The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru – Self-reliance

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The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru are:

Courage

Truth

Honour

Fidelity (or Troth)

Discipline

Hospitality

Self Reliance

Industriousness

Perseverance

 

Please note that these are my own interpretations!

 

Seventh – There is Self-reliance.

 

Self-reliance is our indomitable spirit of independence.

We need nothing more to accomplish our deeds than our own wits; the “Boer maak ‘n plan” mentality. You don’t have to wait for someone else to do your job or task for you, just do it yourself to the best of your abilities.  Being self-reliant means you should not wait for the world to be handed to you (as most of us will undoubtedly already know).  It means getting up and getting things done.  Self-reliance goes hand-in-hand with responsibility.  This responsibility is not only for your own actions and deeds but for your own eventual success.  You will not be successful if you rely on others too much, you will not be successful if you do not get out there and hunt it down.

This means that you need to be independent from the assistance of others, to the fullest extent of your abilities.  Even those who find themselves limited by disease or other factors can still function in society to the best of their abilities, the only people allowed to rest on their laurels are the successful or the dead;

“The lame can ride horse, the handless drive cattle,
the deaf one can fight and prevail,
’tis happier for the blind than for him on the bale-fire,
but no man hath care for a corpse.”

The heathen leader Ivar the Boneless (Ivar inn Beinlausi) is thought to have been rendered legless or to have suffered from a type of osteogenesis imperfecta leaving him without the use of his legs.  Yet he remained chieftain of the Danes in England and fought in battles whilst being borne about the field on a shield or by horse.

This severely disabled man accomplished some amazing feats; In ACE 865, Ivar led his forces north on horseback and easily captured York (which the Danes called Jorvik) from the Northumbrians who were at that time engaged in a civil war. In ACE 867, Ivar and the Danes succeeded in holding York against a vain attempt to relieve the city.  Ivar is also widely believed to be identical with the founder of the Uí Ímair or House of Ivar, a dynasty which at various times from the mid-9th through the 10th century ruled Northumbriaa from the capital of York, and dominated the Irish Sea region from the Kingdom of Dublin.

Thus if you find yourself lacking the use of a sense or a limb, you can still use the rest of what you still have and remain as self-reliant and functional as possible.  Here self-reliance and discipline go together, you must be disciplined enough to keep moving onwards and upwards, even if your body or mind protests.

Don’t get me wrong; being self-reliant does not imply that you shouldn’t get any help at all from others.  There is no way one person can know everything or do everything.

“He must rise betimes who fain of another
or life or wealth would win;
scarce falls the prey to sleeping wolves,
or to slumberers victory in strife.”

What it does mean is that you must do what you can for yourself, and only ask from others for things you cannot do, or cannot do alone.  When you are self-reliant, you can teach other to be so as well through helping them where you can and teaching them in the process.

“Brand kindles from brand until it be burned,
spark is kindled from spark,
man unfolds him by speech with man,
but grows ever secret through silence.”

Maybe you can learn something from them in turn?  Maybe you can learn a skill that can help you financially? Maybe you can learn a skill that is a boon to not just yourself, but to your family and kinsmen?

What being self-reliant boils down to is that you should learn as much as you can from school, university, your friends, from travels, family and life in general and become a master of your own life.  Will you show enough discipline to be self-reliant?  How else can you become more self-reliant?  By acquiring knowledge until you cannot anymore. The more you learn, the easier common (and some less common) problems will become.

“In thy home be joyous and generous to guests
discreet shalt thou be in thy bearing,
mindful and talkative, wouldst thou gain wisdom,
oft making me mention of good.
He is “Simpleton” named who has nought to say,
for such is the fashion of fools.”

Self-reliance is your key to personal freedom.  You think for yourself, you do for yourself and in doing that you depend less on others, in this freedom you can find and renew your love of life.

“Not reft of all is he who is ill,
for some are blest in their descendants,
some in their kin and some in their wealth,
and some in working well.”

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  1. Oct 13, 2011

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