Your AFA Gothar
There are exactly 15 ordained Gothar in the Asatru Folk Assembly, including our Witan and Alsherjargothi. *To become an ordained priest or priestess of the AFA, one must first serve the church as a Folkbuilder. This process includes an apprenticeship, and after a time, we are then oathed as full folkbuilders. Oathed folkbuilders can apply for our Clergy Training, and if accepted, they undergo academic study and for a period of time, we must show that we can apply what we learned in a functional and effective way. If accepted by the Alsherjargothi, Witan, and ordained Gothar, then we are ordained. This is a beautiful ceremony and is the highest honor to achieve and receive. *
The Gothar has many functions, but what are those functions? And how can the average member take advantage of these functions?
First and foremost, the primary function of our priesthood is being spiritual leaders to the Folk. It is our job to be a bridge between our Folk and our Gods. That includes leading rituals, both Blot, and Sumbel. As Gothar, we provide spiritual advice and perform threshold ceremonies. These include baby naming, man or woman making, weddings, and funeral rites. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. We provide other important functions.
One such function is that we provide counseling to our membership. Whether it's dealing with personal loss, the passing of a family member or friend, marriage counseling, or personal struggles, your Gothar are here to help. As a Folk, we are told to harden our chins and pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. This can be sound advice but it doesn't mean that we cannot reach out for help. Who better to ask than your Gothar? It's what we are here for. To guide the folk.
If you or someone close to you is struggling, be it an addiction, a divorce, the death of a loved one, or any of life's struggles, reach out to us! It can sometimes be difficult to reach out for help when we are struggling. Some may be embarrassed. Don't be. Lean on us for help, we are here for you.
Visit our website www.runestone.org and look up your Gothar or email us at email@example.com for counseling needs or any other function provided by our priesthood.
Life has its challenges. Let us help you face them.
Hail the Gods!
Hail the Folk!
Hail the Asatru Folk Assembly!
* This article was first published in the May 2022 Runestone publication. It should be noted, however, that our Gothar selection process has since changed. Instead of applying for Gothar training, an Oathed folkbuilder is nominated by existing Gothar or Witan, and approved by our Alsherjargothi, if the apprentice meets the criteria.
Gothi Daniel Young