role models and mature spiritual behaviour

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by bgruagach, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. gwenwifar23

    gwenwifar23 Mistress of Light & Love

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    There is allready a universal "code of conduct", as stated in the book of the law.

    This is not for you, but for other people. If you disagree with someone or with another religion, say and think to them:

    Every religious war was caused because of the violation of this one and only universal law. As soon as people start telling other people what they should not do, you have a conflict.

    Offcourse it doesn't mean that one can do anything. A serial killer allready does what he wants. If he is proven quilty, he is eliminated, because that is the will of most people on earth. The basic things are allready covered by the law and the justice-department. Let's not make eachother's lives miserable by imposing a "higher than thou" mode of conduct upon one another.
     
  2. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Aleister Crowley's work was certainly influential on English occultism and Paganism but it is hardly the standard that all occultists or Pagans live by.

    Crowley's theories and rules are only applicable to those who choose to follow them. (And it doesn't follow that Crowley's laws are "universal laws of nature" either and therefore we all follow them anyways -- every religion makes that claim yet clearly we are not following every religion out there.)

    ; )

    Ben Gruagach
     
  3. whitemare

    whitemare New Member

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    I think that a lot of trouble stems from the new breed of witches throwing out the book of law. THAT was the structure - and to some of us still is - and if it is given proper study, still relevant today. It is the instructions & examples of how to run a coven properly whithout descending into a state of backbiting chaos - and it works. I've seen it. And it especially applies to Elders & their conduct. All questions raised by any involved person are relevant & should be answered, because you have to THINK about the subject to reply. I have learnt more about magic & wicca by having to answer questions from students than I learnt at my master's knee! so all good elders should invite questions - and give good answers.
    By the way, I am nearly retired & have been running a coven for more years than I like to count. So I might be in a position to have a bit of inside knowledge of the subject....................
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  4. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Welcome to Comparative-religion, Whitemare! Great post with lots of thoughtful content.

    I assume when you refer to the "witches' book of law" you mean either the Wiccan Rede ("An it harm none, do what you will") or perhaps the list of "laws" Gardner introduced to his coven in the late 1950s?

    There are a few problems with both of these being considered universal witch laws.

    First, they're Wiccan specifically (originating with Gardner) and since Wicca is just a subset of witchcraft it doesn't extend to non-Wiccan witches unless they choose to adopt them.

    Second, the Wiccan Rede, while present as a concept within Gardnerian Wicca right from Gardner's seminal book "Witchcraft Today," did not really take on the central position it now holds for many Wiccans until the 1960s. The key to its embrace as a central tenet seems to have been a speech given by Doreen Valiente in 1964, where the poetic eight-word phrasing was first used: "An it harm none, do what you will." Even though many Wiccans subsequently decided to make it a central tenet there are some Wiccans (including some Gardnerians) who decided to not consider it central. Today the Wiccan Rede is still not considered a universal tenet among Wiccans as a result.

    Third, the circumstances regarding when Gardner introduced "the laws" in his coven back in the late 1950s were rather contentious. Gardner brought out "the laws" in order to suppress dissent in his coven, and to try and force Doreen Valiente to step down from the role of High Priestess (apparently, she was "too old" for the job at the ripe age of 35!) Doreen and a number of other coven members who had been involved for a while rejected "the laws" as Gerald trying to pull one over on them and ended up leaving the coven. It was the younger, more compliant members of the coven (who were still in awe of Old Gerald as the font of all Wiccan knowledge) who accepted "the laws" and subsequently passed them on to their initiates as intact ancient transmissions.

    So needless to say "the laws" are not considered central to all Wiccans any more than the Wiccan Rede is. Some do accept them, some don't, and all are perfectly valid Wiccans.

    I am in complete agreement that questions should be respectfully considered and given appropriate responses. I tend to think it's a cop out on the part of some "elders" who refuse to either treat questions respectfully or to give thoughtful responses. Some apparently use questions as a power-game over those they consider their inferiors -- they refuse to give answers, instead dangling the hope of forthcoming responses as a way to keep others dependent on them.

    As you observed, we never stop learning even when we take on the role of teacher. In many ways it's the teachers who learn more by being forced to examine their own ideas and come up with explanations that make sense. And having those ideas challenged provides us with a golden opportunity to see if our ideas really have merit.
     
  5. whitemare

    whitemare New Member

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    I know about the circumstances regarding Gardiner's introduction of the 'Laws' during a time of turmoil in his covens, and the Rede, though apposite, is not the Law I am talking about.
    The Law I am concerned with is a series of commands concerning when, how & where we 'perform the Rites' how we conduct ourselves & support each other: examples of conflicts that have been resolved & how these conflicts are to be resolved & who by.
    Who wrote it & where it came from are not really the point, because if applied , it works: and quite a lot of people are practcing magic that way, aren't they, when you come down to it.

    I am not insisting that all witches & pagans must obey these laws: I am saying that they work & it was a serious mistake to view them as obsolete before actually trying them out.

    Oh, on the Valiente point, I am too old to be a priestess. I gave up gracefully. Not to put too fine a point on it, I had been a Maiden ( briefly! ) and then a Mother: so I could play all three roles. But now the hair is grey & some of the bits don't work any more, so I would be deceiving myself if I thought I could play a siren now ! I shall settle into cronehood & make life more interesting for the next generation. I am allowed to be quite mischevious now.
     
  6. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Hi Whitemare.

    I'm afraid I'm still confused -- the Laws you are talking about are the ones Gerald Gardner introduced to his coven in the 1950s which played a role in the split with Doreen Valiente and the other "old ones" in the coven, correct?

    It's confusing then why you would say what you did about these Laws, which were only ever applicable to Gardnerian covens (and covens who chose to adopt them too, such as Alexandrian covens) rather than all Wiccans, Witches or Pagans. How can people who never had anything to do with these Laws abandon them or view them as obsolete when they are not part of their tradition?

    It's like complaining that Buddhists have abandoned the Christian ten commandments.
     

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