from The Voice: November 2013

A Few Words From The Alsherjargothi:

As October ends, we can look back on an eventful month since our last issue. The high point, of course, was Winter Nights in the Poconos – the AFA’s major East Coast gathering. And what a gathering it was, as the articles and pictures in this issue will attest! Our joyous throng pretty much filled up Camp Netimus; any more people and we would have to have eaten in shifts! The event had a great balance of activity and relaxation …
one hand to Asatru elder David James, on the other! This was indeed a community of the Folk. David was sworn in as AFA Clergy, and the Folkbuilders likewise grew: Charlotte Hoxie advanced to Folkbuilder, and Dennis Boltenhouse renewed his Folkbuilder oath. We grew, in every sense. When I gave my opening presentation at Camp Netimus two weeks ago, I listed the things we had accomplished since we first gathered there last year. Some of these things I mentioned in the last Voice, like our awesome web site statistics. But there was so much more – AFA membership up 20% in the last year, numerous Freyfaxi and Winter Nights gatherings both large and small sponsored by Folkbuilders from one end of the continent to the other, our highly successful trip to Denmark, and more.

The AFA is doing very well – thanks to our excellent leaders who make my job infinitely easier (or for that matter, possible), and thanks to the support of men and women like you, our members. You have all accomplished great things!

In the months to come we can look forward to various Yule events held locally and regionally around the country … and it’s not to early to start thinking about coming out to California next June for our big West Coast event, Midsummer! 

Winter Nights In The Poconos – 2013

Jon Upsal blogs –

I had the very good fortune to spend Saturday in Pennsylvania attending the now-annual AFA Winternights event. Unfortunately, although I had originally planned to spend the whole weekend at the event, the world conspired to not make that possible. Still, I spent the day, and was able to bring my daughter. Gotta say it was a blast, as was last year’s … 
I could mention the excellent DAsabloat, and the Tyr bloat where various weapons were blessed, and the auction, and the talk by Steve McNallen on ritual and the nature of the Gods. All were superb as expected. But what I would like to mention is the simple act of hanging out with fellow Asatruar.

What I love about these sorts of events is that I come away feeling energized. It’s all too easy to live in a bubble, talking with the same folks day in and day out, and doing ritual with the same group of people, and even interacting with folks online.

But I find there is something incalculable about actually being on the same land with new people (and old people with whom one has not been in touch with in years, as I had the great good fortune to do). There’s something energizing about being in a ritual with people from all over the country (indeed, all over the world, in this particular case), who have come together to worship our Gods and honor our Folk. I, in particular, love to see the little variations in the way different people from different places do things. Whether it’s the blessing of the food before the meal, or the structure of the bloat itself, I love to see the various ways we all find to do things – different, yet recognizable.

We all benefit not only from the cross-pollination of ideas, but also from the simple act of human contact. Get off the computer, get out of the rut of your usual group, and go honor the Gods with someone new. At the very least, you will have an opportunity to learn and share.

Embrace The Mystery … Create The Mystery 

Winter Nights in the Poconos was an amazing event. The event was beyond words, so I will let the people that attended and the photos speak for themselves.

Stefano Bertoli, member of Tears of Othila – What a great weekend, what a wonderful event, what a great concert.:. Many thanks to …

Suzanne Conkling – great time this weekend with everyone a€” thanks again to all my volunteers and zombies!!

Nicholas Ferreri – I would like to share an experience I had this weekend with you all, something that sums up how I feel about this weekend. On Saturday after the bands were playing and everyone was socializing in Birch Hall, I watched an amazing 
The big deal was that these six men, during all the noise and commotion of the moment held Sumbel. Amongst themselves in a crowded hall and remarkably, not a soul noticed. Well I did, everyone should have. It was Robert, Steve, Brad, Michael, Nicholas and Josh. Generations of our folks leaders, all together, lock together, as brother and not a soul noticed. So I watched the most powerful thing I have ever seen, these brothers locked in close, doing Sumbel and celebrating the fact that this may NEVER be together in this way again. Towards the end, Thor came to speak with his father Robert, and was pulled into this circle. I watched this and was made proud and humble by it. It reminded me of the theme of this weekend, Embrace the mystery. It also reminded me of what you can see if you just keep your eyes open and look. You might just be surprised by what you find.

Eirik Westcoat- Hail to another wonderful AFA event in the Northeast, and a big thank you to everyone who listened to my poetry.

Patricia L. Hall- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU EVERYONE! You give me purpose!

Stuart Sudekum- Another brilliant AFA event. Can’t think of a better way to cap off the honeymoon.

Tony Lester – It was a wonderful weekend of energy, wisdom and joy. Proper Heathenry at its best.

Clifford Erickson – Awesome event! Thank you everyone who put so much effort into making this a success.

Categories: News