On Théodish Worthing

What does it mean when Théodsmen speak of worthing themselves? ‘Tis the will of each Théodsman to be worthy (OE: weorþig); worthy of his gods, worthy of his ancestors, worthy of his king, and worthy of his place among fellow Théodsmen. To be worthy of such things (OE: weorþig) a Théodsman must first gain for himself worth (OE: weorþ). The man who is worthy is the man who has worth, the man who has value. This sort of worth is not one that is inborn but rather one that is won through deed. As the Théodish adage goes, “we are our deeds.” ‘Tis though his deeds that a Théodsman worths (OE: weorðan) himself.

As lain out by Bosworth, to worth, weorðan, is to “to come to be, to be made, to arise, come, be.” In order to be a Théodsman, one must worth himself such through his deeds. And, if those deeds are found to be worthy, he will be called a Théodsman by other worthy men. If his deeds are unworthy however, he will be ignored or even shunned by worthy men. Such a man, by his worthlessness, does harm to his gefrain, his fame within the fellowship. And, if his deeds prove harmful, he will be cast out of Théodish company, set wretched, or maybe even wolfheaded. Moreover, a Théodsman must ever be about worthing himself. At symbel a Théodsman should be able to gielp, to brag, of the worthy deeds that he has done since the last symbel. If he finds himself unable to do so, then he has failed to earn his mead and must make shild to his lord or do some great thing for his fellowship whereby he might fix his gefrain.

About Þórbeorht Línléah

Ealdorblótere (chief priest) at Whitthenge Heall of the Ealdríce, an Anglo-Saxon Théodish fellowship. Author of Of Ghosts and Godpoles: Theodish Essays Pertaining to the Reconstruction of Saxon Heathen Belief, Both Old and Anglo (2014). Author of Þæt Ealdríce’s Hálgungbóc: The Théodish Liturgy of Þæt Ealdríce (2015, 2016). Þórbeorht resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Eþelwynn and two daughters.
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