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Question on NVN and Sagas

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  • Heather Heyser
    Greetings… I have not posted in a long time, however; I have been reading all posts. I have a question of you all. I asked my husband his thoughts on this
    Message 1 of 7 , May 4 9:33 AM
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      Greetings…

      I have not posted in a long time, however; I have been reading all
      posts. I have a question of you all. I asked my husband his
      thoughts on this subject and now I pose the question to you, so I
      can get differing view points.

      Last night, whilst reading to my four year old, stories from the
      sagas, I started to wonder about the Nine Virtues. Correct me if I
      am wrong, but is not one of the virtues that of Truth and Honour?

      The reason why I ask, is while reading the story of Fenris and Tyr,
      I noticed that even though the Gods promised Fenris that if the
      binding was too tight, they would remove it at once. Fenris, still
      not feeling comfortable with this idea refused; so then Tyr stepped
      in and offered to put his hand into Fenris' mouth, as a promise to
      Fenris that nothing would happen to him. Well we all know what
      happened then; Fenris finding that he could not remove the bindings
      bite off Tyr's hand.

      My question is this… how do I explain that even though the NVN are
      rules, and we should follow them, the Gods didn't? My four year old
      is young yet, and still learning…
      I don't think he will come up with this question as of yet…but it
      will come at some point.
      I would like to be able to answer him with a clear answer, and so I
      ask all of you for your opinions.

      Come to think of it, that is not the only example of the
      Gods "bending the truth", as it were. Take for instance Freyja.
      Does she not `bend the truth" with shape changing? And Thor,
      dressing as Freyja fooling Thrym, to get back his Hammer…. The list
      goes on...

      Is this a case of do as I say, not do as I do? Or is it more in the
      light of even the God/dess' are continually learning?

      In Frith,

      Gypsydove
    • Manny Olds
      ... [...] ... Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi , besides all the problems with the NNV. -- Manny Olds (oldsma@pobox.com) of Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
      Message 2 of 7 , May 4 10:23 AM
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        On 5/4/06, Heather Heyser <enoettil@...> wrote:
        >

        > Last night, whilst reading to my four year old, stories from the
        > sagas, I started to wonder about the Nine Virtues. Correct me if I
        > am wrong, but is not one of the virtues that of Truth and Honour?
        [...]
        > My question is this… how do I explain that even though the NVN are
        > rules, and we should follow them, the Gods didn't?


        "Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi", besides all the problems with the NNV.


        --

        Manny Olds (oldsma@...) of Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
      • Lissa
        On Thu, 04 May 2006 16:33:16 -0000, Heather Heyser wrote ... The NNV were extracted from the lore in the early 70 s. They are not lore, not consistant and not
        Message 3 of 7 , May 4 10:56 AM
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          On Thu, 04 May 2006 16:33:16 -0000, Heather Heyser wrote

          > Last night, whilst reading to my four year old, stories from the
          > sagas, I started to wonder about the Nine Virtues. Correct me if I
          > am wrong, but is not one of the virtues that of Truth and Honour?

          The NNV were extracted from the lore in the early 70's. They are not lore, not
          consistant and not necessary.

          My own sense is that they are training wheels for those leaving Christianity,
          since they are like the 12 Commandments. I do not use them because they are silly.

          Be well,
          Lissa
        • Karl Donaldsson
          ... As has ben moentioned already, the Nine Noble Virtues are, indeed, a totally modern construct and have very loose identifiable basis in the lore. IMHO,
          Message 4 of 7 , May 4 11:24 AM
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            Heather Heyser spake:
            >
            > Greetings…
            >
            > I have not posted in a long time, however; I have been reading all
            > posts. I have a question of you all. I asked my husband his
            > thoughts on this subject and now I pose the question to you, so I
            > can get differing view points.
            >
            > Last night, whilst reading to my four year old, stories from the
            > sagas, I started to wonder about the Nine Virtues. Correct me if I
            > am wrong, but is not one of the virtues that of Truth and Honour?
            ...
            > My question is this… how do I explain that even though the NVN are
            > rules, and we should follow them, the Gods didn't? My four year old
            > is young yet, and still learning…
            > I don't think he will come up with this question as of yet…but it
            > will come at some point.
            > I would like to be able to answer him with a clear answer, and so I
            > ask all of you for your opinions.

            As has ben moentioned already, the Nine Noble Virtues are, indeed, a
            totally modern construct and have very loose identifiable basis in the
            lore. IMHO, however, this doesn't make them inherently silly or even
            incongruous, as "the Lore" isn't some static body of singular source
            knowledge, but rather, a hodgepodge of ideas and stories which, taken as a
            whole, paint some worldview with varying degrees of consistency and
            congruence. Since we have no centralized authority on the lore and no
            centralized document attempting to codify all which has been so collected
            through the millennia, each is left to one's own devices to interpret
            these things in a way which is meaningful to oneself.

            I, personally, think the NNV are a spiffy idea and quite useful and
            relevant to modern heathenry. It is a modern construct, as are we.
            However, there are pitfalls one can see between intent, usage, and meaning
            as applied. This is nothing new to us or any other religion -- for
            example the Christian commandment of not killing seems to experience
            loopholes in its practice with regard to warfare and law enforcement. For
            us, we see Tyr's interpretation of truth to Fenris in an attempt to trick
            him -- some have said this kind of deception toward one's enemies is
            acceptable in society, thus it is justified (ends justify means in this
            case). Practically, the loss of one's honor for tricking a foe is liekly
            less than doing nothing at all and letting the beast destroy them for
            their own poor judgement in raising him in the first place.

            Another view is that these stories are parables, and that they suggest not
            what to do, but sometimes, rather what not to do.

            I think the beginner's course does a pretty good job addressing this
            concept, but only when considered individually and in its entirety. Is
            there a plan to include further discussion in an intermediate course?

            Frith upon your house
            Karl Donaldsson
            <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
            hfg@... http://hfg.ravenbanner.com
            Check out the Happy Fat Guy Pottery Studio!
            <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
            Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
            Zionsville, Indiana USA
            http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
            _______________________________________________
            "Would you know more, or what?"
            Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
          • Larry
            ... I ... Tyr, ... still ... stepped ... bindings ... old ... I ... list ... the ... In the saga you refer to there is a price for the God s having to use
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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              --- In Asatru-U@yahoogroups.com, "Heather Heyser" <enoettil@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > Greetings…
              >
              > I have not posted in a long time, however; I have been reading all
              > posts. I have a question of you all. I asked my husband his
              > thoughts on this subject and now I pose the question to you, so I
              > can get differing view points.
              >
              > Last night, whilst reading to my four year old, stories from the
              > sagas, I started to wonder about the Nine Virtues. Correct me if
              I
              > am wrong, but is not one of the virtues that of Truth and Honour?
              >
              > The reason why I ask, is while reading the story of Fenris and
              Tyr,
              > I noticed that even though the Gods promised Fenris that if the
              > binding was too tight, they would remove it at once. Fenris,
              still
              > not feeling comfortable with this idea refused; so then Tyr
              stepped
              > in and offered to put his hand into Fenris' mouth, as a promise to
              > Fenris that nothing would happen to him. Well we all know what
              > happened then; Fenris finding that he could not remove the
              bindings
              > bite off Tyr's hand.
              >
              > My question is this… how do I explain that even though the NVN are
              > rules, and we should follow them, the Gods didn't? My four year
              old
              > is young yet, and still learning…
              > I don't think he will come up with this question as of yet…but it
              > will come at some point.
              > I would like to be able to answer him with a clear answer, and so
              I
              > ask all of you for your opinions.
              >
              > Come to think of it, that is not the only example of the
              > Gods "bending the truth", as it were. Take for instance Freyja.
              > Does she not `bend the truth" with shape changing? And Thor,
              > dressing as Freyja fooling Thrym, to get back his Hammer…. The
              list
              > goes on...
              >
              > Is this a case of do as I say, not do as I do? Or is it more in
              the
              > light of even the God/dess' are continually learning?
              >
              > In Frith,
              >
              > Gypsydove
              >
              In the saga you refer to there is a price for the God's having to
              use deception ,this is the moral for your child that there is a
              price to pay if you do not up hold the six foald goal and the nine
              noble virtues.
            • Doug Freyburger
              ... Hail the preservers of the heritage! ... A bit of a nit - This is about the Eddas not the sagas. Why bring this point up? Relative age and so relative
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 8, 2006
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                Heather Heyser wrote:
                >
                > Last night, whilst reading to my four year old,
                > stories from the sagas

                Hail the preservers of the heritage!

                > I started to wonder about
                > the Nine Virtues. Correct me if I am wrong, but
                > is not one of the virtues that of Truth and
                > Honour?
                >
                > The reason why I ask, is while reading the story
                > of Fenris and Tyr,

                A bit of a nit - This is about the Eddas not the
                sagas. Why bring this point up? Relative age and
                so relative degree of symbolic encoding.

                The NNV come from the modern age since 1970 CE. I've
                seen discussion that they are cited from some ancient
                source but the citations don't seem to work well.
                Being so modern, the NNV are explicit statements with
                little attempt at poetic imagery.

                The sagas come from the Icelandic settlement era.
                They predate the invention of the novel, but they
                are approximately novelizations of Icelandic history.
                They have points exaggerated, plot lines reordered,
                historical tales mixed in order to tell a lively
                entertaining tale. Even though they are "based on a
                true story" as the modern expression goes they are
                old enough and retold enough that they are no longer
                accurate depictions of events. They have lessons
                within them. Burnt Njal is a huge lesson about what
                happens when families dishonor themselves by accepted
                wereguild and then restarting a feud for example.

                The Eddas were ancient in the Icelandic settlement
                era. They encode lessons about live in a very
                symbolic manner.

                > I noticed that even though the Gods promised
                > Fenris that if the binding was too tight, they
                > would remove it at once. Fenris, still not
                > feeling comfortable with this idea refused; so
                > then Tyr stepped in and offered to put his hand
                > into Fenris' mouth, as a promise to Fenris that
                > nothing would happen to him. Well we all know
                > what happened then; Fenris finding that he could
                > not remove the bindings bite off Tyr's hand.
                >
                > My question is this… how do I explain that even
                > though the NVN are rules,

                Modern rules even though they are good ones.

                > and we should follow them, the Gods didn't?

                Exactly. And they paid the price of failing to be
                honest.

                > I would like to be able to answer him with a clear
                > answer, and so I ask all of you for your opinions.

                It's an Eddic tale so it's ancient Lore. It would
                be very poor ancient lore if it only had one lesson.
                Paying the price of lying barely even scratches the
                surface of the layers of the onion in this tale.

                > The list goes on...

                Odin giving up his honor for the runes, too. That
                one shows that is not just mightier than the sword,
                writing systems are mightier than the truth itself.
                and their ability to preserve ancient lore is so
                great that even though no one ever recites the Eddas
                any more, many of us still read them and remember
                the Aesir.

                > Or is it more in the light of even the God/dess'
                > are continually learning?

                That's another layer.

                Why was Fenris bound not killed? Maybe killing him
                would destroy the universe. Maybe his violence will
                be needed at Ragnarok to power the creation of the
                next cycle. Maybe entropy CAN NOT be killed and even
                though the ancients didn't have the concept of
                entropy they sure would have understood the concept
                if it were presented to them.

                Why was Tyr willing to sacrafice his hand? Because
                he was willing to redeem the other wights and that
                has made him a hero.

                Why was it his right hand? Tyr Blotar are used to
                bless weapons and tools. It's symbolic that he has
                progressed from fighting soldier to leading general
                or king who no longer goes to the front of the melee.
                Note that I can think of at least two other tales in
                the lore that are symbolic of this transition from
                the front of conflict to a supporting and leading
                role.

                Why were the other god(desse)s unwilling to offer
                themselves? Because they weren't willing to lie
                because they understood the principles from which
                the NNV were so recently derived.

                Why was it necessary to lie? Because the suvival of
                the universe is more important than any notion of
                personal honor and every being is subject to events
                within the universe. Except Fenris who's suvject to
                events both within and without.

                Why did Loki bear Fenris in the first place? The
                tale of each of Loki's three well known children
                contains its own sequence of lessons just like the
                list I've suggested above.

                Hail Asgard!
                Doug Freyburger
              • Lissa
                On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 11:40:54 -0700 (PDT), Doug Freyburger wrote ... No. They were written down in the Christian era, by a Christian. They stories were older,
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 8, 2006
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                  On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 11:40:54 -0700 (PDT), Doug Freyburger wrote

                  > The Eddas were ancient in the Icelandic settlement
                  > era.

                  No. They were written down in the Christian era, by a Christian. They stories
                  were older, but we don't know how they were told in the pre-Christian era. It
                  is nearly certain they were told a number of different ways.

                  Be well,
                  Lissa
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