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The SixFold Goal

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Explaining the concepts behind the "six fold goal" of Asatru.

The Six-Fold Goal is a Norse ethical system. Generally, this six-fold goal is though to have first been suggested by Edred Thorsson in the book "A Book of Troth". Along with the Nine Noble Virtues, the Six-Fold Goal is meant to be a guidelines for the core virtues of any asatruar. Again, like the Nine Noble Virtues, they are more *suggestions* than requirements.  The Norse understand that there are situational occurrences which call for certain action, that may be against the virtues and behavioral ethics they strive to uphold. This tends to be why those who follow Norse paths frown upon “black” and “white” because everything is viewed as a varying shade of grey.  The Norse also focus more on the results or consequences of actions than the intention.  Regardless if something was an accident, if the result is bad it is still on your shoulders and conscious.  “Intention is purely internal and subjective: Results are external, real and objective”.

 

The Six-Fold Goal:

  • Right
  • Wisdom
  • Might
  • Harvest
  • Frith
  • Love

 

Right:

This is ruled by Tyr. Those who practices Asatru should seek a "right" path. This means doing good actions, keeping good thoughts, etc. "It is the justice of law shaped by the lore of our folk and meted out with good judgement, and true by those who can see the truth". This goal teaches one to correct any wrongs they may have done, regardless of intention, and to be "right" in all that is done.

 

Wisdom:

This is ruled by Odin. It teaches one to think about what they are doing and to think about the consequemnces of their actions. It also teaches to ask for counsel and accept criticism. "Above all, wisdom must be preserved, for in it are the wells of all memory [and thought]." Wisdom is gained by looking at the past from a different perspective and learning from the lessons we have been taught.

 

Might:

This is ruled by Thor. "In might is embodied the two-fold goal of victory and defense". Without strength, how can one fight against forces that would harm them, their families, their friends, their community? There are many types of might: physical, political, intellectual. Be careful, with might, that it is only for ensuring safety and not causing problems. This would conflict with the other teachings.

 

Harvest:

Holy to the Vanir. "This is the reaping of the things of the good cycles of nature". Life produces many things, and we are taught that if these things are not harvested they will go to waste.

 

Frith:

This is ruled by both Freyr and Freyja. Frith means "peace". But it can be more complex than that. It is usually described as a combination of things, such as: loyalty, honor, hospilatily, and support. "It is the true state of 'peace' wherein all parts of the six-fold goal are successfully pusued and attained".  It also means that one has an obligation or duty to their family and friends. It goes much more in length, but I will be writing an article solely dedicated to Frith so I will not go into it now.

 

Love:

Often this is thought to be embodied in Frey and Freya, "the Lord and the Lady". Without love, life can be filled with stagnation. It teaches one to be able to understand the essence of being a natural being- to look around and be proud of the emotions and feelings we possess: To seek fulfillment without indulging too much.

 

Keep in mind when reading this that Asatru lacks the concept of “sin”.  The reason for the ethical systems most tend to follow is a personal striving to be a better person in general, to uphold the honor of their heritage, and to avoiding shaming him/herself.  While these noble virtues and goals are things we strive to achieve, we also let ourselves do what needs to be done when we feel it must. In Asatru, we are not taught to “turn the other cheek”.  We are not taught to “love thy neighbor as thyself”.  We are taught to be strong, and willing to defend our families, our virtues, our beliefs, our ways of life. The way of the Asatruar is finding a thin line to balance on so that we are strong, but not bullies: so that we are supportive, but not babying of other, so that we love life and enjoy being happy, but do not overstep the bounds of good taste.

 

What it boils down to is that the Asatruar is concerned with mainly being a person that the Gods would approve of and wish to communicate with.

 

 

A Book of Troth by Edred Thorsson:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28843809/A-Book-of-Troth-by-Edred-Thorsson-Part-1

 

Sources:

http://www.irminsul.org/li/li.html

http://www.goheathen.org/articles/whatasatru.html

This article was contributed by
This article was contributed by The Dark and Light.
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