Earth Work ‘96
We recently received a letter from Steve McNallen, one of the founders of the Asatru movement in the USA, the head of the AFA and publisher of the magazine Runestone. In this letter, Steven has asked all Ásatrúar everywhere to join in a special effort to work together to try to preserve the environment.
He has suggested that we all make the Vernal Equinox, the festival of Ostara, an occasion for special action. The most appealing aspect of his idea is that it means putting aside political differences and joining together in a coordinated manner. As is mentioned in the letter, it doesn’t matter whether you deify the Earth as Frigga, Nerthus or Jord, it is important that we work together.
What Steven is asking is that “...we all make a conscious effort to link with the powers inherent in the land- call them landvætter or the land-wights...” Make them an offering of friendship and follow through with an actual deed to help restore a healthy environment.
Is it proposed that people take four steps: the 1st would be to select a suitable site or area for this working. Obviously some bucolic place away from the noise and stink of the big city would be best. Visit the area several times prior to the big day and familiarize yourself with the feel of the place.
The 2nd step would be to gather in this special place on the 23rd, either alone or better yet with kith and kin; bring food and libation as an offering to the land wights. Perform whatever ceremony you feel comfortable with, as part of your celebration of Spring.
3rd, follow through with a deliberate act which is intended to promote the natural order. You might plant a tree, clean up the area, or offer to work with a local organization to support the environment in other ways.
The 4th follow-up step includes writing to McNallen and telling him what you and your group did. If you send a stamped self-addressed envelope, he will put you on a mailing list for Earth Works, a project administered by the AFA, but open to anyone. In return they’ll send you a summary of the project including samplings of individual experiences.
We are struck by the idea that this is only the beginning of what might be seen as a major on-going event! What we begin now can be continued by ourselves as groups or individuals for the indefinite future.
Many in Asatru already feel a closeness to the land that others may be missing. That is an important part of who we are as a religious and spiritual movement. The jehovanist conceit that men are intended to do as they wish with the planet is contrary to our most fundamental ideas. Some among us may consider themselves to conservative or liberal; Republican or Democrat; Socialist or Libertarian- however, the one thing we all can recognize that we have in common which rises above these unnatural divisions is a genuine concern for the Earth.
This is, of course, entirely compatible with the apolitical policy of Markland Kindred. It is our intention to participate fully in this enterprise with might and main, and to support Steven McNallen in his efforts.
Details are forthcoming in the next issue of Runestone; for info, send an SASE to Earth Works ‘96, PO Box 445, Nevada City CA 95959 or fax (916) 272-8125.
© Marklander 1996