Happy Tyr’s Day
“Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”
Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.
As I start the cycle of going through each of the nine noble virtues I am using a little help and I am also looking back at the last time I did this.
The help I am referring to is this website page which I have looked at often to make sure I was thinking about the Nine Noble Virtues in the understanding of some of those that follow Asatru. It has been a good resource for me and I want to share it. For these discussions, I am engaging the ideas found here as I write, so it is a good backdrop.
Last time I looked at Honor was January 8, 2019, and I described it as the most difficult virtue: Honor: The Most Difficult Virtue. I would probably stand by that idea still as it is still the most difficult virtue to grasp because it is so personal.
Without honor we are nothing. Honor is the central element of Asatru as far as its central moral imperative. If Norse mythology teaches anything that is truly valuable, then it is that honor matters. People with honor are valued and respected long after death, people without it are despised. Those trying to embrace the Asatru ideal of Honor should strive to be the former. To guide myself into a better understanding of it, I look to my wolves and ravens.
To the Wolves and Ravens:
“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”
When I left my faith in Christianity, the need for a new moral compass was very real. I was struggling with a lot of questions of self-worth, What was my value if I wasn’t a Christian minister? The main question though was a question of the value of self. The need for honor was overwhelming in the light of the fact I really had nothing outside of my faith before. My marriage at the time was bad. My career as a minister was over. What was central to myself was a big question. I needed answers and I found the first and most significant answer in Asatru and its Nine Noble Virtues. In particular, Honor became the foremost virtue in my mind in addressing these questions.
Once I knew the need for honor was present, I wanted it. It began to stabilize my life quite a bit. I had a lot of questions but my conversion from Christianity to being a Deistic Humanist Pagan needed focus and some way to make it consistent. Honor became a particular challenge for me. I was following my heart but it had no guidance or wisdom and Honor came in as I not only needed it, I wanted it so I could find a path back to being respectable without all the nonsense fo faith in the Chrisitan creed. I wanted to know that I was on a path where my inner value of myself would lead to an outward reputation that was respected or at least – feared.
Honor is knowing what is true about yourself. This takes a hard look at yourself to see what is true and then change accordingly. Meditation and thought about who you are is essential and I have found this road requires a lot of thinking things through to find the paths that need to be taken that are both reasonable and wise. This is the start of finding the honorable path. Asatru helps with this in that it gives me other virtues that are tools for finding honor – Truth and Fidelity being the most notable, but all the other virtues in a sense combine into honor. This path I am on is a rational one because of this.
I find that when it comes to honor, wisdom says that honor leads to a good path that is well chosen not just because it is of the most advantage to one’s self, but because it also benefits others. Honor leads to respect and respect is a benefit to anyone who has it. It leads to a lot of benefits when you have a society where people are honorable and respected for it. There is no coercion or fraud in such a society and everyone benefits. This is the wise path made possible by being each person being honored as each person pursues Honor.
I still struggle with honor mostly because I know I am capable of greater things than I am doing. I just feel the need to catch my breath with all that is happened this past year. The taking stock of where I need to go and then move forward. What matters to me is Honor – my own feeling that I have value. To know what is true about myself and work to make it better. I cannot walk the path as a follower of the virtues of Asatru or as The Grey Wayfarer without it. So it remains the most difficult but most essential virtue.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.