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Welcome

Volkshof Kindred is a Troth-affiliated Asatru (or Heathen) organization located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. At present we number eight members with several more as provisional members. We honor the divinities of our Teutonic ancestors and celebrate their folkways. Blot and sumbel are held on a monthly basis and we place a high value on folk-building and outreach to the community.

Volkshof is a German word meaning “people’s temple.” Asatru, meaning “Æsir Troth” (troth to the gods), is the name of the reconstructionist religion based on lore and folk traditions of the German, Dutch, English, Scandinavian and other Teutonic peoples. Heathen (Hæðen in Old English) literally meaning “people of the heath”, once referred to rustic people who do not recognize Judaism, Christianity or Islam. We believe it proper and right to honor the gods and practice the ways of our ancestors, learn other Germanic languages, study the runes, etc.

September 2010

On September 3rd through the 5th, Volkshof kindred hosted Midwest Thing. Attendance was outstanding, and the weather couldn’t have been better. The event included a Spae session conducted by Rod Landreth of Jotuns’ Bane Kindred, a Thule’s conference, Chieftains’ summit, and other exciting activities. There was also a Blot, to thank Frey for the gifts of fertility, and an exchange of gifts with the local vaettir.

Later in the month we traveled to Gaea retreat as guests of Jotuns’ Bane for Lightening Across the Plains. We made history, as this was the largest gathering of heathens in modern times. This event also featured High Symbel, attended by over 190 people, and a performance by Kari Tauring, backed by Brody Derks and Val Miller.

Up next is a kindred meeting on October 2nd, and harvest Blot on October 16th. This ends the event schedule for this year, however preperations for Northern Folk Gathering are set to begin.

August 2010

Our ancestors knew the value of meeting people face to face. Across the ancient world, people met in large gatherings, to trade or to talk, or to seal marriage agreements. They understood that you don’t know a person by their reputation alone. You have to talk to them, face to face. In our day, the day of Facebook and instant messaging it’s all too easy to forget these lessons. The irony is that travel in our time is much easier, and a journey that could weeks now takes only a few hours.

When the invitation to attend Superior Heathen Gathering in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula arrived, it was eagerly accepted. A trip like this isn’t always the easiest undertaking. Time has to be taken from work, meals planned , and gas isn’t cheap. Still the rewards, however intangible, are well worth the effort.

So who went? It was Chris and Val, Gunnar and little Otto, Sarah, Brody and Eric along with Kari Tauring. That sound like a lot of people to cram into one vehicle, but we had more than enough space. Given the conveniences of modern travel, the trip was as easy as could be expected.

We arrived at the site early in the afternoon. The sky was clear and light blue, with only a few powder- puff clouds, and even though Sunna was in her full glory, the temperature was mild. It didn’t take long to get tents and cooking spaces set up and ready for the weekend.

So when all this was completed the time came to pile into the van once more and make our way to the farm of one of the members of Winterhof Kindred. It was a short trip, and conversation turned to esoteric matters. I sometimes wonder if this is how our ancient Heathen ancestors discussed these things, or were their conversations more mundane? Did they discuss the nature of the Gods amongst themselves, or did they simply discuss rumors or marriages or the weather. Probably a little of each, people don’t really ever change.

We arrived at the farm and things began to move quickly. There was a reserved silence by now. Not the fake enforced kind of silence that you would see in a church or library, but a silence of expectation. For must of us, this would be our first live Blot.

They were two lambs, a ewe and a ram, farm born and hand raised. They were both smaller than I had expected, but that has more to do with the imagination of a city boy. Too many movies I think.

At any rate, we were called to stand in a circle, around a table that would serve as an alter. Our host said a few words about these sacred animals, and about the purpose they would serve. They were to be not only an offering to the Gods, but also our messengers. We were asked to place our hands on the sheep, to give them our thanks or ask any favors we wished from the Gods. After this the sheep were named, Gebo-ram, and Gebo-ewe, respectively. Gebo, is the rune that signifies gifting.

Each lamb was placed on the alter and dispatched with skill. The point is to cause as little pain for the animals as possible. Causing unnecessary pain would be both cruel, and cause the Gods to reject the gift. However that was not the case, and the end came quickly. The blood was collected in the blessing bowl and we eavh received a dab on our foreheads, as sign of blessing.

It was time to head back to the campsite for evening meal, and Symbel. The cool evening air had a slight breeze, making it quite comfortable. Yet the fire also lent it’s warmth, helping establish the mood as the horn was passed. As the evening wore on more and more people bid their goodnights and made the trek to their tents in the woods.
The gorgeous weather continued on into the next day. Breakfast was cooked, and most of talked. In many ways this is the point of these gatherings, Just folk talking, shooting the breeze, and getting to know one another. It wasn’t what you would call heavy philosophical conversation, but the easy going, chit-chat that allows you to get to know someone.

In the early afternoon there was a small spae session conducted by Rod of Jotun’s Bane Kindred and Volva Stav conducted by Kari. There was also a Blot in honor of the Vanir, where the horn was passed and raised in honor of each of the Vanir Gods in turn.

The evening feast featured the two lambs, as well as potluck. It was delicious. Each kindred contributed something, and everyone ate their fill. Feast was of course followed by another folk Symble. This became a last man standing marathon lasting until 3:30 in the morning. IT only ended because the rain came.

Sunday came and it was time to go home. Usually this would be a somewhat sad time, but it was tempered with the knowledge that we would all see each other again at Midwest thing. The journey home was just as smooth as the trip up. It was late in the evening when we arrived back in Minneapolis. All good thing s come to an end as they say, but when they do there’s always something new to begin. So now work on Midwest thing begins in earnest.

- Eric

Midsummer 2010

June was a busy, yet successful month for Volkshof Kindred. We hosted Troth Moot (June 9. through June 13), in beautiful St. Croix State Park, MN. It was hard work, but well worth it. While there were many challenges, these were overcome. New friendships were formed, and old ones reaffirmed and strengthened.

On June 19th we marked Midsummer with a Blot and Feast. There was much fun and Frith. Plus some guy got tied to the May Pole.

Ever onwards, there will be a Kindred meeting on Saturday, July 10th. Right afterwards we will be making a batch of homemade mead. On July 24th we will be holding Thing Blot. This will be a closed Blot, Kindred members only.
Midwest Thing is Sept. 3 through Sept. 5, and will be tent camping. There will be blots, spae, Heathen crafts, and of course Viking games.

Hail the Gods and Goddeses, and hail the Folk!

- Eric

May saw Volkshof kindred hold it’s Walpurgisnacht Blot. Walpurgisnacht honors Odin’s sacrifice upon the World Tree. Allfather hung for nine days and nights until he died, and gained the runes, the language of the dead. It also honors the trade made between himself and the goddess Freya. Odin traded the knowledge of the runes in exchange for Freya’s knowledge of magic called Seidhr. The Blot and Sumbel were marvelously conducted by Devin Quince.

May also saw preparations for Troth Moot begin to heat up. Volksfof will be hosting this years Troth Moot (9JUN-13JUN) in St. Croix State Park near Hinckley, MN. There will be educational

events, viking games, Blot and Sumbel.

There have been rumors that Troth Moot has been canceled. Nobody seems to know where these originated, but they are false. Repeat. Troth Moot. Has. NOT. Been. Canceled! If you were planning on canceling because of these falsehoods, please do not. You will deprive yourself of a fantastic experience with your fellow Heathens.

Volkshof Kindred will celebrate Mid-Summer the week after Troth Moot. This was an important time of the year for our agrarian ancestors. It marked the longest day of the year, and also the point when the year would begin to age. At this time of year the ancient Northern European peoples would begin preparations and planning for the long winter ahead. Our ancestors worked hared, fought hard, and at this time of the year played hard, before the cold winds began to rise.

It has been a fruitful and fertile year for Volkshof Kindred, may it long continue to be so.

Hail the gods and goddesses, and Hail the Folk!

- Eric

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