So, I read a LOT of Spirituality, Religion, and Mythology texts: Wiccan, Pagan, Christian (although the “begat” section of the Bible is irritating, and the King James version is just terrible…it was heavily edited for “decency” and there are much better, more complete, versions out there), Hindu, Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Celtic…yeah. It’s a long list people.
Anyway, I found the equivalent of the Wiccan Rede* or the 10 Commandments* when reading about Norse Paganism* (there are a few varieties) the other day. I thought it was interesting…so I’m sharing. Like I said, if this bores the crap out of you or offends, feel free to ignore this post. Townhome Twits returns tomorrow.
Disclaimer: I’m in no way, shape, or form any sort of expert on Heathenism, Odinism, Astaru, or any other Norse based Paganism (or any religion, really). These are my current interpretations: if you ARE an expert, feel free to elaborate. I’m always interested.
And so: the “Nine Noble Virtues” (with my personal…severely boiled-down for space…definitions added):
- Courage: Everyone is scared. Many people allow fear to rule their actions, instead of pushing through the fear and fighting it back, and so they stay stuck. “Luck will often find a man, should his courage hold.” Bulwyf, The 13th Warrior
- Truth: I actually see Truth and Honor as hand-in-hand virtues: Honesty in words and intentions is important: a liar is untrustworthy.
- Honor: If you give your word, keep it. Act with honorable intent and treat others respect. Even when it’s really fucking difficult. Honor is in actions and results, the way Truth is measured in words and results.
- Fidelity: Loyalty to your family (and I mean the loosest and most important definition of family: the family you CHOOSE. That can include blood relations or not: the people deeply important to you are family).
- Discipline: Control of yourself (physical, emotional, rational) prevents others from controlling you, but it takes consistency and work.
- Hospitality: NEVER turn away someone in need. You don’t know when you’ll be on the one needing. Cautious generosity and kindness are often returned in kind, and you never know who that person is that needs it.
- Industriousness: Nothing in this world is free: that which seems free has a cost somewhere. Work. Work your ass off. CONTRIBUTE somehow to the tribe. Laziness gets nothing done and provides no value to yourself or your tribe (and I use “tribe” loosely here, as it could mean your family, your friends, your coworkers, your society, your country, your Earth).
- Self-Reliance: YOU are responsible for your survival and success. Period.
- Perseverance: You can give up, after you die. Pretty simple, really.
I actually think quite a lot about these 9 virtues. They make sense to me in many ways (although I do have some trouble with #5 and #7…laziness is a personal vice of mine…sigh), and combine well with the idea that the energy you expend is what you’ll get back (spread kindness, you’ll likely see it returned. Don’t believe me? Smile at everyone you see tomorrow and say hello).
That led me to the Astaru Folk Assembly’s variation of the Nine Virtues (also found on the Wiki link), with which I agree completely EXCEPT for #9.
- Strength is better than weakness
- Courage is better than cowardice
- Joy is better than guilt
- Honour is better than dishonour
- Freedom is better than slavery
- Kinship is better than alienation
- Realism is better than dogmatism
- Vigor is better than lifelessness
- Ancestry is better than universalism Not for me. I think humans are the same everywhere: there are compassionate ones, nasty one, selfish ones, beautiful ones, ugly ones, generous ones, violent ones, peaceful ones, dramatic ones, practical ones…and every other description you can probably think of, everywhere in the world
This post isn’t some big revelation, nor is it an attempt to convert anyone. I think the similarities between world religions are fascinating, and so I shared. Feel free to leave opinions in the comments.
*Yes. I used Wikipedia as my sources. Why? Because it is non-religious and as equally objective (and really, as fact-based as possible when looking at 3 completely different religions) as I could find. Feel free to research further if you choose: there about 10 quadrizillion websites and book on Wicca, Paganism, Norse Paganism, and Christianity out there. And that’s probably a low estimate.