Doreen Valiente

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The Ordains 22: Follow the Rules or Be Banished From Earth

This is the final entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener, Aleister Crowley, and more. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.
Read to the end for a special note!

“A Witch who knowingly breaks the Law (Ordains) will not be permitted to incarnate on Earth again.”

I can already hear the collective groans. The notion that breaking a certain list of rules will lead to some sort of cosmic punishment is reminiscent of certain dogmatic religions. Because of my upbringing, the first to come to my mind is Christianity, but there are tons of religions that uphold a similar concept.

Don’t fret, witchlings. Even though the intro for each entry has stated that the Ordains in their current form represent our core beliefs, this one doesn’t actually fit that mold. This last Ordain won’t be found in the Maiden’s Circle Book of Shadows. It was included in this series to demonstrate how everything must evolve with time, including religion.

Personally, I believe that, without change, there can be no growth.

Rules change and, while most of the Ordains are essential to my own practice, this one reminds me to accept those changes. They’re not only inevitable, but they’re necessary for us to fulfill our various paths throughout our lifetimes.

The men who created most of our laws lived in a different era. Their views about the world are old and outdated today. Even in their time, people were already beginning to question these kinds of ideas. And the idea of a witch simply deciding these Laws aren’t for them leads to their soul being forced into some arbitrary quarantine from Earth—well, that idea has no place here.

In my own practice, I believe that a soul will reincarnate if it needs or wants to, regardless of what choices were made in its previous life cycle. Of course, if it chooses to, I believe they may need to face karmic consequences. This leads into the second reason we’re including this Ordain in our series.

It makes us question what really happens after life ends, and what the consequences may exist for breaking the main Law of “Harm None.” No one alive can say for sure what happens after we die, though plenty will tell us their theories. Whether it’s ascension into some netherworld, reincarnation, or oblivion, everyone has some belief concerning the afterlife (or lack thereof). I shared some of mine above.

This old law is just one belief, representing the mindset of a man from another time.

Throughout this series, I hope I’ve demonstrated how no law is 100% all the time. I believe that goes for all laws, especially those of men. Occasionally, this puts us in a grey area. Who decides which laws are to be followed and when? I feel that, if we follow the most important one, “An ye harm none,” and if we let ourselves be guided in love, we might make the right choices. If we try to live in a way that helps other people and is good for our planet, breaking the Ordains or other written laws isn’t going to lead to any sort of punishment—at least not spiritually.

(I am in no way suggesting anyone engages in illegal activity, just to be clear.)

What I believe in is the freedom to choose. No spiritual law written by humans can dictate what our souls are called to do. The only law that must be honored in the Maiden’s Circle tradition is that you harm none, save for in defense of yourself or others who request your aid. Naturally, though, it’s up to each of us individually to decide what that means for us.

What do you think of this or any of the past Ordains? Do you believe we face punishment or banishment from Earth if we break this or other spiritual laws? If so, why? Is there something we must do to be allowed to incarnate again? Do you believe in reincarnation?

P.S. This is the end of our series on the Ordains. This has been such an interesting journey, and I sincerely hope it was educational and entertaining for you. Stick around. Next week, we’ll have a brief update before moving into our next series. See you there!

P.P.S.

Please forgive me for posting this so late in the week and missing last week’s post altogether. For the last month or so, I’ve been considering closing the blog. I have posts planned until next year, but in two years, I just haven’t seen the growth I’d hoped for. I love writing about Pagan things and feeling like I’m providing a service to my community. Over these last two years, however, I’ve added so much to my life—all of it I adore. Some things just take a little more out of me than others, and I’m searching for the best way to manage it all while still taking care of myself.
In any case, I’ve decided to continue this blog for as long as I have ideas. That’s how I feel for now, anyway. Sure, there may be only about three of you out there who read it, but all three of you are appreciated! And in the future, I know it’s going to be a valuable resource for the Covenpath students. Plus, writing this blog is good for my practice. It forces me to routinely check in with myself, which I believe is a good thing.
So, I’ll have to ask you to forgive me when the blog is occasionally late. I tend to take days off to care for myself when I notice stress or depression creeping up, and that’s not likely to change. It’s the best way I know to keep stable. But I will make sure you get something from me every week. If not a full blog entry, I’ll drop in with something.
Thank you so much to those of you who are here, and who encouraged me to keep going. And thank you to those who’ve been here all along, lurking in the shadows.
I love you and blessed be.

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Check out our forums and say hi! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 21 – Don’t Share Your Secrets With Fools

This is the twenty-first entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches use common sense and do not share their mysteries with fools.”

If you’re a Wiccan, this Ordain might ring sort of familiar to you. In fact, the Christian Bible has two proverbs that speak to the same topic of avoiding fools. In the long version of the Wiccan Rede, we find a similar line in the sixth quartet.

No Season Spend

The idea of avoiding the fool is certainly intriguing. It’s especially so when we consider the Tarot. For me, the Fool represents forging one’s own path. It speaks to individuality, leaps of faith, and trusting one’s self. Contradictorily, when most people hear the word “fool,” they imagine an imbecile—someone who doesn’t think before they act or holds too tightly to ignorance. Indeed, there are times when the card speaks to that sort of energy, as well. In either case, the Fool offers a lesson that aids in the growth of whoever receives the reading.

In that same light, I think we learn a lot from the foolish people in our lives. Now, some of you might be asking who gets to decide whether someone is a fool or not. Shouldn’t we all just live and let live? Well, of course, we should understand that people will make their own choices. Their lives are not our lives, and only they can decide what path those lives will take.

However, if another person is doing things that’s bringing harm on themselves, we can and must acknowledge it. Perhaps not always to that person, but we should acknowledge their behavior to ourselves, learn from it, and probably distance ourselves. That’s where this Ordain comes in. If we’re able to recognize that a person is behaving foolishly, we’re more discerning about what we tell them and how much time we spend with them.

We’ve all done it.

Many of us have known a person who seemed nice, but something about them simply didn’t click with us. Maybe they lived a life filled with violence and drugs, or perhaps their moral views directly conflicted with our own. Those of us with a calling to heal most likely tried to offer guidance only to be met with derision. Whatever the reasons, we’ve all had to let someone go at some point. We knew that we could no longer spend time with them and, even if we never said it, we saw them as a fool in our lives.

These situations can often cause guilt, but if we live by this Law, that guilt is lessened. This tenet reminds us that it’s our duty to protect the sacred wisdom given to those of us on this spiritual path. To do so means being aware of the foolishness of people and acting in a way which keeps us and that wisdom safe. Sometimes, that means biting our tongue and walking away when our relative makes choices that put them in danger. Even if we feel helpless and want to guide them away from their current path, it isn’t our job.

We use common sense to know when some arguments just aren’t worth having. When we learn to cultivate our common sense, it can tell us whether a person is interested in learning from us or not. Once we’re able to know that, we stop wasting our breath on those who aren’t interested. We stop trying to share with people who don’t want what we’re offering.

When we shift our focus to helping those who seek it, we find ourselves far more fulfilled. If we offer guidance, sacred wisdom, or our own secrets, let it be to the ones who are receptive to it. Otherwise, we’re just asking for a headache.

What do you think makes a person a fool? Do you find yourself locked in useless arguments with people who have no interest in hearing you out? How do you deal with those situations?

From a fool at heart,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! Want to chat with other like-minded witchfolk? Check out our online community HERE! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!