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Prisoner wants help with ancient rites

Letter from John Rothermel

Religion – October 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Prisoner wants outside help for ancient rites

Dear Mr. Quillen:

I hope this finds you well. I am John Rothermel, a Godi — that is, a “priest” of Asatru — here at Buena Vista Correction Facility.

Several months ago, I was told by Suzanne MacDonald you had agreed to print a letter in your magazine on our behalf.

I apologize for the delay in writing you. I have been trying to work with the administration here, but with little success. So, I would greatly appreciate any assistance you could afford us.

We are looking for someone who might be willing and able to spend a few hours each month in the prison with a small group of prisoners for the purpose of studying Asatru/Odinism.

Asatru is an Old Norse or Icelandic term for the primal, organic faith of many Northern European peoples. The term itself is fairly modern, although the faith’s origins are lost in prehistory.

While much of our ancestors’ spiritual and daily ways of life have been lost or destroyed, some has survived. Asatru is now experiencing rapid growth as a legitimate, albeit obscure, religion.

Recently, Asatru has gained official recognition by the prison system, allowing us to openly study and practice our faith — the faith of our ancestors. We are now able to gather nine times a year to perform our sacred ceremonies, called Blotar, occurring on the solstices, equinoxes, and about equally between.

For us to gather for the study of Asatru, however, we are required to have a volunteer from without the facility to supervise the meetings.

Anyone who is interested, or who wishes information, can contact either myself, or Mr. Dave Haver, volunteer co√∂rdinator, at the prison’s address.

John Rothermel #56403 P.O. Box 2005 Buena Vista CO 81211