This is part two of a two part series. Click here to read part one. Transtemporal Care
The Ásatrú practice of blót builds a concept of care in three temporal directions: sideways, backward, and forward. The ritual life of the religion nurtures a sense of both intra- and intergenerational solidarity. The sideways relationship exists between current practitioners.
Ásatrúarfélagið, the Icelandic Ásatrú organization, has attracted widespread international attention since announcing plans to build a temple in downtown Reykajavík last February. Although much of that attention has been positive, it was reported earlier this week by the Icelandic news service Vísir that Ásatrúarfélagið had received hate mail and threats of vandalism from foreign Pagans. These threats have, in turn, forced Ásatrúarfélagið to consider the security of its temple and the relationship of its organization to the rest of the world. According to the alsherjargoði, or high priest, of Ásatrúarfélagið, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the society began to receive large amounts of hate-mail in February, just after a widely-circulated article about the temple was published in Iceland Magazine. Although the society has always attracted the occasional letter of this sort throughout its four-decade history, this surge of messages was unprecedented.
Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started! The Maetreum of Cybele, which had just won an important legal victory in their property tax fight against the Town of Catskill in New York, has been the victim of another vandalism attack.
This year sees the 40th anniversary of the Icelandic Asatru Association, Asatruarfelagid, co-founded in April 1972 by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson under “the desire that Icelanders could have their own faith, and nourish it no less than imported religions.” Asatruarfelagid received official government recognition in 1973, and now sports nearly 2000 members. Musician and current allsherjargoði (high chieftain) of Asatruarfelagid, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, commemorated the anniversary by donating 2 million Icelandic króna (around 16,000 US dollars) to the Coast Guard’s helicopter fund. “The donation is for the Coast Guard’s helicopter fund. All of the Coast Guard’s vessels and aircraft bear the names of Norse gods and goddesses. Yesterday’s ceremony took place onboard the Coast Guard’s new cruiser Þór, Fréttablaðið reports. The Coast Guard’s first cruiser was the steam vessel Óðinn, which arrived to the country in 1926. A statement from Ásatrúarfélagið reads that the Icelandic Coast Guard is in charge of surveillance, search and rescue, has contributed to the safety of seafarers and protected the nation’s natural resources under difficult circumstances for decades, for which it is trusted and respected by all Icelanders. Therefore, all members of Ásatrúarfélagið decided to make a donation of ISK 1,000 (USD 7.9, EUR 6.1) towards a helicopter fund for the Coast Guard, with no strings attached.”
Top Story: The planned movie adaptation of Starhawk’s novel “The Fifth Sacred Thing,” has officially launched its Kickstarter fundraising campaign (complete with fundraising pitch video featuring Starhawk). They are looking to raise $60,000 dollars in 60 days. There has been just over $10,000 dollars pledged in the first two days. The money will be used to make a professional pitch video to the major film studios.
“Now we’re asking for your support. What will we do with the money? You’ve seen in the video some of the brilliant artists who inspire us, and who want to work with us. With your help, we’ll be able to create the next phase; designs for sets and costumes, visuals of key scenes, and storyboards for the action. We can secure the rights to the music and art we need, and do those dull but oh-so-necessary things like finalizing contracts, budgets and financial plans. To ensure that we are able to continue to develop the strongest possible project, we estimate that we’ll need about double our Kickstarter campaign goal of $60,000, and we’re certain that with your help, along with the tremendous support we’ve been receiving from our entire community, we can do it.”