Last weekend Asatru UK held its 11th annual Jorvik moot, with a record number of Heathens attending to join us in Blōt and Sumbel and what a fantastic weekend it was!
After 9 years of using The Black Swan to gather for the Jorvik moot we have sadly outgrown it, cramming 40+ hungry heathens into a small room at the top of a wonky, but quite lovely, staircase had finally become unproductive and unsuitable to our needs. So many happy memories from that beloved pub, the staff have always been fantastic and more than accommodating to us and on more than one occasion AUK members have drunk the bar dry and eaten the kitchen down to the last knob of cheese. But we said farewell to The Black Swan and began the search for a new place to use and found it in the most unlikely place…. The Royal Masonic Lodge York!
Set directly opposite York Minster the site has two large function rooms and a huge dining room that can hold up to 80 people — it was perfect for our needs. There was space for us to construct a large altar in a room big enough for ritual, talks and workshops, the energy in the whole site was palpable and accommodating to our good frith and festive cheer. The second room was large enough for us to set up a small trading space to sell our merchandise and literature.
Yet none of this would have been possible without the hard work and determination of 3 of our committee members Jonny Murphy, Sky Davison and Hayley Payne their hard work behind the scenes, cannot be overstated. Thank you guys for helping to make the weekend such a success.
As traditions within Asatru UK go, Jorvik is our longest standing and to date Geoff Miles and Phil Parkyn haven’t missed a single one since our first ever moot in the Golden Fleece in 2013. This year they arrived with their usual gusto and charisma brought to life with ritual and singing. Also with them were key members of The Kith of the Tree and Well whose performance during the Disting was phenomenal! But we must convey our special thanks and honour to Hildegard Maier who for the last two years has created wonderful songs to the gods, songs now sung around the Heathen fires of Britain and held specially in our hearts when we consecrate our Godposts each summer, thank you Hildegard you were incredible as always and we are blessed to have you with us.
We have expanded outwards with our recent workshops and talks and this year at Jorvik we had Dan Coultas and Rich Blackett leading the way, by sharing their hoarded knowledge of some of the intricacies of Heathenry. This year it was Landvaettir from Mr Blackett and the Heathen Soul by Mr Coultas — thank you gentlemen for preparing such excellent talks and to all who took part in the after-talk discussion.
This year I was also finally lucky enough to take part in one of Dean Kirkland’s public Sumbels. Experiencing toasts, boasts and oaths in a room full of good people was epic and rip roaring, as well as humbling and spiritual. Truly it’s a ritual that can describe what Heathenry is — deeds and words blended together before the Gods. Thank you Dean for leading such an excellent ritual.
It’s become a custom now at AUK moots to witness S.H.I.T (the Shambolic Heathen Improv Troupe) in all its hilarity and glory. This years raucous rendition of the tales of Bödvar Bjarki and Hrólfr Kraki with the Heathens of Yorkshire was yet another performance met with rambunctious applause. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for Thunorsmoot!
This weekend was one of my favourite ever Asatru UK events, not only a demonstration of our growth over the years but a great atmosphere — Happy heathens, glad to be around one another. It was a weekend of laughter and joy, surrounded by Viking re enactors and tourists.
This is my first year as chair of Asatru UK, and the committee and I have many plans for the future. One of these plans is to publicly honour heathens who have served this community out of sheer love and dedication to the Gods and to the heathens of the UK, so naturally we started with my predecessor, Rich Blackett. His time as the previous chair lead to the wonderful events and projects we now see coming to fruition, thank you Rich for everything you have done, you deserve all the plaudits we can offer.
The weekend is over now and we all return to our daily lives fulfilled and recharged for the year ahead with our events team already planning next years Jorvik moot. But, as the weekend drew to a close a suggestion from one of our patrons, Justen Smith, lead to us thanking the Royal Masonic Lodge by gifting them a copy of the Asatru UK Hávamál to sit alongside the other religious texts the masons keep for their members. A great suggestion Justen!
This year feels like we’ve finally come out the other side of the pandemic and it’s inspiring to see so many events planned and so many heathens gathering to worship gods, wights and ancestors. I’m excited to see what lies ahead and to spend more time with you all and get stuck into building the future for inclusive Heathenry here in the UK! If you aren’t at the patrons moots then I'll see you at Thunorsmoot where the frith will continue to be weaved by us all!
Hail to you good people of Asatru UK
— Chair of Asatru UK