Odinsvin Kindred is an organization whose aims are to promote all aspects of our ancestral religion today called Asatru, the organic spiritual beliefs and way of life of the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe.
Asatru is an entire and whole system - a way of "being". It is concerned with all aspects of our folk - cultural, historical, ecological, mystical etc. etc. It is concerned with the ethics of social behavior, our relationships with one another and nature, with the whole of life. We try to live our lives by what we call THE NINES (click to find out more), the Nine Noble Virtues, the Nine Charges and the Aesirian Code of Nine.
Asatru defines our unique identity as a folk and as individuals within that folk organism. Asatruers believe they cannot properly respect other folk until they can respect themselves. Asatru is seen not only as a link with the past, but as a strength for the present and a desire for a noble future.
As the Asatru religion is seen as a way of life - our inherited culture - Asatruers feel they have a duty to pass it on to their children and to encourage their country men and women to find their own path. As our inspiration, we try to learn from it, and we seek to protect it, defend it, preserve it, advance and extend it.
Our immediate goal is to become an incorperated Religous Organization and to obtain 501 (c) (3) tax status, meaning anyone donating to Odinsvin Hof would have a tax deductable donation.
We are also attempting to purchase a tract of land, a few acres, in which to build a permenant Hof. Our goal is to raise enough money to not only build the Hof, but to build a caretakers cabin, 2 bunkhouses and a sacred grove. These facilities would be open for our members to use and to other like minded Hearths or Kindreds. A small fee would be charged for the use of each bunk house to cover the costs of electricity, water and gas, but we will also allow tents to be pitched on the site.
Founded in Mt. Clemens, MI in January of 2006. We have had our ups and downs since that time with members moving out of the area, only to continue with other Kindreds in their new location and members who have completely dropped out of the faith for whatever reason. We continue to operate with however many people we have at any given time. This influx and exit of members is one of the reasons we have not yet obtained our 501(c)(3) status as we have not had a stable Board of Directors.
The Kindred has two levels of membership:
The first being a Seeker. A Seeker is a probationary member, it is designed for the members to get to know the person and for the person to get to know the Kindred. A Seeker has no right to vote on the business of the Kindred, but can participate in all Kindred functions. He is assigned a mentor who is a full time member of the Kindred. The mentor will help him along, he will introduce him to members of the Kindred, make sure that he has read and understands the reading material, etc. There is no standard length of time for one to be a seeker, each individual is his own person and as such will complete this phase in his/her own time.
The Second level is a Member, A member has full voting rights within the Kindred and has a say in Kindred business. To hold any office within a Kindred one must be a Member. More detail will be given about Member status when one is a Seeker.
The Kindred also has Supporters, these are people who are not in the Kindred but support us in one way or another. Usually they are Asatruers who do not live in the area of the Kindred but wish to help in many ways. A supporter has no voting rights but can attend any event that has not been designated for Kindred members only.
Odinsvin Kindred is run by the members. Everyone does what he or she can so that every task is completed. We are all unpaid volunteers who devote our time, energy and effort in the service of the Odinist community and the High Gods.
The Kindred is governed by the Council of Elders who are advised and assisted in the day to day running of the Kindred by various individuals with skills in particular areas. All members are encouraged to assist in helping the Kindred to run smoothly. The Council of Elders has the final say in kindred business, but as often as possible bows to the wishes of the members.
By far the greatest source of finance comes from the annual donation made by the members. This is not a subscription as such, but donors receive the membership journal "Ravens Call" (a quarterly publication of Articles, Festival dates and contact details). In addition, some members choose to make extra regular donations or to donate as and when they can.
Some finance also comes from the sale of various books and booklets that the kindred publishes and from other merchandise such as t-shirts etc..
The kindred is a completely self-supporting community in that without the financial support of its members it could not exist. Members believe that by supporting the kindred - their community - they also support themselves as individuals within the community.
All money raised are used to further our community's advance by publishing booklets including "Ravens Call", and publishing books.
Money also goes towards the costs of organising Moots, Camps and other such events.
All money that comes in pretty much goes right back out in an effort to advance the rebirth of our cultural traditions.
The Kindred banner has a lot of significance. The basic background design is an interpretation of the classic Vinland Flag (usually green with black bars); we chose this design to represent where we live and where we are trying to rebuild our cultural traditions.
The colors we choose to represent:
GREEN - The Ancestral Odal lands
RED - The blood that runs through us and the genetic inheritance of Odinism that we have not forgotten and that we hope that others of European descent will come back to
WHITE - is for our Ancestors, without who we would not be here.
The symbols of the Volknot, Ravens and Wolf are all representative of the Allfather Odin.
Odinsvin Kindred is not a political group it is a religious organization. Just as any Catholic church will have members of different political tendencies so will the Kindred. Members are free to hold whatever political view they want as long as it does not interfere with the goals of the Kindred.
Asatru is not is a racist doctrine, though many of the uninformed claim it is. It is an ethnic or cultural tradition. We believe that being the faith of our ancestors that it is in our blood. It is in the collected unconcious of those of us of Northern European stock. It is our belief that every ethnic group has their own tribal faith, their own tribal Gods. You can still see this today in areas that were not forced to convert to Christianity at the tip of a sword ; it is the Hindu religion of India, The Buddhist paths of Tibet and China, Shinto in Japan and the Native American tradition here at home. The people of these faiths know who they are because they have not forgotten who it is that they came from, who they were. We only seek to revive this in our own people by reintroducing them to who they were, the things our ancestors accomplished and the traditions of our ancestors.