from The Voice: May 2013

Mother of All Moots – For Those Who Missed It!
by Steve McNallen

In short, the Moot was fantastically successful!

The Asatru Folk Assembly was already pushing beyond the boundaries by having not just one, but two major, well-attended annual events – one in California, and another in Pennsylvania. And then, at MoM, we announced that our Danish members were sponsoring the first-ever AFA conference in Europe. This is unprecedented in modern Asatru!

The Danish news was one of many signs that the AFA is breaking new ground. Other indicators: A joint statement by Ed red Thorsson and Steve McNallen made it official that the Asatru Folk Assembly has purchased rights to a number of Edred’s important works which had become unavailable with the demise of Runa-Raven Press. More significant publishing projects are also underway, with details to follow. 

student Carrie Overton stepped forward into Daniel Updike’s shoes on short notice to give blot to Frigga, when Daniel’s journey was interrupted by illness. Pat Ha// led us in a moving rite of healing for Daniel’s wife (which certainly seems to have been effective). Folkbuilders renewed their oaths while standing in front of a huge new hand-stitched AFA banner that dominated the ritual area. At the end of MoM, Clergy student Bryan Wilton blessed our going. Each meal, of course, was hallowed by one of the folk before the chow line formed.

Spiritual opportunities abounded, most especially in Brad’s runic galdering sessions and Steve’s notes on his personal, practical techniques for working with the mysteries of Odin’s mead theft.

But not all was intense! Tony Rochman built an unbelievable may pole, tall and graceful and festooned with ribbons, which our ladies and children decked with real flowers. We all danced around it – ineptly, perhaps, but with much laughter and delight. Stuart Mason and John Weed of the band Molly’s Revenge had us tapping our feet and nodding our heads to their fine Celtic and Appalachian tunes. The fireplace was a scene of joy and camaraderie.

Permeating the whole event was the presence of the Viking Brotherhood, a California-­based fraternal order with quite a few AFA members. Made up of young men interested in the history and culture of the Vikings, its members wear distinctive vests complete with raven flags and the powerful Viking Brotherhood logo. This may sound intimidating to some, but they were uniformly polite, respectful, and constructive. If you needed a task done right away, you could look for one of the fellows wearing a vest and rest assured it was a done deal.

There is more, so much more, but space prevents further expansion. Suffice to say it was wonderful – and that you can find out what it’s like for yourself by coming to an AFA event such as our upcoming Danish adventure, or next October’s Winter Nights in the Poconos! 

Notes from your Leadership about MoM:

Matt Flavel –
All AFA gatherings are amazing, but MoM had a feeling of kinship and dynamism that was above and beyond. For me, the weekend started off with seeing our new banner, I could not take my eyes off it all weekend, it is truly inspiring. The weekend was full of powerful rituals and inspiring talks, we learned of brave new endeavors that the AFA is doing and we developed skills and techniques to evolve spiritually. The galdr sessions were powerful for all involved. One of the highlights for me was the oathing of our Folkbuilders. The atmosphere pulsed with fellowship of tribe and family. My life is better for having gone and I hope more of my AFA family can attend these gatherings in the future.

Daniel Updike
The trip my wife and I had was a challenge to say the least. We did not make it to the moot as my wife was developing DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in her legs while we were travelling. We deeply appreciate the positive energy sent our way during this experience, and a special thank you to our AFA kin at the Moot who held a special healing rite for her when they found out about what was happening. We truly know without a doubt that we are all part of a family and TRIBE in the AFA! As a note, Kelly is doing much better, and has almost fully recovered from the DVT. Next time we fly.

Brian Wilton say that his most powerful experience at MoM was “charging the offering to Odin during the Wayfarers blot. Leads me to believe that we should all endeavor to become more involved in our worship activities”.

Notes from Members that attended MoM:
The gathering at Enchanted Hills for the Mother of all Moots was truly a coming home for those of us who attended. Folk from far and wide showed up to celebrate and further the awakening of the Spirit. From the moment that me and Andrew arrived there was an energy that radiated about the place. We knew empirically that we were exactly where we needed (nauthiz) to be. We were greeted as if we were family and had known everyone for a lifetime. The feeling was mutual. WE all felt like we belonged together and that feeling never waned throughout the entire Moot. Read Michael’s entire letter here. 

Michael Hartrich says he enjoyed the rune chanting and galdering hosted by Brad Taylor­-Hicks

Channcie Bean
MoM was my 4th AFA event, and with each one I build new friendships and further bond with old friendships. It was an awakening of my soul once again. I traveled 4,684 air miles and drove over 1,200 miles to and from home. I was welcomed with hugs and said goodbye even more hugs. I look forward to the next event, see you all at Winter Nights!

News and Notes from Shelia McNallen –
Hail to our Mary
Imagine reaching retirement age and leaving the work force, to then volunteer for a nonprofit organization! This describes Mary Minshall, who has given the AFA over a dozen years since she took on the formidable job of managing our membership database. For those of us who have worked closely with Mary, her professionalism has made our jobs much easier.

Mary recently underwent successful knee-surgery, but is still in the recovery stage. Along with some membership-related tasks, she’ll be assisting with our Runestone Press and other publishing ventures as an editor and proofreader. We know she’ll shine in whatever she does. Thank you, Mary! 

Categories: News