. They were also responsible for establishing Hofs and Temples, and maintained the equipment and furnishings necessary to conduct Blots and other religious services. In the days of the Godic Republic, the Gothar was also responsible for the civil administration of the country as well.

In modern times, as the Asatru Community struggles to reassert itself as the true religion of the Folk, the work of the Gothar is difficult indeed. Not only is it his or her duty to conduct the Blots, maintain the Hofs and sacred groves and provide the ritual equipment, but he or she must also seek out those within our Folk worthy to practice the old ways, and to reawaken the Ancestral Soul of our people, which is weak and near death after a thousand years of Christian pollution. The true Gothar of the modern era must be a fearless spiritual warrior, a fervent Asatru missionary. They must be as wise as the AllFather, as strong as Asa Thorr, and as loving as the Lady Freya, if they are to succeed in their chosen profession. In short, only the bravest, wisest, and most loving of our Folk can ever aspire to the position of Gothi or Gythia. Nothing less than total dedication and personal sacrifice to our cause will do. Anything less will result in failure. If you are a dabbler in the Northern mysteries, a crystal poking Norse Wiccan, or someone who lives in a fantasy world, please go far away and do everyone a favor. For the rest of you who have a sincere desire, a burning will, and a constitution of iron, we will proceed. In Vor Tru No. 52 not only did we discuss the significance of the Blot, we examined the actual mechanics for performing public sacrifice, and we discussed also the part that the Gothi and Gythia played in such religious services of the Folk. I urged all who have the desire to perform Blots to do so whether privately at home with the family, or publicly in the sacred places with the Kindred. The person who performs the Blot, is at that place and time a Gothi. However, it is what you do for the Folk after the Blot which determines whether you are indeed a member of the Gothar, one who has earned the respect of the Asatru Community as a tireless and fearless spiritual leader of the Folk, and one who constantly strives to improve himself through constant study and practice of the lore of our people. Indeed, are you one who has earned the respect and admiration of the Folk because of your tireless efforts in their behalf? At this point, let's assume that you aspire to become one of the Gothar. Where do you begin? I will start by saying that I have known more than a few who wished to become a Gothi. My best

advice at this time is to urge them to find a recognized Gothi, and somehow convince the Priest of the Folk to become his apprentice. You must realize at this point in time that many may choose to walk this path, but by the process of natural selection, few will attain their goal. If you find a Gothi to aid you in your studies, you are fortunate to have that aid in your quest. If you personally don't know anyone of the Gothar, don't despair. You can teach yourself. THEY DID! I might add at this time that there is a course of study offered for the Gothar offered by: The Asatru Folk Assembly P.O. Box 445 Nevada City, CA. 95959 Please write to them for details. This course outlines a course of study including the Eddas, Sagas, the Runes, and associated liturgical texts that will aid you in your search for knowledge. I might caution you that the course is tough, and will indeed separate the sincere from the insincere. It also costs money to conduct such courses, so you must be able to handle the financial sacrifice as well. The Asatru Alliance does not have such a program per se, but we do have a number of Gothis at this time who are helping others learn the craft. As time goes by, we will have a program of our own. However noble the concept of a Gothar course may sound, it is a waste of time if you don't have instinctively what it takes. The world is full of people with Masters Degrees who were the best of students, but can't apply knowledge to the real world. So, although it is a must to learn all that you can about our Gods, Folk, Heritage, and Lore, if you are incapable or lack the people skills to form a Kindred, serve the Folk, and profess the faith of our ancestors to the world, you're in the same boat as the guy with the Masters Degree working at the convenience mart as a clerk. What good will be your certificate of graduation from the Gothar course be if no one respects you for such? The course is but one step in your personal evolution as a priest of the Folk.

You must earn the respect of your Kindred and the Asatru Community. You must set an example for the Folk by living your life with honor and dignity. Responsibility and personal integrity are keys to earning that respect. As I said earlier in this article, you must be totally devoted, and live your life accordingly. Okay, let's assume that you have been blessed by the Gods with all the right instincts. You've enrolled in the Gothi course, or have started independent studies, and have found a recognized Gothi to aid you in your studies, or you are going it alone. What do you do now? If you already belong to a Kindred, you're off to a good start. If not, you must found your own. Tough work, but again part of the job. You are fortunate, though, that there is an Alliance of Independent Kindreds who aid those like yourself in forming Kindreds. Contact us, let us know your intentions and little bit about yourself. Perhaps we can help you in finding others in your general area who are looking for Kindred contact, but don't quite have what it takes to take the initiative to actually form a Kindred. You must then use your Gods' given skills and talents to seek these people out and START that Kindred. I am not going to discuss how to form a Kindred in great detail at this time. It will be the subject of my next installment in this series of articles. For now, let's return to the subject of becoming a Gothi. It is important for every Gothi to have a library, for study and reference, but also to share with others who seek knowledge of their precious heritage. This, of course, like all of the other requirements of the job, is a life's work. Begin with the Elder Edda, study The Havamal daily, but also learn the ancient myths of our Gods and Goddesses. Learn the myths and unlock the keys to the Nine Worlds. Study the Runes and obtain a set of them, or better yet, make your own. Learn the Runes, and use them. Read the wealth of information about our heroes in the Sagas, and obtain and read every possible book about the history, culture, customs, and lore of our ancestors. Of course study the Viking Age, but don't forget that the history of our people began with Ask and Embla, and continues on today. Where are you going to find time to do all of this reading? Why don't you start by selling your television and using the proceeds to buy books? And please,

list your library in your Will so that when you die your precious book hoard doesn't wind up in the Goodwill box! You must acquire all of the knowledge that you can, because the Folk with come to you with their questions. Be prepared to answer them. It is also important for the aspiring Gothi or Gythia to obtain the ritual tools necessary for your work. I know that it will take many years to obtain or build them, but you must do it all the same. Since the beginning of our people's spiritual awareness, the most precious possession of our holy men and women was the ritual bowl. Pronounced Bowli in Old Norse. It is symbolized in the shape of the Perthro Rune. It contains the power of our Gods, the luck and fortune of the tribe, the receptacle of our will and aspirations, and the holy offerings that we make to our Gods. It is the primal possession of the Shaman and the priest. It is sacred. However, just as important to the Gothi, is the Oath Ring. The Book of Settlements, written in Iceland to describe the Godic Republic, says; "A Ring of a prescribed size should be placed on the altar in every Main Temple. The Gothi of that temple should carry that Ring on his wrist to all regular Things, where he should conduct the procedures. Before that he should wash the Ring in the blood of a bull he had sacrificed himself." Here we learn the importance of both the Ring and the Bowli. I might note here that a surviving 1,600 year old Ring of the Goths with runic inscription still survives, crafted in solid gold. The Ring is brought to all Kindred functions, and is worn by the Gothi at all Blots and Sumbels as a service to the Folk who may wish to take a sacred oath. I know that it may be impossible for some to procure a gold or silver Oath Ring, myself included, but some type of Ring must be used. Mine is made of brass and has served our Kindred for over ten years. We know from the Myths, that Thorr blessed the funeral pyre of Baldur with his Hammer. We also know from the Sagas that Thorr's Hammer was used to bless brides, babies, and the Folk. A ritual sized Hammer is also a must. Mine was a gift from my foster father, and is hand carved from cherry wood. It has served me and the Folk well for twenty years. The Hammer is also used in some Blot is for the banishing ritual, and later to bless the Feast. I have seen some Gothis use a sledgehammer purchased

from the hardware store, and I know of some prison Kindreds who use a rubber Hammer. Again, what is important here is the symbolism, and the power in the blessing projected by the Gothi. Improvise! The last of the most important implements is the Stalli, Old Norse for altar. We have a stalli made of stone at our Hof, and I know of many who have constructed Stallis in their sacred groves. The Stalli, of course, is the focal point of the Blot, and holds the necessary implements used during the service. I have also used a simple folding camp table, which has served me well, both during the Blot, and the ritual Feast to follow. It is worthy to note here, that our Kindred banner is also designed to be used as an altar cloth. Kindreds may keep this in mind when they are designing their banner. Of lesser importance is the making and procurement of various ritual items used during various Blots, like a ritual drinking horn, a Gander, sword, spear, a Brisingamen, etc. Of course in many cases you will have to improvise. Also keep in mind that the procurement of ritual items can very well be a Kindred project, and thus are Kindred property. I think it very important to add here that a Gothi should have ritual attire as well. It is an important part of the personal transformation that you must make to prepare for the Blot, or other religious function. By the donning of ritual attire, vestments if you like, you make a conscience step to separate yourself from the mundane, and enter a spiritual state. This leads to the next step. You must familiarize yourself with the basic Blot and Sumbel formula, as well as the other important rituals and ceremonies of the Folk. There will become a time when you will be called upon to officiate at various activities of the Kindred, and the public as well. Work hard and learn the priestcraft. The last important point that I wish to make is that you, as a member of the Gothar, are a highly visible member of the greater Asatru Community. You must conduct your public, as well as

private affairs in a way which is beyond approach. In effect, you must set an example for others to follow. Always conduct yourself with dignity and honor. For you are the last great hope for our Folk. Never forget your responsibilities to your Kindred, and work hard to develop your skills. You are an important link in the legacy and history of our people. The martyrs of the Saxon's Gothar never flinched when ordered to renounce Asatru or face beheading at the hands of Charlamagne's Holy Roman Empire. Nor did the Gothar of Norway who bravely defied "Saint" Olaf's edicts to submit to the throne and the Pope. We shall never forget the deeds of these heroes, and always honor their memory in our deeds.

Althings-Past, Present and Future


The Thing is defined by The Dictionary of Northern Mythology as "The legislative and executive assembly of free men in Germanic antiquity...In the free state of Iceland the Althing was the latter day successor of the Germanic Thing and was a proper legislative and jurisdictional parliament...."

Ancient Althings We know from numerous ancient accounts that our ancestors held the legislative body known as the Thing to be sacred. The Germans, according to Tacitus, allowed the whole community to debate major issues at the assembly where the priests were in charge of the proceedings. Tacitus wrote in The Germania, "The Assembly is competent also to hear criminal charges, especially those involving the risk of capital punishment. The mode of execution varies according to the offense. Traitors and deserters are hanged on trees; cowards, shirkers, and sodomites are pressed down under a wicker hurdle into the slimy mud of a bog...Less serious offenses, too, have penalties proportioned to them. The man who is found guilty has to pay a fine of so many horses or cattle, part of which goes to the king or the state, part to the victim of the wrongful act or to his relatives." We also know that the Thing elected judges and magistrates to administer justice in the villages. Also, the Thing was the proper place to present a young man with his weapons, a public recognition of his manhood. The Swedish Thing had the power to elect or depose a King. With the final evolution of the thing principal in Iceland, they extended the mandate of the Thing to become a governmental body of freemen. The concept of Lords and Kings had now become obsolete. By the time that Tacitus wrote of the Germans in the year 348

Runic Era, it is clear that the concept of the Thing, and its sanctity in the culture of the Germanic people was already quite ancient. So one would surmise that the ideal of self government, the sacred respect for tribal law, and the sacredness of the Thing itself, evolves from the primal past of our ancestors. Only the ancestral soul knows how long our Folk practiced self rule. Ancient Thing sites have been identified in Continental Europe, the British Isles, Scandinavia, and many of the North Sea Islands peopled by our Folk. Most often they were marked with a circle of stones. The old accounts tell us that the actual Thing site was protected by a marked boundary. Most often a rope was used, perhaps strung around poles. Once you entered the Thing boundary, you were bound by tribal law to respect the proceedings and conduct yourself in such a way that lent dignity and decorum to the proceedings. Some of the most well known Thing sites of ancient times are; Frosta and Gula in Norway; Uppsala and Skara in Sweden; and Viborg and Oresund in Denmark, The most well known of such sites though is Thingvellir in Iceland. Located about 25 miles East of Reykjavik, it is a National Park and fully protected for future generations. In the book Thingvellir written by Thorsteinn Gudjunsson, he defines the three main factors that constitute a valid Thing; 1. The recitation of the Law, the pronouncement of sentences, issuance of summons, and public announcements. 2. Judicial proceedings and decisions about the validity of Law, and the Law Council. 3. The audience of Thing people (the Folk). The first Althing was held at Thingvellir in the year 1180 Runic Era, and was believed to be a continuation of the Norwegian Thing presided over by Law Speaker, Thorleif the Wise. The three Icelanders who were given credit for the founding of the Althing in Iceland are; Ulfljotr, Goat hair, and Thorsteinn Ingolfsson who was the son of the first settler of Iceland.

The judicial body that composed the first Althing was the Gothar of Iceland who sent 36 of their number to form the first law body. This was after the custom of the Norwegians, except in Norway, Jarls and Chiefs shared the law making decisions with the Gothar. In Iceland, it would be different. Thus the Godic Republic was born. Free of the fetters of Kings, Earls, and the wealthy who had taken control of the law from the people earlier on. The first order of business at the first Icelandic Althing, was to choose a Law Speaker. Of special note was the first law passed, which prohibited warships from scaring the Land Spirits with their dragon head prows. The ancient Althing was called to order by the Allsherjargothi. This means "every man's priest". The Allsherjargothi was considered first among equals. But other than opening the Althing with Blot, he had no more power or duties than any of the other members of the Gothar. Although we do not know for sure which of the High Ones was honored with Blot at the Icelandic Althings, place names survive to this day in Norway and Sweden which attest to Njord's, Freyr's, and Tyr's Law being in force in local districts. The Icelandic Althings soon progressed into both a judicial and legislative body which became the government of Iceland. This historical feat was unprecedented anywhere else in the Northern world, and became the model for later Althings in Greenland and Vinland. I have no doubt in my mind that the Constitution and form of the government of the United States is soundly based upon the principles of the early Heathen Althings, not upon the monarchies and king's law espoused in the Christian bible. That the law of the United States is founded upon Semitic law is one of the biggest lies ever told. Although the Godic republic thrived for thirty years in Iceland, this all came to an end with the coming of Christianity. King Olaf of Norway seized a number of hostages, the children of many of the leading citizens of Iceland. He sent word to the Althing of 1250 Runic Era, that unless the Thing recognized Christianity as legal and above par with Asatru in Iceland, he

would execute the children. After days of heated debate, the Althing delegates came to a compromise which would make Christianity the religion of Iceland, but at the same time allowing private worship of the old Gods. A few years later, with Christians in firm control, they made it the death penalty for anyone to worship the old Gods even in private. Asatru then went underground, and the Godic Republic effectively died. In Iceland they still call their legislative body the Althing, and it is the oldest continuous legislative body on the planet. Such is the legacy of our ancestors.

Present Day Althing With the rebirth of Asatru in Europe around the beginning of this century, Althings were once again held by the Folk. Not much is known about the revival of this most important gathering of the Folk, but the bombs and bullets of World War two soon silenced the new Thing Speakers. Asatru went underground again for a short period of time. In the year 2238 Runic Era, Asatru was revived both in Vinland and Iceland by pioneers of the Folk. Stephen McNallen in Vinland and Sveinbjorn Benteinsson in Iceland began to publicly worship the old Gods and Goddesses and proclaimed to the Folk that Asatru Lives! In Iceland, Sveinbjorn and Thorsteinn Gudjonsson went to the Icelandic Government and demanded that Asatru be recognized by the Althing. After some predictable political maneuvering, and a lightning bolt striking the Minister of Religious Affairs house (lightning is very rare in Iceland), Asatru was recogized as the official religion of Iceland on equal par with the other state religion, Lutheranism. At the same time in Vinland, Steve McNallen, soon joined by Maddy Hutter and a handful of other Asatruar, worked to formulate and rebuild a religion long thought dead, burned, and

buried. By diligently studying the ancient Sagas, Eddas, and supporting historical documents, Steve was able to piece together much of the lore and heritage of the past and document it for study and practice by modern day Asatruar. The Asatru Free Assembly was born. In the year 2230 Runic Era, Steve announced plans for the First Annual Althing of the AFA which was held in Northern California. This first national gathering of the Folk became a tradition which continues to this very day. Although the Althings of the AFA were not really Althings in the true sense of the word, there was no reading of the Law and no legislative body, there were members of the Folk present, so it was a good start. At the AFA Althings, there were Blots, formal Feasts, Sumbels, Ceremonies of the Folk, seminars, guided meditations, skaldic contests, and many other activities which made them both historic and memorable occasions. They could be favorably compared to the Folk Moots originally produced by the Odinist Fellowship, and later by the Arizona Kindred and Thorr's Hammer Kindred. There have been other regional gatherings which have been organized by independent Asatru groups and called Althings, but they did not fit the criteria of an Althing, so are in effect Moots. I'm sure there will be others who mistakenly call their getherings Althings in the future, but are in effect holding Moots. This error on their behalf should be brought to their attention. In the year 2237, the Asatru Free Assembly was dissolved. This was not the end of Althings, though, but really the beginning. Seven surviving Kindreds of the late AFA worked together to continue the Althings and the religion of Asatru in Vinland. In the late Summer of 2237 they drafted a set of By Laws which in effect would become the first set of codified Asatru Laws in Vinland. They then invited every known Asatruar in the country to an Althing to legally discuss and then vote upon these proposed set of By Laws. On Midyear 18, 2238 R.E. Althing 8 was formally opened with a Tyr Blot performed by Valgard Murray and Thorsteinn Thorarinsson. This first true Althing in Vinland was called to

order by an elected Thing Speaker. A delegate was chosen to sit on the Thing council from each Kindred present, and then the proposed By Laws were read, debated, and then voted upon. Asatru history was made the day that the Asatru Alliance was founded and The Annual Althing of the Asatru Alliance of Independent Kindreds continues to this day. While the Thing is the most important business of the Althing gathering, and takes precedence over any other activity, time allowing, there are also many other religious, cultural, social, sporting, and other events at a modern day Althing. It is without a doubt the largest and most important Asatru gathering in Vinland.

Althings of the Future As Asatru continues to evolve, so does the Althing. As the ancestral Soul of our Folk strengthens, so will the devotion and dedication of the Folk. What once was a loose confederation of independent Kindreds, is now a closely knit Asatru Community developing its own traditions and heritage as it grows. The true Gothar of the Asatru Community are working together to build the Nation of Odin, and prepare the Folk for the Wolf Age soon to come. I see in the future, the rebirth of the Godic Republic here in Vinland, with the Althing as the legislative and judicial body as in times of old. I see the Nation of Odin growing and prospering as the Folk return to their ancient and sacred ways, and I see the Gods and Goddesses of Asgard pouring their blessings upon the Folk once again.

The Runes
I know that I hung on Yggdrasil For nine nights long Wounded by spear Consecrated to Oin Myself a sacrifice to myself Upon that tree The wisest know not the roots of ancient times whence it sprang. None brought me bread None gave me mead Down to the depths I searched I took up the Runes Raised them with song And from that tree I fell. Runes you shall know, and readable staves, Very powerful staves, Very great staves Graven by the mighty one who speaks Carved by the highest hosts Oin among the Aesir, Dvalin (sleeper) among dwarfs, Din (dead) among alfs, Alvitter (all-knowing) among etins, I myself carved some for mankind The following are not recommendations, Alfather commands you to know the following if you are satrar. Know how to carve, know how to read, know how to stain, know how to understand, know how to ask, know how to offer, know how to evoke, know how to sacrifice. The Runes go back when time began, we of satr have set a date from when the first Futhark was discovered 2253 years ago. This is known as the Runic Era which places us to date in the year 2253 R.E..

satrar have always lived in close harmony with the environment, the seasonal and stellar cycles, their Gods and Goddesses, and their ancestors. These forces come together in the mysterious symbols known as Runes. The word Rune means a secret or a whisper. Runes are magical tools for both divination and spell casting. (Note that the first word below the Rune is the key used to remember its meaning)

The Eldar Futhark of Northern Europe


Letter: F Wealth; Money, mobile property, finacial prosperity


Letter: U Strength; Physical strength and vitality.


Letters: TH Violence; Conflicts and complexities of an aggressive nature.


Letter: A Inspiration; The multiverse in magical and religious acts, gaining knowledge.


Letter: R Journey; Travel, both in physical terms and those of life-style direction.


Letter: K Guidance; Creativity, and the strengthening of abilities in all realms.


Letter: G Generosity; All matters relating to exchanges, including contracts and sacrifice.


Letter: W Satisfaction; Happiness, general success and recognition of worth.


Letter: H Disruption; Disruption by natural events and uncontrolled forces.


Letter: N Trouble; Needs as opposed to wants, must be overcome hard work.


Letter: I Blockage; A standstill which may be good or bad.


Letters: J and Y Harvest; Hopes and expectations the results of earlier efforts are realized.


Letters: EI Enduring; Resilient strength to deflect difficulty or problems.


Letter: P Concealed; Something unknown, or not yet revealed; a mystery in the same sense that an unborn child is a mystery.


Letter: Z Protection; Shelter oneself, luck through striving, a successful outcome to a quest.


Letter: S Victory; Success or other favourable circumstances.


Letter: T Justice; Success in competition in legal matters, honour, leadership and authority.


Letter: B Renewal; Healing, recovery, physical or spiritual regeneration, a new growth from old roots, motherhood.


Letter: E Loyalty; Status as it relates between you and others.


Letter: M Intellect; Power of human intelligence, rationality, memory, and tradition.


Letter: L Passage; Initiation into life as when a heathen child is sprinkled with water and given a name; the primal waters of Niflheimer.


Letters: NG Gestation; Potential energy that must undergo a period of time in order to gain strength.


Letter: D Awakening; Daylight clarity a time to embark on a new enterprise.


Letter: O Folkland; Inheritances, Your home, physical and spiritual heritage.

The Havamal

The man who stands at a strange threshold, Should be cautious before he cross it, Glance this way and that: Who knows beforehand what foes may sit Awaiting him in the hall? Greetings to the host, The guest has arrived, In which seat shall he sit? Rash is he who at unknown doors Relies on his good luck, Fire is needed by the newcomer Whose knees are frozen numb; Meat and clean linen a man needs Who has fared across the fells, Water, too, that he may wash before eating, Handcloths and a hearty welcome, Courteous words, then courteous silence That he may tell his tale, Who travels widely needs his wits about him, The stupid should stay at home: The ignorant man is often laughed at When he sits at meat with the sage, Of his knowledge a man should never boast, Rather be sparing of speech When to his house a wiser comes: Seldom do those who are silent Make mistakes; mother wit Is ever a faithful friend, A guest should be courteous When he comes to the table And sit in wary silence, His ears attentive,

his eyes alert: So he protects himself, Fortunate is he who is favored in his lifetime With praise and words of wisdom: Evil counsel is often given By those of evil heart, Blessed is he who in his own lifetime Is awarded praise and wit, For ill counsel is often given By mortal men to each other, Better gear than good sense A traveler cannot carry, Better than riches for a wretched man, Far from his own home, Better gear than good sense A traveler cannot carry, A more tedious burden than too much drink A traveler cannot carry, Less good than belief would have it Is mead for the sons of men: A man knows less the more he drinks, Becomes a befuddled fool, I forget is the name men give the heron Who hovers over the feast: Fettered I was in his feathers that night, When a guest in Gunnlods court Drunk I got, dead drunk, When Fjalar the wise was with me: Best is the banquet one looks back on after, And remembers all that happened, Silence becomes the Son of a prince, To be silent but brave in battle: It befits a man to be merry and glad

Until the day of his death, The coward believes he will live forever If he holds back in the battle, But in old age he shall have no peace Though spears have spared his limbs When he meets friends, the fool gapes, Is shy and sheepish at first, Then he sips his mead and immediately All know what an oaf he is, He who has seen and suffered much, And knows the ways of the world, Who has traveled, can tell what spirit Governs the men he meets, Drink your mead, but in moderation, Talk sense or be silent: No man is called discourteous who goes To bed at an early hour A gluttonous man who guzzles away Brings sorrow on himself: At the table of the wise he is taunted often, Mocked for his bloated belly, The herd knows its homing time, And leaves the grazing ground: But the glutton never knows how much His belly is able to hold, An ill tempered, unhappy man Ridicules all he hears, Makes fun of others, refusing always To see the faults in himself Foolish is he who frets at night, And lies awake to worry A weary man when morning comes, He finds all as bad as before,

The fool thinks that those who laugh At him are all his friends, Unaware when he sits with wiser men How ill they speak of him. The fool thinks that those who laugh At him are all his friends: When he comes to the Thing and calls for support, Few spokesmen he finds The fool who fancies he is full of wisdom While he sits by his hearth at home. Quickly finds when questioned by others . That he knows nothing at all. The ignorant booby had best be silent When he moves among other men, No one will know what a nit-wit he is Until he begins to talk; No one knows less what a nit-wit he is Than the man who talks too much. To ask well, to answer rightly, Are the marks of a wise man: Men must speak of mens deeds, What happens may not be hidden. Wise is he not who is never silent, Mouthing meaningless words: A glib tongue that goes on chattering Sings to its own harm. A man among friends should not mock another: Many believe the man Who is not questioned to know much And so he escapes their scorn. The wise guest has his way of dealing With those who taunt him at table: He smiles through the meal,

not seeming to hear The twaddle talked by his foes The fastest friends may fall out When they sit at the banquet-board: It is, and shall be, a shameful thing When guest quarrels with guest, An early meal a man should take Before he visits friends, Lest, when he gets there, he go hungry, Afraid to ask for food. To a false friend the footpath winds Though his house be on the highway. To a sure friend there is a short cut, Though he live a long way off. The tactful guest will take his leave Early, not linger long: He starts to stink who outstays his welcome In a hall that is not his own. A small hut of ones own is better, A man is his master at home: A couple of goats and a corded roof Still are better than begging. A small hut of ones own is better, A man is his master at home: His heart bleeds in the beggar who must Ask at each meal for meat. A wayfarer should not walk unarmed, But have his weapons to hand: He knows not when he may need a spear, Or what menace meet on the road. No man is so generous he will jib at accepting A gift in return for a gift,

No man so rich that it really gives him Pain to be repaid. Once he has won wealth enough, A man should not crave for more: What he saves for friends, foes may take; Hopes are often liars. With presents friends should please each other, With a shield or a costly coat: Mutual giving makes for friendship So long as life goes well, A man should be loyal through life to friends, And return gift for gift, Laugh when they laugh, but with lies repay A false foe who lies. A man should be loyal through life to friends, To them and to friends of theirs, But never shall a man make offer Of friendship to his foes. If you find a friend you fully trust And wish for his good-will, exchange thoughts, exchange gifts, Go often to his house. If you deal with another you dont trust But wish for his good-will, Be fair in speech but false in thought And give him lie for lie. Even with one you ill-trust And doubt what he means to do, False words with fair smiles May get you the gift you desire. Young and alone on a long road,

Once I lost my way: Rich I felt when I found a another; Man rejoices in man. The generous and bold have the best lives, Are seldom beset by cares, But the base man sees bogies everywhere And the miser pines for presents. Two wooden stakes stood on the plain, on them I hung my clothes: Draped in linen, they looked well born, But, naked, I was a nobody The young fir that falls and rots Having neither needles nor bark, So is the fate of the friendless man: Why should he live long? Hotter than fire among false hearts burns Friendship for five days, But suddenly slackens when the sixth dawns: Feeble their friendship then. A kind word need not cost much, The price of praise can be cheap: With half a loaf and an empty cup I found myself a friend, Little a sand-grain, little a dew drop, Little the minds of men: All men are not equal in wisdom, The half-wise are everywhere It is best for man to be middle-wise, Not over cunning and clever: The learned man whose lore is deep Is seldom happy at heart. It is best for man to be middle-wise, Not over cunning and clever:

The fairest life is led by those Who are deft at all they do. It is best for man to be middle-wise, Not over cunning and clever: No man is able to know his future, So let him sleep in peace. Brand Kindles Till they broun out, Flame is quickened by flame: One man from another is known by his speech The simpleton by his silence. Early shall he rise who has designs On anothers land or life: His prey escapes the prone wolf, The sleeper is seldom victorious. Early shall he rise who rules few servants, And set to work at once: Much is lost by the late sleeper, Wealth is won by the swift, A man should know how many logs And strips of bark from the birch To stock in autumn, that he may have enough Wood for his winter fires. Washed and fed, one may fare to the Thing: Though ones clothes be the worse for Wear, None need be ashamed of his shoes or hose, Nor of the horse he owns, Although no thoroughbred. As the eagle who comes to the ocean shore, Sniffs and hangs her head, Dumfounded is he who finds at the Thing No supporters to plead his case. It is safe to tell a secret to one,

Risky to tell it to two, To tell it to three is thoughtless folly, Everyone else will know. Moderate at council should a man be, Not brutal and over bearing: Among the bold the bully will find Others as bold as he. Often words uttered to another Have reaped an ill harvest: Too early to many homes I came, Too late, it seemed, to some; The ale was finished or else un-brewed, The unpopular cannot please. Some would invite me to visit their homes, But none thought I Had eaten a whole joint, Just before with a friend who had two. These things are thought the best: Fire, the sight of the sun, Good health with the gift to keep it, And a life that avoids vice. Not all sick men are utterly wretched: Some are blessed with sons, Some with friends, some with riches, Some with worthy works. It is always better to be alive, The living can keep a cow. Fire, I saw, warming a wealthy man, With a cold corpse at his door. The halt can manage a horse, the handless a flock, The deaf be a doughty fighter, To be blind is better than to burn on a pyre:

There is nothing the dead can do. A son is a blessing, though born late To a father no longer alive: Stones would seldom stand by the highway If sons did not set them there. Two beat one, the tongue is heads bane, Pockets of fur hide fists. He welcomes the night who has enough provisions Short are the sails of a ship, Dangerous the dark in autumn, The wind may veer within five days, And many times in a month. The half wit does not know that gold Makes apes of many men: One is rich, one is poor There is no blame in that. Cattle die, kindred die, Every man is mortal: But the good name never dies Of one who has done well Cattle die, kindred die, Every man is mortal: But I know one thing that never dies, The glory of the great dead Fields and flocks had Fitjungs sons, Who now carry begging bowls: Wealth may vanish in the wink of an eye, Gold is the falsest of friends. In the fool who acquires cattle and lands, Or wins a womans love, His wisdom wanes with his waxing pride, He sinks from sense to conceit.

Now is answered what you ask of the runes, Graven by the gods, Made by the All Father, Sent by the powerful sage: lt. is best for man to remain silent. For these things give thanks at nightfall: The day gone, a guttered torch, A sword tested, the troth of a maid, Ice crossed, ale drunk. Hew wood in wind-time, in fine weather sail, Tell in the night-time tales to house-girls, For too many eyes are open by day: From a ship expect speed, from a shield, cover, Keenness from a sword, but a kiss from a girl. Drink ale by the hearth, over ice glide, Buy a stained sword, buy a starving mare To fatten at home: and fatten the watch-dog. No man should trust a maidens words, Nor what a woman speaks: Spun on a wheel were womens hearts, In their breasts was implanted caprice, A snapping bow, a burning flame, A grinning wolf, a grunting boar, A raucous crow, a rootless tree, A breaking wave, a boiling kettle, A flying arrow, an ebbing tide, A coiled adder, the ice of a night, A brides bed talk, a broad sword, A bears play, a prince s children, A witch s welcome, the wit of a slave, A sick calf, a corpse still fresh,

A brothers killer encountered upon The highway a house half-burned, A racing stallion who has wrenched a leg, Are never safe: let no man trust them. Trust not an acre early sown, Nor praise a son too soon: Weather rules the acre, wit the son, Both are exposed to peril, To love a woman whose ways are false Is like sledding over slippery ice With unshod horses out of control, Badly trained two-year-olds, Or drifting rudderless on a rough sea, Or catching a reindeer with a crippled hand On a thawing hillside: think not to do it. Naked I may speak now for I know both: Men are treacherous too Fairest we speak when falsest we think: many a maid is deceived. Gallantly shall he speak and gifts bring Who wishes for womans love: praise the features of the fair girl, Who courts well will conquer. Never reproach another for his love: It happens often enough That beauty ensnares with desire the wise While the foolish remain unmoved. Never reproach the plight of another, For it happens to many men: Strong desire may stupefy heroes, Dull the wits of the wise The mind alone knows what is near the heart, Each is his own judge: The worst sickness for a wise man

Is to crave what he cannot enjoy. So I learned when I sat in the reeds, Hoping to have my desire: Lovely was the flesh of that fair girl, But nothing I hoped for happened. I saw on a bed Billings daughter, Sun white, asleep: No greater delight I longed for then Than to lie in her lovely arms. Come Odhinn, after nightfall If you wish for a meeting with me: All would be lost if anyone saw us And learned that we were lovers.

A fire with longing; I left her then, Deceived by her soft words: I thought my wooing had won the maid, That I would have my way. After nightfall I hurried back, But the warriors were all awake, Lights were burning, blazing torches: So false proved the path Towards daybreak back I came The guards were sound asleep: I found then that the fair woman Had tied a bitch to her bed. Many a girl when one gets to know her Proves to be fickle and false: That treacherous maiden taught me a lesson, The crafty woman covered me with shame; That was all I got from her. Let a man with his guests be glad and merry,

Modest a man should be; But talk well if he intends to be wise And expects praise from men: Fimbul fambi is the fool called ; Unable to open his mouth. Fruitless my errand, had I been silent When I came to Suttungs courts: With spirited words I spoke to my profit In the hall of the aged giant. Rati had gnawed a narrow passage, Chewed a channel through stone, A path around the roads of giants: I was like to lose my head Gunnlod sat me in the golden seat, Poured me precious mead: Ill reward she had from me for that, For her proud and passionate heart, Her brooding foreboding spirit. What I won from her I have well used: I have waxed in wisdom since I came back, bringing to Asgard Odrerir, the sacred draught. Hardly would I have come home alive From the garth of the grim troll, Had Gunnlod not helped me, the good woman, Who wrapped her arms around me. The following day the Frost Giants came, Walked into Hars hall To ask for Hars advice: Had Bolverk they asked, come back to his friends, Or had he been slain by Suttung? Odhinn, they said, swore an oath on his ring: Who from now on will trust him? By fraud at the feast he befuddled Suttung And brought grief to Gunnlod.

It is time to sing in the seat of the wise, Of what at Urds Well I saw in silence, saw and thought on. Long I listened to men Runes heard spoken, (counsels revealed.) At Hars hall, In Hars hall: There I heard this. Loddfafnir, listen to my counsel: You will fare well if you follow it, It will help you much if you heed it. Never rise at night unless you need to spy Or to ease yourself in the outhouse. Shun a woman, wise in magic, Her bed and her embraces: If she cast a spell, you will care no longer To meet and speak with men, Desire no food, desire no pleasure, In sorrow fall asleep. Never seduce anothers wife, Never make her your mistress. If you must journey to mountains and firths, Take food and fodder with you. Never open your heart to an evil man When fortune does not favour you: From an evil man, if you make him your friend, You will get evil for good. I saw a warrior wounded fatally By the words of an evil woman Her cunning tongue caused his death, Though what she alleged was a lie. If you know a friend you can fully trust, Go often to his house Grass and brambles grow quickly

Upon the untrodden track. With a good man it is good to talk, Make him your fast friend: But waste no words on a witless oaf, Nor sit with a senseless ape. Cherish those near you, never be The first to break with a friend: Care eats him who can no longer Open his heart to another. An evil man, if you make him your friend, Will give you evil for good: A good man, if you make him your friend; Will praise you in every place, Affection is mutual when men can open All their heart to each other: He whose words are always fair Is untrue and not to be trusted. Bandy no speech with a bad man: Often the better is beaten In a word fight by the worse. Be not a cobbler nor a carver of shafts, Except it be for yourself: If a shoe fit ill or a shaft be crooked; The maker gets curses and kicks. If aware that another is wicked, say so: Make no truce or treaty with foes. Never share in the shamefully gotten, But allow yourself what is lawful. Never lift your eyes and look up in battle, Lest the heroes enchant you, who can change warriors Suddenly into hogs,

With a good woman, if you wish to enjoy Her words and her good will, Pledge her fairly and be faithful to it: Enjoy the good you are given, Be not over wary, but wary enough, First, of the foaming ale, Second, of a woman wed to another, Third, of the tricks of thieves. Mock not the traveler met On the road, Nor maliciously laugh at the guest: The sitters in the hall seldom know The kin of the new-comer: The best man is marred by faults, The worst is not without worth. Never laugh at the old when they offer counsel, Often their words are wise: From shriveled skin, from scraggy things That hand among the hides And move amid the guts, Clear words often come. Scoff not at guests nor to the gate chase them, But relieve the lonely and wretched, Heavy the beam above the door; Hang a horse-shoe On it Against ill-luck, lest it should suddenly Crash and crush your guests. Medicines exist against many evils: Earth against drunkenness, heather against worms Oak against costiveness, corn against sorcery, Spurred rye against rupture, runes against bales The moon against feuds, fire against sickness, Earth makes harmless the floods. Wounded I hung on a wind-swept gallows

For nine long nights, Pierced by a spear, pledged to Odhinn, Offered, myself to myself The wisest know not from whence spring The roots of that ancient rood They gave me no bread, They gave me no mead, I looked down; with a loud cry I took up runes; from that tree I fell. Nine lays of power I learned from the famous Bolthor, Bestla s father: He poured me a draught of precious mead, Mixed with magic Odrerir. Waxed and throve well; Word from word gave words to me, Deed from deed gave deeds to me, Runes you will find, and readable staves, Very strong staves, Very stout staves, Staves that Bolthor stained, Made by mighty powers, Graven by the prophetic god, For the gods by Odhinn, for the elves by Dain, By Dvalin, too, for the dwarves, By Asvid for the hateful giants, And some I carved myself: Thund, before man was made, scratched them, Who rose first, fell thereafter Know how to cut them, know how to read them, Know how to stain them, know how to prove them, Know how to evoke them, know how to score them, Know how to send them; know how to send them,

Better not to ask than to over-pledge As a gift that demands a gift; Better not to send than to slay too many, The first charm I know is unknown to rulers Or any of human kind; Help it is named, for help it can give In hours of sorrow and anguish. I know a second that the sons of men Must learn who wish to be leeches. I know a third: in the thick of battle, If my need be great enough, It will blunt the edges of enemy swords, Their weapons will make no wounds. I know a fourth: it will free me quickly If foes should bind me fast With strong chains, a chant that makes Fetters spring from the feet, Bonds burst from the hands. I know a fifth: no flying arrow, Aimed to bring harm to men, Flies too fast for my fingers to catch it And hold it in mid-air. I know a sixth: it will save me if a man Cut runes on a sapling s Roots With intent to harm; it turns the spell; The hater is harmed, not me. I know a seventh: If I see the hall Ablaze around my bench mates, Though hot the flames, they shall feel nothing, If I choose to chant the spell. I know an eighth:

that all are glad of, Most useful to men: If hate fester in the heart of a warrior, It will soon calm and cure him. I know a ninth: when need I have To shelter my ship on the flood, The wind it calms, the waves it smoothes And puts the sea to sleep, I know a tenth: if troublesome ghosts Ride the rafters aloft, I can work it so they wander astray, Unable to find their forms, Unable to find their homes. I know an eleventh: when I lead to battle Old comrades in-arms, I have only to chant it behind my shield, And unwounded they go to war, Unwounded they come from war, Unscathed wherever they are. I know a twelfth: If a tree bear A man hanged in a halter, I can carve and stain strong runes That will cause the corpse to speak, Reply to whatever I ask. I know a thirteenth if I throw a cup Of water over a warrior, He shall not fall in the fiercest battle, Nor sink beneath the sword, I know a fourteenth, that few know: If I tell a troop of warriors About the high ones, elves and gods, I can name them one by one.

(Few can the nit-wit name.) I know a fifteenth, that first Thjodrerir Sang before Dellings doors, Giving power to gods, prowess to elves, Fore-sight to Hroptatyr Odhinn, I know a sixteenth: if I see a girl With whom it would please me to play, I can turn her thoughts, can touch the heart Of any white-armed woman. I know a seventeenth: if I sing it, the young Girl will be slow to forsake me. To learn to sing them, Loddfafnir, Will take you a long time, Though helpful they are if you understand them, Useful if you use them, Needful if you need them. I know an eighteenth that I never tell To maiden or wife of man, A secret I hide from all Except the love who lies in my arms, Or else my own sister. The Wise One has spoken words in the hall, Needful for men to know, Unneedful for trolls to know: Hail to the speaker, Hail to the knower, Joy to him who has understood, Delight to those who have listened.

The Voluspa

Heidi men call me when their homes I visit, A far seeing Volva, wise in talismans. Caster of spells, cunning in magic. To wicked women welcome always. Arm rings and necklaces, Odhinn you gave me To learn my lore, to learn my magic: Wider and wider through all worlds I see. Outside I sat by myself when you came, Terror of the gods, and gazed in my eyes. What do you ask of me? Why tempt me? Odhinn, I know where your eye is concealed, Hidden away in the well of Mimir: Mimir each morning his mead drinks From Valfather's pledge. Well would you know more? Of Heimdal too and his horn I know. Hidden under the holy tree Down on it pours a precious stream from Valfather's pledge Well would you know more? Silence I ask of the sacred folk, Silence of the kith and kin of Heimdal: At your will Valfather, I shall well relate The old songs of men I remember best. I tell of giants from times forgotten. Those who fed me in former days: Nine worlds I can reckon, nine roots of the tree. The wonderful ash, way under the ground When Ymir lived long ago Was no sand or sea, no surging waves. Nowhere was there earth nor heaven above. Bur a grinning gap and grass nowhere.

The sons of Bur then built up the lands. Moulded in magnificence middle-Earth: Sun stared from the south on the stones of their hall, From the ground there sprouted green leeks. Sun turned from the south, sister of Moon, Her right arm rested on the rim of Heaven; She had no inkling where her hall was, Nor Moon a notion of what might he had, The planets knew not where their places were. The high gods gathered in council In their hall of judgement. all the rulers: To Night and to Nightfall their names gave, The Morning they named and the Mid-Day, Mid-Winter, Mid-Summer, for the assigning of years. At Ida's Field the Aesir met: Temple and altar they timbered and raised, Set up a forge to smithy treasures, Tongs they fashioned and tools wrought; Played chess in the court and cheerful were; Gold they lacked not, the gleaming metal Then came three, the Thurs maidens, Rejoicing in their strength, from Giant-home. The high Gods gathered in council. In their hall of judgement: Who of the dwarves Should mould man by master craft From Brimir's blood and Blain' s limbs? Motsognir was their mighty ruler, Greatest of dwarves, and Durin after him : The dwarves did as Durin directed, Many man forms made from the earth. Nyi and Nidi, Nordri, Sudri, Austri and Vestri, Althjof, Dvalin, Bivor, Bavor Bombur, Nori, An and Anar, Ai, Mjodvitnir, Veignr and Gandalf, Vindalf, Thorin, Thror and Thrain, Thekkur,

Litur, Vitur, Nar and Nyradur, Fili, Kili, Fundin, Nali Hefti, Vili, Hanar, Sviur, Billing, Bruni, Bildur, and Buri, Frar, Hornbori Fraegur, Loni, Aurvangur, Jari, Eikinskjaldi: (All Durin's folk I have duly named,) I must tell of the dwarves in Dvalin' s host; Like lions they were in Lofar's time: In Juravale's marsh they made their dwelling, From their Stone hall set out on journeys, There was Draupnir and Dolgthrasir, Har, Haugspori, Hlevangur, Gloi, Dori, Ori, Dufur, Andvari, Skirvir, Virvir Skafidur, Ai, Alf and Yngvi, Eikinskjaldi, Fjalar and Frosti, Finn and Ginnar: Men will remember while men live The long line of Lofar's forbears. Then from the host three came, Great, merciful, from the God's home: Ash and Elm on earth they found, Faint, feeble, with no fate assigned them Breath they had not, nor blood nor senses, Nor language possessed, nor life-hue: Odhinn gave them breath, Haenir senses, Blood and life hue Lothur gave. I know an ash tree, named Yggdrasil: Sparkling showers are shed on its leaves That drip dew, into the dales below, By Urd's well it waves evergreen, Stands over that still pool, Near it a bower whence now there come The Fate Maidens, first Urd, Then Verdandi, the second Skuld ,third of the Norns: scorer of runes, The laws that determine the lives of men They fixed forever and their fate sealed. The first war in the world I well remember, When Gullveig was spitted on spear-points And burned in the hall of. the high god:

Thrice burned, thrice reborn, Often laid low, she lives yet, The gods hastened to their hall of judgement, Sat in council to discover who Had tainted all the air with corruption And Odhinn's maid offered to the giants, At the host Odhinn hurled his spear In the first world-battle; broken was the plankwall Of the gods fortress: the fierce Vanes Caused war to occur in the fields. The gods hastened to their hall of judgement, Sat in council to discover who Had tainted all the air with corruption And Odhinn's maid offered to the giants. One Thorr felled in his fierce rage; Seldom he sits when of such he hears: Oaths were broken, binding vows, Solemn agreements sworn between them. Valkyries I saw, coming from afar, Eagerly riding to aid the Goths; Skuld bore one shield, Skogul another Gunn, Hild, Gondul and Spearskogul: Duly have I named the daughters of Odhinn, The valiant riders the Valkyries. Baldur I saw the bleeding God, His fate still hidden, Odhinn's Son: Tall on the plain a plant grew, A slender marvel, the mistletoe. From that fair shrub, shot by Hodur, Flew the fatal dart that felled the god, But Baldur' s brother was born soon after: Though one night old, Odhinn's Son Took a vow to avenge that death.

His hands he washed not nor his hair combed. Till Baldur's bane was borne to the pyre: Deadly the bow drawn by Vali, The strong string of stretched gut, But Frigga wept in Fensalir For the woe of Valhalla. Well, would you know more? I see one in bonds by the boiling springs; Like Loki he looks, loathsome to view: There Sigyn sits, sad by her husband, In woe by her man. Well would you know more? From the east through Venom Valley runs Over jagged rocks the River Gruesome. North, in Darkdale, stands the dwelling place Of Sindri's kin, covered with gold; A hall also in Everfrost, The banquet hall of Brimir the giant. A third I see, that no sunlight reaches, On Dead Man's Shore: the doors face northward, Through its smoke vent venom drips, Serpent skins enskein that hall. Men wade there tormented by the stream, Vile murderers, men forsworn And artful seducers of other mens wives: Nidhogg sucks blood from the bodies of the dead The wolf rends them. Well, would you know more? In the east dwells a crone, in Ironwood: The brood of Fenris are bred there Wolf-monsters, one of whom Eventually shall devour the sun. The giants watchman, joyful Eggthur Sits on his howe and harps well: The red cock, called All-Knower Boldly crows from Birdwood.

Goldencomb to the gods crows Who wakes the warriors in Valhalla: A soot red hen also calls From Hel's hall, deep under the ground. Loud howls Garm before Gnipahellir, Bursting his fetters, Fenris runs: Further in the future afar I behold The twilight of the gods who gave victory. Brother shall strike brother and both fall, Sisters' sons defiled with incest; Evil be on earth, an age of. whoredom, Of sharp sword-play and shields clashing, A wind-age, a wolf-age till the world ruins: No man to another shall mercy show. The waters are troubled, the waves surge up: Announcing now the knell of Fate, Heimdal winds his horn aloft, On Hel's road all men tremble Yggdrasil trembles, the towering ash Groans in woe; the wolf is loose: Odhinn speaks with the head of Mimir Before he is swallowed by Surt's kin. From the east drives Hrym, lifts up his shield The squamous serpent squirms with rage The great worm with the waves contending The pale-beaked eagle pecks at the dead, Shouting for joy: the ship Naglfar Sails out from the east, at its helm Loki With the children of darkness, the doom-bringers Offspring of monsters, allies of the wolf, All who Byleists's brother follow. What of the gods? What of the elves? Gianthome groans the gods are in council The dwarves grieve before their door of stone,

Masters of walls. Well, would you know more? Surt with the bane of branches comes From the south, on his sword the sun of the Valgods, Crags topple, the crone falls headlong, Men tread Hel's road, the Heavens split open. A further woe falls upon Hlin As Odhinn comes forth to fight the wolf; The killer of Beli battles with Surt: Now shall fall Frigga's beloved. Now valiant comes Valfather's son, Vidar, to vie with Valdyr in battle, Plunges his sword into he son of Hvedrung, Avenging his father with a fell thrust. Now the son of Hlodyn and Odhinn comes To fight with Fenris; fiercest of warriors He mauls in his rage all Middle-Earth; Men in fear all flee their homesteads; Nine paces back steps Bur's son Retreats from the worm of taunts unafraid. Now death is the portion of doomed men, Red with blood the buildings of gods, The sun turns black in the summer after, Winds whine. Well, would know more? Earth sinks in the sea, the sun turns black, Cast down from Heaven are the hot stars, Fumes reek, into flames burst, The sky itself is scorched with fire. I see Earth rising a second time Out of the foam, fair and green; Down from the fells fish to capture, Wings the eagle; waters flow. At lda's Field the Aesir meet: They remember the worm of Middle-Earth,

Ponder again the great twilight And the ancient runes of the high god Boards shall be found of a beauty to wonder at, Boards of gold in the grass long after, The chess boards they owned in the olden days, Unsown acres shall harvests bear, Evil be abolished, Baldur return And Hropt's hall with Hod rebuild, Wise gods. Well, would you know more? Haenir shall wield the wand of prophecy, The sons two brothers set up their dwelling In wide Windhome. Well, would you know more? Fairer than sunlight, I see a hall A hall thatched with gold in Gimle: Kind Lords shall live there in delight for ever. Now rides the Strong One to Rainbow Door, Powerful from heaven, the All-Ruler: From the depths below a drake comes flying The dark dragon from Darkfell, Bears on his pinions the bodies of men, Soars overhead I sink now. (W H Auden & P B Taylor Translation)

Runic Era Calendar


This Asatru Calendar has been prepared to aid members of the Asatru Faith properly schedule Feast Days and days of mandatory ritual observance. Some Feast Days may be observed on the nearest Saturday to the actual observance. However, the High Feast days of Ostara, Midyear, Winter Finding, and Yule must be observed on the listed dates because of their solar significance. NOTE: This is year 2010 CE

Snowmoon 3, Charming of the Plow: This is the date of an agricultural ritual performed in Northern Europe from ancient times. Grains and cakes were offered for the soils fertility, and the Sky Father and Earth Mother were invoked to that end. Meditate upon your dependence on the soil, and crumble upon the earth a piece of bread as you call upon Odin, Frigga and the Land Spirits to heal the Earth and keep it from harm. Snowmoon 9, Day of Remembrance for Raud the Strong: Raud was a landowner in Norway who was put to death by (St.) Olaf Tryggvason for his loyalty to Asatru by having a snake forced down his throat. Rauds lands were then confiscated in the name of the king and his monks. Raise a horn in honor of Raud and all of his kinsmen who gave their lives, rather than submit to the enforced love of the kristjan empire. Snowmoon 14, Thorrablot: This holiday began the Old Norse month of Snorri. It is still observed in Iceland with parties and a mid-winter feast. It is of course sacred to Thorr and the ancient Icelandic Winter Spirit of Thorri. On this day we should perform blot to Thorr and invite the mighty Asaman to the feast.


Horning 2, Barri: This is the day we celebrate the wooing by Ingvi Freyr of the maiden Gerd, a symbolic marriage of the Vanir God of Fertility with the Mother Earth. It is a festival of fertility, the planted seed and the plowed furrow. For those of you who garden, this is the time to plant seeds indoors, to later be transplanted in the summer garden. Horning 9, Day of Remembrance for Eyvind Kinnrifi: Olaf tortured him to death by placing a bowl of red-hot embers on his stomach until his body burst open. Eyvinds crime was a steadfast loyalty to the Old Gods. A good day to reflect on kristjan kindness. Horning 14, Feast of Vali: This feast originally celebrated the death of Hothr at the hands of Vali. This late winter festival relates to the triumphant return of the light of the sun over the dark days of winter. Today it is traditional celebration of the family. A time for the customary exchange of cards and gifts with loved ones. It is also a time for the renewal of marriage vows and an occasion for marriages.

Lenting 9, Day of Remembrance for Oliver the Martyr: He was an adherent of Asatru who persisted in organizing underground sacrifices to the Gods and Goddesses despite decrees by St Olaf the Lawbreaker forbidding such activities. Betrayed by an informer, he was killed by Olafs men while preparing for the Spring sacrifice in the village of Maerin Norway. Many other men whose names are lost to us were also killed, mutilated, or exiled for taking part in such sacrifices. Lenting 20,

High Feast of Ostara: This is the Spring Equinox. The end of Winter and the beginning of the season of rebirth. Today we honor Frigga, Freya and Nerthus with blot and feast. Pour a libation of mead onto the Earth; celebrate the rebirth of nature, Asatru, and the new hopes of our Folk. Lenting 28, Ragnar Lodbrok Day: Ragnar was one of the legends most famous Vikings. On this day in Runic Year 1145 he raided Paris. It just happened to be Easter Sunday. Today toast Ragnar and read from his Saga.

Ostara 9, Day of Remembrance for Jarl Hakon of Norway: As ruler of the western part of the realm, Hakon restored the worship of the Old Gods and cast out the alien religion. In the process, the common folk regained political liberties which were erased under the kristjan yoke, and the flame of our Troth burned brighter in an era of gathering gloom. It may be that Hakons defense of our ancestral ways helped encourage the survival of our traditions in Iceland, where they eventually became the seeds of modern day Asatru. On this day reflect on how the actions of the individual can impact world events and the future of Odinns Nation. Ostara 15, Sigrblot/Sumarsdag: Today we celebrate the first day of Summer in the Old Icelandic calendar. In Iceland it had strong agricultural overtones, but elsewhere in the Nordic world, it was a time to sacrifice to Odinn for victory in the summer voyages and battles. Ostara 22, Yggdrasil Day: On this day we realize the great significance that the World Tree plays in our culture, heritage, and native spirituality. It is from the World Tree that we came, and it shelters and nurtures the Asatru today, and will offer refuge to the Folk come Ragnarok. Trees are the lungs as well as the soul of Midgard. Plant a tree today, nurture it, and protect it. In this act the Folk must abide.

Ostara 30, Walburg: this is better known as Walpurgisnacht or May Eve. Walberg is a goddess of our folk combining some of the traits of Her better-known peers. Reflect on this day on Freya, Hel, and Frigga as the repository of the glorious dead, and you will have an idea of Wulburgs nature. On this day pour a horn of mead upon the earth in memory of our heroes.

Merrymoon 1, May Day: The first of May is a time of great celebration all across Europe, as the fields get greener and the flowers decorate the landscape with colorful confusion. Freya turns her kindly face to us after the night of Walburg. Celebrate the birth of Spring and the gifts of Freya on this day. Merrymoon 9, Day of Remembrance for Guthroth: One of the upland minor kings. Guthroth had to the audacity to make a speech opposing the policies of Olaf Tryggvason, who at the time was busy killing people who did not want to become kristjans. For exercising his Gods given rights to worship his tribal Gods, Guthroth was captured and his tongue was cut out. Use your tongue for the Gods today! Sing their praises and recite some heroic poetry, tell someone of the Gods glory, and call a kinsman to keep in touch. Merrymoon 20, Frigga Blot: Today we rejoice in the warmth and splendor of Spring. A traditional time for a Kindred campout, perform blot to honor the AllMother and thank Her for the health and vitality of the Family, Kindred and Tribe.

Midyear 8, Lindisfarne Day: On this day in the year 1043 Runic Era (793

CE) three Viking ships raided the Isle of Lindisfarne, officially opening what is the Viking Age. Toast these brave warriors who began the noble resistance of the alien invasion of the Northlands and sought rightful revenge for the slaughter of the Saxons by Charlamange. Midyear 9, Day of Remembrance for Sigurd the Volsung: He is the model Germanic hero. His wooing of the Valkyrie Brynhild, the winning of the treasure of the Nibelungs, and the constant theme of Odinic initiation that weaves itself throughout his story are priceless parts of our Asatru heritage, that provide endless material for contemplation and inspiration for action. Midyear 19, Asatru Alliance Founding Day: On this date 2238 R.E. seven Kindreds of the former Asatru Free Assembly joined together by ratifying a set of By Laws to preserve and continue to promote the cause of the AFA and Asatru in Vinland. On this day reflect on just what YOU can do to preserve our Folk Ways. Midyear 21, Midsummer: This is the longest day and the shortest night of the year: Now Sunna begins its ling decline, sliding into the darkness which will culminate six months from now at Yule. Identifying the sun with the brightness of Baldur, we celebrate in honor of both. Hold blot to Baldur and High Feast. This was the traditional time for holding the AlThing in ancient times.

Haymoon 4, Founders Day: On this day we honor the unselfish personal sacrifice and unswerving dedication to our Folk exemplified by the founders of modern era Asatru, H. Rud Mills of Australia, Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson and Thorsteinn Guthjonson of Iceland. On this day reflect on just what YOU can do to promote the growth of our ancestral religion and protect our sacred heritage and traditions.

Haymoon 9, Day of Remembrance for Unn the Deep Minded: Unn was a powerful figure from the Laxdaela Saga who emigrated to Scotland to avoid the hostility of King Harald Finehair. She established dynasties in the Orkney and Faroe Islands by carefully marrying off her granddaughters. As a settler in Iceland she continued to exhibit all those traits which were her hallmarkstrong will, a determination to control, dignity, and a noble character. In the last days of her life, she established a mighty line choosing one of her grandsons as her heir. She died during his wedding celebration, presumable accomplishing her goals and worked out her orlog here in Midgard. She received a typical Nordic ship burial, surrounded by her treasure and her reputation for great deeds. Haymoon 29, Stikklestad Day: Olaf the Lawbreaker (St. Olaf) was killed at the battle of Stikklestad on this date in the year 1280 R.E. Olaf acquired a reputation for killing, maiming, and exiling his fellow Norwegians who would not convert to Christianity, and for carrying an army with him in violation of the law to help him accomplish his oppression. Today honor the Asatru martyrs who died rather then submit to gray slavery. Also honor the warriors who brought justice to the Lawbreaker.

Harvest 9, Day of Remembrance for Radbod: On this date we honor Radbod a king of Frisia what was an early target kristjan missionaries. Just before his baptism ceremony, he asked the clergy what fate his befallen ancestors who died loyal to Asatru. The missionaries replied that Radbods Heathen ancestors were burning in Hell-to which the king replied: Then I will rather live there with my ancestors than go to heaven with a parcel of beggars. The baptism was cancelled, the aliens expelled, and Frisia remained free. Drink a horn this day in memory of Radbod. Harvest 19, Freyfaxi: Freyfaxi marked the time of the harvest in ancient

Iceland. Today the Asatru observe this date as a celebration of their harvest with blot to Freyr and a grand Feast from the gardens and the fields.

Shedding 9, Day of Remembrance for Herman of the Cherusci: Few mortals have privileged to serve our Folk as did Herman, a leader of the tribe called the Cherusci. We he defeated Varus three Roman Legions in 9 C.E. he blocked our amalgamation into the Mediterranean morass. Herman was very aware of his duties not only as a member of his tribe but also as an Asaman - indeed the two were probably inseparable with him. Shedding is the ideal time to give him praise, because the crucial battle for which he is remembered was fought during this month. Shedding 23, Winter Finding: The Fall Equinox; Summer and Winter balance for a moment and the cold, old man wins - for now. Brace yourself for longer nights and the onset, eventually, of the cold and darkness of Winter. Do blot to Odin for inspiration to get through your personal lean times, whenever they may strike. This is the traditional time for Fall Fest and the Second Harvest Feast.

Hunting 8, Day of Remembrance for Erik the Red: Praise the stalwart founder of Greenland, and father of Leif, the founder of Vinland. Erik remained loyal to Thor even when his wife left the Gods and refused to sleep with her Heathen husband. Pause in memory of Erik today; drink a toast to his honor. No doubt he gets enough warmth in Hars Hall to make up for his wifes coldness. Hunting 9, Day of Remembrance for Leif Erikson: this is a day that even the U.S. Government admits who should dedicate to the man who

beat Columbus to the shores of Vinland by over 500 years. Dont let it slide quietly - write your local newspapers and share the word of the Norse colonies with neighbors and friends. Hunting 14, Winter Nights/Vetrablot: In the Old Icelandic Calendar, winter begins on the Satyrday between Hunting 11th and 17th. Winter Nights celebrates the bounty of the harvest and honors Freya and the fertility and protective spirits called Disir, that She leads (often the Disir are seen as our female ancestors). Give glory to Freya and pour a libation of ale, milk, or mead into the soil an offering to the Disir and the Earth itself.

Fogmoon 9, Day of Remembrance for Queen Sigrith of Sweden: When Olaf the Lawbreaker had been king of Norway for three years, he asked Queen Sigrith of Sweden to marry him. She agreed, but when he insisted that she give up her ancestral Gods Sigrith replied, I do not mean to abandon the faith I have led, and my kinsmen before me. Nor shall I object to your belief in the god you prefer. As usual Heathen tolerance was met with kristjan imprecations and a blow to the face. The wedding was off depriving Olaf of political power that could have sped the christianization of Scandinavia. As it were, history tells us that the Heathens held on for over 300 more years in the Northlands. Hail Sigrith, defender of Asatru, and women of stubborn virtue! Fogmoon 11, Feast of the Einherjar: The chosen heroes who sit in Odins Hall are the Einherjar. Today we honor those dead kin who gave their lives for Family and Folk. If you have friends or family who died in battle, visit their graves today, if that is not possible, drink a libation in their memory. Fogmoon 23, Feast of Ullr: The Feast of Ullr is to celebrate the Hunt and to gain personal luck needed for success. Weapons are dedicated on this day to Ullr, God of the Bow. If your hunting arms were

blessed by the luck of the God of the Hunt, your family and tribe shared the bounty with a Blot and Feast to Ullr.

Yule 9, Day of Remembrance for Egil Skallagrimsson: Odin was his God, and the blood of berserks and shape-shifters ran in his family. His lust for gold and for fames was insatiable. Yet the same man was passionately moved by the love of his friends and generously opened handed to those who found his favor. The same brain that seethed with war-fury also composed skaldic poetry capable of calming angry kings. Can it be by accident that Egil worshipped Odin, the great solver of paradoxes and riddles? Indeed all Asafolk - but especially those who follow the oneeyed God of battle and magic - can learn much from the life of this amazing man. Yule 21, Mother Night: As the night before the Winter Solstice, this is the time when the New Year is born. We honor the beginning of Sunnas return and the breaking of Winters spell. This is a time to honor Thor and Freyr, celebrate by Blot, Sumbel, and High Feast. Burn a Yule Log and jump the flames for luck and purification. Yule 22, High Feast of Yule - Beginning of Runic Year - Sacred to Thorr and Freyr Yule 31, Twelfth Night: This culminates the traditional twelve days of Yule. Each day of which is a month of the preceding year in miniature. Reflect on the past year. Take stock and lay a course for the future. Make New Years resolutions in the old way by swearing your oath on Freyrs boar or on your Hammer. This Runic Era Calendar is made available to the Asatru Community by The Asatru Alliance of Independent Kindreds Post Office Box 961, Payson, AZ 85547 USA / Vinland

YULE(O.N.Jl) TheReasonfortheSeason!

Yule begins on Mother Night, (about Dec. 20) the night before the shortest day and the longest night (winter solstices). We honor the beginning of the Sun's return and the breaking of Winter, (which is most noticeable in five days) and is celebrated over a twelve day period. We know there will be no Fimbulwinter which proceeds Ragnarok. It is a time of the year when our deceased Ancestors are closest to us; this is when the dead (draugar) are more active than any other time. Yule is when Jlnir another name for Odinn leads the procession of the Wild Hunt through the sky's with sprits of humans, horses and dogs. This procession occurs during all twelve days of Yule. It is a time for great feasting, honoring Thorr for driving back the frost etins, Frey to give us prosperity in the coming year, Odinn as leader of the Wild Hunt, and of course our Ancestors. Jlablt, have a Yule party with family and kindred. Decorate a tree with sunwheels and light a Yule Log. The Yule Tree is the symbol of our cosmology; its the Great tree Yggdrasil. From the Voluspa;

"Yggdrasil its name.

With water white is the Great Tree wet;

Thence come the dews

that fall in the dales.

Green by Urths well

does it ever grow."

And so the evergreen tree is the most appropriate, to remind us of the eternity of Yggdrasil, as it lasts throughout winter Ever Green.

The burning of a Yule Log is an ancient ritual; our ancestors kindled a huge oak log in honor of Thorr. Today we burn a smaller log during the Yule Season. When lighting the new Yule Log it should be with the charred remains of the previous year's log, which is, keep to guard the house against lightning and fire.

Twelfth Night (about Jan. 1) culminates the traditional twelve days of Yule. Our Ancestors at this time consecrated a boar to Frey, led it out so everyone present could lay their hand on the boar and swear a solemn Oath. This was to honor Frey for prosperity. Oaths sworn on the Oath-Boar are very binding during this time, than any other time of the year. Make a New Year's resolution in the old way by swearing your oath on Frey's boar or on your hammer. The Yule is no exception when it comes to Christian plagiarism of other cultures Holidays. There is no doubt that the Yule Tree, Yule Log, the Singing and exchanging of Gifts are from our Northern Culture.

The Asatru Kindred


The Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines Kindred as: A group of related individuals; Of a similar nature and character; Of the same ancestry. I would agree with that definition, but it is only partly true. The Asatru Kindred is the foundation for the new Asatru Nation, and as such, is the testing ground for the new tribes of our Folk. In the near future, the Kindred will prove to be the living entity that will survive the onslaught of Ragnarok. In ancient times, our people survived as an extended family. As populations grew, these extended families joined together to form tribes. This tribe was, in essence, a group of extended families. Over the years they developed their own unique traits, value systems, heritage, traditions, religion, and other vital characteristics. As time wore on, and the people grew larger in numbers, these tribes joined with others of similar character and formed Nations. Again, this method served the people for many years. During the late Viking Age, and with the coming of Christianity, things changed. The Christian Church was only able to assert its authority over the people by either bribing certain leaders of the Nations with promises of unlimited power and authority with the promise of Kingship, or they obtained the same ends with the use of force and treachery. So, one by one, the Nations submitted to absolute control of the Church through the clever manipulation of Kings. To further assert this absolute control over the people, countries were formed. These were nothing more than geographical areas defined by lines on a map. They were, in effect, the geographical areas where the new Kings could wield absolute control. Any farther than that was claimed by a neighboring Kingdom. Over time, this led to the formation of towns and cities of such size that large numbers of people were needed just to serve the infrastructure of the Kingdoms. People left the ancestral farmlands to live in the cities and serve the Kings and their armies. Once the Folk lost their natural bond with the land, they

lost their souls, and the power and influence of the Kings and the Church was absolute. The ties which bound the tribes together common ancestry, religion, heritage and social structures were meaningless in the towns and cities. All that mattered is that you swore allegiance to the King and the country which he led. It goes without saying, that the great fratricidal wars of Europe and America could not have been fought without this artificial form of political control wielded by the Church and State. Today, as Asatru asserts itself, we must learn from the lessons of the past. And to regain our freedoms, we must work hard to rebuild our ancestral tribes. The Kindred is vital to our success and survival as an indigenous people. Sadly enough, although Asatru at this time is experiencing tremendous growth, many who return to their ancestral religion don't wish to join or found Kindreds. They prefer to worship the Holy Aesir and Vanir alone, or occasionally with a few others of like mind. They do not want to be bothered with commitments, or they do not want anyone depending on them, or they just do not have time for working with others. This article is not for them. This article is for those who are endowed with the spirit of Tyr and are willing to devote their lives to building the Nation of Asatru and serving the Folk. Sacrifice is what makes you an Asatruar, not convenience. If you are willing to devote your life and all that that entails to this sacred cause, then read on.

The first Kindreds were formed in Vinland in the early 70's. The Asatru Free Assembly strived to found Kindreds at this time, and while the Odinist Fellowship did not, members of the Fellowship formed Kindreds all the same. There were also a few independent Kindreds that were already in existence at this time and some of them later joined both the AFA and the OF. When both of these pioneering groups disbanded, it was the Kindreds of these former groups that vowed to learn from the lessons of the past and form the Asatru Alliance. The number one lesson to

be learned is that national organizations are certainly necessary and do much to promote the growth of our religion, but they are subject to failure and disbandment. All the while, the Kindreds survive! Of the many Kindreds that were formed in the late 60's and 70's only two survive: Arizona Kindred and Wulfing Kindred. Although it is estimated that there are about 100 Kindreds in Vinland today, how many of THESE will be around in a few short years? Only those with an iron will, boundless courage, and clear and level head will survive and prosper.

If you think that you have all the qualities of leadership and determination that are required of the Gothar, if you are willing to promote Asatru, the worship of the Holy Aesir and Vanir, and the right to self determination of our Folk... then I would encourage you to start that Kindred. The first place that I would look for members would be your own family and extended family. This is how many Kindreds are formed today in Vinland. You certainly meet all of the criteria as defined by Webster, and thus have the greatest chance of success. Your family also has friends who may be interested in joining the Kindred. You are fortunate today that the Asatru Alliance promotes the founding and growth of Kindreds, and that through the pages of our publication, Vor Tru, we reach many of the Folk. Over the past 8 years of the Alliance, we have brought many a reader seeking Kindred association in touch with those founding Kindreds and seeking members. As the Asatru Community grows, and the influence and distribution of Vor Tru increases, more and more people are both deciding to form new Kindreds, and to take the rightful place in the Community. The most important advice that I could give anyone wishing to form a Kindred, is to choose your members carefully. It takes a tremendous amount of effort on your behalf, and you need people who have a positive attitude.

You will need people whom you can trust and depend on. People with negative attitudes only draw strength and vitality from you. They will sap your spiritual and physical strength, and you will fail in your purpose of forming a group of self-supportive people dedicated to making the Kindred succeed. You must have members who you feel comfortable around and whom you can trust explicitly at Kindred gatherings and events. If some oddball or loose-canon type comes around, politely show them the door. You and your family, and the women and children of your group, should at all times feel safe and comfortable. If you have to spend all of your time worrying about so-and-so running amok, your Kindred will fail. Follow your instincts the AllFather gave them to you for just such reasons. At first, it is more important to have a small, loyal, tightly knit group, than a large group with no cohesive purpose or goal. It is much easier to focus on your Kindred development with four or five individuals committed to making the Kindred work, than twenty people with twenty different ideas on what they think the Kindred should be. Once your group has established itself, and has developed a Kindred philosophy and a system of gatherings that works, then open up the Kindred to new membership a little at a time. Over the years, I have seen one Kindred after the other explode onto the scene with a fast growing membership, lots of plans and boundless energy, only to see them fail. The Kindred leader, for one reason or another, didn't have a cohesive plan that worked. Or the leader was inconsistent with Kindred focus and goals, and kept changing the direction of the Kindred. For instance, he changes the name of the Kindred several times a year, one moment he is Asatru, the next Vanatru... or Odinn is his mentor today, and it is Thorr tomorrow. Indecisiveness, confusion, and just plain stupidity, will lead to failure. It is very important for the Kindred leader to be consistent and open in his plans for the group. Next, one should always lead by example. As the founder and leader of a Kindred, people will look to you for guidance. Live true always be honest and honorable in your dealings with the

Folk. You are a role model, and you must never forget it. Learn to cultivate leadership traits in the members of your Kindred. Encourage people to take an active role during Kindred activities and planning. If someone has an idea and the ability to follow through with it, be supportive and helpful. As your Kindred grows, there will be plenty of work to go around.

It is vital for the healthy growth and development of the Kindred to have regular gatherings. The more frequent the gatherings, the better. I would encourage those who can to meet once a week. If that is not possible, try to get the Kindred together as often as possible. The Arizona Kindred meets every Wodensday. Now I realize that we have members in several states, and even within the state, some of us are separated by hundreds of miles. Some of us though only live a few miles from each other, so we meet once a week. We also have the seasonal Blots as well as other important gatherings throughout the year. We expect our members to attend all the gatherings that they can, with at least one a year being mandatory. We have always expected our members to be self reliant, and one way to promote this is to have regular camp outs. In the Winter we camp in the desert, and in the Summer months we camp in the mountains. We encourage our members to procure suitable camping equipment, and to learn campcraft. Of course, for those new to camping in the great outdoors, we always have enough gear to share. If at all possible, schedule several camping trips a year. The Arizona Kindred meets this way about six times per year. At our camp outs, we follow a usual routine. Those who can, arrive Friday afternoon to secure a campsite and to generally set up the camp. We usually have an informal meal that evening and just kick back and enjoy each others' company around the fire. On Saturday morning we usually have some type of group activity. This could be going for a hike, a trip down to the

swimming hole, or perhaps a firewood scrounging expedition. Sometimes we will have a seminar and discuss an important topic. By mid afternoon, we prepare for the Blot. Following the Blot, we have a formal Feast. This is usually a pot luck dinner, with everyone bringing something to share with the Kindred. The Kindred usually supplies the meat for the cookout, and has a campstove available for those who need to cook their offering to the Feast. In the evening at dusk, we hold the Sumbel. We encourage our members to brew their own mead and bring it to share at the Sumbel. Following the Sumbel, we usually stay around the campfire and just enjoy each others' company. On Sunnasday morning, as Gothi, I cook breakfast for the Kindred. This usually consists of hearty Spam sandwiches and berserker coffee. I have been known to cook breakfast for 30 people or more. After breakfast, the whole Kindred should be engaged in cleaning the grounds, and as a last gesture, we make an offering to the Land Spirits. This sequence of events works well for the Kindred, and people learn to work with the schedule. Again, consistency is the key to successful outings. At our weekly gatherings, being limited to a couple of hours at a time, we usually spend the first half hour or so just talking about our week, and sharing any news or ideas with the Kindred. Then we have an ongoing project that we work on. We have for the past year been studying the Runes. At first we concentrated on the basics, learning how to pronounce them, write them, know them, and later we carved them. We each made our own Gandr. Then as our knowledge progressed, we made our own Runes and started to cast them. At the same time, we read and studied the Rune Poems of the Eddas. Always working together as a group to learn all that we possibly can about the Runes. This work continues today. We also have studied the Havamal, and continue to do so. We are now comparing various translations of the old Lays to learn even more. Lately we have started to study Old Norse for liturgical reasons and for everyday conversation. This is a work in progress. Future plans are for brewing classes, wood carving, organic

gardening, home disaster preparedness, and what ever else we decide to learn and to share with each other. Although all of this takes time, we look at this as all in a life's work. We will continue to meet and study as long as we draw breath. This should give you some idea of Kindred activities. Remember the importance of meeting often, and having interesting activities for the Kindred to share.

Sooner or later, there will be the need for the Kindred leader to share the responsibility and workload of managing the Kindred with others. Early on one finds that the many tasks necessary to produce a successful Kindred gathering are just too much for one person to handle. You should not be shy about asking for help from the members of the Kindred. In fact, many are looking for ways that they can help all you need do is ask. I know some Kindreds who are very fortunate to have members quite willing to act as chairmen of the various committees necessary for successful Kindred management and functions. Another important step for the Kindred as it grows, is to decide to incorporate in their state as a non-profit church, and eventually apply to the IRS for 501 (c) non-profit status. This will require for the membership of the Kindred to elect three officers to serve on the Board of Directors of the corporation. The requirements for incorporation vary from one state to the next, but basically the steps are: elect a president, vice-president, and secretary/treasurer and draw up a Constitution for the church/Kindred, and a set of By Laws. Other states may require credentials from the "National Church" granting so-and-so Kindred official recognition. This of course can be handled by the office of the Secretary/Treasurer of the Asatru Alliance. A simple request to the Secretary is all that is necessary to grant credentials. Some states require that the Constitution, By Laws, and Articles of Incorporation be published in the legal ad section of a newspaper. Of course this takes money. When the Arizona

Kindred incorporated ten years ago in Arizona, it cost us about $650.00 for all the fees, which included publishing our incorporation papers in the local newspaper three times. Then there are the incorporation fees themselves, which can run anywhere from $75.00 to $150.00 for non-profits, and some may have to seek legal help as well. So, it is obvious that this will take a major commitment from the Kindred, but those Kindred leaders out there who recognize the great importance of legitimizing Asatru know that it is worth the effort. Once this is accomplished, and when your Kindred is serious about obtaining money and property, then it is time to file with the IRS for your non-profit status. You will find when you first go down to your local bank and want to open a checking account for the Kindred, that the bank will require you to supply them with what they call an EIN number. This is an Employer's Identification Number. It is the equivalent of a Social Security number, except for an organization. This of course allows the IRS to keep complete tabs on all people and organizations that use banking services. It is very important for the IRS to keep their super computers busy compiling data bases on everyone and everything. Now, there is a gray area in the way that the IRS looks at nonprofit churches. If your Kindred is only taking in and paying out a couple of thousand dollars a year, they do not pay much attention to you and leave you completely alone. It is when you reach the level where you are taking in over $5,000 per year that you must look for the 501 (C) status. Of course your Kindred may cruise along forever and not take in very much money, but what if you decided to acquire property, build a Hof or activity center? What if someone passes over the Bifrost Bridge and leaves the Kindred a nice sum in their Will? Or maybe a rich philanthropist comes along and likes what you are doing and donates $100,000 to the Kindred, then what are you going to do? Well, if you are not incorporated and have not received your EIN number, you can not accept the donation without having to pay taxes on it. And the person making the donation can't use it as a tax deduction. So, chances are, that they may go elsewhere to relieve themselves of their money or property. If your Kindred has completed the first two steps of incorporation and obtaining

an EIN number, you could probably accept a large donation, but would be required by the IRS to immediately request for 501 (c) recognition. So what is required of the Kindred to obtain 501 (c) status? First of all, the IRS requires for you to pay them $500 for the filing fee. You then have to meet their criteria of just what a church is. You also have to provide them with some type of Financial Report of just what kind of money the Kindred holds, where it came from, and where it went, so they can again see if it fits their criteria as a church. It's really not as hard to do all of this as it may sound. Other Kindreds have already completed all three steps, and they would be glad to advise anyone who is seeking information on how to proceed. I must stress at this time, that the structure of the Asatru Alliance is nothing more than a confederation of independent Kindreds. The Alliance is not an organization. We do not have a Board of Directors, a membership list, or do we charge dues. So the Alliance itself is not incorporated. The true strength of the Alliance lies in the number of Kindreds that it has who have accomplished the three steps of legitimacy outlined above. Of course we stress this point in our By Laws where we urge Kindreds to incorporate.(Editorial note since the writing of this article the Asatru Alliance has become a 501(c) 3 corporation). Asatru is poised on the threshold of tremendous growth. The infrastructure for the future must be in place first. I urge all Kindreds to proceed with the three steps as soon as they are able.

Whereas the Asatru Alliance is not a mail order church, there are no provisions for individual membership in the Alliance. To be a member of the Alliance, you must belong to an official Alliance Kindred, that is, a Kindred that has met all criteria for membership in the Alliance and has petitioned the Thing for full membership, and has been accepted by an official vote of the Thing.

The Alliance has provisions for people who are trying to form Kindreds. You need to write the secretary/treasurer of the Alliance and outline your request to form a Formational Kindred with the Alliance. In this letter you must declare that you will uphold the By Laws of the Alliance, and make an honest effort to respond to all inquires that you may receive of people wishi ng to make contact with you for possible Kindred membership. That does not imply that you have to accept any or all of the people who contact you, it just means that you at least have the courtesy to respond to their request for information. Your Kindred will then be listed in the Kindred Listings of the Alliance in the Formational Kindred section. This allows our many Vor Tru readers to seek out a Kindred in their area for possible membership. When you eventually are ready for Official Kindred status, you then send your delegate with membership petition to the AlThing. I might add at this point that it is very important to have a permanent and secure mailing address. I do not advise using your home address, but rather a Post Office box, for security reasons. You do not want some psyched out Jesus Freak paying you a midnight visit to vandalize or terrorize you. The worst that they can do to your Post Office box is to scratch your numbers off, or write you a hate letter. It is also important that this be a permanent address, for it is very confusing for everyone when a Kindred changes its address. As the Asatru Community grows, and it is at a rapid rate, the Folk will look to the Kindreds to provide them with a place to be with people of like mind and purpose; a place for spiritual growth, and a place to share common social values. It is up to us to prepare for the future by promoting the formation and growth of healthy and vibrant Kindreds, and thus secure a future for our children on Midgard.

Preamble to the By-Laws of the Asatru Alliance

The Asatru Alliance promotes the native culture of the Northern European peoples. However, we do not practice, preach, or promote hatred, bigotry, or racism. We believe that Northern Europeans can believe and promote their own culture and heritage in a positive manner, this is expressed through our native religion. Asatru. We do not promote or condone activities of the left or right within our religion , any manifestations of political activity is outlawed by the By Laws of the Asatru Alliance. Simply speaking, we have banded to actively promote the ancient culture and religion of Asatru, as practiced by our ancient Northern Eoropean Ancestors, that, and nothing more.

By-Laws of the Asatru Alliance


1. Asatru is the ethnic religion of the Northern European peoples.

2. The Asatru Alliance is a free association of Independent kindreds seeking to preserve and protect the ancient faith of our ancestors.

3. The Alliance is organized along democratic lines . permitting the full expression of our religious opinions, opting for the preservation and sanctity of our Asatru Faith.

4. The Alliance is apolitical; it is not a front for, nor shall it promote any political views of the 'Right' or 'Left'. Our Sacred

temples, groves and Moots shall remain free of any political manifestations.

5. The Alliance does not espouse a priest class. Each kindred is free to determine its own spiritual and tribal needs.

6. The Alliance will promote the growth of Asatru through the sponsoring of national and regional Things and Moots. We will also publish books, magazines, and newsletters, as needed to achieve our goals.

7. A Thing Speaker will be chosen for Allthing by the host kindred. The Thing speaker may convene the Thing as needed. Althing Delegates of record shall serve as a standing legislative body with full authority of the Thing, until the commencement of the next Althing. The Thing Speaker or any delegate of record can call for a caucus of delegates for suitable cause.

8. The Thing has absolute authority in dealing with by laws or other issues of The Asatru Alliance.

1. The Alliance will promote the establishment and growth of kindreds.

2. The Alliance will not interfere with the functions of kindreds unless petitioned by a majority of members of said kindred for aid.

3. Kindreds are free to apply for membership to the Alliance, or leave the Alliance, as voted upon by a majority of the subject kindred membership.

4. A kindred shall consist of at least three members and meet on a regular basis.

5. Alliance kindreds are strongly urged to incorporate or be chartered by a legally incorporated Alliance kindred.

6. Each kindred is expected to send at least one delegate to the Althing each year. No attendance, no vote. Kindreds may address the Thing by proxy.

7. Any kindred can be removed for cause from the Alliance by the majority vote of Thing delegates after a fair hearing.

1. Any member of an Alliance kindred is a member of the Alliance.

2. Any person wishing to join the Alliance can only do so by joining a kindred of the Alliance.

3. Three or more individuals of the Asatru Community can band together and form a kindred, and apply to the Alliance for membership. They must send a representative to the Thing with a formal petition for membership. This petition will be studied and voted upon at the next or a future Althing.

1. These By-Laws are to be approved or amended at each Althing.

Official Kindreds of the Asatru Alliance.

Arizona Kindred Of Asatru Post Office Box 961 Payson, AZ. 85547 valgard@asatru.org Blood Eagle Kindred Post Office Box 15084 Riverside, RI. 02915, www.bloodeaglekindred.org info@bloodeaglekindred.org Calasa Kindred Post Office Box 445 Nevada City, CA 95073 afa@lanset.com Draupnir Kindred Post Office Box 389 Glendale, OR 97442 odinspring@gmail.com Eagle Kindred of Idaho Post Office Box 744 Eagle, ID 83616 www.eaglekindred.org rstewartid@earthlink.net Gladheim Kindred Post Office Box 961 Payson,AZ 85547 Great Bear Kindred Of The Old Northwest Beavercreek, OH 45432 treeman_tim@netzero.net HofBrau Kindred Indiana www.hofbraukindredindiana.com Grimsteinr@aol.com

Raven Kindred Inc. Redondo Beach, CA 90278 www.asatru.org/RavenKindred wolf@asatru.org The Oklahoma Great Plains Kindred Edmund, Oklahoma agrooms@cox.net The Nine Kindred Gilbert, AZ www.9kindred.org gpsdc@aol.com The Nine Kindred of Colorado Fort Collins, CO ninekindredco@hotmail.com Tribe Gungnir Kindred Nebraska Ulfheim Kindred 300 Sherman Peak Dr. Bakersfield , CA 93308 Wanderer Kindred Mesa, AZ. www.wandererkindred.org dani12@cox.net Wolf Binder Kindred Delaware mzebrowski2@verizon.net

Probational Kindreds

Barenkreiger Kindred Mechanicstown, OH 44651

God's Hof Kindred Indiana Ladder Kindred C/O Tim Aldrich Georgia TimothyAldrich@netzero.net Sachrimnir Kindred Alabama Helge Ve Kindred Bouse, Arizona Varangian Kindred Milwaulkee, WI weyland@varangiankindred.org

Formational Kindreds

Anselm Vitki Kindred P.O. Box 343 Arlington, TX. 76004 Herthstead Kindred Canton, OH mysticmountainash@yahoo.com Jotun Farbjothr Kindred Philadelphia, PA chicaleski@gmail.com Nine Gates Kindred Bonnera Ferry, ID 82805 wolfage@cwo.com Runehof Kindred Lino Lakes, MN

steelfoot@comcast.net Rune Hammer Kindred Ocala, FL oakthorgeir70@yahoo.com Southeast Kindred Jacksonville, FL SouthEastKindred@gmail.com Wolfmoon Kindred N7646 US HWY N12 Elkhorn, WI 53121 info@wolfmoonkindred.org Wolf Pack Kindred C/O Ronald Van Hook Nampa, ID 83686 Wolves Den Kindred Amarillo, TX odihnwolf@live.com

Updated by the Asatru Alliance as of - 02.28.2260