This is the second entry in a series on a set of Pagan “laws” known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener, the man scholars credit as the “father of Wicca.” Depending on the source, these Ordains may contain anywhere from twenty to over eighty rules and guidelines that most practicing Wiccans have accepted for generations. The Ordains have, over the years, morphed into various versions. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.
“If you know the Rede is being broken, you must work strongly against it.”
This law refers back to the first of the bunch, “An ye harm none, do as ye will.” That phrase is known as the Wiccan Rede. The Rede itself is a much longer, poetic work, but it ultimately distills down to this well-known line.
Last week, we discussed this ubiquitous line in detail. This week’s law is all about what we do when we see that the Rede is being broken. Or in simpler terms, how do we counteract harmful behaviors when we witness them?
In 2018 and in the coming year, it seems this question is becoming more and more important. At least in the United States, this is a frightening time for millions of people. The last year has seen devastating losses for minorities, refugees, and members of the LGBTQ community. Societal treatment of women and children isn’t any better. In short, we see the Rede broken on a near-daily basis.
With harmful things occurring at such a large scale, it can feel overwhelming. It certainly does for me. On any given day, I must work to find balance between wanting to save the world and accepting that there’s only so much I can do.
Many people who find themselves drawn to a Pagan path, especially Wicca, deal with the same struggle. We want to heal our world, but live with the knowledge that, as single organisms in an immeasurably vast ecosystem, we can’t do it. Not on our own.
Still, I refuse to be hopeless.
I refuse to let cynicism color my view of the world. Even though there is nothing I can do to fix all of the world’s problems, I can still do something. We can all do something.
Instead of fretting about all of the huge problems, the insurmountable pain and suffering all around us, I believe we’ll fare better if we focus on one thing at a time. Or a few things—whatever we can handle. This doesn’t mean we should ignore grand injustices, but why work ourselves into madness over things we can’t control?
So, what can we do on a smaller scale? How do we combat harm when we witness it?
For me, the answer lies in little, everyday actions. Whether that’s calling a senator to demand change in unfair rulings, spreading awareness of the various issues and any options to aid in their relief, or speaking up when I see someone engaging in bullying or harmful behavior. If even one person is helped through my actions, that’s a success.
On a slightly larger scale, I try to reach out to people in as many ways as my introverted little heart can handle. One of the ways I’ve done that is through this blog and the whole Maiden’s Circle endeavor.
Of course, building a safe and helpful community for Pagans, women, and people of color is no easy feat. Doing it alone sometimes feels impossible, but this calling can’t be ignored. Someday, Maiden’s Circle will be more than a lone witch writing blogs in her kitchen. It will be a valuable contributor to the Pagan community and help make the world a better place. My hope is that this Coven will be in the position to offer healing to all who find it long after I’m gone.
It’s minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but if a billion people do something every day to counteract the harm we see, the results will be huge. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. We’ve seen it in both positive and negative scenarios—from the destruction of war to the life-lengthening advancements in medicine. Change is possible, so healing our world is possible.
Can we solve every problem right now?
No. That’s too much to hold on our shoulders. But we must work strongly against the harm we see, in whatever ways we can, with whatever tools we have.
This law isn’t about telling other people how to live their lives. It isn’t about preaching and proselytizing our beliefs or forcing people to follow our Rede. It’s about actively standing up against harm; protecting and working to heal our world; and letting Spirit work through us to fix what’s broken.
How do you handle situations in which someone is being harmed and you witness it? What sort of things do you do to help heal your world? If you don’t feel like you do much, what changes can you make today? Right this minute?
Thank you for your love and support. I love you from the depths of my heart.
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA
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