The Nine Noble Virtues

What Are The Nine Noble Virtues?

The nine noble virtues are a code of conduct followed by Odinists, that are based on the teachings of the Havamal (the words of the high one – Odin)

The nine noble virtues are

1: Courage

2: Truth

3: Honour

4: Fidelity

5: Discipline

6: Hospitality

7: Industriousness

8: Self Reliance

9: Perseverance

Courage

The dictionary describes courage as: “The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.” and, “Strength in the face of pain or grief.”

A courageous person isn’t someone who is not scared. It is someone who is brave enough to do what they have to do, or what they believe is right, even though they may be scared. If you are not scared of something then you don’t have to be courageous to face it do you?

An Odinist should always try to be courageous, whatever the circumstances. We should be mentally strong enough to speak or act when it is right to do so. We should also be strong enough to not speak or act when it is correct to do so, even when others expect us, or try to pressure us, to do so.

An odinist should strive to manifest the courage to always defend his religion, family, and country, even to the death.

Truth

The dictionary describes truth as: “The quality or state of being true.” and “That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.”

Truth may seem like an obvious quality that doesn’t need explaining, but we all know that to constantly tell the truth may not be beneficial at all times.

Maybe an enemy is deceitful to us to gain the upper hand. Should we then answer their deceit with honesty?

The Havamal says:

A man should be loyal through life to friends,
And return gift for gift,
Laugh when they laugh,
but with lies repay
A false foe who lies.

I personally live my life in an honourable way, where I can look into my heart and be content with what I find, so as I don’t feel like I do anything wrong, I very very rarely feel the need to lie.

Even on an occasion where I am asked something that I don’t want to answer for whatever reason, I’m content to say that I simply don’t want to answer that question. That is still being honest and telling the truth.

But it is possible that an occasion may arise where I feel it is the right thing to do to purposely deceive an enemy, and if I believe that lying is the correct thing to do, then I will do it.

But for the most part, honesty is one of the most important and valuable qualities that a human being can possess.

Honour

The dictionary describes honour as: “The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.”

For a true Odinist, honour is life.

To conduct yourself in such a way that your family and gods can be proud of you is an imperative part of being both an Odinist, and a good human being.

To be able to look into yourself and be content that you are doing the best that you can do, and being the best that you can be, is the only way that a person can be truly content in life.

And to avoid lying, cheating, and stealing, and to always honour your word and your deals, even if it costs you to do so, is what I believe defines honour.

You will gain more in the long term by honouring your word, and having an impeccable reputation, even if it costs you in the short term, than you will by not keeping your word in order to profit. And you’ll be able to be content with yourself, which is invaluable.

Fidelity

The dictionary describes fidelity as: “Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.”

And all of those aspects of fidelity are important to Odinists.

Faithfulness to individual people is a must. In a relationship, fidelity should always be practiced. I know that it can sometimes be hard, especially for testosterone driven men, to resist sexual temptation, but it is up to you to be strong and choose to resist.

If you are in a relationship or marriage with someone then that person is your partner in life. You can share your thoughts and feelings, your home, your money and possessions, and your children with that person. So if you cannot be loyal to that person whom you trust and share so much with, then how can you possibly be loyal to anyone?

And of course, if you are an Odinist, then a marriage is an oath sworn to the gods, so to betray your partner is also to betray the gods.

Faithfulness to your family, friends, and to fellow Odinists is just as important.

Faithfulness to any just cause is also extremely important. If you are going to join and represent a cause, then stick to it and do it properly. Don’t be a two faced person, and there are many like this, who claims to support one cause to one person, and an opposite cause to another. Unless of cause that deceit is to your enemies and it furthers your cause, which is then of course, being faithful to your cause.

Faithfulness to your beliefs can be faithfulness to any belief, but for an Odinist it is as simple as being faithful to the gods and the nine noble virtues.

Discipline

The dictionary describes discipline as: “A system of rules of conduct.” and “The controlled behaviour resulting from such training.”

It is important for an Odinist to remain disciplined in every aspect of life.

We should remain disciplined in following and manifesting all of the nine noble virtues at all times.

We should also remain disciplined in everything we do. If we make sure that we spend our time in worthwhile pursuits then we should remain disciplined in those pursuits and not do them half heartedly or lack concentration when doing them.

Hospitality

The dictionary describes hospitality as: “The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”

The virtue of hospitality is something that was very important to all ancient cultures. It is to make visitors and travellers feel welcome, and to offer them basic civility, such as a drink.

The Havamal has many verses describing hospitality.

Fire is needed by the newcomer
Whose knees are frozen numb;
Meat and clean linen a man needs
Who has fared across the fells,

Water, too, that he may wash before eating,
Hand clothes and a hearty welcome,
Courteous words, then courteous silence
That he may tell his tale.

Of course, in today’s modern society visitors are unlikely to have walked through snow for days before arriving at your house, so they probably won’t need clothes to change into or a fire to warm themselves, but the basic principles stand.

If you have someone in your home make them feel welcome. Offer them a drink, and food if they are hungry, and give them your attention.

Industriousness

The dictionary describes Industriousness as: “Diligent and hard-working.”

That is pretty much spot on. An Odinist should be diligent and hard working, not sloppy and lazy. Hard work produces results and laziness gets you nowhere in life.

Work hard to earn a living, to protect and support your family, and to do the work of our gods on Earth. Get things done. Don’t just spend your time thinking about or discussing doing them.

Self-Reliance

The dictionary describes self-reliance as: “Reliance on one’s own powers and resources rather than those of others.”

From an Odinist point of view, the gods don’t usually do for us. Instead, they give us the knowledge and guidance to do for ourselves.

This also applies to relying on other people. Of course there will be many times when you cannot do something without the cooperation of others.

For example, you won’t be able to get from England to America until the aeroplane arrives to fly you there. You cannot get up and fly there yourself. But you can make sure to book the tickets yourself, and check the flight schedule yourself, and get yourself to the airport.

There are so many people who cannot do anything without others either doing it for them, or holding their hand while they do it. Learn to be able to function independently, then accept help if it’s beneficial, and use or learn from experts when the opportunity arises, but try to never be dependant on anyone or anything.

Perseverance

The dictionary describes perseverance as: “Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”

Essentially, cultivate a “never give up” spirit.

Sometimes in life things will be difficult, but if they are the right thing to do, then persevere and do them anyway.

And sometimes in life things will become more difficult than you fought they would be, but as long as there is a reasonable chance of success, then never give up.

This is especially important when it comes to conducting yourself as an Odinist. Our gods show us that not even they are perfect, and we all make mistakes, but no matter how bad you mess up, dust yourself down, come back to the nine noble virtues, and go forward from that moment onwards doing the best that you can do, and being the best that you can be.

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