An interview with Anders Nilsson, AFA Scandinavia
1) On behalf of three Russian heathen almanacs the “Saga”, the “Warha” and the “Nord Wind” we glad to have this conversation and thank you for agreeing to answer our questions.
First of all please introduce yourself for our audience.
My name is Anders Nilsson and I live on the Swedish West Coast. I grew up among the bronze-age rock-carvings and in an extremely rich archaeological area inhabited from early Stone Age to now. I am 40 years old and have practiced Asatru since I was 15 years old but my spiritual awakening occurred very early I think because the ancestors is very present here. I have the last 3 years been a Folk Builder (organizer) for the Asatru Folk Assembly. I have also created a global ritual day devoted to Odin each month the 9th precisely 21:00 we conduct a worldwide ritual to invigorate and invoke the Odinic force (archetype) in our Folk. This has been going on for 20 months, now with over 4000 rituals done from 24 countries. I am also a craftsman and create and manufacture all our ritual items and statues. And of course a proud father of two small warriors
2) Could you, please, introduce AFA-Scandinavia to Russian-speaking pagan community? How many members does your organization have? What is your primary goal?
Asatru Folk Assembly is a hand and brain organization we are, primarily an activist based community group where the Norse gods and rituals are the main focus, but we have a long tradition of writing and education in this subject to.
In Scandinavia, we are so far a relative small group of 40 members but as an international organization, we are without doubt the biggest folkish group. But I have to point out that it is not the number of members that is crucial in a spiritual organization but rather the spiritual strength and quality of those members. We are not here to grow economically or be as big as we can as so many other religions, we are here to wake up and take care of our people and families whatever it takes.
Our ultimate goal is obviously to re-introduce Asatru as a natural part of people’s lives to re-implement the respect and worship of our nature and the devotion of our forefathers. But above all to help our people to find back to spirituality that lifts them instead of pushing them down.
3) As we know AFA is a folkish organization, not universalist. Could you explain your way and principles?
Our faith is primary based on that we see ourselves as a direct link from our physical and spiritual ancestors. And the same applies to all homogeneous people worldwide, we are the ones that are the closest to our Holy powers and that is inherited true the blood/Hamingja or DNA if you prefer. But with that said, we do not despise other folks. We stands for a genuine multiculturalism where everyone has the opportunity to develop their unique circumstances, rather than the modern false multiculture that prevails in the West where the goal is to mixed us all up genetically. That will eventually lead to a historical and culturally non existing Grey mass.
We inherit our ancestral memories, trauma, phobias, etc scientists have recently confirmed this on several occasions lately. This can be compared to the Old Norse concept of Hamingjan or luck and too some extent our faith that follows individuals and races.
4) How a usual person can become a member of AFA? Should he or she go through some kind of interview? Do you have special acceptance rituals for beginners? Can anyone be expelled from AFA? For what reasons?
Asatru Folk Assembly is only open to the folk which can be included in the white race we take strong stance from the modern sexual perversions, for the simple reason that it is a negation towards the continuous of life.
If you want to become a member you apply here www.runestone.org and fill in the required information, then the application was sent for inspection from the local Folk Builder in the region you live, the Folk Builders task is now to see that the person is as compatibility with our family as possible. The cause for these controls is that we want to build a familiar organization, the individual’s compatibility with the Organization is of major importance because the organization do not get any better than its members.
Yes they could be excluded if they violates our internal rules or if it turns out that you cannot stand for the message we convey. We have no formal inaugural ritual for new members but all members are expected to actively participate in the local blots and the regional meetings and rituals.
5) What traditional holidays are celebrated by the AFA and is there the most important one for you?
We in Scandinavia holds 8th or more blots per year The four great Feasts is held together, Spring equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn equinox and Midwinter. Among those four is the summer solstice and Balder and Midwinter Odin the two greatest this probably depends most on our Scandinavian cultural ties to those two holidays when the Summer Solstice is the informal Sweden’s national day.
During these four year markers, all members gather to a weekend filled with lectures and rituals. Otherwise we celebrated the lesser feasts separately in the local kindreds.
6) How do you prefer to organize sacred places: choose places in nature (sacred groves and so on), build sanctuaries, prefer to rite near or in the house? Are there general meetings of different groups, something like ancient Althings?
For us in Asatru Folk Assembly Scandinavia, it is very easy to select ritual places our country is dotted by ancient cult sites and graves. The Blots is always performed outdoors in any of the old cult sites the ritual is followed by a dinner and Mead feast. Many of our members do individual rituals in the home or close to it on a regular basis.
How tempting it is to raise money to build a temple but it always feels a bit blasphemous to build a temple when we already have all the sacred sites created for us all ready. But a gathering place is a another matter of course in the future a hall that is only for meetings, lectures, courses and gatherings but not for rituals. There is some great archaeological evidences for houses dedicated as temples we have Uppеkra were they found a temple site that had been used for 700 years on the same spot.
7) What authors and philosophical ideas could you name as the most important and useful for asatru neophyte and Northern Paganism at all?
We have so little written knowledge left to study and not much from the actual time period so we are forced to seek wider. We must find parallels and connections among the other Indo-Aryan tribes and try to puzzle it all together. That’s about the way I have gone to create me a glance of our ancestral religions, but coursers more modern thinkers are available and one of the more important in my life has been Carl Gustav Jung, for the simple reason that he gives us form and tools for reaching beyond the modern outer layer we carry. I cannot do a list of all the writers who were important for me it would be nice but time consuming and in most cases you will find pieces her and there that you put together. It is like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle and unfortunately some pieces will for ewer be missing. He how seeks will find.
8) Are the members of the AFA of Scandinavia a group of full-minded people, or is there a certain admissible range of opinions in matters of theory and practice, faith and rituals? The spectrum of ideas about gods today varies from the view of them as Personalities — and to the almost complete identification of them with Naturе or Symbols. Can ask your own perception of those whom we call?
Within Asatru folk Assembly, there is no standard or rules of our faith as long as that belief promotes our people’s future for the people is tightly tied to our faith through the blood and its memory. To see our spirituality in Polytheism is one of the basics in Asatru and paganism we are not monotheistic we do not have the need for one god ore a set of divine rules to guide us
We have a lot of tolerance about the members’ personal view of the religion. For me personally, the gods and goddesses, is a mixture of the prevalent interpretations they are clearly archetypes and symbols for natural phenomena, and some of them may actually have been purely historical persons who have been created in to mythology as time went on. But for me this is of low relevance’s from a spiritual perspective, for me they are living entities that can affect me and my surroundings and is completely independent of my opinion about their existence. Here, I think it is very much about personal experience what is called salvation in Christianity. One have to be part of an experiences that affects you so strongly in the depths of your soul that you never have to doubt their existence. We must get away from the brain and into the soul we do not need to know the science behind it to experience it. This is the modern man’s great scourges that we constantly analyze and try to understand things with the help of science. We kill everything spiritual by believing that everything is going to be proven with science.
9) Our faith was formed in the world of small settlements and close ties with the Earth. And if the gods and their power are unchanged everywhere, the way of life of big cities dictates a completely different organization of personal time (less dependent on natural cycles), families (a long house and several generations under one roof today is a rarity), education with a increase in external influence, whether it is the school, the state or the Internet) and so on. How would you formulate the boundary between flexibility and the ability to match the time and stability of old traditions today?
First and foremost our faith is nature worshiping, a belief based on the experiences of the powers. Most of the people now living generation after generation in a man-made artificial surrounding is spiritually killing themselves. I have lived ten years by Swedish measurement in a large city and what happened to me was just that spiritual death. The close contact I had before disappeared gradually and finally I could no longer summon a close communication with the powers I went through a spiritual crisis to which the only solution was to move back to nature, and after a year the balance was restored and I could fully established that contact again. So my request to all of you who live in the cities is to plan your future so that you can live with family and close friends in the wild as far away from the cities it is possible.
The vision is in stark contrast to the modern way of living. My vision is very much about living in smaller communities based on subsistence economy and with an active and living religious and cultural identity.
10) The followers of our gods as a whole have common guidelines in the matters of faith. But the understanding of the place and role of traditional ideas in modern life differs very strongly. Part of the liberal asatrua, as far as we know, refused to cooperate with those who don’t share their values (we talk about Declaration 127). Are you ready to engage in secular or religious work with the heathens, who are guided by norms different from yours, but accept your right to be yourself? Do you see sense in associations of different branches of paganism (like Pagan Federation International, for example) for the presentation of heathenism as a common phenomenon/with common interests?
Peoples private political opinions is not of mine concern so long as that political opinion does not go against the laws of nature I. look more to the persons behavior and honorary code than to their worldly views. But I never budge an inch for someone who actively tries to destroy that which I see as life-enhancing, and beautiful.
Usually I see cooperation as one of the cornerstones of human development cooperation is a positive force while disintegration and apart taking is a repulsive force a bit like the difference between Asir and Thursar.
11) Could you agree what nowadays we live in the eschatological times of Ragnarok? What does it mean for Asatru and for you personally? How it influence for ritual practice and existential experience of the tradition?
Freyja told me one night as I stood under the stars and asked for guidance in this dark time. What she said was so easy and simple but so very strong and true. The darker it is, the easier it will be to see the light. And that is so true in this dying age and it will be clearer the longer time goes on. In Ragnarok it gets obvious either you are with the forces that creates or stand with the forces that destroys in a healthy society these two are in balance, but now it’s too late to balance it. But at this time it is the easiest time to reach the truth just as Freja said the darker it get the easier it will be to see the light. Look up at the night sky and you will see distant suns and shining planets that is only possible when the surrounding is dark. We have to be these shining lights in an otherwise dark land so that we guide our folk home.
12) Could you name the three or maybe more major problems of the modern Northern Paganism?
- 1. The ancient tree is now broken down and we can do no more than to follow the ancient roots. we can’t really see how the trunk or foliage looked like to our ancestors or how it will grow and look in the future. We are still saplings that sprung up around this old tree.
- 2. The globalists are one of the major physical and spiritual problems that we are in for. They look at us human beings as reduced to the lowest possible denominator we are being treated and viewed as resources and livestock.
- 3. Our ability to adapt. This may seem strange to say that that is a problem when in fact it is our strongest ability but it leads us to constantly adapt according to the prevailing order, we are pack animals and do not want to stand out. These are the really big problems which, incidentally, is general human traits and behavior. More specific to Germanic Paganism and Asatru is that we cannot be allowed due to the above mentioned reasons to become the free un-bound souls which we are meant to be. And that free and un controlled spirituality is seen by the elite as a thought crime a thing that stands in the way of their plans. Last but not least is distraction we modern people are so completely distracted and preoccupied with things that do not result in self-awareness or spiritual growth we flee all that seems a hassle or mentally exhausting.
13) How AFA reacts on the actual situation of the decline of authentic Scandinavian folks and states? As we know nowadays the Sweden is a absolutely pro-feminist, pro-migrants and anti-traditional state.
Yes, Sweden is a human disaster for all involved. The so called refugees do not get a better life here they are forced in to the same order of cultural death as we do. They have made our society so perverted that we the natives does not exist as a cultural unit or even counts as a people by our own Government. All will be sacrificed on the altar of false diversity in which nothing is allowed be good where everything has to be just bad and perverted.
You Russians know exactly what I’m talking about many of you lived in the same gray totalitarian systems where the things that were true became false and beautifully turned ugly, and if you say the truth you are to expect prison and social ostracism.
We in Asatru Folk Assembly have the objective to help our people to find a spiritual reality way beyond these gray walls. We will build Community and form a great unity and try our best to concur this totalitarian spiritual prison.
We achieve this by starting to work on the core of the problem, namely the individual himself. For if you have not received an life chancing vision of the goods and the insight that you are a spiritual being with a free will, no action will be successful long-term. The second is to incorporate these new found spiritual Warriors in too the family and then develop this family in to a big and mighty forest.
14) Could you please share your opinion what will happen to Asatru in 50 years?
I believe that in Europa all native faiths will grow rapidly and will come to form a basis for a brighter future for our children the more ballistic and anti traditional the society become the more people will seek inner and a deeper more real meaning to life.
And I see that there is going to be a lot more Asatru dedicated temples and even schools were those are allowed. The same goes for USA but they will probably go first and will lead the upcoming resurrection as they have done since the 70s and 80s. For Russia I do think that there will be the same development but with your unique make up.
But sadly I have to say that It all depends on what the worldly elite have for plans for us. I believe that we must act as a guerrilla for the moment we must be light on our feet and make us in too a small target. Attain a intuitive ability to draw conclusions about what their agenda will be and thereafter, we take our decisions. The sad thing is that it is not a unthinkable scenario thou that Sweden is a Caliphate if 50 years or Germany and then our gods and all our faith will be wiped out with cruel violence. It could also be that society implodes due to its own absurdity and then we probably are living in autonomous free areas. We will see many false prophets, but the more we grow we will also see a lot of genuine faith and love to the people and to the Earth.
15) Recently we can see a growing interest to Russian paganism and traditionalism from the European and Western heathens, what you think about this tendency?
I see this with pleasure we folkish see you as brothers and sisters we are of the same origin and have the same goal in the long run. It is for us irrelevant if you worship gods with other names, or espouse entirely different creation mythology. That what is important is that the basis of our cooperation is our common cultural and ethnic history. This is something quite new to us that Russia has such a big and strong pagan/Asatru scene but it is very hopeful.
16) What could you wish or say to Russian asatruars and odinists?
You have too goo inwards first if you do not look inward, one can never see outward with objectivity. Asatru is not a mental construction It is an experience and an everyday action. Leave modern life in as big as possible way you can. You have the opportunity now to get back to nature start farming and live as all our ancestors did for thousands of years then life becomes sacred and you will never turn it down.
Thanks for your time and answers!
Heil to the Gods!