Wiccan Responsibility – Finding Connections and a Universal Moral Code
One of the more interesting conversations I have had the privilege to witness was between a Pagan and an Objectivist! Each felt that the other was diametrically opposed to their position. In a nutshell, the Pagan claimed that one must align oneself in Spirituality to become balanced and as a result of becoming aligned one takes responsibility for one’s own environment. The Objectivist claimed that the individual takes responsibility for their own life and does not rely on an external God to solve problems and in fact there was no way to prove God’s existence or influence if he did exist. It was interesting for me to note that each felt the importance of personal responsibility, but could not see the common ground that they held. It made me see the validity of each position and how in actuality they were expressing the same concept.
This brings me to the concept of Karmic Law. Wiccan Karma is related to the law of Karma found in Hinduism and other Eastern philosophies. In Wicca the law of Karma dictates all action and ties into the Threefold Law.
For every action you take you will receive back three times the same.
If you ever think of a Wiccan or ‘witch’ taking an evil action – think again, because they are most likely not Wiccans or ‘witches’. Every Wiccan knows the threefold law and understands the ramifications of any positive or negative action. So most decline negative activity knowing full well what will come of it. This is why Wicca for those who know, study or practice it, it is considered an extremely benevolent and peaceful way of life.
If you follow the basic Wiccan Law ‘Harm None’ ideally you should be O.K. But following that law is another thing altogether, because it means a complete and total re-alignment of many unacceptable attitudes previously taken for granted. In Wicca you become your own judge and jury as you take more responsibility for your actions and/or lack of them.
For instance: If I am at a store and I write a check and take the pen with me. I am completely responsible for this subconscious and maybe even conscious act of stealing. Many might consider I am a tool paying back the karmic debt owed to the store. However, in Wicca the store’s karmic debt is irrelevant to the action I have taken. I have done something harmful – no matter how small or whether the harmed one deserved it or not. This Wiccan Law is the ultimate moral code.
Throughout history, humanity has used the idea of Karmic debt to justify its wrongful actions. Ethical or control issues are used as an excuse or ‘cop-out’ for wrongful behavior. With all of the freedom we possess today, it is easy to feel out of control of one’s life and even victimized by what we call the system or by some external entity that we believe is ‘in charge’. Feeling out of control of one’s destiny may make us feel as if we are justified in harming others. As in… Hey, they’re just getting their Karmic payback…
But feeling out of control is false and detrimental to self growth and the growth of humanity as a whole. It also unfortunately it pervades our entire culture.
There are so many people crying out and looking to outside sources to blame or to alleviate their pain. Our Western ways compound that fact through ‘urban folklore:’ Just win the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes or the state lottery and everything will be all right; Just take this pill and you’ll feel better; If only I was famous or a movie star life would be great; If only the state would support me in time of need, I could get by; and the list goes on…
You Control You
We are not taught that we can be in control at all times if we chose to be. We can choose to be in control of our attitude: whether we decide to be accepting and tolerant of others or not. We have the freedom to make choices all day and night long. Only through individual introspection and full honesty about this responsibility will we begin to solve our own and the world’s problems.
12 Step Powerlessness
In the classic 12 step program the first step is admittance of powerless-ness. This is the first act of responsibility. Although it is expressed as a releasing of control, by admitting one is powerless, in many ways you are actually taking back the control of your life by being accountable for past behavior. This is why many of the people who truly embrace 12 step programs become so successful in their lives.
No matter what faith you are, a moral code is essential to civilization. A moral code in its highest form promotes the welfare of self without undermining the welfare of others. It supports a win-win situation.
Paganism does not rely upon the God and Goddess to solve problems. They are there as a support system for reflection and introspection. I personally am always working at taking accountability for the actions in my life. It is an ongoing process and can be a long one. It’s so easy for people to say things like “my pop beat me so I have low self esteem” or “my parents kicked me out so I couldn’t be educated” or “my boss was an a–hole, so I taking some office supplies home.” But to release others from blame for your present situation is the most rewarding thing you can ever do.
Release and Let It Go
Releasing others does not mean being a victim or erasing the actions that have affected your life. Rather it does mean being honest that you allowed them to influence your responses. You make the conscious or unconscious choices. You take the responsibility for the outcome of your life. And the next time you are confronted with a situation when you have a choice to respond to a perceived injustice, make sure you Harm None in the process.