Virtues of The Old Ways
Those that lived the Way did so by a strict code. Their WORD was their bond. An OATH was sacred. These were backed up by a list of virtues that were drummed into their very being from infancy. These virtues in our family numbered twelve. Among the Asatru they espouse The Nine Noble Virtues, others that follow the old ways have 27 Virtues, 32 Virtues and even 40 Virtues. This is a choice of different sects of the Old Way. Listed below are the 12 Virtues of The Northern Way.
1. Truth: Sincerity; honesty.
2. Wisdom: Understanding what is true, right or lasting. Common sense, good judgment.
3. Honor: Esteem; respect.
4. Perseverance: To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea or task in spite of obstacles.
5. Courage: The quality of mind that enables one to face danger with confidence, resolution and firm control of oneself; bravery.
6. Determination: Firmness of purpose; resoluteness.
7. Responsibility: The condition or fact of being responsible. Taking ownership of your actions. Accountability. Dependable, reliable, trustworthy.
8. Loyalty: Steadfast in allegiance. Faithful to a person, ideal or custom.
9. Integrity; Strict personal honesty and independence. Completeness. Unity.
10. Hospitality: Cordial and generous reception of guest.
11. Strength: The power to resist force, strain, or stress; toughness; solidity. Moral courage or power.
12. Stability: Long-lasting; enduring. Consistently dependable.
Think back to the years of conversion: It would have taken all of these virtues to have survived those centuries of religious persecution. A person's Honor depended on how he/she was perceived by his/her peers. Honor depended on keeping of word, courage, dependability, responsibility, wisdom, and hospitality. If a person could not be depended on to keep the family or tribal secrets then they were all doomed to be persecuted for their beliefs. So the virtues were instilled in these families, along with a love for independence and free thinking. When the advent of the reformation in Europe brought about the witch hunts in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries those who had managed to hide their beliefs in the folk customs became concerned and found means to sail to the new world. They settled along the eastern coast of the colonies and as the population grew, moved westward into the mountains. If you stop to listen to the people of the Blue Ridge Mountains you will hear tales and observe customs that will remind you of the folkways of Northern Europe.