Establishing oneself in our area

Lewis County is one of the least wealthy in Washington, but it is still a very nice place to live. Just about any form of outdoor recreation one could want is within a couple of hour’s drive, and all of the comforts of a major city can be gotten by driving 90 minutes north or south. One of our members maintains an Instagram account dedicated to nature photography, most of his pictures are taken within 20 miles of Centralia.

https://www.instagram.com/nwnaturalbeauty/


Housing prices are much lower than they are to the north, although they are still creeping up as people are priced out of Olympia.  We do recommend looking primarily in Lewis County, as Thurston County has much higher property taxes and is much less agreeable when it comes to building permits and related issues.  Land is available in the area, but flat land suitable for agriculture and not prone to flooding is in short supply and therefore spendy.  Smaller parcels suitable for a homestead (or with a house already on it)  are available at generally reasonable prices.  There are a number of issues associated with buying land in this area, both practical and legal in nature, so we suggest consulting with a local realtor for advice suitable to your particular situation.


With regards to employment: bottom-rung employment is extremely plentiful, you will see “NOW HIRING” signs everywhere.  There are a number of machine and fab shops in the area, as well as all of the types of work associated with timber (logging, trucking, mill work).  The skilled trades are booming, there is a shortage of electricians and a skilled mason (or even a mediocre one, for that matter) could almost write his own ticket here. There is a fair amount of agriculture, mostly tree farms, dairy cows, and poultry.  However, many farms are either family-owned and only employ their kin and people from their own small circle, or are owned by large companies who prefer a distinctly swarthier workforce.  It may be difficult for an outsider to work themselves into the loop at first.
At the professional level, there are a fair amount of jobs associated with Centralia College and the hospital.  Both appear to be expanding, there is a large elderly population here and health care jobs are plentiful. There is also Olympia to the north, which may be a better choice for Folk who work in tech or in the bureaucracy.  There’s little opportunities for either in our immediate area, although if your employer is agreeable to telecommuting this limitation falls away.


Whatever your economic or skill level may be, I do strongly encourage you to do whatever is necessary to get into a position where you have some control or at least influence over hiring decisions, in order to help give other Folk a hand up.  My shift at my shop is half Folk at present.  It may be possible for a prejudiced employer to get rid of one of us, but if we can get to the point of comprising a majority (or powerful minority) in a given place, a very different picture starts to emerge.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Centralia-Washington.html

City-Data is an extremely useful thing for anyone who is considering moving to a new area, they have economic, demographic, and climate data for almost every area, and a message board for questions that cannot easily be answered with raw data.

Reciprocity

Reciprocity, the notion of a gift for a gift, is one of the cornerstones of our worldview. Living close to one another makes living this way much easier than if we are spread across a continent. A friend of mine recently helped me fix the brakes on my truck (something I did not know how to do), and I chopped up a bunch of wood for him (something he cannot do on account of a recent injury). No need to make a big production of it, just Folk helping one another out, as it should be.

Thought for the day: Fehu

 

As you know, the rune Fehu is associated with wealth, and in particular with cattle. Why did our concept of wealth become linked with livestock, rather than with gold and silver as many other peoples did?

Gold is very useful as a means of storing wealth: it does not tarnish or decay, it is instantly recognizable, and it is very difficult to fake. You can show it to anyone, from the most cosmopolitan urbanite to a headhunter from the remotest corner of the Amazon, and it will instantly be recognized as something valuable. However, that’s all it is, a means of storing wealth. Gold does not make more gold. Even a particle accelerator is not a viable means of making more gold, that is still something reserved for the Gods. Livestock require constant care and attention, but if that is provided they can reproduce and make more wealth.

As a respected elder in our community is fond of saying, “Fehu is the first rune of the Futhark for a reason”. He is absolutely correct; wealth is good, power is good, and in our materialistic modern society wealth does more or less equal power. However, we should be very particular about what sorts of wealth we seek to acquire. Working ourselves to the bone to acquire stacks of paper or metal should be thought of as a short-term strategy, we should be working towards laying a foundation our descendants can build great things upon. Live as cheaply as possible to save up money to buy rental property with. Look into means of earning money that do not leave you dependent on a single employer who probably views you as nothing but a line on the expense side of a spreadsheet. I won’t lie, it is very difficult and the deck is stacked against you, but it is still possible. I’m not there myself, but progress is being made.

How to contact us

It’s time for a little spaced repetition, I think.

You can reach us at asatrulandunion@gmail.com, or via our Facebook page.  You will get extra special bonus points if you contact us via mail at the address below:

Asatru Land Union

P.O. Box 361

Centralia, WA 98531

Membership

ALU membership does require physical presence in Lewis County or some parts of Cowlitz and Thurston counties.  Membership in any other organization is not required, nor will it bar you from participating in ALU.  Any Folkish man or woman of good character is welcome to join us.

Who We Are

The Asatru Land Union (ALU) is a real-world Folkish Asatru community, located in Lewis County, Washington.  We believe that it is our right and our duty to pass our culture and traditions onto our descendants, and the best way to ensure this is to establish real-world communities whose members live in close physical proximity.  Washington in general and Lewis County in particular is an ideal place to establish such a community, for a number of reasons.  There is already a decent number of Folk living here, who can form the core of a larger community.  To be clear, neither I nor anyone else is suggesting a classic intentional community.  No one is expected to sell everything he owns in order to establish Asatruville out in the woods somewhere, there are many reasons why this is not a workable idea.  What I am proposing is similar to what new immigrant groups do when they come here, and what our own ancestors did when they first came to this country; pick one spot, then all go there and support each other.  Buy from each other, hire each other, and generally try to build each other up.

Many people underestimate how many of us are out there.  There are more Folk out there than most people realize, but we’re spread out across the country.  Think of a piece of uranium: there is some activity in it all the time, even if it’s just siting in the ground, but once it’s compressed (that is, brought into close proximity) amazing amounts of energy are released.  There are many aspects of traditional culture that cannot be brought back, even in a limited form, until there is a certain critical mass of Folk who live close enough that they interact with each other regularly.  Large events like the Midsummer and Freifaxi celebrations we organize every year are fun and important, and we will continue to do them, but you cannot have a community of people who only see each other for a few weekends a year.

Our logo was made for us by a prominent local Heathen artist.  It is meant to be symbolic of the local landscape: blue sky, white mountains, and green earth.