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The first group of vices and virtues that I’m going to be looking at in this series is the Nine Noble Virtues in Heathenism. Most people, I suspect, haven’t heard of them, hence the “starter” post here before I really get into them.
The Nine Noble Virtues are drawn from the various Heathen literature and myths, such as the Eddas (Prose and Poetic) and the Havamal (sayings of the High One/Odin). Much like the Seven Deadlies and Heavenlies of Christianity, they aren’t really listed anywhere, but just what our religious scholars have drawn from our religious/cultural inheritance.
The reason there are nine is because nine is a sacred number to Germanic Heathens. Nine Worlds, Nine days did Odin hang upon Yggdrasil, etc. Nine pops up constantly in the sagas and myths. It is, in many ways, the equivalent of the sacredness of the number ten to the Romans and later the Christians, or Seven for the Jews.
There are, on the Wiki, two versions of the Nine Noble, one for the Asatru Folk Assembly, and then one for the Odinic Rite. I am listing them here below:
- 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
- Self Reliance
Both of these lists are good ones to go by. However, this first part I am going to run through the Asatru Folk Assembly’s version, since in my research into Heathenism, I tend to find myself closer to them than the Odinic Rite. Also, I think that the AFA version flows very well from one Virtue to the next and connects them deeply. However, after I finish the Deadlies and Heavenlies, I am possibly going to go back and talk about the Odinic Rite’s version, since they are very much worthy of consideration and meditation.