Happy Tyr’s Day
“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”
Principle – Act with Courage at the right time
As I was reading the Asatru website Ravenbok on Courage I realized that there is one aspect of courage that even that website admits that most followers of Asatru fail at and that is having courage about what they believe. It is this folding to the prevailing Christian culture or whatever other religious culture exists and not coming out and telling people you are pagan is what they are talking about here. Courage is lacking in this regard although anyone who wants to know where I stand simply has to read this blog and its The Pagan Pulpit.
Just for the record, I am a diest humanist that has very pagan tendencies when it comes to spirituality. I don’t really have a problem saying it. Social acceptance be damned! Perhaps this is one area of Asatru I do better in. I don’t proselytize as that is not very pagan but if someone asks, I sure as hell will tell you where I stand.
But I get it. For literally millennia the Abrahamic religions have hunted down pagans and killed them. Hell, the Bible has in the book of Joshua that not only justifies this Genocide but clearly paints a picture that the biblical god would not be pleased with his people unless they killed every man woman and child. Well, except virgin girls so the men could make them their wives. In this atmosphere, it can still be hard to have the courage to say you’re a pagan to people who have demonstrated historically that they will come up with multiple and twisted reasonings to subject and kill those that disagree with them.
For myself, I follow the virtues of Asatru and they remind me Courage is a commitment to do the right thing at the right time, every time. That includes when people ask me what church I go to tell them – I don’t go to church. My place of worship is every place that I am and my act of worship is to act at all times according to the virtues of Asatru.
To the Wolves and Ravens:
“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”
Courage is the most needed virtue in the face of Fear. Courage is a choice and a needed choice if one is going to do anything. Our world gives us lots of things to fear. Politics and religion encourage us to fear because it makes us easier to manipulate. Courage is the needed choice to be free.
I need a lot more courage in expressing my self verbally. I guess it is my personality. The few other INFJ types in know all have the same problem. Being natural empaths we don’t want people to feel bad because then we feel bad ourselves. So we find alternate ways of expressing our feelings. In my case, I find it far easier to write my feelings than say them. That way I can’t feel people’s reactions to my written words. I need to overcome this to a point that I can face those feelings bravely.
It is this freedom that gives the desire (want) to embrace liberty and self-reliance. Better to live free and die than to bow in chains. You need and want courage because it is the means to liberty and freedom of choice. Otherwise, your fears will lead you into chains.
I know there is a freedom o open expression. I have had it a couple times where I and the other person could talk freely about what we felt and ti was very liberating. I just have to have the courage to take the steps I can on my side to get there.
That said, there is a great deal of difference between foolhardy and courage. There is no courage in paying a price or dying for nothing. Courage should cause us to fight for the things that matter. Part of real courage is reason. Rational courage is what we are making choices about not being afraid of the things in our way of a better life, not knee jerk martyrdom.
When it comes to expressing myself verbally, I know what I need to do. I know it is reasonable and wise. That is not the problem. It is, in the end, making the choice to be brave.
Some times the wisest path to walk is the one that involves facing our fears and overcoming them. It gives us the strength to face later challenges. Courage has wisdom to it when it is used for a purpose because it leads to the building of character. And no one has ever built character into their lives without acts of courage. Fear and cowardice only lead to the things people despise in their more rational and wise moments.
‘I walk with courage. I follow the old ways. I strive for honor. I know what I stand for. I am proud of that. I am heathen.’
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.