Happy Tyr’s Day
“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”
Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.
Hospitality is a virtue that is represented to Asatru as the glue that holds society and civilization together. The particular focus of Hospitality in the Norse context is one of being kind to strangers and travelers. If there is a virtue that relates personally to me as a wayfarer of life, it is this one. I have always appreciated the kindness people have shown me when I was far from home. Having a place where I knew I was safe while traveling is something that always warmed my heart.
It is this virtue of hospitality in the modern world that gets translated as being respectful to all human beings and giving people the things they need when they need them out of respect for their humanity. Need not want through here. People can be treacherous and the virtue acknowledges that, and one part of this is once a person has acted treacherously toward you; you don’t have to lift a finger to help them again.
This is the ‘give and take’ of Hospitality. It is not just enough to properly give it, but also to be thankful to receive it and not do it to take advantage of people. What makes it work is the two-sided nature of Hospitality, both knowing how to properly give it and receive it.
To the Wolves and Ravens:
“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”
I think society needs this understanding of hospitality again I need it. I think it is more practical than the Christian notion of ‘give expect nothing in return’ that no one actually follows. This is ‘give and receive graciously’ both ways, but always keep your eye on how people receive your hospitality and in what motivation that gives it to you. This is not a license to manipulate or take advantage of people because at that point it ceases to be a virtue.
We want hospitality to be present in our society as it is the one virtue that allows us to put aside our differences and work for the common good. That is all differences – political, religious and cultural. Some things are bigger than the individual and only a team can take them on.
For myself as a person who has been on the receiving side of hospitality from time to time, I can see how broad you can make this. It has the rational quality of being able to apply it to many different situations and in many different forms. It is a good solid virtue that can be personalized to a great degree and that is a good quality to have as well.
Hospitality to be done properly requires the wisdom of experience and a good eye for judging the situation. Laziness is not to be coddled only genuine need. At the same time compassion needs to be exercised. It is wisdom that is the tool that is needed to know the difference.
I personally only struggle with the concept of hospitality; in that, recent events of this last year have me with my own form of TNO (Trust No One) at a high level. I try to help when I can but I am always a suspicious fuck these days. The virtue right now at least forces me to try to consider it every time I read and meditate on it.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.