Honor, Integrity and Accountability|
Posted: January 4th. 1998
Times Viewed: 12,529
Anyone who has been on the Internet for a length of time will know that it is shaping and re-shaping the way we perceive and live our lives on Mother Earth. In many ways the Internet has collapsed the borders of time and space. It has brought together diverse groups that in times past would not have ever known nor touched each others lives. Many serious games are being played out within this electronic dreamland.The Internet is a realm of masks and drama. It is a realm where individuals can either invent or recreate themselves at will. They can become true shapeshifters of the imagination, and for good or ill they can enter this virtual realm as shapers of life or death.
The Wiccan Community is only one among many earth religious groups whose very existence is being both tested and appraised by the greater world at large. Remember well that how you hold up that light which is your personal commitment to the Lord and Lady is a sign to all of just what it means to be a member of the Old Religion. Even now we are being watched by both the media and certain non-benign groups who would like nothing else than to see disunity and turmoil cast our ancient faith into disrepute and doubt.
We bandy about words such as honour, integrity, and accountability. These metaphors are so tightly woven within the history of Civilization that to unravel their meanings would be to digress into matters of linguistics, religious customs, law, social and cultural traditions and usage's. Yet, to understand what is at the heart of our current crisis within the Wiccan Community at large we must explore how such terms impact both our vision of lives and the possibilities those lives entail in the total vision of the earth community as a whole.
Honour - (OED - Middle-English, anur, anour; Old French, onor, onur; Latin, honor): High Respect, esteem, deferential admiration; glory, credit, reputation, good name.In the Middle English usage we overhear certain tonal qualities that still adhere to our perception of honor as we use the term within the Wiccan Community: Nobleness of mind or spirit; magnanimity; uprightness; adherence to what is due or correct according to some conventional or accepted standard of conduct.
Within the Wiccan Community honor comes only after years of study, practice, and living within the Old Ways. Honor is a quality that is attained only in the deep awareness and respect that has been bestowed upon one through the homage and deferential treatment of one's compeers. Honor is not something one strives for and gains, it is something one IS. One does not bestow honor upon oneself; it is not a gift, commodity. It is the recognition given one for the valorous and magnanimous life one has lived as an exemplum of the Elder Ways.
Integrity - (OED - Old French, integrite or Latin, integritas) To have integrity is be at one with one's nature, to be whole, complete.
1. Undivided, complete; 2. Middle-English: The condition of not being marred or violated; unimpaired or uncorrupted condition; original state; soundness; 3. Freedom from moral corruption; innocence; Soundness of moral principle; the character of uncorrupted virtue; uprightness, honesty, sincerity.
How many of us can truly say we are whole, complete? How many are free from moral corruption? How many upright, honest, and sincere? Before we challenge others about their integrity let us look into our own hearts first and make sure that we have faced the dark shadows of our own past mistakes. Only then can we look our accusers in the eye and say: "Yes, I've made my own mistakes, but now I'm stronger from having accepted them as a part of who and what I am. My mistakes are my greatest Teachers."
Accountability - (OED - from Accountable ME: accountable(OFr, acomptable) We have all overstepped certain prescribed limits at one time or another. All of us within the Wiccan Community strive to uphold the basic creed:
1. Liable to be called to account; responsible to persons, for things...
Yet, what does this mean?
Each day we harm both ourselves and others by our very existence on this planet. Most of us do not even question the fact that we are destroying the possibility of future generations by the simple use of the automobile we use to go to our daily jobs. Carbon-monoxide and other gases that we let loose in the atmosphere are slowly causing the earth's temperature to rise. This some believe will cause a major global warming within the next century that may cause the rise in sea-levels, the increase of decertification, and major shifts in climatological impact. Are we to be held accountable for this? Isn't it a larger problem than a single person or group of persons can hope to change are deal with?
And, you might ask: "But what does this have to do with Wicca, and the Witch Wars .?"
Very simply put: "It has everything to do with the Witch Wars."
Each of us is accountable for everything we do on this planet. We are all bound within a finely meshed net of relationships that stretches backward and forwards through time. To the past by our deep connection to our tribal roots: through the study of myth, folklore, archaeology, ritual, philosophical and social history and practice; as well as, our karmic relation, through dream and spirit knowledge. And, to the future, by our active and constant enactment and participation - through both ritual and practice of the tenets of our Craft - the rites of our Old Religion. For we are the watchers on the edge of time, the keepers of the earth's mysteries, practitioners of the oldest religion. If we are not held accountable now for our actions in the public eye and in the eye of our own peers, then to what greater powers shall we be held accountable?
As we watch and listen to the Elders of our Wiccan Community ask yourselves: Do they embody true honor, integrity, and accountability within their lives? And then look into your own heart and ask: Do I embody this, too?
Steven Craig Hickman
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