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How to Gain Favor with the Gods

By Swain Wodening

No one knows for certain how to gain favor with the Gods. Therefore, what is said here should only be taken as suggestions, and not a sure fire way to gain their favor. Every Heathen, I think wishes the favor of the Gods. Why else would we pray to them, entreat them, give them libations. But this is not the only way to gain their favor. More goes into gaining the favor of the Gods than simple ritual. One must live by the thews and live an honorable life. Honor amongst the ancient Heathens was not seen as an inner quality, but seen as how one was viewed from the outside. It was therefore based on one’s deeds, and not on such ideas as devotion and faith. Old English ár can be defined as ?glory, rank, respect given one.? It also relates well to the concepts of weorð “worth,” and especially dóm whose primary meaning is most often when not being used of law, ?fame, renown.? Since honor was how folks viewed you, one must do honorable deeds for all to see. To have honor one must live certain thews. Primary amongst these are hospitality and generosity. In ancient times travel was a dangerous ordeal. There were no inns or motels to stop in for a bit of rest. One had to rely on the kindness of others to have a place to stay. It was a matter of survival. Hospitality was so important that the Havamal has many words of advice to offer on it. One of my favor passages is as follows:

Water, too, that he may wash before eating,
Handcloth?s and a hearty welcome,
Courteous words, then courteous silence
That he may tell his tale. (Havamal 4)

Read the original article at: Swain Wodenings Blog

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