21 Quotes Of The Vikings’ Havamal To Guide A Masculine Lifestyle

Havamal is the words of wisdom which served as spiritual provisions for the Vikings on their long journeys over the rough sea to discover new lands. It is one of the more famous and certainly one of the most popular of the so-called Eddaic poems. Those chosen parts of Havamal are neither heroic nor mythological, but rather of a didactic nature.

Although more than a thousand years old, it seems incapable of becoming outdated, since in important respects man himself has hardly changed in the course of the centuries. The essential qualities of life, too, are still the same as they were in the day that the Havamal was written: a man who has fire, a view of the sun, good health and personal integrity is better placed than one whose life is spent in pursuit of wealth, of luxury, and impressing others. Nothing can take such a man’s life away, for although death is inescapable, his posthumous reputation will never die.

The ethics of the Havamal are relevant to the neomasculine lifestyle, above all rooted in belief in the value of the individual, who is nonetheless not alone in the world but tied by inextricable bonds to nature and society. In the old philosophy of the North, each individual was responsible for his own life, shaped by his own fortune or misfortune and created a life for himself from his own resources.

1. Worldliness

Worldliness 1

The traveller must

train his wits.

All is easy at home.

He who knows little

is a laughing-stock

amongst the men of the world.

2. The Nature Of Friendship

Nature of friendship 2

A bad friend

is far away

though his cottage is close.

To a true friend

lies a trodden road

though his farm lies far away

3. A Home Is a Castle

Home is a castle

Better a humble

house than none.

A man is master at home.

A pair of goats

and a patched roof

are better than begging.

4. Caution

Caution 2

Never walk

away from home

ahead of your axe and sword.

You can’t feel a battle

in your bones

or foresee a fight.

5. How To Cultivate Friendship

braais

A true friend

whom you trust well

and wish for his good will:

go to him often

exchange gifts

and keep him company.

6. Experience

fiennes reduced

He is truly wise

who’s travelled far

and knows the ways of the world.

He who has travelled

Can tell what spirit

governs the men he meets.

7. Prosperity

prosperity 2

The brave and generous

have the best lives.

They’re seldom sorry.

The unwise man

is always worried,

fears favours to repay.

8. The Importance Of Appearances

appearance

Two wooden stakes

stood in the field,

there I hung my hat and cloak.

They had character

in fine clothes.

Naked I was nothing.

9. The Early Bird

the early bird

Wake early

if you want

another man’s life or land.

No lamb

for the lazy wolf.

No battles won in bed.

10. The Nature of Secrecy

secrecy

Ask you must

and answer well

to be called clever.

One may know your secret

never a second.

If three, a thousand will know.

11. The Basics Of Life

fire small

A man needs warmth,

the warmth of fire

and of the shining sun.

A healthy man

is a happy man

who is neither ill nor injured.

12. Poor – But Alive…

original diado

It is better to live

than lie dead.

A dead man gathers no goods.

I saw warm fire

at a wealthy man’s house

himself dead at the door.

13. Everyone Has His Use (as opposed to everyone is equal™)

Everyone has his use 1

The lame rides a horse

the maimed drives the herd

the deaf is brave in battle.

A man is better

blind than burried.

A dead man is deft at nothing.

14. Keeping Your Name Alive

A son is better

though late begotten

of an old and ailing father.

Only your kin

will proudly carve

a memorial at the main gate.

15. Hospitality

hospitality

The newcomer

needs fire

his knees are numb.

a man who has made

his way over mountains

needs food and fresh linen.

16. Renown

renown leo

Cattle die

kinsmen die

all men are mortal.

Words of praise

will never perish

nor a noble name.

17. Independence

DSC_0032

It is fortunate

to be favoured

with praise and popularity.

It is dire luck

to be dependent

on the feelings of a fellow-man.

18. Responsibility

well traveled

A king’s son should be thoughtful

thorough and silent

brave in battle.

A man should be happy

and in good humour

to his dying day.

19. Financial Sense

financial sense

Become not

a beggar

to the money you make.

What’s saved for a friend

a foe may take

Good plans often go awry.

20. Extravagance

lavish gifts

Load no man

with lavish gifts.

Small presents often win great praise.

With a loaf cut

and a cup shared

I found fellowship.

21. Foresight

foresight

A man should know

how many logs

stubs and strips of bark

to collect in the summer

to keep in stock

wood for his winter fires.

This book should be on everyone’s nightstand. Its words have a significant influence in the way I lead my life as a man and the decisions I take. One day, I will give a copy of it to my sons.

The edition I possess is the translation made by Björn Jonasson, with an foreword by Matthias Vithar Saemundsson, senior lecturer in Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland.

Read more: What You Can Learn About Being A Man From The Vikings

59 thoughts on “21 Quotes Of The Vikings’ Havamal To Guide A Masculine Lifestyle”

  1. 22. Race is a social construct. The lineage and race of your number 14. mean absolutely nothing. Real Men Red Pillers eschew racism, racial identity or even the mention of race. Only feminists and SJW are racist. sarcasm
    “Nothing can take such a man’s life away, for although death is inescapable, his posthumous reputation will never die.” That’s what all those Dead White Men who created all those great works of art and who are now being villainized and systematically erased from history said.

    1. Blacks built the pyramids and developed mathematics, you oppressive cracka. You white bois would be livin in caves if it weren’t for hwite privilege.

      1. Nope, the only priviledge we have is higher IQ. Pyramids? Get real, you guys can’t make a decent tool shed without help of whites.

  2. An excellent source of wisdom! Those are truly words to live by.
    I was surprised there were no sayings on women. Looks like they took #17 quite seriously.

    1. I remembered this part from the Havamal and thought you may like it.
      No man should trust a maiden’s words,
      Nor what a woman speaks:
      Spun on a wheel were women’s hearts,
      In their breasts was implanted caprice,To love a woman whose ways are false
      Is like sledding over slippery ice
      With unshod horses out of control,
      Badly trained two-year-olds,
      Or drifting rudderless on a rough sea,
      Or catching a reindeer with a crippled hand
      On a thawing hillside: think not to do it.Naked I may speak now for I know both:
      Men are treacherous too
      Fairest we speak when falsest we think:
      many a maid is deceived.Gallantly shall he speak and gifts bring
      Who wishes for woman’s love:
      praise the features of the fair girl,
      Who courts well will conquer.Never reproach another for his love:
      It happens often enough
      That beauty ensnares with desire the wise
      While the foolish remain unmoved.
      Never reproach the plight of another,
      For it happens to many men:
      Strong desire may stupefy heroes,
      Dull the wits of the wiseThe mind alone knows what is near the heart,
      Each is his own judge:
      The worst sickness for a wise man
      Is to crave what he cannot enjoy.So I learned when I sat in the reeds,
      Hoping to have my desire:
      Lovely was the flesh of that fair girl,
      But nothing I hoped for happened.I saw on a bed Billing’s daughter,
      Sun white, asleep:
      No greater delight I longed for then
      Than to lie in her lovely arms.”Come” Odhinn, after nightfall
      If you wish for a meeting with me:
      All would be lost if anyone saw us
      And learned that we were lovers.”Afire with longing” I left her then,
      Deceived by her soft words:
      I thought my wooing had won the maid,
      That I would have my way.After nightfall I hurried back,
      But the warriors were all awake,
      Lights were burning, blazing torches:
      So false proved the pathTowards daybreak back I came
      The guards were sound asleep:
      I found then that the fair woman
      Had tied a bitch to her bed.Many a girl when one gets to know her
      Proves to be fickle and false:
      That treacherous maiden taught me a lesson,
      The crafty woman covered me with shame”
      That was all I got from her.

      1. Wow! Every word in every line is absolutely true. Everything the manosphere ever taught about women exists in those lines.
        “Spun on a wheel were women’s hearts” LOL!
        P.S. Thanks a lot for posting. Merry Christmas!

  3. “Wake early if you want another man’s life or land. No lamb for the lazy wolf. No battles won in bed”….”No battles won in bed”. And such is the Folly of the modern young Male, who parties all night and sleeps away the day…Oh the time I wasted when I was younger…

    1. So true. Most people don’t want anything more than sleep. The sin of sloth. Hours between 8 and noon are my most productive.

  4. I suggest you read the prose edda and sons of Odin by poradic column as well . Their religious tales have just as much wisdom . Mimirs well is my favorite.. shame the Christians tried to write their religion out of existence

    1. How about shame themselves for allegedly letting “them”? before blaming others make sure to provide some valid reference. For instance look at Sweden, Norway they (descendants of Vikings) are doing the harm all by themselves.

      1. You can read the prose edda it is my reference….considering most of their stories were handed down oraly when people , mainly of Christian faith wrote them down , they made sure to add that in the end Odin, Thor, Freya, etc (old gods) died and the world was reborn . Educate yourself

        1. Educate yourself is code talk of being a condescending person tooting their own horn without providing serious historical sources. Before blaming others, look at yourself first. So your “argument” is that Vikings let Christians write their own history and kick out their Gods. Ghee, that doesn’t make sense.

    2. To be fair, the Christians preserved those cultures. Where do you think those poems were given a written form? In a thatched barn? Please.

      1. It’s actually unknown who wrote the havamal as its cited to be written by many different poets . They are also different from the prose Edda and children of Odin. The Christian’s took after the roman’s and considered most northern Europeans inferior , they didn’t write down most of their tales but they also wrote that the old gods had died in attempt to get them to can convert. You can rationalize all you want but that’s history . Christians did the same to the Celts and the Indians .

        1. Twisting words he. Christian missionaries WERE NOT the authors of the poem, they just gave them written form since before that they were just oral tradition, tradition that would have died long ago without a written counterpart, and since most Norsemen were illiterate, what do you expect. The very manuscript from which the Hávamál springs was preserved by a Bishop in the 17th century, the Codex Regius written in the 1200s. It seems Scandinavian history education is worse than I thought.

        2. It seems you didn’t fully read what I wrote . I said the havamal and prose Edda were different things . The havamal is supposed to be knowledge Odin gained for being crucified on the world tree. The prose Edda is a collection of stories about their gods. The havamal is a dictation, yes. But even in the precursor of the prose Edda they refer to Odin as a Norwegian king and not a god so that it would be more acceptable to Christian readers . You really don’t know if the oral tradition would have lasted or not, considering it predated Christ and wasn’t recorded till well after his birth I think it would have. Also the Vikings were not illiterate, they had runes which signified words and based on how you aligned them it varied their meaning much like Japanese . Once again Christian “superiority” rears its head .

        3. Very few Norsemen knew how to read runes. There were no books, not even architecture to speak of, let alone tablets with carvings in stone. You can say whatever you want but in most respects the Norse civilization was almost on equal footing with Mongols and other savages.

        4. Do you realize that English, Dutch , German and many other languages in Northern Europe are at least partly based in the Old Norse and hence the days of the week are named after these gods right? I tell you this because in Spanish, Portuguese The days of the week have nothing to do with the Norse Gods therefore your point is not clear.

        5. And ? I was pointing out their “savage ” culture has persisted in some form or another despite being seen as inferior .

        1. This thread should illustrate “How to turn someone back to bluepill in less than 3-4 posts” female tactic.
          Learn and observe gentlemen, how we lose our brother named yup.

        2. 1) answering to a girl’s post
          2) apologizing for not seeing a picture. (wtf ?)
          3) “woops” “lol”
          4) ” … all it looked liked was a annoyed and unamused “…””
          5) ” 🙂 ”
          And all this stuff for a shitty picture !
          seriously pal. sounds very beta to me.
          But it’s christmas time, so i’ll act as i didn’t see such a thing.

      1. Sorry cinder ella your picture didn’t load for me, so it looked like all you posted was an annoyed “…”… woops lol. Merry Christmas!

      2. Beautiful image that reminds us what Christmas is all about. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

    1. Incidentally, I consider Harald Bluetooth the greatest traitor in Danish history, and possibly all of Scandinavia. This heathen celebration does not belong in a thread on vikings.

      1. There was nothing great about Viking civilization, if you could even call it that. They were a group of resourceful thieves at best, and a mob of merciless barbarians at worst. Ultimately, they were only as good as what they were able to steal.

        1. They were the greatest force in this part of the world at the time, and great explorers who among other discovered Greenland and made it to America 500 years before Columbus. They had a centralized government, unlike what most people seem to think. They were civilized in other words. Denmark ruled over England, Norway, Sweden and possibly a bit of Germany. They did this through a combination of brute strength, the best ships at the time, and cunning.
          But more importantly the old religion was superiour to christianity, and that is the root cause of their success. The purpose of religion is to make people act in a certain way, and what the old norse religion promoted was physical strength, intelligence and courage. In contrast christianity preaches weakness. Do what the robed man says, or burn in hell forever. Turn the other cheek that it might be slapped as well. Contrast this with the viking ideal of courage in general and dying in battle specifically and it is no wonder we weakened over time.

        2. They were explorers, those achievements I will grant you. But they never conquered England, or Scotland for that matter, despite a viking declaring himself king of England. They tried but ultimately failed. Their attempt to conquer parts of France was a joke, they had no mechanisms for siege. If you are impressed by an armed force if they can capture undefended monasteries and small villages then you must be impressed by the Vikings. As for your view on Christianity, it is ignorant and absurd. Perhaps you have never heard of the Crusades, and the Christian forces that captured fortified cities like Damascus, Acre and Jerusalem. Viking ‘religion’ is little more than a barbaric death cult, hence why it vanished.

        3. shows how much christians pay attention to history. “viking” means pirate, so what exactly do you expect? the culture that spawned them however was quite advanced. As for your claim they never ruled england, what about Nut the great? The normans were descended from vikings and they conquered england. Even the english people themselves cane from denmark. These people all shared roughly the same religion, language and laws. So who are you to judge these people you know so little about? how about you defend your sand religion and quit picking fights with religions you think are dead

        4. If your hypothesis is true, why did the “old religion” disappear and the other flourish until the present day? Yeah, so much for the old religion.

        5. Nothing lasts forever. And in fact we kept practicing the old ways alongside christianity until maybe a few hundred years ago, it was not an instant replacement.
          That aside, how long had the old religion existed by the time it disappeared? We don’t know. Could be a thousand years. Two. More. Less. Doesn’t matter. What matters is, is it good? and if so, which is best? Cancer lasts till you die, that doesn’t mean it’s somehow better than having the flu for a few weeks.

        6. Religions I think are dead? If the Vikings were so great, they would have been far more than they were. The English came from Jutes, Angles, Frisians and Saxons. They are not even remotely from Denmark. The only Viking blood in the Normans came from Rollo and his small band who swore allegiance to the King of West Francia. By the 1066 they were no longer physically or culturally anything like vikings, having been mixed with the superior Franks and Roman-Gauls. They were no longer genetically or culturally Vikings by 1066. Cnut (whom I assume you are referring to) never conquered England. He gained ground in the North of England and became recognized king of England through treaty, not warfare. Cnut ruled England in no practical way and was ousted by the people who continued to act as the ruler of England, namely Godwin. Cnut was also Christian, so culturally no long Viking, now properly Danish. There was nothing special about the Vikings. If there were they would have had a much more lasting impact. As it stands they are socialist bitches who allow their women to be raped unchecked by Muslims. FYI Christianity’s origins do not come from a desert, so calling it ‘a sand religion’ really just makes you look stupid. Go do something useful like expelling your Islamic conquerors or something, rather than whining about how supposedly great Vikings briefly were more than twelve hundred years ago.

        7. You seriously need to look at the locations of jutland and frisia on a map. We are conducting this language in english so that should tell you about their lasting impact. The english came to britain as mercenaries, speaking the same language that developed into norse, riding in longships carrying seaxes and dane axes. These modern socialist scandinavians are chistianized so how do claim them as vikings but not Cnut? Christianity takes over, destroys ancient knowledge and then turns people into sheeple, perfect template for socialism, just like its sister religion islam. You claim the vikings as insignificant and instead choose to worship the king of jews? That is hilarious. I fully support your muslim bashing however. they suck even more

    2. This is a very good article. i knew nothing about this, but it is worth reading several times. It makes you realise that people have thought deeply about things and been very philosophical for thousands of years.

  5. There is another very important part. My own book has gone missing, so this is from the first google hit:
    Wise in measure should each man be;
    but let him not wax too wise;
    seldom a heart will sing with joy
    if the owner be all too wise.
    Knowledge is a burden. Knowing how wrong society is, without being able to change anything or adapt to circumstances, will only lead to misery. Think carefully about who you try to enlighten, and how far you will go to help or hinder.
    Edit: Found my book, and the better version:
    Moderately wise
    a man should be
    not too crafty or clever.
    A learned man’s heart
    whose learning is deep
    seldom sings with joy.

  6. Håvamål is written as a poem, with a very short and poetic form, so every line is extremely powerful and with much wisdom in Norwegian/Icelandic ears. As they stands now, the words look naked and without any depth, and even not that intelligent.
    Too bad the translator has not done any attempt to keep the poetic value, but just more or less made an literal translation. I wish a British poet would once try to convey the true meaning of Håvamål.

    1. Yes some of the intent of the stanzas change meaning depending on the words used . Though it may read odd at first once you get a taste for the wording it’s well worth the effort

      1. Yes, this version is much, much better. Masterfully done. It is a little bit lofty, and not so compressed, as in the original Norrøn version, but very good indeed.
        I guess Russian, as a language, is a good fit for Håvamål.

    2. To fully understand Håvamål, one must have some knowledge of Norwegian nature and climate. This video, in my opinion, gives a very good insight:

  7. You’re missing some good redpill ones.. Another thing not explained is that the Havamal is supposed to be the direct words of Odin, according to the ancient pagans.
    Stanza 84
    No man should trust a maiden’s words,
    Nor what a woman speaks
    Spun on a wheel were women’s hearts,
    In their breasts was implanted caprice
    Stanza 90
    To love a woman whose ways are false
    Is like sledding over slippery ice
    With unshod horses out of control,
    Badly trained two-year-olds,
    Or drifting rudderless on a rough sea,
    Or catching a reindeer with a crippled hand
    On a thawing hillside: think not to do it.
    Stanza 118
    I saw a warrior wounded fatally
    By the words of an evil woman
    Her cunning tongue caused his death,
    Though what she alleged was a lie.

    1. ”To love a woman whose ways are false . . like drifting rudderless on a rough sea”
      or like: trying to manually control and land a 747 in a microburst . . . while your balls are in a CHINESE FINGER TRAP

  8. HHmm, don’t know how applicable viking wisdom is in a modern world. Oh well, whatever rows your longship I suppose.

  9. I particularly like 13 “Everyone has his use”. A much better message than equalist nonsense. Not everyone can conquer Persia before they are thirty, but everyone can find a place in life and take pride in doing a simple job well.

  10. For the Heathen Norse Folk (including the Vikings of course) this was the holiday of Yule. So happy 11th day of Yule! For anyone curious to learn more, their ancient religion in its modern form was revived in the early 1970’s and is growing steadily. Here are a couple of links: http://asatrufolkassembly.org/asatru-primer/, and http://www.asatru.org. Or search the ‘net under “Norse Paganism”, “Asatru”, and “Odinism”. You will find that even with this ancient warrior religion, the SJW element has injected its poison, so that there is that version (believe it or not). At the other extreme is the neo-Nazi contingent. In the middle and representing the “Folkish” viewpoint are the two links that I provided here. Explore, learn and be strengthened thereby, whether you agree with their spirituality or not.

  11. I cannot find #17 in any Havamal translations online. Is it a reinterpretation of Stanza 8?

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