Heathenry and Racism

In the current socio-political climate questions regarding race and discrimination in Heathenry/Asatru come up quite often. We are taking this opportunity to clarify our position on this and related issues.

First, to quote from Volkshof Kindred By-Laws, Article V Section 1 states:

Said organization [Volkshof Kindred] and its members shall not practice discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation/preference, and/or ethnic background. These things have no place in Asatru, and will not be tolerated. Individuals, who do not or cannot abide by these simple rules may be denied membership or removed from the membership at any time. Membership in the Volkshof Kindred is open to all who profess and practice Asatru, and who are affiliating with said organization for religious and cultural reasons, rather than for racial or political reasons.
In short, we do not discriminate nor do we take political stances.

Second, but your name is Volkshof and that sounds folkish/racist.

True, our name is Volkshof which means “people’s house” or “people’s temple”. Our kindred was founded in 2003 and is intended to be a place for all people wishing to explore the ways of our ancestors. Yes, we use the word folk. We are simply being descriptive of our community. We refuse to allow hate groups to steal our traditional terms and/or symbols. As Heathens we are big on history and tradition so we refuse to surrender any of our thew (tradition) without putting up a fight.

Third, why don’t you just say “community” instead of “folk”? Or change your name to sound more inclusive?

Intentionality and authenticity. We use words like “folk”, “innangard”, “uttangard”, “thew”, “gythia”, “gothi”, “chieftain” to set our religious practices apart. Yes, our worldview runs throughout our daily lives, but these words help us show distinction and honor when dealing with kindred business and standing before our ancestors and our gods. Changing our name is not an option for us. As stated above our kindred was founded in 2003 and that name has been with us through the creation of a great deal of thew. Also, we can’t think of a more inclusive name than “people’s house”.