ATLANTA, Ga. – Although it was delayed by a year, this weekend the Vör Forn Siðr began clearing land for what will eventually be a Heathen Hof, or worship temple, along with a hall. The nine acre property is located 10 miles from the Atlanta metro area. A building suitable to be converted into the hall is already onsite while the Hof still needs to be built from scratch.Rangvaldr Marvinson Yngvi-Martin heads Vör Forn Siðr and is the sole financial backer of the project. He says there are approximately 150 people in his meetup groups, while around 40 Heathens are more consistently active. Of those 40, a smaller subgroup are directly involved with the creation of the Hof through their labor at last weekend’s land clearing party. As of now the group is not soliciting donations from the wider community.
While this attempt at acquiring land for the Hof and Hall complex was successful, it follows a failed attempt last spring. At that time, Mr. Yngvi-Martin found a property with a home and larger buildings for sale on a contract for deed. He put his earnest money down, signed the contract, and waited for a closing date.
The closing date never happened due to a very complicated situation. “Our closing lawyer is in Georgia, the seller is in Texas, the people selling it for them are in India, our underwriter is in California, our loan originator is in Florida and our coordinator is in Wisconsin,” he explained.
After several delays in the closing date and requests for more earnest money, the contract was cancelled. Initially the seller said they would not return the earnest money Yngvi-Martin had put down, which is a normal practice when a closing falls through.
Yngvi-Martin persisted and received his money back, which he was then able to put down on the current property.
Vör Forn Siðr has a small board which makes the major decisions and their mission is to create more Heathen infrastructure and to combat public misconceptions about Heathenry.
Yngvi-Martin hopes their success can be a roadmap for other Heathen groups seeking to build dedicated spaces across the United States, “We hope to build a Hof and Hall in every state of the US to better serve the community and we’re not adverse to going international if it’s in the Wyrd.”He says the Hof will be open to anyone who has respect for the Heathen faith, similar to how the group has hosted open Blóts in the past.
Yngvi-Martin hopes the Hof and Hall complex survive and thrive past his lifetime, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the next generation of Heathens take up the task of maintaining Frith with the land and keeping traditions alive, and their children when they are old will tell tales of us and raise a horn in our memory under the shadows of our burial mounds, celebrating in the Hall that their forebears built and worshipping their Gods in the Hof we bled to make reality.”
Yngvi-Martin says his group, by creating this religious space, is reforging forgotten relationships with the Landvaetr and nurturing the spiritual health of the land. They see this as a first step in creating a living and worship environment that too few Heathens have access to.
“If we have our way,” says Yngvi-Martin, “Heathens all over the country will one day have a sacred place to gather in their own state.”
The group says they plan to have an altar completed inside a sacred enclosure area, along with the Hall in usable condition in time for their Sigrblót/Varblót and Eostra Celebration on April 15th. The Hof’s projected completion date is 2022.