It was my intention to write a post about my concerns with frith in modern Heathenry. That is still my intention, but I found something I need to share first. I came across a single paragraph in Gronbech’s “The Culture of the Teutons” that framed every concern I currently have, and did it with such succinct, yet poetic, language that I felt that the best thing I could do was just share it and say a few words. I’ll talk about how we fix it later. For now, let us speak on why we need to fix it.
We find here a community based upon general unity, mutual self-sacrifice and self-denial, and the social spirit. A society, in which every individual, from birth to death, was bound by consideration for his neighbour. The individuals in this community show in all their doings that they are inspired by one passion: the welfare and honour of their kin; and none of the temptations of the world can move them even for a moment to glance aside. They say themselves, that this passion is love. What more natural then, than that we, who from our own lives know love and its power, should begin with what we have in common with these people we are considering? Given this agreement on the essential point, all that appears strange must surely become simple and comprehensible.
-Vilhelm Gronbech, The Culture of the Teutons
I hear a lot of the same points over and over again. Frith was the touchstone of our ancestor’s culture. We need to build frith and community, for those are of the highest importance to our folkway and our ancestors. That our ancestors had holidays just for the laying down of arms, no matter the cause, because of how important frith was to the. More then a being of war, we tell ourselves, the Heathen of ancient times was purported to be a man or woman whose family and community were central to their being; they keystone of our faith.
I have looked at the importance we put on such things in actuality…and we should be shamed of ourselves.