On Sunday, November 20, Debbie and I visited the Scandinavian Cultural Club of Santa Fe to give a small presentation on Asatru.
Earlier in November, Keeper of Seasons Hall was contacted by John Lorenzen, the founder of the Scandinavian Cultural Club. The club meets once a month and discusses topics of relevance to Scandinavian culture, and their topic for November was Asatru. John asked us to send someone to the club who could give a more in-depth presentation of the religion than a casual reading of internet sources might provide. At the Keeper of Seasons Hall meeting for November, we discussed John’s invitation and determined that Debbie and I would travel to Santa Fe.
When we first arrived in Santa Fe, we had brunch at the Chocolate Maven in Santa Fe, then met up with John and followed him to the club’s meeting. Different members of the club host the meetings at their homes, and this month’s meeting was at a beautiful home just outside of Santa Fe proper. We met the members of the club, who were wearing name tags done in runes, and were shown around the house a little bit. We shared in the club’s potluck (Debbie and I brought some risgrynsgrot) and had some truly impressive traditional Scandinavian fare.
Following our meal and some casual conversation, Debbie and I began our presentation. We gave everyone a small packet of handouts consisting of a list of recommended reading, a glossary of terms, and part of Voluspa both in Old Norse and in the Bellows translation. We had brought along our drinking horns, some books, and some small statuettes of Thor and Freyja for visual displays, and we set those out for interested people to examine. I played the last third of Sequentia’s rendition of Voluspa, explaining the significance of the poem and using it to lead in to a discussion of what Asatru is. We discussed what is meant by reconstructionist or revivalist, who the Germanic peoples are, and who some of the powers worshipped within Asatru are. We talked a bit about some of the practices within Asatru, which holidays we celebrate and how, and a few of the different approaches to Heathenry in the United States and Europe. At the close of our presentation, we opened to questions from the club, and it was rather refreshing to be questioned by an audience with a solid knowledge of Germanic culture, geography, and history.
After we packed up our materials and said our goodbyes, Debbie and I took some time to stroll around the plaza in Santa Fe and have an excellent supper at La Fonda before returning home to Albuquerque. All in all, we had a very pleasant time and were quite pleased with the hospitality we were shown while in Santa Fe; we wish the Scandinavian Cultural Club the best of luck in its future endeavors.