I came to think about these during the last few days, the nine noble virtues of the asatru belief. For me, these terms represent an ideal I try to achieve, although I do not belong to any organisation (like Odinic Rite, who came up with these virtues).
First we have courage. Being courageous is often a good thing, for example by defending a friend, facing a difficult task or simply state an opinion. Showing courage means you take the risk of losing something. I think I might be at least a tiny bit courageous. I tend to speak my mind even when I sense there’s some backlash coming my way for that. I took the risk of starting my business, with a lot of stuff that could go wrong. I you ever feel that you lack courage just take a look at all the times you did small things that cost other people an effort to do. Everyone’s different and the things you do with ease may be monstrous obstacles for others.
Speaking the truth is oftentimes harder than a little lie. Especially when people want to avoid to get annoyed they tend to use white lies to get along with others. Also speaking the truth may hurt. But lying will get your ass into deep trouble, especially when unnecessary. People lie to seem more interesting. There are many reasons for that but it all comes down to avoidance. They want to avoid being regarded as dull, they want to avoid their partner to learn about their affair, they want to avoid hurting others, because it’s way easier. “I’m busy today!” is way more convenient than “Oh my god I can’t stand your attitude towards everything you asshat!” because it’s more polite. And while it may be the better choice to be polite sometimes, it’s never a good choice to lie to those who trust you. Don’t be that self-indulgent wanker who lies for his own comfort. People will notice that and you will be basically fucked. In the butt. With rocket propulsion.
Honour is a difficult concept and I think it’s heavily intertwined with all the terms on this list. Honour has a lot to do with perception, how others perceive me, how I perceive myself, how people talk about me behind my back. And I don’t mean that talking slack shit because that happens anyway. I’m talking about the question if people talk about me positively, if they recommend me, if the tell funny stories about me, how they remember me and if they enjoy thinking of me. It’s like a balance between one’s own and other’s expectations for example moral-wise. Do people consider me as a role-model? Do I embarrass myself in front of everyone? Am I getting caught lying or stealing all the time? Can people depend on me? I think when I add everything up together and I conclude that the positive aspekts of me prevail, I might have achieved something like an honour.
Now that one’s easy. a) Don’t go fucking around. Don’t hit on girls and guys when you’re in a relationship, and respect when the person you’re interested in is in a relationship. Because fidelity and trust are precious and easily destroyed by not thinking and taking out your boobs or parking your sausage in the wrong garage. Don’t be that person. There is already a fuckton of persons like this out there. Don’t try to keep someone who is in a relationship up in your sleeve and plan around if or if not any relationship is going to last and if you’ll be able to grab something from the leftovers. People aren’t stupid. They notice your sudden behavioral change when you cheat on them (or plan to), they notice when you got somebody else on your mind, no matter how often you claim everything’s fine. b) Be loyal to your gods. Of course something bad can happen to you but if you turn away from your religion you couldn’t have been that serious in the first place, could you?
If you decide to do something, do it. Do it wholeheartedly. Don’t be a sloth. Don’t get distracted. You want to engage in a relationship – be ready to keep your eyes on your partner. You want to get a job – go there regularly and do your best and don’t stop going there after six months because it became boring. You want to practice arts or sports – don’t let laziness take over. Celebrate the holidays all around the year to fasten your bond with your beliefs and don’t let anything minor hinder you. First comes the homerwork, then the PS4. Discipline can shape your character and will make you a helpful and reliable person. Which is in turn good for your honour.
Be ice to your guests. This one seems to originate when people wandered around for hours on end just to reach the next settlement. But to transfer this to our modern days I’d explain it as being generous. Know when you’re taken advantage of in an unfair way, but also help your friends whenever you can. They will help you back some time.
- Self Reliance
Don’t mooch on other people. Strive to be independent in every way you can (but don’t take it too far and cause yourself problems). To sustain a community, either of a small amount of friends or a big community consisting of hundred and more people, it’s important for every single member to contribute something and to not only take. Independence makes you a strong person and the less you need to take and the more you can contribute, the better the community can grow and handle people who cannot contribute much for a small amount of time. This also includes your responsibility to take care of your health and what you eat and how cleanly you are.
Werk werk werk werk werk…
Get your lazy butt out of your chair and do your chores. And then do your taxes. Repeating your tasks will create muscles, you’ll get used to think in certain ways, your workflow will start to get easier.
Don’t. Ever. Give. Up. Like seriously.
These are only short forms of explainations to give a quick overview. But I think you get the gist. I myself like to follow a codex and I measure myself accourding to these virtues, trying to better myself. And to be honest I have no clue how the Odinic Rite-guys interprete these terms themselves. I don’t belong to any group, I just found this concept to be an interesting one and adapted it for my everyday life 🙂 Maybe I’m gonna blog a bit more about this topic, probably to cover these nine terms in a more detailed manner. But until then…
Have a nice day 🙂