Asatru, all of Heathenism, is based on an honor/shame dichotomy. One’s actions are either honorable/bring honor, or are shameful/bring shame. Who, or what, defines this comes in two groups. The Gods, powerful and with slowly changing morals who act as a measuring stick to what is honorable and who is worthy, and mortals who define in their own lives what is honorable and dishonorable.
Once, a thousand year ago and before that, these two sources of definition were the same. Man and God spoke with each other often, communing on what was honorable and what was not. But here, in the present, there has been a shift. Mortals have had different gods, different definitions, different politics, and this had led to a vast gap between what Gods deem honorable and what man deems honorable.
I just recently had a conversation involving Freya, Hel, and myself about this. Freya and I used to have a pretty close relationship, but that changed when during some personal events involving me and a few others, she deemed me to be unworthy of a gift I had been freely given. This judgement that I was unworthy came at the behest of one I called a friend who disagreed with me on certain things. Either by persuasion, or asking for a judgment, Freya changed her mind about me being worthy of that thing where as previously she had been fine with it.
I became the unworthy and Freya removed the patron-ship we’d had. We cut off most ties do to this. However, this did not change my worth or value to Hel, due to the fact that Hela is the Goddess of the Dishonored and Unworthy. What I was involved in was deemed fine by my queen, since it was done in an attempt to preserve the honor of all, while seeing to the needed protection of others.
That’s why I aligned myself with Helheim to begin with. The idea that sometimes you have to do things society doesn’t like in order to help people or do what needs to be done.
We as a society have decided that certain things now are dishonorable. We as Heathens have bought into these ideals with some tenacity, turning it against each other. Racism, “racial” pride, things of this nature tear us apart. Having pride in who you are is evil because people of our various races have done bad things. Why they did it is rarely considered beyond “lulz evulz,” a thing that dishonors those who came before us. Defending those who hold onto that pride, or even merely argue that those who have that pride have the right and freedom to do so, gets one labeled a racist and dishonorable.
But in olden days, with the Gods, defending your people is considered the highest act of honor one can do. Having pride in who you are and who you came from is the basis of Heathenism. “Oaths, Boasts, and Toasts,” is the formula for virtually every holy ritual of Heathenism. Boasting of your deeds and toasting the deeds of others.
An act of honor to the Gods, viewed as an act of dishonor by mortals.
Which is one of the reasons I speak up so much about unpopular things, or defend unpopular points of view. Because it is needed, even if it isn’t judged as Honorable or Worthy. Indeed, often it is deemed dishonorable and unworthy, but as one of the realm of the Unworthy, I am their voice. So I must speak.
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