The Nine Noble Virtues represent an outcropping of the early days of Heathen reconstruction that began in the early 70s.Saga scholars looked into the Icelandic Sagas and pulled out what they saw within them as a means to create some guide for behavior.The NNVs don’t represent a dictate; rather, suggestions for life.Every NNV remains the same no matter how they are presented.What will differ slightly will be the interpretations…
The Nine Noble Virtues
As prepared by Vaygar-Ingvald Elmersson
Courage Courage is definitely an attitude of boldness, however, not the absence of fear.Courage is the carrying on in spite of your fear.It is courage that allows us to live life in such a manner that we can be proud.
Truth Truth is as relative as the individual.What one person or group finds to be the Truth, another finds to be ridiculous.There is no universal truth.There is no one-way or right way of seeing things.What we accept as truth is merely that: our truth.No one person or group has the right to dictate their truth on anyone.Search for your own truth.
Honor Honor is the ability to hold your head high in all situations.Honor is that which serves us on a personal basis.We set standards for ourselves and live according to those standards.We are not encouraged to set low standards, rather, set high standards and work toward them continually, even behind closed doors.
Fidelity We must remain loyal to who and what we are.Those around us need to have the ability to take us at our word, and our word needs to be our bond.Our handshake needs to seal the deal.The devotion to our deeds has to be of the uttermost importance. Hospitality Welcome those into your house and your life as you can.In today’s world, we cannot trust everyone with whom we come in contact, but we can exercise caution and be as welcoming as possible.Be generous in offering food, drink and shelter.Similarly, be a proper and respectful guest when you are welcomed.
Discipline Our Way is not an easy way.In many aspects, we fly in the face of the society around us.Stay Tru to the ideals of Heathenry as they unfold in your life.Be diligent in the study of your beliefs.Stay Tru to the gods and goddesses of the Northern Germanic peoples.
Industriousness Life requires that we work hard.Never sit back and take the easy way out in regards to your ability to create a lifestyle for yourself.No matter the lifestyle you choose, know that your elevation in life, or lack of it, may (but not always) be the direct result of your depth of diligence.Do the best you can, and know that your efforts have been suitably rewarded.
Self-Reliance Do not create codependent relationships in any way.Do not let your happiness, or your success, be determined by anyone else.Be responsible for yourself.Rely on your own efforts to secure your needs.
Perseverance If you give up, you die.It really is simple, isn’t it?No matter what you are doing, see it to its conclusion.Even if you try and fail, realize that the only real failure is not trying.Failure is evidence that someone has tried.Success is failure defeated.
The Heathen Vanic Virtues
Sometimes as one travels a certain spiritual path long enough one becomes more self-aware than ever before; such is the case when I became more Vanatru than Asatru. In the book, “An Introduction to Vanatru“ I discovered the Vanic Virtues that I think will go straight to the sole of my being. Everything about Vanatru speaks well of my Germanic, agrarian ancestors as well as my life experiences. In discussing things Vanic with Rheinwood Nordliut I have found that several are in agreement with me. I use this portion by permission
The Vanic Virtues As Created by Nicanthiel Hrafnhild “An Introduction to Vanatru” Co-authored by Svartesol
The NNV considers the individual human as the pinnacle of importance in terms of Heathen conduct, and thus are good for tempering and ennobling the self; the Thews take this further, and speak to one's conduct towards those of the immediate community/kin-group, and action as part of a greater whole. But there is a whole world out there that is not human, and to which we all are intimately connected, and we have no code for dealing with it, no handy list of concepts that we can refer to when dealing with non-human entities.
Few Heathens would dispute the importance of dealing fairly and justly with the wights and other creatures of the world, but most approach it from the human angle. We who follow the
Vanir, however, are in many ways closer to the reality of the nonhuman worlds – thus, I have formulated a list of thirteen virtues (thirteen is always a good Vanic number, after all) that speak to a Vanic understanding of our place in the worlds:
The Heathen Vanic Virtues:
Beauty The pursuit of beauty and elegance in thought, form and speech.
Courage/Passion Zeal, vigor; the strength and courage that comes from a life worth living.
Land-rightness The recognition of nature and the environment as worthy of respect, care and reverence.
Even-mood Harmonious and balanced thought and action; tranquility, calm, serenity.
Openness The quality of being receptive to the world around one, non-judgmental and open.
Wildness/Ecstasy Music and dance; the nurturing of inner wildness and childlike being, being “fey”
Love The all-encompassing force; love for family, for kin, for humanity, for all beings.
Frith The peace and goodwill between people bound together; loyalty and the keeping of one's word.
Faith/Piety The trust that the Gods exist and are worthy of our worship, and Their ways worth following.
Giving The binding of two parties into one common bond, generosity and hospitality.
Joy Wonder and innocence, the recognition that life is worth living, and worth living well.
Brotherhood The recognition that we – humans, animals, plants, spirits – are all part of the grander scheme of life, and we share a common heritage, as children of the Earth.
Obviously, some of these can be found on the other lists. There are five, however, that I feel need further examination – beauty, land-rightness, piety, wildness and joy. All of these speak inherently to the Vanir, as they embody these principles in the Worlds – they are breathtakingly beautiful; they are contagiously joyful and fiercely wild and enchantingly fey; they are receptive to the needs and desires of others while holding true to who they are; they are in symbiosis with the world around them, and careful to not upset the delicate balances of life and death and re-life; and they consider us worthy of interest and communion.
All lists such as these but touch the surface of what good and right living entails, but hopefully, you have a better idea of what a Vanic life might look like.