The Nine Noble Virtues
We’ve all heard of the 10 commandments – many would say they epitomise how we should treat others and also how we in turn should wish to be treated ourselves. While religion may be on the wain many still see England and indeed the English as essentially Christian but what some may forget is that the English have an older religion that pre-dates Christianity. Before the English took up the cross of orthodox Christianity they were actually seen as an enemy of the church and as Heathen warriors the English along with there northern kinsmen were seen as the scourge of what was already then a mainly Christian Europe.
From around AD 450 the English migration started – the Angels, Saxons and Jutes moved en-masse from their continental homelands. It was not only their families and personal possessions they brought with them, they also brought their way of life, their values and their religion. The religion of our ancestors and the Gods that they worshiped are still deeply embedded in English culture and echoes of our Heathen past can still be heard right up to the present day.
We are reminded of the names of the indigenous Gods of the English people in the days of the week (Tuesday – Tiw’s day, Wednesday – Woden’s day, Thursday – Thunor’s day, Friday – Freya’s Day), many of our place names including Wednesfield, Wodnesfeld, (both meaning Wodensfield), Tuesley (names after the God Tiw) and Thursley (meaning Thunor’s Grove) to name but a few and even in modern day Christian celebrations which were originally Heathen festivals celebrated by our forefathers.
Christmas was originally Yule and was a celebration to mark the winter solstice, when the earth was resting quietly after its labours through the year. The traditional Yule time log has it’s origins in the heathen celebration and evergreen wreaths like the ones that many of us still attach to our doors every Christmas were made to symbolise midwinter celebrations long before the birth of Christ. Likewise Easter takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre who was worshipped with an annual festival held in her honour in the month of April.
The ancestral religious faith of our forefathers is not dead. It is still kept alive to this day by followers of the original religion of the English people. Where Christians have Ten Commandments the Wodenists instead have the Nine Noble Virtues.
I’m not a particulaly religious person but in many ways the Noble Virtues just seem somehow very English to me and relivent to the modern England in which we live.
I might just print them out and stick them on my kids wall….
The Nine Noble Virtues and one interpretation of what they should mean.
1. Courage and Selflessness
- Be brave, stand up for yourself and what you believe. Do
not turn the other cheek.
2. Truth - Be honest with yourself. You only
kid yourself if you lie. Be truthful to others.
3. Honour - Believe in yourself and the folk.
Stand by what you believe.
4. Fidelity - Stay true to yourself, your
family, faith and folk.
5. Discipline and Duty - Develop self-discipline
and inner strength rather than relying on other stimulus.
Follow these values. Teach others.
6. Hospitality - Your hearth should be welcoming
to family and folk. Help those in need.
7. Industriousness - Work hard to achieve
your goals and make strong your inner self
8. Self-reliance - Try not to rely on others,
do what you can yourself.
9. Perseverance - Life is a hard path at
times, but push yourself on till you reach your goal.