How do you feel about Oaths?

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Firebird
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How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by Firebird »

What do you think about committing? ie; making promises that need your written, verbal or a particular red body fluid binding you to 'said' commitment via one or more of these forms of oaths?
Inquiring minds...
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Nerys
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Re: How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by Nerys »

I think they carry on/over from previous lives into the current one.
Never made any oaths in this life, but certain things noticing these my 61 yrs point to the carry on/over.
Plus something one of my family members mention few years before demise, seems like all doors, all paths were closed and thinking like why this happened, did all the right things to no avail.
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Re: How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by SL SapphireRoad »

I think the fairy realm would be the only thing staying with me changlessly, but I'd still refrain from commitment, only respecting something close to 'fairy code of conduct' often felt as compass about not exceeding much from compassion to cruelty.
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Re: How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by Firebird »

I'm thinking along the lines of promises to the self, to your God/Goddess or to a group of people.
For instance dedicating to this path, how many of you all have taken such an oath...or not and why did you, or why did you not?
And were others present or not. How did you carry out the oath? Are you still carrying out your oath and how many have broken their oath?

I hadn't thought of making an oath to the fairy realm in specific, though by promising yourself to the path of the wise, I would by that nature be dedicating myself to exploring and working with the fairy world.

Bb, Firebird
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.”
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Corbin
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Re: How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by Corbin »

(Personal thoughts and opinions only)

I wouldn't rob myself of my sovereignty at any point to say 'enough and no more' - as that is how serious I would consider a spiritual 'oath'. Respect for others begins with respect for self. While an oath may indeed hold power it is creating new 'bans and restrictions' which seems a reductive rather then expansive attitude and process, possibly counter-productive toward the nature of spiritual practice (change / evolution). I would wonder at what point it speaks more of the needs of the oathmaker then those to whom the oath is made.

Besides nature is change - what is right today could be wrong tomorrow - many pagans have walked away from deities who's energies prove to be counter-productive (I have done so myself). Even Doreen Valiente walked away from Covens that became maladaptive or developed to clash with her sensibilities. Witches are not born to blindly follow.

Having spent the first half of life creating rules and definitions to then spend the second half of life tearing them down, seeking to create new ones feels wrong-headed.

Now to choose to something out of desire.. love, connection and personal drive without being the need to be bound and restricted by obligation is the right balance... right nature... of 'relationship' I seek out of ... well... any relationship really.

I guess I am trying to say I don't care to be behoven in my friendships and alliances and I don't desire or care for others to feel behoven to me - it changes the nature of the 'special' relationship and meddles with everyones free-will and equality.

Regarding deities? It also risks changing the spiritual dynamic back towards one we, as modern pagans, spent a very long time evolving away from. Do we worship and fear as subjects, obey out of obligation or respect and adore as partners in a great endeavour?

Even the meaning of 'Worship' (or deity) is usually significantly different for pagans today (especially compared to other faiths) and I have always found the relationship you seek is the one you will find; fearful people (for example) find fearsome gods.
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Re: How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by Firebird »

Interesting insights Corbin, I suspected you would have a well thought out response, thank you.

I wonder upon the lines of the Masonic tradition and the Oaths taken by members. As I understand many pagan traditions have fashioned their initiation ceremonies after the framework of the Masons.
Being bound to a brotherhood and lesser known sisterhood of a group can have its advantages I guess. However that seemed to be in a day where privacy and real internal information was held sacred. That is less the case these days where so much information is right at your computer fingertips.

The 1734 tradition talks about the fact of making an oath, by insinuation, is suggesting that one cannot be trusted if you feel you must make an oath to them. Therefore they do not do it, yet when one gets married, do we not pledge to this person our love and devotion? Even in a civil union you form a partnership.

I like the idea of a handfast, then if after a year and a day you feel it's time to move on...no hard feelings. But what of other bindings that one must remove them selves from? You hear about cord cuttings, and that can be a lengthy process to emotionally remove yourself from toxic people but something usually done on a private level with just ones self involved.
To cut some one from a group is a painful and somber occasion, but would have to be done because person had become toxic to the group and all attempts to make talks with them had failed.

But what of those who just drift away? I come from a place of...when you say you are going to do something, you do it. Like Yoda says, "do or do not, there is no try"
By not honoring your word you essentially break an oath to yourself. Now you are untrustworthy, or people won't believe you at your word.
When people drift away without any attempt at verbal understanding of the situation it comes off as rude, unreliable, or even that the people you once held so dear, mean little to you.

We had a weekend retreat once and the topic was "Your word is your wand". One weilds power with the spoken word and through those words you form an outcome. When one does not honor their word they lessen their magic.

In my opnion, whether the oath/word was bound or unbound it is still upon the person making that pledge to keep their word or present a reason for not doing so.

Thanks,
Firebird
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.”
― Jim Morrison
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
― RWEmerson
:mrgreen:
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Re: How do you feel about Oaths?

Post by Corbin »

A particularly important if mournful spiritual lesson is that of inconstance. What we might consider 'right' and invest in is the world as we would have it, not necessarily the world as it is.

Consider this idea (I struggle to recall the source and am paraphrasing but I believe it was Sybil Leek, some of my own since).

It goes along the lines of 'fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me'.

That once someone has revealed that inconstance is within their nature it is both unreasonable, unfair and even foolhardy to expect them to simply change their nature or that we can change them, especially should we go on to shame or set 'rules', setting the stage for their downfall every step of the way onward. We can only be the catalyst in changing our own nature and with others, while we may add or withhold ingredients for the improvement or detriment of the brew, we never stir the cauldron itself.

I shall be good when I will be good, not when I'm forced or told; we are all at different stages on our own spiritual jouneys.

We also project. We are in many ways imperfect and it lacks the common bond not to learn to accept others imperfections in turn. Understanding, accepting others flaws and inconstance and rising above disappointment to maintain a generous spirit (even though it is a bittersweet experience) is at the same time reflecting back that understanding, compassion and acceptance to the inconsistencies and flaws in our own nature.

This doesn't however mean we need to fall prey to it or do nothing about it, sometimes we need to act; 'cut ties', 'draw lines' or say 'nevermore'. Sometimes we need to enforce our own will to prevent harm. This is not the same as punishment.

The bright Goddess loves us despite all our flaws however the dark Goddess knows all our flaws and despite them, accepts us for who we are (but that doesn't mean she's going to simply put up with all our bulls*it'').

So perhaps, in the long run, some promises and oaths are destined to be broken, that a lesson from that breaking lies within and it is in their fragility, that in holding to them, gives them their power, not in the power of an oath but the power of the oathkeeper?

BB
Don’t promise when you’re happy. Don’t reply when you’re angry and don’t decide when you’re sad.

- Anonymous
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