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  • Writer's pictureSara Ault

On the AFA Being Asatru’s Spiritual Authority - Gothi Trent East

There has been a bit of online drama lately regarding spiritual authority among Asatruar and people claiming to follow Asatru. This issue comes up every so often, and it will likely continue to do so.

However. I hope to squash some of that discourse here by offering you a few facts through this short article.

There is no spiritual authority in Asatru besides the Asatru Folk Assembly. Our founder, Stephen McNallen, was specifically inspired by the All-Father to revive Asatru and bring our Folk home. He was the first true Goði in many centuries, and served as the spiritual authority during his tenure as Alsherjargothi of the Asatru Folk Assembly and its precursors before that.

In 2015, Alsherjargothi McNallen’s efforts through the AFA were further blessed by the Gods themselves when we purchased Newgrange Hall, which was later named Óðinshof. This was the first temple to our Gods in a thousand years, and still serves as a symbol of the Gods’ favor towards us.

At the very first Midsummer at Óðinshof, the torch of spiritual authority was passed from Founder Stephen McNallen to Goði Matthew Flavel, who became our second Alsherjargothi. When that position was passed on, the authority and blessing of the Gods passed with it. This may seem like shaky logic by itself, but bear with me.

Since 2016, we have gained three more Hofs and the land that will hold Sigrheim. Not only did blessings from the Gods continue… they multiplied. Just as our Founder was chosen by the All-Father to lead Asatru, Alsherjargothi Flavel was chosen to continue that mission. Spiritual authority now flows from him, and anyone that he has ordained as a Goði or Gythia.

This authority lies with the Asatru Folk Assembly alone. Not the Norroena Society. Not the Odinic Rite. None of the universalist pretenders. The AFA alone carries the torch of Asatru into the future.

Gothi Trent East


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