ABOUT VALGARD MURRAY
Valgard Murray is Allsherjargoði and co-founder of the Ásatrú Alliance of Independent Kindreds, Inc. He is also co-founder of the Arizona Kindred of Ásatrú Inc., the oldest established kindred in Vinland. In 1972, Valgard worked with the beloved Folk Mother, Else Christensen, to found the Odinist Fellowship Inc. and to serve that organization as Vice President. In that same year, Valgard established contact with Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson of the Ásatrú Felag, who in parallel fashion had been working to establish Ásatrú in Iceland. Valgard has served as Allsherjargoði of the International Ásatrú -Odinic Alliance. Valgard also served on the Board of Directors and as General Manager of the Ásatrú Folk Assembly. In 1978, the Arizona Kindred was formalized by electing a Board of Directors, with the establishment of By Laws and incorporating the Kindred as a non-profit Religious Church. Between 1984 and 1987, Valgard served on the Board of Directors of the Asatru Free Assembly. In 1987 served as General Manager of the AFA.
In 1986, Valgard founded World Tree Publications in order to serve the needs of the growing Ásatrú community by supporting the work of artisans manufacturing Þórr’s hammers, drinking horns, and other ritual items. The following year, he was a co-founder of the Ásatrú Alliance and served as honorary Allsherjargoði of that organization at Alþing 9.
In 1997 at Alþing 18, Valgard was elected Allsherjargoði of the Ásatrú Alliance. In 2003, Valgard was elected Allsherjargoði of the International Ásatrú-Odinic Alliance and served in that capacity for 3 years. At the completion of his term as Allsherjargoði of the Ásatrú Alliance, Valgard was reelected and still serves in that capacity today.
Valgard is known and respected by law enforcement agencies and officials nationwide for his educational and outreach work to provide a productive, constructive alternative to gang life for incarcerated Heathens by promoting Ásatrú in a positive manner. He has spent close to thirty years serving as a bridge to facilitate understanding between administration and inmates to provide Ásatrú services which conform to organizational standards. Valgard helped write the federal prison Chaplain’s Manual still in use by federal correctional facilities. His essays “The Significance of Blót” and “Living Ásatrú” are just two of his many essays which are consulted by state and federal correctional facility officers.
Valgard was born on an Iowa farm in 1950 (2200 Runic Era), to Thomas and Marion Murray of Scottish, Lithuanian, Irish, and German descent. At the age of four, Valgard was burned on over thirty percent of his body. By the age of eleven, he would have a vision which we would later recognize as Oðinn on Sleipner leading the Wild Hunt. Six years later, he would meet a woman who would introduce him to a group of Northern Folk who kept the old ways. This group would eventually become the Arizona Kindred of Ásatrú Inc.
Valgard currently resides in Arizona, where he officiates within and without the Heathen community. He has performed countless weddings, baby namings, and Red Letter Days for the dying, memorial services, and other Ceremonies of the Folk. He has blessed both weapons and AsaFolk who are sent into combat. Valgard has also been asked to bless motorcycles, airplanes, and maiden ships for safe travels as well as attend assorted ribbon-cutting and ground breaking ceremonies with his inimitable style. Contact Valgard if you would like him to officiate at your ceremony.
A renowned mead brewer of thirty years, Valgard also enjoys pipe tobacco and fine cigars. By far his greatest enjoyment comes from tending his organic garden, the fruits of which are often ingredients in his melomels. He can, on occasion, be persuaded to play his guitar at kindred gatherings. Valgard has five daughters, one son, and eight grandchildren.