Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group Ė Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
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For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
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Where did Aleister Crowleyís Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Natureís Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
ďI Survived a Weekend with Galina KrasskovaĒ
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? Itís not Only an Inaccuracy; itís an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichťs We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Are We Responsible?
Article ID: 9720
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,120
Times Read: 3,189
RSS Views: 20,139
Author: Raven Leatherleaf
Posted: May 22nd. 2005
Times Viewed: 3,189
Many times I have thought about this question. It haunts me, in fact, because of my reasons for becoming a Witch. My own experience of life started out in the Christian world. That world, where what I heard and saw were two different things, said that Satan made us sin and God allowed it. I was confused by this theory, especially since it was my father preaching it.
As a teenager, I didnít understand how Satan could make you do anything. After all, I didnít even know this Satan. How could someone I didnít know make me do something I didnít necessarily want to do? Yet, that is what was preached by my father ever Sunday and Wednesday of the week. Then the next step was to confess this sin to God so He could forgive me. Jesus died for all our sins, past, present and future, so he knew we were going to commit these sins. He knew Satan would make us do them because we are frail and canít help it or ourselves. I took it that it was okay to do bad things because I am not responsible for them anyway.
Then I hit college and all that life had to offer. What a wake up call! I did everything: ruined my credit with a credit card, drank myself unconscious, slept around, and tried smoking (asthma prevented that from becoming a habit). After all, none of it was my fault and God would forgive me, right?
Yet, as I left the dorm rooms and headed into life, I realized something. Everything I did might be forgiven by God, but now I had to deal with the consequences. Nobody had ever mentioned those. It was taught that once God forgave you, it all went away, washed by the blood, etc. Yet I couldnít get a loan for a car, my once sharp memory faded, and my health was no longer so good. So what went wrong? The answer is I did.
I began to realize that I did everything and I was indeed responsible for it as it not only affected me, but people around me. Not to mention that it doesnít go away. (Creditors didnít buy the whole forgive and forget theory - I canít imagine why not.) I decided that the Christian talk wasnít doing me any good so I began to search. I asked around quietly, looking for what might be more truth then what I had grown up with. My aunt heard of my search and began to teach me about the Craft.
At last - a faith, a belief, which holds me responsible for my own actions. Not just all the stuff I do, but everything I donít do as well. So now the question: Are we responsible as Pagans? How do we know we are doing it right?
My answer? I know because I now think before I act. I ask myself a few questions before I choose to act or not act.
The first question forces me to look around myself and see who or what I will be hurting. Even breathing harms the spores in the air, yet I donít want to give up breathing. Instead, I look around me and open my eyes to what the Lord and Lady would have me see. For example: I know the path to my car. On the way to my car, am I going to step on an ant? Is this taking the Rede too far? I have started reading a book called Wicca 333 by Kaatryn MacMorgan and she addresses this very well. I looked at my questions after her first chapter and I had to agree with her. At the same time, I still think my questions help me. So yes - I might step on an ant.
- Who will this harm?
- Who will it harm if I donít do this?
- What are the consequences that I can see?
- What could be consequences that I canít see?
- Am I willing to accept those consequences for either taking the action or not taking it?
That leads me to the second question. If I donít go to my car, I will miss work. That harms me, my husband, my wife, and our child. It also harms my boss and our customers. HmmmÖwho am I more willing to harm?
That in itself leads to the consequences. If I do, the ant will die. If I donít, Iíll lose my job and then the horrible credit collections people will start calling all the time again. At the same time, the consequences I canít see might be that the ant was carrying food for her colony so some other ants might die of hunger. On the other hand, I might even lose my new house or my husband and wife could leave me for being a deadbeat.
Which set of consequences am I willing to accept? Well, I still have my job. I might feel sorry for the poor crushed ant, but I place more value on my family.
In the end, we are responsible as long as we think things through. Not every Christian church is like my fatherís. Some really do hold to their word and walk their talk. I pray to the Goddess every day that I might stay true to my beliefs and that I am an example in my life. As Pagans, we are not perfect, but we admit our imperfections and learn from them. We donít hide them in a closet or say that Satan made us do things. We donít make excuses for what we do. If we make a mistake and we know about it, we strive to make it right and admit it for what it is.
Though I ask these questions, I donít always think everything through. Sometimes there are things I never even thought of. Even with these questions, I still jump into things without thinking, yet I know now that I am responsible for what I do. Nobody made me do it or not do it. Especially not Satan.
Wicca 333 by Kaatryn MacMorgan copyright 2003
Location: Otis, Oregon
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