Rökkatru Ethics & Values
We are the Rökkatru. We honor and love and work with the Gods of the third pantheon of the Norse/Germanic religions, the Gods of underworld and shadow. Like many similar deities in other Pagan cosmologies - Hades, Hecate, Kali, Ereshkigal - we do not see our Gods as evil, because we feel that the concept of Good vs. Evil has no place in our cosmology. Instead, we see them as being a source of deep and difficult wisdom. Some may wonder what sort of ethical code would be held by those of us who worship such dark and ambivalent Gods. I have prayed to my Gods and this is what they have given me: My own personal Rökkatru Code of Ethics. For more information on the Rökkr, please check out Abby Helasdottir's site, as she was the one who originally coined the term.
Hela's Rule: Vision. Death takes the long view of all things, and so we strive to value far-seeing over temporary difficulties. Ask yourself: Will this matter in a year? Five years? Ten? After I am dead? Think ahead before you react, before you speak. Learn not to take things personally; people often react from their damage, and everything blows over in time.
Loki's Rule: Self-Knowledge. No matter what you say to others, be it truth or lie, never lie to yourself. Know yourself excruciatingly well, even the ugly parts, and always be honest with yourself first. When you speak the truth aloud, remember that the greatest honor is in speaking the truth that no one wants to hear, and that everyone has been avoiding out of fear.
Angrboda's Rule: Diversity. The Giant-Race comes in a myriad of forms, and all shapes, sizes, and natures are valued among them. Being close to Nature, they understand that diversity is survival and strength, while homogeneity is inevitable weakness. Thus, we accept and value diversity in human beings, be that in race, ability, gender, cultural background, lifestyle, sexual preferences, appearance, and all the many ways that we can be wonderfully different.
Jormundgand's Rule: Liminality. As the Snake is neither male nor female, both of Midgard and not of Midgard, so we see that the honorable and the sacred is most often found in that which crosses boundaries, bridges opposites, moves between worlds. We value that which is Both, and Neither, as one of the Great Mysteries.
Sigyn's Rule: Loyalty. Stand by those who love you, and whom you love, no matter what others say of them, no matter if they are driven out. The loyalty of true friends, family, and lovers is more important than the acceptance of any group, and any group that would force you to forswear them is not worthy.
Gerda's Rule: Frithmaking. While sometimes war is necessary, there is always far more honor in making a just peace than waging a just war.
Jord's Rule: Earthwisdom. Revere the Earth and Nature; seek to live lightly on the land. Honor the spirits of the Earth, the stones, the trees, and all Nature.
Nidhogg's Rule: Recycling. There is no such place as Away, so be careful what you throw there. Recycle, give away, don't waste, find a place for it somewhere else. This includes people as well as things.
Aegir's Rule: Hospitality. Open your doors even to those not of your people, not of your tribe. Open your doors to them even when they are annoying, or disrespectful, if there is the chance of an alliance, of changing their ways with frithmaking. Be gracious in the face of others' greed and boorishness. You have the right to set boundaries, but be generous the first time at least, no matter who they are, until they truly prove themselves worthless.
Surt's Rule: Intensity. Whatever you do, let it be with passion and fervor. Do not live a dull, repressed life.
Fenris's Rule: Shadow. Learn to love and find sacred all the parts of yourself, even the darknesses. Honor them by making a safe place for them, where they can neither be harmed nor harm others.
Mordgud's Rule: Self-Control. The Giant-Race are a people of strong passions, and so often are their followers. That is why it is all the more important that we strive always to keep our gates guarded and our walls firm -- not to keep out, but to keep in. Keep control of your emotions, that they might not spill over and burn others, or yourself.
The Norns' Rule: Dedication. Walk your path as you understand it, and as the Gods tell you to, and let no mortal opinion get in the way of your Wyrd.
Artwork by Manuel Rodriguez Rojas.