Örlog or Urlag
It is the 'original law,' the karmic principle that forms the core of Odinist and all Indo-European morality. We have shown above that following the law is one of the three basic fundamentals of our religion. If you are to obey the law then you must learn and follow the most important of them all, which is expressed in the Runelaw: "That which you send out shall return to you, so do no harm and work for the order. When you err, make amends; when you are wronged, seek reparation" (see TAE XX.14).
The basis for this law is simply to be a good person and always try to do what is right. There are other quotes from our lore that support this idea, such as when Odin told Ask and Embla: "Be human! Be the parents of the world! In devotion you were created as perfect beings. In complete devotion, do the law's work, think good thoughts, speak good deeds, and worship no Thurses" (XIX.7). The fylgja speaks the same type of words when she declares: "Be not the first cause of a murder! Do not excite peaceful men against yourself! Promise me this, charitable man! Aid the blind, do not scorn the lame, and never insult a Tyr robbed of his hand" (XIX.19). The overall theme remains the same: be decent to one another, do not harm others, and stand up against the forces of chaos, death, and destruction.
The underlying concept of urlag, that what we send out comes back to us, is built upon the notion of resonance within the Web of Wyrd. When a spider's web is touched, the web vibrates so that the spider knows every movement within the web, and the same idea is applied to the web of destiny. Our actions reverberate throughout the threads, where others are affected, and this then resonates back to us. Not only does this principle relate to justice and consequences for our actions, it also demonstrates to us that what we do matters and that we do have a place in the universe.
You are not insignificant, you have worth and value, and when you live in the light of the Gods and "think good thoughts, speak good words, and do good deeds," your life will be rewarding and purposeful. It will not be 'perfect,' which is an illogical, subjective ideal, but it will be satisfying and meaningful and you will find that the good times far outweigh the bad.
You may notice that in the Runelaw it states that "when you err, make amends, when you are wronged, seek reparation." The Odinist view of urlag is not passaive, for we too are vessels of karma, as members of the web, and we too must demand justice when we are harmed or wronged. Jesus tells the Christians to "turn the other cheek" (Matt. 5:39), whereas Odin tells us "I expect a fist under every cloak" (LXXX.78). We will not be cowards or hypocrites, and when we face criminals or nidings who would rob, rape, or kill us our Gods tell us to do whatever it takes to stop them. They give us the courage and the strength to do so, but it is up to us to be prepared for any situation. As I have said, we will not be victims, nor will we be slaves.
In our society we have seen a paradigm develop where many attack and demonize the principles of trade, exchange, and reciprocity. We have seen the notion of 'gift for a gift' as an aspect of Odinist morality, which stems from our belief in urlag. Reciprocity is the nature of the universe, as we see a 'give and take' constantly manifest in the natural world; therefore it is also the nature of economics, politics, relationships, etc. for the best transactions that form the most solid bonds are give and take. This is a fundamental principle of urlag, of receiving what you have sent out. When you give you receive, and when you receive you give. This is a notion of generosity as much as it is of relationship building. Some of the wealthiest people in the world live by this notion, giving billions upon billions of revenue to charities across the globe, and will swear by its return, both in honor and respect as well as capital gains. We should never feel guilty for gaining something in return when we give, even if it is simply the joy of giving. Incentive inspires greatness, which brings prosperity and even more generosity. Odin speaks directly on this: "I have never found a man so bountiful or so hospitable that he refused a present, or so generous of his property that he scorned a recompense" (LXXX.44).
Odisbook: The Book of Odr