from The Runestone: Fall 1992 #1
by Steve McNallen

Five years ago Maddy and I unloaded the remains of the Asatru Free Assembly onto the shoulders of stalwarts like Valgard Murray, packed our bags and went to live in a semi-ghost town high in the mountains of California. THE RUNESTONE, which had played such a vital role in bringing Asatru to America, died after 15 years – and we went on to new lives.

The years that followed saw a lot of changes. I shaved my beard and joined the National Guard. We lived in a tiny cabin above the snowline, chopping our firewood and fluming water into the house directly from a mountain spring. Since we needed a profession, we went to night school and earned teaching credentials. Armed with our new certificates, we got teaching jobs and settled into the routine task of earning a living. For excitement, I wrote articles for military magazines based on visits to Tibetan resistance fighters in India and guerrillas in Burmese jungles.

All this time, we had never forgot the Gods or the movement we had helped pioneer. Word reached us in our mountain fastness that the Cause was doing well. Valgard, by heroic effort, welded together the Asatru Alliance, and all over the country Asatru groups and publications emerged from the ruins of the AFA. We came to believe that our dissolving of the old structure had been a good thing, because it allowed others to take the initiative without being overshadowed by the edifice we had all erected. True, the new standard bearers didn’t always do things the way we would have – but that was okay. Asatru was alive and thriving, and that’s what we had wanted.

To a large extent, we still feel that way. It was time for something new to happen. We have no intention of rebuilding the elaborate structure that characterized the AFA. You won’t get Guilds, membership, gatherings, or kindreds from us. What we DO offer is a dynamic, evolutionary view of Asatru based on almost a quarter century of experience and practice.

I will never forget the joy of producing the first issue of THE RUNESTONE, in an apartment in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1972. It had as I recall, all of eleven readers. This humble publication grew to become, in my own admittedly biased opinion, the backbone of Asatru in America. It is now reborn. Like all reincarnations, it is not identical with it’s former self; this new being has it’s own fate to fulfill. It will be leaner, more focused, and no longer the voice of something like the AFA, but we think you’ll see a continuity. Phase two of the adventure is about to begin.


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