Nine Great Thews

In the Fyrnsidu practiced by the Fellowship, we currently recognize 9 Great Thews. These are the ethical bedrock upon which our fellowship is built. Other organizations have presented these tenets somewhat differently, some teach a greater number, some less, but most will adhere fairly closely to what is written here.

Árfæstness (Honor)

Honor, the first of the great thews of Fyrnsidu, means to treat others with the dignity they deserve, and demand the same for oneself. To live with honor is to place value in oneself, and one’s fellows. To trespass upon the rights or persons of others, or to stand meekly by while others trespass upon you or yours, is to dishonor oneself. To earn honor one must give it to others freely, showing respect where respect is due, and scorn where scorn is appropriate. One should respect the life, limb, and property of those who are not enemies, and uphold the rights of others, who cannot uphold their own.

Æfæstnes (Piety)

In Fyrnsidu, piety means showing due reverence to the Gods and Goddesses, and observing the holy tides. While ours is not a dogmatic faith, a certain minimal demonstration of devotion is expected of those who follow our path.

Ellen (Courage)

This means to do what you know must be done, according to one’s personal understanding of honor, even at the risk of one’s self. To experience fear does not mean one is not courageous; to be truly courageous means to do what is needed even in spite of fear.

Sylen (Generosity)

This means to be free with gifts, to give to those who need it, and to be liberal in sharing abundance with kin and friends.

Holdnes (Hospitality)

This means to always be hospitable to a guest and offer assistance to those in need. It is virtuous to offer good will and comfort to honorable beings, as they deserve no less from an equally honorable person. This can also mean courtesy, a thew often overlooked in today’s society. A courteous tongue will often forestall strife, and repair many ills.

Getréowð (Loyalty)

This is to keep one’s allegiances or covenants, and be loyal and constant in one’s relationships. This thew is one of the most admirable traits of Germanic culture in general, and among the most widely appreciated by all peoples.

Metgung (Temperance)

This means to act not from habit or whim but with measured and considerate deliberation. A Heathen should learn to exercise self-control, restraint when necessary, and in all things– moderation.

Sóðfæstnes (Truthfulness)

This means to be truthful and forthright in speech. Do not lie or dissemble, unless to an enemy, or one you suspect of treachery.

Bisignes (Industriousnes)

To embrace this thew is to embrace the Anglo-Saxon work ethic: be industrious and diligent, and show pride in your work, craft, trade, or profession.

Article excerpt from the GFS website:

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