This morning was our weekly circle get-together, and the topic of the day was Ethics. We went through the Wiccan Rede and the Witches Creed, discussing the main focus of both "An harm ye none, do what ye will". Being a military veteran with a husband who is still active duty, and catering a circle for individuals who are military affiliated, we are put into an interesting place on our path where that one golden rule is sometimes called into question. Let's face it, the military is here to fight and defend. Period. So, when it comes to harming none, what do you do when you're sent to war and it's either kill someone or be killed (which still qualifies as "harm" due to the fact that harming yourself is still harming someone)? Well, of course my thought is, you kill. Let me look at some Native American practices to put this into perspective. In older days, it was practice to not kill unless you intended to use. Basically, if you kill the buffalo, you use EVERYTHING for something- waste not want not. This was very important. The earth and her children, which includes people, were sacred and the children all equal, regardless if the child is a human or a wolf. But, when someone comes in and threatens you and your tribe, you kill to protect... you protect out of honor, but also it is because this is what the Chief has commanded shall be so. It is the same concept in the military. We have opted to loose some of our freedom in order to protect the freedom of others. While we may not always agree with what we have been ordered to do, it is still an order that must be followed for the livelihood of our tribe. (Now, this brought in a whole conversation on responsibility and things like that, but I don't know if I have the ability to type that out in an understandable means right now). In my mind, it comes down to honor and respect. Whether or not you're military or not, vegan or meat eater, you need to ask yourself the question "Do I honor and respect that which I kill?" Yes, a military member may be ordered to kill someone, but that does not mean it must be done with out respect. Even something as simple as a small prayer for the "enemies" that have fallen. Because, remember, we are still of all the same essence in the end. In the same regard, when it comes to eating, do you pay respect to the plant or meat that you are eating? True, not all foods are harvested/slaughtered in the kindest ways, and that is incredibly unfortunate. Yet, as I do not have the means to maintain my own farm and oversee these things, I must rely on what I can obtain through the supermarket. So, when these things come into my house, I always make sure to bless them and thank them for their sacrifice so that my family and I might be sustained. Just food for thought.
Along with this rule, we also talked about the ideology of "In perfect love and perfect trust". Now, bear in mind that the circle is an open circle. Yes, I lead it, and yes, people do call upon me as their High Priestess, but this is not a coven that I have initiated people into and we are all on separate sacred paths with the conscious decision to meet and learn from each other. So, how do you perform magic with someone new to the group that you know little to nothing about? Well, let me tell you what, when I asked that question it sure was sure greeted by one of those momentary silences were you can hear the crickets chirping. So, I did what I do best, and started giving off ideas. =) We've had a lot of new people fluctuate into the group, and being a very spiritual person that takes a lot of pride in my ritual and magic, it is extremely important for me to be able to cast a circle and drop all of my shields to become a true vessel for the goddess and her work, without worry about what Mr. New Guy's energy is doing to me and the circle. So, in effort to combat this, we've decided to start doing trust building exercises. And no, not the kind were people stand on chairs and fall back into the waiting arms of the group (though that has the potential to be absolutely hilarious)... instead, we're going to start with small things- getting use to each others energy signature. It's still a work in progress, but in my mind I see it starting with simple things like energy balls and aura readings, then moving into chakra work where we all work on each other instead of one or two of us working on everyone, and eventually working our way into being able to drop our shields around each other. I know it won't happen over night, but I feel great knowing that we have a "plan of attack" to go with so we can all maximize our potential with each other. Oh, and that brings me to the next topic... MINDSET!
I talked with the group about my concerns with mindset during ritual (see my very first post for more info), and we discussed various options and how some people felt about ritual and making the most of it. We have decided on what has been dubbed the "5 minute warning bell". Basically, five minutes before we start a ritual or other magical event, I will let everyone know that they have 5 minutes. This way, people can go meditate or step out side to be with an element or do whatever it is that they need to do before we start our ritual so that they can enter it with the right mindset to make it the most beneficial not only for themselves, but for those around them. I think it's a pretty good comprise for a group of individuals that like meeting based off similar belief systems.
All in all, it was a highly productive day chalked full of information and discussions- just the way I like it. =) Now, I must be off to prepare for a 3 year old's birthday party! (Children and sugar and a bouncy castle, OH MY!).
Brightest Blessings to all!