Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Casting The Wiccan Circle
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Myth of The Rede: Universal Pagan Beliefs
Article ID: 11040
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,352
Times Read: 3,932
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Author: Church of the Blessed Moon
Posted: December 17th. 2006
Times Viewed: 3,932
Once again, I committed a Pagan faux pas at a local event. Twice a month, the Church of the Blessed Moon holds what we call the “study group” where after we teach on a topic, we spend hours eating and socializing. In all honesty, I think the real learning begins after the topic talk and during the eating part.
So, back to my faux pas. One of our members asked me if I followed the Rede. My response was, “Not exactly.” Low and behold, I managed to catch the attention of the entire room.
“She’s kidding”, one person said, and they all laughed.
“But I’m not”, I replied.
The room went back to quiet.
“But, Kendra, you are so caring, and warm.”
Another person chimed in, “So what kind of morals DO you have? You aren’t into black magick are you?” (Black magick. I always love that question. This is probably due to being a black woman.)
I then began the process of explaining that a poem was not the basis for why I chose to lead the kind of life that I do.
There are many texts floating in the pool of Pagan knowledge that provide a summary of Pagan beliefs. However, many of the texts are far from inclusive. There are plenty of texts out there in the pool that just leave the neophytes wading through the pool completely lost in the waters.
Some folks may tell you that all Pagans follow the Wiccan Rede. This is a myth. The Wiccan Rede is a poem written by Gwen Thompson of the Welsh Witchcraft Tradition.
Ms. Thompson’s poem, over the last 30 years, has lost some of it’s meaning.
Some Pagans do not even recognize that it is actually a poem, but rather only acknowledge its last stanza. Then there are Pagans who refer to the Rede as “the advice”, but not some sort of universal must follow for all Pagans. And many Pagans, do not follow or acknowledge the Rede at all. Not acknowledging the Rede does not mean one is lacking in morals, just that some people choose not to recognize a poem as scripture.
How many times must we hear people say, “Well all Wiccans/Witches/Pagans follow the Rede so therefore we are all good all the time”, but yet not hear a decent rebuttal? And yet we will probably hear it several more times to come in the future.
Unfortunately, the Rede is probably the most well propagated myth among Pagans for simple public relations reasons: It makes us seem non-threatening. However, I think it just makes us look like simpletons to the educated.
Some other widely thrown around “universal” Pagan beliefs are not universal at all. Ideas such as karma and reincarnation are not well defined enough within our belief structure to have any universal meaning to Pagans across the board. In order for a belief within our community to have universality, we must define it clearly and concisely. (That is not to say karma and reincarnation cannot be Pagan beliefs, but that our definitions must be universal.) The commonly held Neo-Pagan definitions for these two beliefs are often varying and not cross-cultural.
One belief that we do clearly hold as Pagans is that the Divine is immanent. Immanence means that the Divine is a part of the created world. Animals, vegetables, minerals, atoms, etc., all are a part of the Divine.
The belief in immanence means more than is readily apparent. One belief that stems from immanence is that an action by one individual affects many. None of us is alone in this world, but rather we are a part of a greater whole.
Many of the systems in which we as United States citizens are involved in would rather have us believe that we are individual entities who only need be concerned with our individual wants, desires, and needs, and that we cannot and do not affect the lives of others.
How many times have you heard the phrase, “I can do nothing. I am just one man, one woman?” But Immanence does not ‘know’ that the world functions in such a way.
We are a part of each other’s lives. What we do as living creatures affects the lives of those around us. We have to think about our actions in terms of what would be right for our community and our people.
As the Divine is immanent, we are all Divine and we are all sacred. We, as Pagans, have to think in terms of respecting and loving each other, as we would do to ourselves. Sure, some people do not respect or love themselves. However, because of immanence, they draw things of a non-loving and non-respectful nature to themselves.
We, as people, naturally draw to ourselves what we put out. How can one find a healthy relationship with a healthy person if one is not healthy oneself? How many healthy individuals do you know who would subject themselves to cruelty or abuse for long without standing up for themselves? Whenever we say to ourselves, how do I attract _____, we need to take a deep look inside ourselves and figure out what about us is looking for other parts of the Divine to match it.
Immanence is one of the primary Pagan beliefs at the core of all our beliefs. It is a belief that we share with other earth-based or indigenous religions across the world. It is a belief that causes us to note similarities between Pagans and Native American spirituality or Pagans and Aboriginal spirituality or Pagans and South American Spirituality.
When you hear someone say, “All Pagans believe in ____, ” take a look at what they are saying and try to match it to the concept of Immanence. If the shoe doesn’t fit, then perhaps you should ask a few questions regarding the origin of the statement.
I often tell my brothers and sisters when they question me about my personal morals that I do not base my actions on fears of karmic return nor on any of the many poems available today that many Pagans regard as scripture.
Rather, I base my actions on the kind of example that I choose to set for others and on the kind of person that I want to be.
Copyright: Kendra R. Reece, July 7, 2006
Church of the Blessed Moon
Location: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Bio: Kendra Reece is the Priestess for Church of the Blessed Moon. Mrs. Reece is also a mother of 2 children and a career woman. Church of the Blessed Moon is run by a number of families in Southeast Missouri.
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