Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Eight Virtues Of The Craft
Article ID: 10430
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,980
Times Read: 8,383
RSS Views: 68,251
Author: RuneWolf [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 15th. 2006
Times Viewed: 8,383
One of the sovereign touchstones of Wicca, one which is rarely disputed or quibbled over - whatever other differences may exist between camps - is the Charge of the Goddess. Along with the Rede and the Law of Threefold Return, it is as close as Wicca comes to a universal sacred text.
We are not a “revealed” religion, in that we do not adhere to a sacred text or texts said to have been dictated to the faithful by the reigning Deity of the religion. However, we do recognize the phenomenon of Drawing Down, or invoking Deity into a willing and receptive individual, that Deity might more intimately manifest and participate in our rites, and speak through the chosen vessel, if Deity is so moved. If we believe in this, then it follows – in my mind at least – that Deity may choose, at times, to communicate certain Truths spontaneously through members of the faith (or simply through the average Joe, as I believe occurred in the case of Bill Wilson and the basic texts of Alcoholics Anonymous). So I, for one, believe that the Charge of the Goddess is in fact the word of the Goddess, transmitted through the willing and capable instrument of Ms. Valiente, and it deserves careful consideration by those dedicated to this path.
As I do every so often, I am currently overhauling and “buffing up” my routine of prayer and meditation. The practice of a “lovingkindness” meditation has once again been brought to my attention, and I have re-instituted that as part of my meditative practice. But this time around, something rather marvelous has happened. Now, it might seem a bit of a “Duh!” to some of you, but to me it was one of those things that was hiding in plain sight for a long time, and only today was it made clear to me.
In brief, the lovingkindness meditation is – as far as I know – of Buddhist origins, and consists of repeating a mantra of virtues and gifts that one wishes bestowed on oneself, others and, ultimately, the entire world. For instance, one starts by chanting: “May I be joyful, gentle, calm and loving.” Once this has taken root, one expands this, to, say, one’s family: “May my family be joyful, gentle, calm and loving.” When one has worked up to it, one opens the heart and spirit to the totality of our little blue-green marble, chanting: “May all beings in the world be joyful, gentle, calm and loving.”
As with so much of the Buddhist canon – simple, elegant and powerful.
When I incorporate techniques from other paths into my (nominally Wiccan) practice of the Craft, I always try to amend them in some way, to make them more relevant to my experience as a Witch or Warlock. (For those of you who may be shocked by the “other W-word,” please see my essay on that topic.) So as I drove to work today, I cast my mind into the aether, searching for virtues and gifts that I might use in my lovingkindness meditation that were a bit more, well, Crafty.
And a soft, contralto voice whispered in my ear: “And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.”
I almost drove into a bridge abutment…
As soon as I got the old Subaru back on the road, I had to try it out, whispering to myself: “May I be beautiful and strong, powerful and compassionate, honorable and humble, mirthful and reverent…” Wowzers! I got the chills. Needless to say, I had found the “Crafty” terms for my lovingkindness meditation that I was seeking. But in considering those virtues and gifts for the remainder of my commute, I realized that I had also opened a door to a broader possibility.
One of the things I have always admired about Asatru is the “Nine Noble Virtues,” a list of values that one may use as touchstones for living an exemplary life. Many folks I know in the Craft have adopted them, or a version of them (much to the annoyance of certain Asatruar), but I have always thought that we should have “our own,” (although there is certainly nothing wrong with nor lacking in the NNV as they stand).
It struck me this morning, of course, that the blessings wished upon us by the Goddess in Her Charge were a perfect source for the “Virtues of the Craft!” They may not be a comprehensive list of values that one needs to live, love and thrive in one’s life, but they are obviously points worthy of focus, consideration and cultivation, or the Goddess wouldn’t have mentioned them!
Let’s look briefly at each of these:
Beauty: Not necessarily physical beauty, of course, but the appreciation and expression of balance, wholeness and harmony. Accepting each moment for what it is, and realizing the inherent beauty in the interplay of light and dark, pleasure and pain, life and death. In the individual, embracing and expressing the beauty and authenticity of one’s True Self and True Will.
Strength: Not merely physical strength or even “energetic” strength, such as chi or ond, but also strength of Will, belief, conviction and ethics. The strength to do and say the right thing, even in the face of severe consequences. The strength to be gentle, loving and calm in the face of tragedy, fear and aggression.
Power: A little out of order, as far as I’m concerned, because to me power is the synthesis and interplay of all the other virtues. But we’ll leave it where the Goddess put it!
Compassion: True and mature love for oneself and others, including our non-human brothers and sisters and the “inanimate” manifestations of Gaea. The deep sharing of another’s pain, the desire to relieve it and the willingness to put that desire into action.
Honor: “Say what you mean, mean what you say, do what you say you are going to do.” We often hear that “A Witch’s word is her bond.” Upholding that bond is honor. Being honest with oneself and others is honor. Living up to our commitments is honor. Living by the Rede, the Law of Return or whatever ethical system you embrace is honor. As the Asatruar say, “Reputation is what others say about you. Honor is what you know to be true about yourself.”
Humility: Being “right sized.” Humility is very much misunderstood in the West, and has been warped into a kind of neurotic and obligatory self-abasement by the misapplication of Abrahamic philosophy. Toxic or false humility – “Oh, it’s really nothing. I have no real talent for art!” – is a slap in the face of the God and Goddess who gave us our gifts! True humility is recognizing both our strengths and our weaknesses, and working to cultivate the former and transform the latter. True humility, I have often been told, is looking someone in the eye when they give you a compliment and simply saying, “Thank you.”
Mirth: “Rule 62: Don’t take yourself so seriously.” Mirth isn’t just about getting a case of “the giggles” in the middle of a ritual, nor about singing bawdy filksongs around a festival fire (although these are certainly aspects of mirth). Mirth is about finding and joining in the sheer joy of living, of laughing out loud at the way trees dance in the wind or guffawing at oneself when you realize you have just invoked “the Grateful Dead” instead of “the Mighty Dead.” It’s about realizing that The Joke is on everybody, not just on you, and that it’s a wonderful, blissful, eternal Joke, not a nasty one.
Reverence: Love, awe, respect and veneration for Life, the Gods and ourselves. Gratitude for all the gifts we have been given, and the heartfelt willingness to pass those gifts on to others.
These then, are my nominees for the “Eight Virtues of the Craft;” the short list, if you will. There are obviously other virtues and values that are important in living a decent and fulfilling life in the service of the Lord and Lady, but I can’t help but think, once again, that She wouldn’t have pointed these particular virtues out if She didn’t want us to consider them carefully. I shall be doing that very thing in the days to come.
May you always be beautiful and strong, powerful and compassionate, honorable and humble, mirthful and reverent.
Location: Reston, Virginia
Author's Profile: To learn more about RuneWolf - Click HERE
Other Articles: RuneWolf has posted 34 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email RuneWolf... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).