The Virtues: Courage

In working through the DP I have elected to more or less synchronize and as associate the virtues with the High Days, so that I work through a corresponding one every six weeks or so. Because the DP includes nine virtues and eight High Days, I’m doubling up for Yule, and writing about both ‘Courage’ and ‘Integrity’, as they both seem to be primary traits of Týr , the patron God of our Yule High Rite.

Cambridge English Dictionary:

  1. “the ​ability to ​control​ fear and to be ​willing to ​deal with something that is ​dangerous, ​difficult, or ​unpleasant”

Courage is the active manifestation of the fortitude to confront hardship or difficulty unwaveringly. It is, in a way, a sort of intensification of Perseverance, and of a certain form of Integrity, in that to cultivate it one must press on in the face of adversity. It is demonstrated by Týr in his placing his hand in the mouth of the Wolf he fostered, knowing that he would lose both his hand and his honor in the breaking of an oath, but knowing also that it was necessary to forestall Ragnarök. It is demonstrated by the Einherjar in their constant preparation for the Ragnarök that is coming anyway, even though they know that it is a battle that will ultimately be lost. And it is demonstrated by protestors and activists spending of their time and safety demonstrating to improve the lives of people they will never know, by a person daring to speak their convictions despite strong popular contrarian opinion, and by a parent or a spouse who breaks their back working to provide for their family, when the enemy against which they show courage is their own weariness or despair of ever defeating the ever-mounting bills. Courage is Perseverance when the odds seem stacked against you, and the active suppression of fear in the face of adversity.