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Spiritual Connection => Wicca Q and A => Topic started by: C_A on July 13, 2009, 07:57:44 PM

Title: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 13, 2009, 07:57:44 PM
Since we seem to have embarked on a real, live, discussion of the REDE, why not one on the Ardanes?

Look here,

http://wicca.timerift.net/laws/161.shtml

And discuss.

This is meant to be a Wiccan-critical discussion.  If you are not Wiccan, fine, say so, and please be SURE you aren't adding a "me too" to the thread!

MEAT, people.  Not veggies or taters!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 13, 2009, 08:02:47 PM
I'll be glad to put forth my opinions here.

I know there are those here that are 'oathbound,' but offering these opinion might appear counterproductive unless those whose opinions I've grown to respect offer their opinions as well.

Great link, btw...;)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 13, 2009, 08:03:55 PM
Insofar as that respect be mutual.

And I shall; as I assume others will, to the extent the oaths will allow.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 13, 2009, 08:16:57 PM
Quote from: stuff blatantly ripped from the above link
1.The Law was made and ordained of old.
2.The Law was made for the Wicca, to advise and help in their troubles.
3.The Wicca should give due worship to the gods and obey their will, which they ordain, for it was made for the good of Wicca as the worship of the Wicca is good for the gods. For the gods love the brethren of Wicca.

1.  Okay...we can't hit this one too hard.
2.  No worries there.  Simple Enough.
3.  Symantic issues aside, I submit that the "Wicca" in question encompasses many "traditions" or "factions" of witchery.  As much as a stodgy-old-goat as I am, I cannot claim SINGULAR title to this by any of my lineages....it's for all of the wiccae.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Whisper on July 13, 2009, 08:26:36 PM
For the record I am a dedicant. I didn't finish reading the Ardanes but it seems to be a little...off. From what little I know, it doesn't seem to really fit into wicca. I'm not sure but I wanted to know so please teach me about this.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 13, 2009, 08:44:09 PM
For the record I am a dedicant. I didn't finish reading the Ardanes but it seems to be a little...off. From what little I know, it doesn't seem to really fit into wicca. I'm not sure but I wanted to know so please teach me about this.

A dedicant to what/whom?

DO read them!

Off?  Some of it, seen through the lens of "today" may seem so.  But it DOES fit.  NOT with wildly-interpreted-shoe-horning, but with simple, rational thought.

Take your time...we'll be here, trust me.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 13, 2009, 08:46:21 PM
A dedicant to what/whom?

DO read them!

Off?  Some of it, seen through the lens of "today" may seem so.  But it DOES fit.  NOT with wildly-interpreted-shoe-horning, but with simple, rational thought.

Take your time...we'll be here, trust me.

The above, by the way, was not directed SOLELY to Whisper, though it was a reply to his post.

ALL of you who "declare" yourselves Wiccan should be reading, if not responding to, this thread.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Whisper on July 13, 2009, 08:49:31 PM
I have dedicated myself to the Horned God and the Goddess of the Moon. That's a very general description but I think it's about time for me to say goodnight and may the Goddess watch over you. Blessed be.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 13, 2009, 08:53:13 PM
...but I think it's about time for me to say goodnight and may the Goddess watch over you. Blessed be.

*smiles* For how long?

...and worry not.  She does.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 13, 2009, 09:52:44 PM
Quote from: from the list
35.  And if any break these Laws, even under torture, THE CURSE OF THE GODDESS SHALL BE UPON THEM, so they may never be reborn on earth and may remain where they belong, in the hell of the Christians.

OK my first big stumbling block.  If Wiccans believe in a different system than Christianity, how can Wiccans curse people to the Christian Hell?  Since from what I've read so far Wiccans don't believe in Hell to begin with. 

Bear with me, I'm learning...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 13, 2009, 10:10:50 PM
Wait, I just read the notes on the Old Laws, so that puts everything into perspective a little more.  The Old Laws are certainly an interesting read.  I think it's interesting that this document exists, and while it certainly gives an interesting historical perspective, a couple of things made me wonder (besides the above post).  For example:

Quote
For the Gods love the Wica, as a man loveth a woman by mastering her.

...if the man is the 'master' how did they reconcile that with the High Priestess being the nominal head of the Coven?  I realize that this document is intended to be from the older times and perhaps based on historically handed down information; it still made me go 'huh'.

Quote
Training


153. It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this be so.
154. And if for any reason this be undesireable, it can easily be avoided by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds to be as brother and sister or parent and child.
155. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these practices together. So be it ordained

...reference to homosexuality?  What is the (modern) Wiccan perspective on relationshipos between people of the same gender?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on July 13, 2009, 11:17:48 PM
how can Wiccans curse people to the Christian Hell?  Since from what I've read so far Wiccans don't believe in Hell to begin with.

Wiccans curse people to the Christian hell?

Sorry C_A
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 14, 2009, 05:15:46 AM
  Ok ... well ... I'm not Wiccan nor am I bound by wiccan oaths.

  That said .... THINK PEOPLE!  Use your noggin !  Reason it through !
  
  C_A quite rightly described Wicca as a seeking path at one time.  Start seeking the truth of things.

  If something seems a " bit off " or doesn't quite fit do a bit of detective work. Perhaps some of the mysteries of wicca have not yet revealed themselves to you yet.

  * hint *  It's worth considering that the Ardennes probably pre date the rede. If anything could rightly be called wicca it would be the Ardennes. It's probably the closest thing to wiccan religious doctrine to be found and is a cornerstone of the faith.

  Not for nothing ... but ... if you don't understand the laws of old and the ideas contained within them can you really, honestly, say that you're Wiccan ?  These are the tenets of the faith.

  It's one thing to understand your history and perhaps disagree on a point or two. That puts you into the category of one of the trads that branched off from the original Gardenarian way much the same way as the protestant faiths branched off from original Christianity. There's still enough of " The Essense " of the faith left to call it Wicca or Christianity. There comes a point though that things become so watered down that it becomes something different. Something not at all wicca ....

  IMO that's the case with a lot of modern day wiccans. They only have a superficial understanding of the faith. If something comes along to suggest that Wicca isn't quite what they think it is ? ... well ... they are quite apt to dismiss it and go on their merry way.

  This isn't isolated to Wicca. I've met plenty of lifelong Christians that don't understand the first thing about the spiritual path they claim to follow. Probably the same can be said of any religion ....

  Ohh well ....   :(


ETA: This isn't directed at anyone in particular. Don't take any of it personally. It's just a general gripe. All of these things were included in the Ardennes for a reason. I can't stress this strongly enough ... if something doesn't fit go dig it out. Find out why it was included. It will improve your understanding of the faith.

  
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 14, 2009, 06:50:25 AM
OK my first big stumbling block.  If Wiccans believe in a different system than Christianity, how can Wiccans curse people to the Christian Hell?  Since from what I've read so far Wiccans don't believe in Hell to begin with. 

Bear with me, I'm learning...

We don't?

Wiccans don't believe in a "HELL=AFTERLIFE" per se...as a place? as a Divine retribution by our G-ds?  As an opposite to the Summerland?  Can a Deity create such a place for their own followers?


Giving up the Bretheren or the Mysteries would render you no longer one of "us", but one of "them".  If you're one of "them", you can go where "they" believe.

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 14, 2009, 06:53:22 AM
  For example:

...if the man is the 'master' how did they reconcile that with the High Priestess being the nominal head of the Coven?  I realize that this document is intended to be from the older times and perhaps based on historically handed down information; it still made me go 'huh'.

...reference to homosexuality?  What is the (modern) Wiccan perspective on relationshipos between people of the same gender?

I am going to give you clues here.  Work on it, m'kay?

A)  Think of it in the context of ONE POSITION...

B)  No.  But think of BALANCE.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 14, 2009, 07:32:40 AM
Thank you, blue, for the lift!

While I do believe that the Ardanes pre-date the rede, I think were talking months or years, not centuries or millennia.

While some of the conceptual issues contained therein might well have been passed down from old texts / stories / other ephemera, I believe, personally, that this codification isn't all that old.

That stipulated, I don't believe it renders the list invalid.

One of the reasons this thread is here is that, as was mentioned, most of the exegetical writing I have read is, indeed, oathbound.  There are some explanations out there, true, but 95% of the ones I have read...(MANY!)....follow that same lack of understanding down the road to blind following that you mentioned as an occurrence in nearly ALL faiths.  And yet others are driven by agenda-tainted "scholars".  Even some of the translations have been worded to either support or detract the position of the authors'.

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 14, 2009, 07:50:40 AM
For the record I am a dedicant. I didn't finish reading the Ardanes but it seems to be a little...off. From what little I know, it doesn't seem to really fit into wicca. I'm not sure but I wanted to know so please teach me about this.

Off?  Doesn't fit into Wicca?

My friend, these laws define Wicca.  I believe they were, for the greater part, written by the founder of Wicca himself.  Perhaps they don't fit into your belief system, which, given your opinion, likely isn't Wicca.  But Wicca they are.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 14, 2009, 07:56:15 AM
For the record, the laws in my tradition of Wicca, found in my tradition's BoS are an abbreviated version of these, modified for solitary practice, minus the paranoia...

Quote
85. Ever make it jest) and in some future time perhaps, the persecution may die and we may worship our gods in safety again.
86. Let us all pray for that happy day.

...for I believe "some future time" is upon us.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: morningdove on July 14, 2009, 10:20:42 AM
About how many pages is The Ardanes or can I buy it in book form.

While I have seen and read it in the past I find that reading long documents from a computer hurts my eyes and I would rather print or buy it and read it that way.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 14, 2009, 10:43:34 AM
Wait, I just read the notes on the Old Laws, so that puts everything into perspective a little more.  The Old Laws are certainly an interesting read.  I think it's interesting that this document exists, and while it certainly gives an interesting historical perspective, a couple of things made me wonder (besides the above post).  For example:

...if the man is the 'master' how did they reconcile that with the High Priestess being the nominal head of the Coven?  I realize that this document is intended to be from the older times and perhaps based on historically handed down information; it still made me go 'huh'.

You may wish to look at alternate definitions of the term 'master.'
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 14, 2009, 12:19:21 PM
Off?  Doesn't fit into Wicca?

My friend, these laws define Wicca. 

Saved me the typing....thanks, bud!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Arnemetia on July 14, 2009, 12:42:06 PM
About how many pages is The Ardanes or can I buy it in book form.

While I have seen and read it in the past I find that reading long documents from a computer hurts my eyes and I would rather print or buy it and read it that way.

Printed from the web page ITT, The Ardanes are about 4 pages long, depending on font.  :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 14, 2009, 02:37:26 PM
 
  Not for nothing ... but ... if you don't understand the laws of old and the ideas contained within them can you really, honestly, say that you're Wiccan ?  These are the tenets of the faith.

  It's one thing to understand your history and perhaps disagree on a point or two. That puts you into the category of one of the trads that branched off from the original Gardenarian way much the same way as the protestant faiths branched off from original Christianity. There's still enough of " The Essense " of the faith left to call it Wicca or Christianity. There comes a point though that things become so watered down that it becomes something different. Something not at all wicca ....

  IMO that's the case with a lot of modern day wiccans. They only have a superficial understanding of the faith. If something comes along to suggest that Wicca isn't quite what they think it is ? ... well ... they are quite apt to dismiss it and go on their merry way.

  This isn't isolated to Wicca. I've met plenty of lifelong Christians that don't understand the first thing about the spiritual path they claim to follow. Probably the same can be said of any religion ....


That's why I asked the questions - I knew I'd get more questions in return to think about :)  I'm learning how this works - someone asks a question, more people come back with more questions, and that makes me go hunting so I can learn more :)  I'm not ready to call myself Wiccan yet simply because I don't believe I have enough understanding to do so - I'm learning and finding out if Wicca is for me :)  Threads like this are actually incredibly helpful.

Quote from: C_A
I am going to give you clues here.  Work on it, m'kay?

A)  Think of it in the context of ONE POSITION...

B)  No.  But think of BALANCE.

Balance, check.  Going digging :)

Quote from: FireWillow
You may wish to look at alternate definitions of the term 'master.'
I can see I will have my reading cut out for me.  Yay!  :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Whisper on July 14, 2009, 04:50:41 PM
Quote
Off?  Doesn't fit into Wicca?

My friend, these laws define Wicca.  I believe they were, for the greater part, written by the founder of Wicca himself.  Perhaps they don't fit into your belief system, which, given your opinion, likely isn't Wicca.  But Wicca they are.
I'm very sorry FW and C_A. I did say I didn't finish reading them..It makes more sense now. I can't say I fully understand them but I'm still just trying to learn as much as I can. Seeking path indeed. I plan on over-turning every stone and unearthing every skeleton. I'm still young and my path just begun really. This october will mark just one year since I began studying. You say I'm off to a relatively good start right? I'm glad my searching has been fruitful thus far and I will continue to study and learn as much as I can. Also Thank you, this site is a HUGE help and you guys really help with your nudges.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 15, 2009, 03:33:14 PM
OK, in my reading I came across a link to 'updated' version of the Ardanes, that was (reportedly) made in 1979 by a group of Wiccans who were trying to modernize the Old Laws.  More digging brought me specifically to a tradition practiced in my home province, by the Wiccan Church of Canada (http://www.wcc.on.ca/).  More detail I found here http://www.wildideas.net/temple/library/letters/odyssean.html and the 'modern' laws http://www.wildideas.net/temple/library/modern-laws.html.  They are similar to the Ardanes in wording but with updated language and with the changing of certain ideas/wording. 

I will post a question once I can formulate it properly; I'm still thinking about all the things I've read.  It's like information overload I have to filter it before I can continue.  These links were just very interesting to me so I thought I'd post them while I was ruminating.

Also FW I looked up every possible definition of Master (both noun and verb) and while I could see it being used in the sense of 'learning' instead of 'ruling' the other...  the second line 5. So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them. still seems to point to one being 'ruled' by the gods, hence to the man being the 'ruler' or 'master' in the most common sense of the word.  Personally I'd prefer the learning angle, as a man loving a woman by learning all about her (and one would hope the reverse would also be true) but the second line cannot be changed into So should the Wicca love the gods by learning of them because it states "being mastered by them" which implies being ruled by the gods (because why would we love the gods by the gods learning about us?).  I know these are just two lines in the Ardanes but I just felt very (negatively) strongly about them.  I'm trying to understand, so bear with me as I ramble. 

As for the issue of balance, I can understand that it would be balanced to have a man teach a woman and vice versa - because the God and Goddess are of that dual nature, both halves of the same whole.  I think it was the wording of the Ardanes in this case that threw me off more than anything else.

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 15, 2009, 03:49:35 PM
Also FW I looked up every possible definition of Master (both noun and verb) and while I could see it being used in the sense of 'learning' instead of 'ruling' the other...  the second line 5. So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them. still seems to point to one being 'ruled' by the gods, hence to the man being the 'ruler' or 'master' in the most common sense of the word.  Personally I'd prefer the learning angle, as a man loving a woman by learning all about her (and one would hope the reverse would also be true) but the second line cannot be changed into So should the Wicca love the gods by learning of them because it states "being mastered by them" which implies being ruled by the gods (because why would we love the gods by the gods learning about us?).  I know these are just two lines in the Ardanes but I just felt very (negatively) strongly about them.  I'm trying to understand, so bear with me as I ramble. 

So you are interpreting this as Wiccans love the gods by being ruled by them?  How does that make sense?  Being ruled or dominated doesn't affect love from me.  Does it from you?

Another hint:  Look up 'mastery' and see if that puts a better spin on this for you...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 15, 2009, 04:10:03 PM
So you are interpreting this as Wiccans love the gods by being ruled by them?  How does that make sense?  Being ruled or dominated doesn't affect love from me.  Does it from you?

Another hint:  Look up 'mastery' and see if that puts a better spin on this for you...

It doesn't affect love from me either; however I'm reading the line and it still says "So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them".  Although thinking further of it I think an interpretation could be that we show our love for the gods by following their laws (ie An it harm none, do as ye will, for starters).  Mastery has several connotations - again basically breaking down into 'expert skill or knowledge', 'command or grasp (of a subject)' and 'the state of being master; power of command or control'.  Since I don't believe that the gods control us, as we have free will, and are able to make choices in our lives, whether for good or ill, that's where this particular tenet of the Ardanes is a stumbling block for me.  If the line were "So should the Wicca love the gods by mastering them" it would be much easier to interpret this line as "by having expert skill or knowledge of the gods" or "command/grasp of the gods" by understanding how they affect us in our daily lives.  From what I've read of Wiccan belief so far, Deity is held to be within everyone and everything of nature, both god and goddess, good and bad, because it's about balance.  Perhaps this law then means that we show our love for the gods by being in control of ourselves and our actions?  Since the gods are part of us. That would be an interpretation I could be comfortable with. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 15, 2009, 04:26:47 PM
It doesn't affect love from me either; however I'm reading the line and it still says "So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them".  Although thinking further of it I think an interpretation could be that we show our love for the gods by following their laws (ie An it harm none, do as ye will, for starters).  Mastery has several connotations - again basically breaking down into 'expert skill or knowledge', 'command or grasp (of a subject)' and 'the state of being master; power of command or control'.  Since I don't believe that the gods control us, as we have free will, and are able to make choices in our lives, whether for good or ill, that's where this particular tenet of the Ardanes is a stumbling block for me.  If the line were "So should the Wicca love the gods by mastering them" it would be much easier to interpret this line as "by having expert skill or knowledge of the gods" or "command/grasp of the gods" by understanding how they affect us in our daily lives.  From what I've read of Wiccan belief so far, Deity is held to be within everyone and everything of nature, both god and goddess, good and bad, because it's about balance.  Perhaps this law then means that we show our love for the gods by being in control of ourselves and our actions?  Since the gods are part of us. That would be an interpretation I could be comfortable with. 

Bravo!  You have pointed yourself in the right direction!  Keep digging!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 15, 2009, 05:03:53 PM
Bravo!  You have pointed yourself in the right direction!  Keep digging!

She can be taught ;)  Or directed in any case.  Which now gives me a place to build from.  More musings to come when I've thought some more.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 15, 2009, 07:08:11 PM
FW, I think you are headed to your "best thread eVAR"...

Carysta, I will NOT tell you to ignore the Odysseans.  But use tham as another coin on the beam.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 16, 2009, 07:34:00 AM
Carysta wrote:

Wait, I just read the notes on the Old Laws, so that puts everything into perspective a little more. 
The Old Laws are certainly an interesting read.  I think it's interesting that this document exists, and while it certainly gives an interesting historical perspective, a couple of things made me wonder (besides the above post).  For example:


Quote
For the Gods love the Wica, as a man loveth a woman by mastering her.


...if the man is the 'master' how did they reconcile that with the High Priestess being the nominal head of the Coven?  I realize that this document is intended to be from the older times and perhaps based on historically handed down information; it still made me go 'huh'.

Blue:

This is one of the first things that comes up during a discussion of the Laws of Wicca. Women seem to key on it right away.

 Master ???  Really !  Huh ??

 It's only my opinion but i think there's much more to this than meets the eye. Early trad Wicca had a formal system of teaching. You were duely initiated and spent the first year and a day at the first degree. After that time, enough was revealed that you could make an informed, free will, choice as to whether Wicca was right for you or not.

 In the second and third degrees more was revealed to you.

 Do you see how the learning / teaching was done in stages ?

 One concept might have been introduced to you as an initiate. Once you gained mastery of that concept another truth might be revealed to you in the second degree which would cause you have to completely re-evaluate the situation.

 There's this process of tearing down and building up .... constantly progressing from one level of understanding to the next.

 It's interesting, because someone that understands this can address a mixed group of firsts, seconds, and thirds. The speaker's words are the same words mind you .... but how those words are interpeted is dependent upon the level of understanding of the recipient. A first might come away with one understanding .... a third degree it's polar opposite.

 I wish there were a simpler way to describe how this works but ....

 To me :  When the Ardennes speak of a man having a mastery of a woman it means many different things. Wicca is a demanding path. It's not for weaklings or the feint of heart. This "mastery" thing puts a huge demand upon a man to be a real man. He is after all a Representative of the G-d. That's no place for pantywaists or fops.

 To the ladies ... ever had a gent walk into the room that just turns your knees to jello ? Ever had the disappointment of later finding out that that he was just a poser and a player ?

 It's only my opinion but a true Representative of the G-d is the real deal. He's a man of strength, power, compassion, understanding, honor, love, dignity, and honesty.

 He's the kind of man that almost any representative of the G-ddess could love, honor and respect of her own free will.   He is worthy ....

 In this sense he truly does have mastery of a woman doesn't he ?

Carysta wrote:

Quote
Training

153. It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this be so.
154. And if for any reason this be undesirable, it can easily be avoided by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds to be as brother and sister or parent and child.
155. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these practices together. So be it ordained


Blue:

 I think that this refers to one's training. It's done cross gender partly because it makes the learning process go smoother. When you have two of the same gender egos get in the way but of you have a teacher and a student of opposite gender there's a useful sexual tension which exists to some degree or another.

 Some degree of attraction between student and teacher is normal. I think what the old laws are saying is that both parties have to decide, and be very clear from the outset, whether this to be a sexual or nonsexual relationship so that no harm comes later on.

 Carysta wrote:

...reference to homosexuality?  What is the (modern) Wiccan perspective on relationships between people of the same gender?

Blue:

 Well ... the Ardains are only advise ....

 I think you have to bear in mind though that Wicca is a fertility religion and celebrates the union of the G-ddess and the G-d in it's ritual.

 Maybe, on another level , does a guy that goes both ways really turn you on ?  Most women don't have a problem with gay men being gay but the thought of their man ever being with another man puts them off. This isn't true of all women, some find it to be a turn on, but most have some kind of problem with it on a gut level.

 As always .... only my opinion and not necessarily well informed. I haven't done the Wiccan degree thing.
 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 16, 2009, 12:35:07 PM
Blue, you bring up some very good points in your post. 

Quote from: Blue
To me :  When the Ardennes speak of a man having a mastery of a woman it means many different things. Wicca is a demanding path. It's not for weaklings or the feint of heart. This "mastery" thing puts a huge demand upon a man to be a real man. He is after all a Representative of the G-d. That's no place for pantywaists or fops.

 To the ladies ... ever had a gent walk into the room that just turns your knees to jello ? Ever had the disappointment of later finding out that that he was just a poser and a player ?

 It's only my opinion but a true Representative of the G-d is the real deal. He's a man of strength, power, compassion, understanding, honor, love, dignity, and honesty.

 He's the kind of man that almost any representative of the G-ddess could love, honor and respect of her own free will.   He is worthy ....

 In this sense he truly does have mastery of a woman doesn't he ?

While I can agree in principle to the above - who wouldn't want a man such as you describe - why does  he have to have 'mastery' of the woman?  Why can she not also be a woman of strength, power, compassion, understanding, honor, love, dignity and honesty?  If the God and Goddes are truly both sides of the same Deity why can there not be an assumption of equality between the man and woman?  My two cents - some of my later posts show my thought progression on this issue :)  Where it's mastery of self that matters, living as the type of person you have described, in order to best serve the God and Goddess by being one's own master and by mastering the teachings of Wicca.

Quote
It's only my opinion but i think there's much more to this than meets the eye. Early trad Wicca had a formal system of teaching. You were duely initiated and spent the first year and a day at the first degree. After that time, enough was revealed that you could make an informed, free will, choice as to whether Wicca was right for you or not.

 In the second and third degrees more was revealed to you.

 Do you see how the learning / teaching was done in stages ?

 One concept might have been introduced to you as an initiate. Once you gained mastery of that concept another truth might be revealed to you in the second degree which would cause you have to completely re-evaluate the situation.

 There's this process of tearing down and building up .... constantly progressing from one level of understanding to the next.

 It's interesting, because someone that understands this can address a mixed group of firsts, seconds, and thirds. The speaker's words are the same words mind you .... but how those words are interpeted is dependent upon the level of understanding of the recipient. A first might come away with one understanding .... a third degree it's polar opposite.

This idea of the three degrees is one I've come across several times but you explain it a lot more clearly :)  Food for thought, indeed.

Quote
Well ... the Ardains are only advise ....

 I think you have to bear in mind though that Wicca is a fertility religion and celebrates the union of the G-ddess and the G-d in it's ritual.

Definitely something I hadn't even thought about, at the time of posting.  Personally I have no issues with anyone's orientation - it was simply the wording of that particular passage that prompted my thought process there.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Arnemetia on July 16, 2009, 12:47:14 PM


While I can agree in principle to the above - who wouldn't want a man such as you describe - why does  he have to have 'mastery' of the woman? 


As FW brought up earlier ITT. Think of the definitions of "mastery". Could it not mean "fully understanding"? Such as, "I have mastered the operation of the lawn mower"
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 16, 2009, 12:57:03 PM
As FW brought up earlier ITT. Think of the definitions of "mastery". Could it not mean "fully understanding"? Such as, "I have mastered the operation of the lawn mower"

Indeed.  Think of the "position" I mentioned earlier ITT...

Substitute the word "MAESTRO"....
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 16, 2009, 01:38:29 PM
If the God and Goddes are truly both sides of the same Deity why can there not be an assumption of equality between the man and woman?

I'm not Wiccan.  Never have been.  Likely never will be.  But I do seem to recognize some of the principles at work here so I'll chip in my ignorant two-cents:

"Equality" is over-rated.  No two things in the Universe are ever completely "equal."  And if the God and Goddess are "truly both sides of the same Deity" then there is no possible way for them to be actually "equal" else you wouldn't be talking about "two sides" but just one monotonous "deity."

But neither "inequality" nor "mastery" have necessarilly anything to do with one thing being more or less important or even "powerful" than the other.


While I can agree in principle to the above - who wouldn't want a man such as you describe - why does  he have to have 'mastery' of the woman?  Why can she not also be a woman of strength, power, compassion, understanding, honor, love, dignity and honesty?

Like I said, my "tradition" is not Wiccan, but it does have everything to do with "Mastery" so I'll comment from my perspective:

In my Spiritual "practice" I recognize what could in a way be considered to be a simplified version of Kabbalah where on one "side" there is Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, etc and on the other side there is Power, Strength, Courage, etc. 

"Mastery" works both ways:  The side of Love & Compassion is to be mastered by Strength & Courage and the side of Strength & Courage is to be mastered by Love & Compassion with Wisdom in the middle.

If you're talking about a sexual relationship (in, for instance, a pagan fertility religion) it works just as well the same:  If the man really actually has no "mastery" of the woman, then he's either a feeble wimp who may want to do something good for her but has no clue what he's doing or else he's an overbearing jerk who doesn't care.  (Being overbearing and powerful in and of itself is most definitely not "mastery" and will always lead to sub-optimal results.)

So, with regard to sexuality:  To turn your question around, what woman would not want a man who has the proper "mastery"??
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 16, 2009, 02:13:31 PM
As FW brought up earlier ITT. Think of the definitions of "mastery". Could it not mean "fully understanding"? Such as, "I have mastered the operation of the lawn mower"

Ah, in this we are in agreement.  However the way I understood Blue's post (and this is only my interpretation not in any way necessarily Blue's original intent) (also we won't get into how I still dislike the wording of the Ardanes in this particular instance) is that because the man is the embodiment of strength, power, compassion, understanding, honor, love, dignity, and honesty thus he has mastery of the woman.  I know men who could fall under those categories who STILL don't understand women...  not in the general sense but in the totally-clueless sense.  I also know women who can fall into those categories and be clueless about men.  I personally don't have 'full understanding' of men either lol.  I'd hope once I found a life partner it would be because there was good understanding between us (although I'd want there to be some mysteries left on both sides or really, there would be none of that amazing sense of discovery about the other person, but that's more a personal note on relationships than anything else).

As far as the physical side of a relationship - What about in a case of two people of relatively little experience?  It could be said neither has mastery of the art, yet part of the joy may be the journey together to finding that mastery.  I don't actually think any given two partners would have 'mastery' of each other in this sense right off the bat - because while someone might have a lot of good technique, what if none of those techniques work well on the person they are currently with?  So the discovery of what works in any given pairing will eventually lead to that mastery for both.  Which really works as a metaphor for understanding anything - everyone starts out not having mastery of something, but should find joy in the journey to having that fuller understanding.

Anyway this all leads back to that phrase in the Ardanes that I am going to learn to understand...

So in the interest of the debate, let's put the terms "full understanding" into the passage of the Ardanes that's still giving me so much trouble.

Quote from:  Laws 5 and 6 of the 161 laws
As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them.

If we assume that 'mastering' is in the sense of fully understanding...

As a man loveth a woman by fully understanding her,
So should the Wicca love the gods by being fully understood by them.

This is where I get hung up.  It's semantics I know, but you can't take out the being-by and just make it "by fully understanding them" and still have the same sense of the original passage.  Why would we love the gods by being fully understood by the gods?  Hence my original feeling that in this case the sense of the word 'mastery' is still the sense of being controlled.  That's why I then postulated that perhaps since the God and Goddes are within us all, the control comes from within and by having control of ourselves and following the laws do we have 'mastery' and also are we 'mastered by' the God and Goddess.


One last note on 'equality' - I think the better term that I should have used might be 'balance'.  Kind of like not being able to have right without left, day without night - there are two sides to every coin.  Except those trick coins that are heads on both sides... anyway, by 'equality' in this sense I truly meant 'balance' as in, there should be balance between the relationship of the man and the woman.  Implying that a strong (etc) man thus has mastery of the woman bugs me because someones qualities, be they ever so wondrous, should not imply either full knowledge of someone else nor be a reason to have control over someone else. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Arnemetia on July 16, 2009, 02:25:19 PM
You have some very good points.
I also had problems with the wording of that phrase. Bear in mind the time period when this was written also. Uncle Jerry was a man of his time, a homophobe and a dirty old man.  :o
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 16, 2009, 03:00:39 PM
You have some very good points.
I also had problems with the wording of that phrase. Bear in mind the time period when this was written also. Uncle Jerry was a man of his time, a homophobe and a dirty old man.  :o

Hehehe I haven't read enough Gardner to have formulated an opinion about him or his works yet ;)  I will grant you the time period was much more restrictive to begin with and would have had a heavy influence on the writings of the Laws... or so I'd assume.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 16, 2009, 04:42:07 PM
If the God and Goddes are truly both sides of the same Deity why can there not be an assumption of equality between the man and woman?

There are Wiccans, myself included, that don't view Goddess and God as "both sides of the same deity."  I believe They are aspects of the Universe as my daughter is an aspect of her mother and me.

Quote
One last note on 'equality' - I think the better term that I should have used might be 'balance'.  Kind of like not being able to have right without left, day without night - there are two sides to every coin.  Except those trick coins that are heads on both sides.

Again, you are on the right road, but have picked up the "both sides of the same deity" in the tires and because of this you're losing traction.  IMO, They are not the same; They are parts of the same whole, but are opposite.  They are not equal, but They epitomize balance.

I think to gain a better grasp here, you might wish to let go of the "men and women are equal" and the "control" that you are attempting to cram into the laws dealing with mastery.  As far as womens' rights are concerned, yes, we should be equally allowed the same rights under the Constitution, but as far as being equal otherwise in the eyes of Goddess and God, you would do well to understand that men and women are not the same, nor are they 'equal.'  There are things women can do that men cannot and visa versa.  But together, they epitomize balance...when mastery is obtained. ;)

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 16, 2009, 06:16:41 PM
There are Wiccans, myself included, that don't view Goddess and God as "both sides of the same deity."  I believe They are aspects of the Universe as my daughter is an aspect of her mother and me.

Put this way, it makes a lot of sense.  They are parts of the whole but also their own individual thing.  They would be incomplete if one part was missing. 

Quote
Again, you are on the right road, but have picked up the "both sides of the same deity" in the tires and because of this you're losing traction.  IMO, They are not the same; They are parts of the same whole, but are opposite.  They are not equal, but They epitomize balance.

I think to gain a better grasp here, you might wish to let go of the "men and women are equal" and the "control" that you are attempting to cram into the laws dealing with mastery.  As far as womens' rights are concerned, yes, we should be equally allowed the same rights under the Constitution, but as far as being equal otherwise in the eyes of Goddess and God, you would do well to understand that men and women are not the same, nor are they 'equal.'  There are things women can do that men cannot and visa versa.  But together, they epitomize balance...when mastery is obtained. ;)

Mastery of self and mastery of each other in this sense (in the sense of complete understanding [of self and other] not of control)?  That's the definition I'd prefer because it makes so much more sense than the other way (which IMO is not balanced if one is in 'control' of the other).  When I've used equality between men and women it's been in the political sense ie. the same rights and responsibilites as opposed to being able to do all the exact same things.  TBH I normally don't like the term 'equality' because you hear so many women use it to try and gain an advantage over men - they want equal rights but not equal responsibility.  It's a politically charged term, so from here on in I'm going to use balance as much as possible.  :) 

Now being new to my study of Wicca and paganism I have to ask - how absolute are the Ardanes?  I realize they are the Wiccan laws as put down by Gerald Gardner.  They seem to be open to a fair bit of interpretation (from my readings I gather even some of those closest to him in his coven had issues with some of the Laws...).  While it may seem I'm trying to cram 'control' into the two lines about mastery, if you read them as written, semantically, that's the only option available based on how they are written.   Let me put it a different way to see if I can better explain why these lines are such a stumbling block. 

If I were to write:

As a man loves a woman by understanding her, so should the Wicca love the gods by being understood by them.   

But then if I were to write:

As a man loves a woman by understanding her, so should the Wicca love the gods by understanding them.

The first phrase and the second phrase do not have the same meaning.  Change it up for 'mastering' in the sense of learning/grasping/fully understanding - it works in the second one, it does not work in the first one because of the structure of the sentence.  As much as I would like to interpret the first phrase to mean the same thing as the second phrase, that would only be my interpretation of it.  So, can we disregard how it is structured in order to put the meaning in?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 16, 2009, 07:19:46 PM
I have upper body strength that most women do not.  I have the strength to dig furrows in the Earth for seeds.  To wrestle with, and kill, my prey.  I have the ability to stoicize my emotions, and I do not have, to the same extent, the instinct to care for children.  Women have the ability to bear children.  The attrntion to detail that can plant seeds in my furrows, and make me clothes out of the skins of my prey so I don't freeze my primitive ASS off chasing MORE prey...she's thoughtful like that.  SHE will nurture and rear the young instinctively.  My wife isn't half the man I am.  Nor am I half the woman SHE is.  We're not supposed to be.  SHE is ALL WOMAN.  I am ALL MAN.  Do WE balance each other out?  YES.  In EVERY respect you can name, and some I'd prefer you didn't.

The SAME?  Equal?  Balanced?  Halves?  Thirds?  Tenthousandths?  Leaning to one side or the other?  Too heavy?  Too light?  STANDING STRAIGHT UP?

This isn't quite so abstract, nor, for that matter, logical, that it should elude ANYone for more than a post or two.  You see....it's NOT about what another person "would write" or would "have it to say", it IS what it IS.  It's not about twelve dozen definitions of "mastery", it's about one.  It's not about DIVIDING the sexes, it's about UNITING them.  In order to form a WHOLE.
Even the author over at timerift said that he believes the Ardanes to be outdated and useless.  I DISAGREE.

I an NOT known for my "political correctness".  As a matter of fact, I am THE most "politically INcorrect" person on these fora.  MEN need to stop trying to be Alan Alda and Phil Donahue and women need to stop ASKING them to be.  Nor should we necessarily be the brutish caricature of men on the sofa with the remote and a beer scratching our private parts.  Women need not be FloJo.  Or Hillary.  Or Ayn Rand.  Or for THAT matter, Donna Reed or Harriet Nelson.  (oh....google it for Pete's sake!), Women need to stop trying to make sense of men.  We ARE NOT sensible in your capacity to understand...AND VICE-VERSA!  We are DIFFERENT!  The SEVENTIES be DAMNED, we are different.

That may leave a bitter taste in some mouths.  Sorry.  Not.  Deal.  Cast aside the "media invention" of Roseanne, Raymond, the "King of Queens", Jim Belushi, and all the other "MOTHER / FATHER knows best / worst / nothing / everything" stereotypes and use YOUR brains and brawn to LIVE in this incarnation.

The point here is this:  YES, the Ardanes, as well as the Rede, the Charges, and all of the other writings Wicca has that can approach scripture, were written with ONE THING IN MIND!  BALANCE!

Male/female.  Black/white.  Positive/negative.  Good/evil.  In/out.  Stop/go.  Front/back.  LEFT and RIGHT.

If you do, and WHEN you do, Wiccan or not, you'll be MUCH better off for it.



Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 16, 2009, 08:26:15 PM
Everything else about balance aside (and I agree with your points, we ARE different and should relish our strengths and our weaknesses)... 

Quote from: C_A
You see....it's NOT about what another person "would write" or would "have it to say", it IS what it IS.  It's not about twelve dozen definitions of "mastery", it's about one.
 
Quote from: C_A
The point here is this:  YES, the Ardanes, as well as the Rede, the Charges, and all of the other writings Wicca has that can approach scripture, were written with ONE THING IN MIND!  BALANCE!

I'm not questioning the nature of balance, the necessity for balance, or its importance in nature and in human relations.  I realize that there must be light and shadow, up and down, ocean and land, men and women.  I'm questioning the specific wording of a specific part of the Ardanes that no matter how you spin it does not allow for 'mastery' to be 'learning/gaining complete understanding'.  As written, Rules 5 and 6 do not allow any of those synonyms to make sense.  If we must take them as written, then the sense of mastery in this context must be that of being controlled.  Semantically, it's not that difficult to understand.

Just for argument's sake (because who doesn't love a good heated discussion)...  the Old Laws are very specific with regards to secrecy and the protection of the Craft from outsiders, and even from those among the different covens.  Aren't we all technically breaking the Old Laws simply by participating in this discussion forum?

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 16, 2009, 11:18:02 PM
No.  We are not sharing oathbound or coven-related issues.

That would be a violation.

I don't see what six has to do with it, other than the fact that they used the sumptive "g-ds", not spelling out "g-ds and g-ddesses".

It's not spin.  As I said before...think "Maestro" instead of "MASTER/SLAVE", or even "understanding".

A MAESTRO is responsible for an orchestra sounding like an orchestra, not a bunch of people sawing on violins, blowing into tubas, and banging on drums.  A MAESTRO arranges, instructs, orchestrates, leads, conducts, and coordinates all of the cacophony into a more pleasant sound.  Melodies.  Harmonies.  Staccatos.  Crescendos.  Adagios.  The G-DS do this for us.  Men do this for women, and vice-versa.  In different ways, at different times, and for different reasons / causes / effects / seasons / directions, on and on, ad infinitum. 

You're dragging the word "semantics" through a forest of semantics for a reason....I do not know what that reason is.  It has NOTHING to do with "superiority" or "subservience" in that respect, though there are moments when it does.  There are, (and we start leaning HARD on number six here...), DUTIES for each in the coven and in ritual.  It all works out.  The HPs is "in charge", but she draws strength from the HP.  The HP GIVES this strength, freely, willingly.  It ALL comes out to balance.  Men teach girls.  Women teach boys.  Does that have an air of "servitude" or "MASTER" to it?  If you break your oath, the G-ddess damns you.  It didn't SAY that the G-d does as well....does that mean he doesn't?  Why?  Doesn't He care?  Is he BUSY being a slavedriver?  A pimp? An abusive husband?

If the G-ds (okay, AND G-desses...), leave you this much doubt, fine.  These Ardanes have suited me and many like me for many, many years.  We don't "preach" it.  We don't "tell" it.  We LIVE it.  As we have, and as we will.

My only hope is that the light of it turns on...for you, as well as anyone else reading this.  If it does, I am happy.  If it doesn't, well...I'm STILL happy, but a bit dismayed that this SINGLE POINT can actually be the RATIONALE for a lot of the schism in Wicca today.  A schism that causes more harm, not ONLY to Wicca itself, but to the greater neo-pagan movement at-large.  Indeed, it tears at the fabric of religious freedom....there's a reason why people take neo-pagans as a bunch of "loonies-going-through-a-phase"....it has a LOT to do with McWicca(c)...

"I don't like the phrase "mastered", so I'm going to change it to what I want, and STILL call myself Wiccan".

"I don't like the image of the Horned G-d, so I'm gonna worship a Silvery-Winged Pink Unicorn and STILL call it Wicca".

"I don't LIKE 'DARK MAGICKQE", so I'm gonna build a website with ALL kinds of RAINBOWS instead and call it REAL WICCA".

I am not accusing YOU of any of these infractions, but it helps make the point.

WICCA IS WICCA.  Anything else isn't.

Would that I could have 1% of the fluff become REAL Wiccans!  We'd be a strong, vibrant, living faith.  Too many loonies making a fashion statement have rendered us impotent....erm....and barren. 

I DO. however, applaud your tenacity.



Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 17, 2009, 12:03:17 AM
I'm questioning the specific wording of a specific part of the Ardanes that no matter how you spin it does not allow for 'mastery' to be 'learning/gaining complete understanding'.  As written, Rules 5 and 6 do not allow any of those synonyms to make sense.

You are correct.  Those synonyms do not make any sense.  They are not intended to.  You are not supposed to substitute "understanding" for "mastery."  They do not mean the same thing.  The phrase does not refer to the man "understanding" the woman.  If it did, that could just as easilly be interpreted as putting the man in a similar "lesser" position as the one that you are objecting to for the woman.  

I think that one main problem you are having is that you (along with most of the rest of the culture) see the term "master" as a word that necessarilly diminishes the importance or power of the object of the mastery and puts him/her in a somehow "lesser" position.  But it has nothing to do with "lesser" or "greater" any more than it does with merely "understanding."


Read very carefully the last two posts by the Old Crow.


I particularly like his last post.  Think for instance of a person who may be the world's greatest (perhaps female) violinist.  There is nobody on earth who can even come close to the beauty of her music as she plays.  Now, consider her playing with an orchestra.  She is the centerpiece.  In the context of the current performance, she is the whole reason for their existence.  BUT there is also no way on earth that she could do what she's doing without the Conductor -- the Concert Master -- conducting the performance.  

Is he just there to conduct the rest of the gang because they don't know what they're doing?  No.  He is the "master" of the entire performance -- both them and her.


Is it he or is it she who is "more important" or "more powerful" in the performance of the music?  The answer is: No.

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 17, 2009, 04:11:30 AM
 I'm completely in agreement with C_A and the others.

 True Wicca simply is what it is. Don't try to remake it to suit the feminist ideal. I was there when the women's movement started and have been a strong supporter of the rights of women all along. None the less ... the women's movement is a failed social experiment. The generation of young women coming up these days are returning to traditional roles. The reason women's lib failed so miserably is because it blithely ignored certain key elements of female human nature.

 Carysta: It would have been better if you had discovered the truth of Wicca in a formal degree setting. It's too much to take in all at once. You can't go from a first degree to a third degree understanding in a single day. It takes years to understand and appreciate. Don't dismiss it simply because it doesn't fit with your idea of how things are supposed to be.

 Have you ever heard of Ayn Rand ? She was a highly intelligent, extremely powerful woman and respected author. In a couple of her books, "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" she created male characters that in her mind were the reflections of the perfect man. It's worth checking out because if nothing else she was brutally honest. You might discover a core truth in her writings.

 Bear in mind ... when i described a worthy representative of the G-d i was describing the qualities of a real man. A master or maestro if you will. It was planting the seed of a better understanding but it wasn't supposed to fall into place for a number of years yet.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 17, 2009, 07:32:29 AM
WICCA IS WICCA.  Anything else isn't.

Would that I could have 1% of the fluff become REAL Wiccans!  We'd be a strong, vibrant, living faith.  Too many loonies making a fashion statement have rendered us impotent....erm....and barren. 

I DO. however, applaud your tenacity.

Thanks C_A.  I've held on this because I'm struggling to wrap my head around it; I don't like to go "oh, I'm wrong" and then blithely move on if something isn't adding up for me.  That isn't learning it's just...  drifting.  IMO, anyway. 

Quote
As I said before...think "Maestro" instead of "MASTER/SLAVE"
Quote from: theosophia
I particularly like his last post.  Think for instance of a person who may be the world's greatest (perhaps female) violinist.  There is nobody on earth who can even come close to the beauty of her music as she plays.  Now, consider her playing with an orchestra.  She is the centerpiece.  In the context of the current performance, she is the whole reason for their existence.  BUT there is also no way on earth that she could do what she's doing without the Conductor -- the Concert Master -- conducting the performance. 

Is he just there to conduct the rest of the gang because they don't know what they're doing?  No.  He is the "master" of the entire performance -- both them and her.


Is it he or is it she who is "more important" or "more powerful" in the performance of the music?  The answer is: No.

Something went 'click' when I read this.  It didn't the first time through C_A although it was there in the back of my mind...  Theosohpia's example is one I can definitely relate to.  (Having volunteered for our local orchestra in a stage-crew capacity and having played an instrument for many years I will ignore the fact of what happens when a bad conductor is up there... ;))  It all comes back to balance and the parts being important to the whole. 

Quote from: blue
Don't try to remake it to suit the feminist ideal. I was there when the women's movement started and have been a strong supporter of the rights of women all along. None the less ... the women's movement is a failed social experiment. The generation of young women coming up these days are returning to traditional roles. The reason women's lib failed so miserably is because it blithely ignored certain key elements of female human nature.
 

If I've come across as feminist ...  wow.  That has not been my intent at all.  I object strongly to the idea of 'control' (and to what on the surface came across that way to me) of one person by another - in this case of a man over a woman - but had the situation been reversed I would have objected just as stronly to it if the line was about a woman mastering a man.  Thanks to the excellent guidance I've received I'm past that idea now, and while I'll still be reading and learning I can move on past it being about 'control'.  As for the feminist movement - in the beginning, it was good, and it worked towards getting more rights for women.  Somewhere along the line the focus shifted and a lot of today's 'feminists' are women who are looking to be given MORE rights than men and who spend all their time tearing down men and demeaning men (not all feminists, I'm generalizing here based on what I've encountered myself).  I personally think most of the early feminists would be appalled at what feminism has become these days.

Quote
It would have been better if you had discovered the truth of Wicca in a formal degree setting. It's too much to take in all at once. You can't go from a first degree to a third degree understanding in a single day. It takes years to understand and appreciate. Don't dismiss it simply because it doesn't fit with your idea of how things are supposed to be.

If I were going to dismiss it I'd have given up arguing ages ago ;)  I am not looking to have sudden perfect understanding of Wicca - I want to learn what I can about it, the formal instruction by someone else is simply not going to happen in my case, so here I am with my questions and my preconceptions - we'll have to work on tearing down and building up, but I'm not ready to give up and start painting unicorns and rainbows on everything so I can have some random form of McWicca.  I may never become Wiccan, if it turns out the traditions are not for me, but if I fit somewhere in the neopagan spectrum I also would not go around calling myself Wiccan just because it was a convenient label.  That would be like me saying I'm Christian because my father is/was Baptist - I have no idea what a Baptist believes so to call myself that would be equally presumptuous.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 17, 2009, 12:16:53 PM
Something went 'click' when I read this.  It didn't the first time through C_A although it was there in the back of my mind...  Theosohpia's example is one I can definitely relate to.

Well, thank you.  I'm glad I could help.  I've been hoping I was somewhere close to the right track as far as the Old Crow is concerned.  But I am just an un-trained Mystic wanna-be who really knows very little about Wicca or its "secrets."  I'm just using a bit of intuition and relating this Wicca stuff to my background in other things.


(Having volunteered for our local orchestra in a stage-crew capacity and having played an instrument for many years I will ignore the fact of what happens when a bad conductor is up there... ;))

Well, I wouldn't completely ignore what happens if the person in the position of "master" fails at his part.  It helps to show the importance of the right kind of mastery.  And at a certain level, the one who fails could have all the intellectual "book-learning" that there is on the subject.  But real "mastery" is something more than that.  It is something that one becomes at a much deeper level than merely "understanding."  If he does not have that, then the music (or magic ... or sex ... or whatever the subject is) just doesn't come out quite good enough.


(Having volunteered for our local orchestra in a stage-crew capacity and having played an instrument for many years I will ignore the fact of what happens when a bad conductor is up there... ;))  It all comes back to balance and the parts being important to the whole.

Yup.


And if you have time, take Blue up on his suggestion, too.  He knows what he's talking about and is generally spot-on about 97.3% of the time.  Personally, if I were gonna pick one, I'd recommend Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.  The first page or so will give you an insight into her concept of an "ideal" man who has complete self-confidence and "mastery."
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 17, 2009, 03:49:27 PM
Well, thank you.  I'm glad I could help.  I've been hoping I was somewhere close to the right track as far as the Old Crow is concerned.  But I am just an un-trained Mystic wanna-be who really knows very little about Wicca or its "secrets."  I'm just using a bit of intuition and relating this Wicca stuff to my background in other things.

Coming from not-much background in not-many spiritual paths, getting insight and interpretations from everyone is very helpful to me :)


Quote
Well, I wouldn't completely ignore what happens if the person in the position of "master" fails at his part.  It helps to show the importance of the right kind of mastery.  And at a certain level, the one who fails could have all the intellectual "book-learning" that there is on the subject.  But real "mastery" is something more than that.  It is something that one becomes at a much deeper level than merely "understanding."  If he does not have that, then the music (or magic ... or sex ... or whatever the subject is) just doesn't come out quite good enough.

Oh, agreed.  However for simplicity's sake since I finally grasped what everyone's been trying to show me (yes, I can be, erm, stubborn when I have an idea in my head lol) I didn't want to get into a discussion of 'bad maestros' because we're talking about balance which is the good and the bad together and I'm pretty sure we could go into a whole other thread about Deity as the good conductor versus the bad conductor.  I'm not there yet...  I hope to be someday :)

Quote
And if you have time, take Blue up on his suggestion, too.  He knows what he's talking about and is generally spot-on about 97.3% of the time.  Personally, if I were gonna pick one, I'd recommend Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.  The first page or so will give you an insight into her concept of an "ideal" man who has complete self-confidence and "mastery."

I plan on it.  I tend to take book suggestions very seriously - it doesn't mean I'm going to agree with what I read once I read it (had to work today, hoping my local library will have Rand's work, but didn't have time to go) but I will read it and learn from it.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 17, 2009, 04:30:50 PM
No.  We are not sharing oathbound or coven-related issues.

That would be a violation.

I don't see what six has to do with it, other than the fact that they used the sumptive "g-ds", not spelling out "g-ds and g-ddesses".

It's not spin.  As I said before...think "Maestro" instead of "MASTER/SLAVE", or even "understanding".

A MAESTRO is responsible for an orchestra sounding like an orchestra, not a bunch of people sawing on violins, blowing into tubas, and banging on drums.  A MAESTRO arranges, instructs, orchestrates, leads, conducts, and coordinates all of the cacophony into a more pleasant sound.  Melodies.  Harmonies.  Staccatos.  Crescendos.  Adagios.  The G-DS do this for us.  Men do this for women, and vice-versa.  In different ways, at different times, and for different reasons / causes / effects / seasons / directions, on and on, ad infinitum. 

You're dragging the word "semantics" through a forest of semantics for a reason....I do not know what that reason is.  It has NOTHING to do with "superiority" or "subservience" in that respect, though there are moments when it does.  There are, (and we start leaning HARD on number six here...), DUTIES for each in the coven and in ritual.  It all works out.  The HPs is "in charge", but she draws strength from the HP.  The HP GIVES this strength, freely, willingly.  It ALL comes out to balance.  Men teach girls.  Women teach boys.  Does that have an air of "servitude" or "MASTER" to it?  If you break your oath, the G-ddess damns you.  It didn't SAY that the G-d does as well....does that mean he doesn't?  Why?  Doesn't He care?  Is he BUSY being a slavedriver?  A pimp? An abusive husband?

If the G-ds (okay, AND G-desses...), leave you this much doubt, fine.  These Ardanes have suited me and many like me for many, many years.  We don't "preach" it.  We don't "tell" it.  We LIVE it.  As we have, and as we will.

My only hope is that the light of it turns on...for you, as well as anyone else reading this.  If it does, I am happy.  If it doesn't, well...I'm STILL happy, but a bit dismayed that this SINGLE POINT can actually be the RATIONALE for a lot of the schism in Wicca today.  A schism that causes more harm, not ONLY to Wicca itself, but to the greater neo-pagan movement at-large.  Indeed, it tears at the fabric of religious freedom....there's a reason why people take neo-pagans as a bunch of "loonies-going-through-a-phase"....it has a LOT to do with McWicca(c)...

"I don't like the phrase "mastered", so I'm going to change it to what I want, and STILL call myself Wiccan".

"I don't like the image of the Horned G-d, so I'm gonna worship a Silvery-Winged Pink Unicorn and STILL call it Wicca".

"I don't LIKE 'DARK MAGICKQE", so I'm gonna build a website with ALL kinds of RAINBOWS instead and call it REAL WICCA".

I am not accusing YOU of any of these infractions, but it helps make the point.

WICCA IS WICCA.  Anything else isn't.

Would that I could have 1% of the fluff become REAL Wiccans!  We'd be a strong, vibrant, living faith.  Too many loonies making a fashion statement have rendered us impotent....erm....and barren. 

I DO. however, applaud your tenacity.





I couldn't have said it any better myself.

There should be a 'standing ovation' emoticon, for I can think of nothing to add.

Bravo Maestro!

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 17, 2009, 04:54:09 PM
 ;D 8) :-[

If there was a "blush" emoticon it wouldn't begin to cover it.  After all....you guys were the more adept at the point.

Now....shall we move on?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 17, 2009, 04:55:51 PM
Six through ten.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 17, 2009, 05:10:29 PM
Six through ten.  Thoughts?

Just one for a start:

Divinity (God or Gods ... or Goddess & God) can only do FOR a person that which Divinity does THROUGH the person.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 17, 2009, 10:33:02 PM
Quote from: The Ardanes
10.  For in this way only may men have communion with the gods, for the gods cannot help man without the help of man.


I love the part in italics.  It's similar to the oft-repeated but little-followed 'God helps those who help themselves'.  We have to give of ourselves and put in the effort, not just make the gestures.  For example, I could read a book, follow the steps, and put together a ritual, and say to myself 'hey, look at me, I did a ritual, so now I should get something back'... but if I don't understand why I've done the ritual, what the purpose of the ritual is, and if I don't properly prepare myself (see Old Laws 6-9), if I'm just following steps, I'll get back exactly what I put in, which is not a heck of a lot.  Going back to the music example (because I think it's one a lot of people can relate to and it's certainly one that's working for me)...  You can have a player who is technically proficient.  That player can hit every note, do the music exactly as written in the score, and put on a 'flawless' performance.  But... the performance would still not be complete.  You could have another player, who is not 'technically perfect', maybe hits a note off by a little or misses a beat or two... but still be a much more complete experience because they are playing with emotion and energy and they are giving of themselves to the music.  Of course, someone who is technically just awful, misses more than half the notes and is off key, well, they can put in all the emotion they want, if they do not understand the purpose and the form of the music, their performance will also be incomplete.  I feel that what the Ardanes are telling us here is that you must be able to prepare properly as far as the steps of a ritual go - AND also put the emotion/energy/power into it.  Otherwise it's just mechanical. 

Of course what I 'feel' is quite likely in need of refinement - so, am I at least in the ballpark?  :)

P.S.  I don't think if I put all the energy in the world into a well-thought-out ritual to bring myself money that I'm suddenly going to win the lottery; I would imagine that Deity is a lot more subtle than that :)  I think it would mean I'd find a way to save myself some money; or maybe that creative idea would go from nebulous thought to an opportunity I hadn't considered. 
 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 18, 2009, 03:32:31 PM

I love the part in italics.  It's similar to the oft-repeated but little-followed 'God helps those who help themselves'.  We have to give of ourselves and put in the effort, not just make the gestures.  For example, I could read a book, follow the steps, and put together a ritual, and say to myself 'hey, look at me, I did a ritual, so now I should get something back'... but if I don't understand why I've done the ritual, what the purpose of the ritual is, and if I don't properly prepare myself (see Old Laws 6-9), if I'm just following steps, I'll get back exactly what I put in, which is not a heck of a lot.  Going back to the music example (because I think it's one a lot of people can relate to and it's certainly one that's working for me)...  You can have a player who is technically proficient.  That player can hit every note, do the music exactly as written in the score, and put on a 'flawless' performance.  But... the performance would still not be complete.  You could have another player, who is not 'technically perfect', maybe hits a note off by a little or misses a beat or two... but still be a much more complete experience because they are playing with emotion and energy and they are giving of themselves to the music.  Of course, someone who is technically just awful, misses more than half the notes and is off key, well, they can put in all the emotion they want, if they do not understand the purpose and the form of the music, their performance will also be incomplete.  I feel that what the Ardanes are telling us here is that you must be able to prepare properly as far as the steps of a ritual go - AND also put the emotion/energy/power into it.  Otherwise it's just mechanical. 

Of course what I 'feel' is quite likely in need of refinement - so, am I at least in the ballpark?  :)

P.S.  I don't think if I put all the energy in the world into a well-thought-out ritual to bring myself money that I'm suddenly going to win the lottery; I would imagine that Deity is a lot more subtle than that :)  I think it would mean I'd find a way to save myself some money; or maybe that creative idea would go from nebulous thought to an opportunity I hadn't considered. 
 


You're 'trying' to tread water in the shallow end of the pool...

...swim over to the deep end.


(If you need a "nudge," reference something you said here: http://wicca.com/forums/index.php?topic=1088.msg31415#msg31415)...

...or google "The Charge of The Goddess."  There is a hint there as well...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 18, 2009, 04:05:09 PM
You're 'trying' to tread water in the shallow end of the pool...

I'm not 'trying'...  I will learn to swim dang it; it just will take time and effort.  Maybe a lifesaver or two, or getting bashed over the head with the oar of information...  Please to show where I said 'try' in my post.  I have in fact been avoiding the word 'try' because of you FW.  LOL. 

Quote from: The Charge of the Goddess
And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.

For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.


Is this the hint you were heading me towards?  That if we do not realize and understand that Deity is within us and it's from within us that comes the power to effect any change, we will not find the Goddess for all of our searching?

I pulled my Charge of the Goddess quote from:  http://doreenvaliente.com/doreen-valientes-poems/poem-the-charge-of-the-goddess
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 18, 2009, 04:36:55 PM
I'm not 'trying'...  I will learn to swim dang it; it just will take time and effort.  Maybe a lifesaver or two, or getting bashed over the head with the oar of information...  Please to show where I said 'try' in my post.  I have in fact been avoiding the word 'try' because of you FW.  LOL.

You didn't.  I added it for drama (and my own amusement).

Quote from: The Charge of the Goddess
And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.

For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Is this the hint you were heading me towards?  That if we do not realize and understand that Deity is within us and it's from within us that comes the power to effect any change, we will not find the Goddess for all of our searching?

I pulled my Charge of the Goddess quote from:  http://doreenvaliente.com/doreen-valientes-poems/poem-the-charge-of-the-goddess

BINGO!!  But not only Goddess, but God as well (as well as Their aspects).

You're a quick study!

...or I (and the others) are just good teachers. ;)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 18, 2009, 05:00:37 PM
You didn't.  I added it for drama (and my own amusement).

BINGO!!  But not only Goddess, but God as well (as well as Their aspects).

You're a quick study!

...or I (and the others) are just good teachers. ;)

And you didn't even have to get out the oar of information to thump me one that time.  Yay!  In all seriousness finding these boards has been wonderful -  everyone has been most helpful and informative.  As a quick aside (sorry C_A it's a quick detour I promise!)... In my googling, I found a whole bunch of 'versions' of The Charge of the Goddess.  I remembered that Doreen Valiente rewrote the original Leviter Veslis (by Gardner, a prose version) so I quoted from hers; there were all kinds of others that were more-or-less the same but with some changes.  I found a site comparing some of the versions here:  http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/wicca/charge.htm that gave a little history as well.  For example I found a version by Starhawk that takes out references to "man", and one by Silver Ravenwolf that bears nearly no resemblance at all to the original charge (the line we just discussed for example is entirely absent in any form).  Anyway my question now is simply, s the Valiente version the one most commonly cited, or does it vary by tradition? 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 18, 2009, 05:06:40 PM
*pretends he didn't see a reference to SRW ITT*

Yes, Valiente's is the most commonly cited.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 18, 2009, 05:11:35 PM
*pretends he didn't see a reference to SRW ITT*

Yes, Valiente's is the most commonly cited.

Even to my brand-new eyes SRW seems... erm, not so deep.  FW you might want to avert your eyes at the following quote:

Quote from: SRW's Charge of the Goddess

And under my watchful eye,
my children shall be taught the mysteries of Earth
and Nature, of the ways of all Magick!
That which is unknown shall be known,
and that which is hidden shall be revealed,
even the secluded soul shall be pierced with my Light.
From my cauldron shall be drunk all knowledge and immortality!

Now forgive me if I'm off, but isn't this kind of the opposite of what's in Valiente's Charge?  It's implying that by showing up you will learn everything - no deeper understanding needed.  Or is it just me?

Edited to fix that pesky unquote :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 18, 2009, 05:14:28 PM
*withholds comment to let that one simmer for a while (not only necessarily for Cary but for the SRW fans everywhere)*
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 18, 2009, 05:19:24 PM
Just to clarify - Cary hasn't been studying long enough to be a fan of anyone yet ;)  I pulled that from a site comparing about 5 versions of the Charge by different people (including Valiente's version).  Also I can't wait til I have an edit button so when I mess up coding I can fix it.  *sigh*
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 18, 2009, 05:33:56 PM
Just to clarify - Cary hasn't been studying long enough to be a fan of anyone yet ;)  I pulled that from a site comparing about 5 versions of the Charge by different people (including Valiente's version). 

The best way to learn...

Quote
Also I can't wait til I have an edit button so when I mess up coding I can fix it.  *sigh*

Everyone (with an ounce of intelligence) here knew what you meant.

Worry not.  With your contribution to this board, you'll be able to edit your posts in no time.  If it were my board, you'd have full access already.  *hint hint*
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 18, 2009, 05:56:22 PM
Worry not.  With your contribution to this board, you'll be able to edit your posts in no time.  If it were my board, you'd have full access already.  *hint hint*

Thanks, FW :)  I'm just picky and hate having my code hangin' out ;)  EBS says it takes about a month so I should be good in a couple days anyway.  Not that I've been posting that long, I was mostly lurking until I got the 'introduce yourself' email lol. 

Getting back to the Ardanes, Rules 6 and 7 talk about properly purifying both the circle and the self.  I've read different things about purification, one source suggests, for example, a ritual bath prior to casting the circle to wash away any negative energies from the day, to prepare both physically and to take the time to mentally prepare for the rite as well.  Some sources suggest that if you can, a bath (swim) in a natural source like a lake or a river is even better.  Considering how freeing and calming I find swimming that makes sense to me.  I mostly would like ideas on how to best purify a physical space for working.  I realize clean it physically, of course, you can't concentrate in a bunch of clutter, but then there are suggestions ranging from using a ritual broom to sweep away the energies attached to the area, to using incense known for its cleansing properties and purifying the area before working.  Considering I've always felt that energy can 'attach' itself to a place (think of the feeling when you step into a very old church, or if you step into an old prison - both have completely different energies) this also makes sense to me; but what are some of the 'preferred' methods of purifying self and space?  Are there specific incense types that are better?  Is the act of picturing physically sweeping away bad energy more helpful than cleansing with incense? 

I should probably add that I have not yet attempted a ritual.  I have meditated and done a lot of reading and thinking but I don't feel that I have a deep enough understanding to perform a ritual, yet.  The more I learn the more believe that the right time will present itself.  When I first started reading up on Wicca I thought "gee I should do one of these ritual things"... and then something inside me said "wait".  And now the more I've learned the more I realize I was so not ready for a ritual.  I think when I am ready, I will know because it will feel 'right'.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 18, 2009, 06:05:29 PM
Getting back to the Ardanes, Rules 6 and 7 talk about properly purifying both the circle and the self.  I've read different things about purification, one source suggests, for example, a ritual bath prior to casting the circle to wash away any negative energies from the day, to prepare both physically and to take the time to mentally prepare for the rite as well.  Some sources suggest that if you can, a bath (swim) in a natural source like a lake or a river is even better.  Considering how freeing and calming I find swimming that makes sense to me.  I mostly would like ideas on how to best purify a physical space for working.  I realize clean it physically, of course, you can't concentrate in a bunch of clutter, but then there are suggestions ranging from using a ritual broom to sweep away the energies attached to the area, to using incense known for its cleansing properties and purifying the area before working.  Considering I've always felt that energy can 'attach' itself to a place (think of the feeling when you step into a very old church, or if you step into an old prison - both have completely different energies) this also makes sense to me; but what are some of the 'preferred' methods of purifying self and space?  Are there specific incense types that are better?  Is the act of picturing physically sweeping away bad energy more helpful than cleansing with incense?

The most cleansed I've ever felt personally in a ritual was in my self-dedication years ago, when I bathed in a creek in WV.  I've used other means of cleansing effectively, including a bath in water and sea salt, and a rosemary/lavender bath.

Sacred space in a remote natural area outdoors, IMO, requires no cleansing.  If I am to hold a ritual indoors, even in a room in my house that serves primarily as my temple, I cleanse the space with my besom, following smudging the space with white sage.  I've found this method to be quite effective.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 04:34:50 AM
Cary Wrote:

Getting back to the Ardanes, Rules 6 and 7 talk about properly purifying both the circle and the self.  I've read different things about purification, one source suggests, for example, a ritual bath prior to casting the circle to wash away any negative energies from the day, to prepare both physically and to take the time to mentally prepare for the rite as well.

Blue:

 To better understand 6 & 7 it might help to put them into historical context. See ... at that time there was no solitary practice. There were only chartered covens which could trace their lineage directly back to the original coven.

 It's possible that the ritual was prescribed and closely adhered to. It's sort of like a play with different participants having different roles to play from beginning to end.

 If you think of eight or so people gathered skyclad within the circle there might have been some practical reasons for preparing the mind, the body, and the space.

 If you are preparing the space for a group working you really have to consider safety. BMO wrote a wonderful post on the subject awhile back.  Also ... people were participating Au Natural. You have to think about their comfort.

 People do have certain natural body odors. Back in the 50's & 60's people might bathe every other day or once a week even. It was probably a good idea that everyone should bathe before attending ritual.  ;)

  It's just my opinion but i think if you consider the times, and it being a group setting, the Ardennes take on a different meaning.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 05:53:17 AM

 This thread got me to thinking about a few things so i did a little digging.

 At this point i don't think you can practice Wicca as a solitary. At least ... practice as Wicca was intended to be practiced. Removing the group dynamic changes things significantly. The solitary apple may have fallen too far from the tree for it to be called Wicca anymore.

 There's a reason i'm of this opinion. While i'm not Wiccan, i am a 3rd degree Master Mason. If you dig back into the history of Wicca ... and most especially consider Crowley ... there's no mistaking the influence of Freemasonry. That's common knowledge.

 What isn't common knowledge are certain trademarks of a Masonic influence. I am oathbound but i don't think it's a violation of my oaths to say that i see a Masonic influence in Wicca, The Mormon church, and the structure and forms of our federal government.

 I know without a doubt that it would be quite impossible to be a solitary Freemason and initiate oneself.

If ... and that's a big if ... you remove the group dynamic, a training and degree system, a system of chartering the covens, and a system of prescribed ritual, can it still be Wicca ?

 

 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 19, 2009, 06:13:16 AM
This thread got me to thinking about a few things so i did a little digging.

 At this point i don't think you can practice Wicca as a solitary. At least ... practice as Wicca was intended to be practiced. Removing the group dynamic changes things significantly. The solitary apple may have fallen too far from the tree for it to be called Wicca anymore.

So your contention is that I cannot be Wiccan.  That is fine and you are well within your rights to state such an opinion based on your knowledge of Freemasonry.

But just for argument's sake, let's dig a little deeper...

Quote
There's a reason i'm of this opinion. While i'm not Wiccan, i am a 3rd degree Master Mason. If you dig back into the history of Wicca ... and most especially consider Crowley ... there's no mistaking the influence of Freemasonry. That's common knowledge.

 What isn't common knowledge are certain trademarks of a Masonic influence. I am oathbound but i don't think it's a violation of my oaths to say that i see a Masonic influence in Wicca, The Mormon church, and the structure and forms of our federal government.

 I know without a doubt that it would be quite impossible to be a solitary Freemason and initiate oneself.

Which has been my contention and I have stated this quite openly here time and again.  I have said many times that self-initiation is an oxymoron.  It simply cannot be done.

But since Wiccan belief is centered around Goddess and God, are you, with your knowledge not only of Freemasonry (let's face it, all the oathbound stuff is somewhere on the web for everyone to read), but of Wicca, stating that a solitary practitioner cannot be initiated by Them?

I have also said that one likely cannot follow traditional Wicca as put forth by Gardner, i.e. Gardnerian Wicca as a solitaire, but if one maintains the balance of the dogma, beliefs and ritual practice, as closely as possible, one is a practitioner of solitary Wicca, which admittedly is not the same as traditional Wicca, but is still Wicca nonetheless.

Quote
If ... and that's a big if ... you remove the group dynamic, a training and degree system, a system of chartering the covens, and a system of prescribed ritual, can it still be Wicca ?

IMO, Absolutely!  A solitary Wiccan can maintain a group dynamic by celebrating with the Gods.  They can be trained by Them and still follow prescribed ritual, though slightly modified to accommodate a singular physical presence within the circle.  I think you are leaving the Gods out of your 'group' mindset, no?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on July 19, 2009, 06:22:53 AM
To all the participants of this thread,

I have been following this thread with great interest even though I haven't posted in it.  I will not allow it be derailed(weird coming from me) with SRW.  I will split the SRW stuff off into it's own thread if it continues.


EBS
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 19, 2009, 06:31:25 AM
To all the participants of this thread,

I have been following this thread with great interest even though I haven't posted in it.  I will not allow it be derailed(weird coming from me) with SRW.  I will split the SRW stuff off into it's own thread if it continues.


EBS

I must interject here that it is pertinent to the discussion.

Why do you think it should be split?  Don't you think those that may happen upon this thread in the future should have the whole story?  Do you really think censoring threads for the purpose of propagating one's own agenda is a good idea?

I detest SRW's work as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean that I think others' opinions of her should be erased.  Why not just post your rebuttal?

Finally, I see no proponents of SRW having posted ITT thus far.  I see someone who wants to learn asking for opinions of more seasoned practitioners. *shrugs*
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on July 19, 2009, 06:38:21 AM
I must interject here that it is pertinent to the discussion.

Why do you think it should be split?  Don't you think those that may happen upon this thread in the future should have the whole story?  Do you really think censoring threads for the purpose of propagating one's own agenda is a good idea?

No it's not.  You are right. 

This is has been a very good thread and it makes me sick seeing her name in it. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 07:31:29 AM
Firewillow wrote:

So your contention is that I cannot be Wiccan.  That is fine and you are well within your rights to state such an opinion based on your knowledge of Freemasonry.

Blue:

I believe we have had this discussion before and you explained that Wicca runs through your heart, mind, body, and soul.  Who am i to judge ?  I'm really not qualified.

I do think you are missing something of vital importance and that is the experience of having come up through the degrees within the coven. I would be willing to bet that your perspective on things would be different.

Having experienced both the solitary and group practice you would be the one best qualified to render a judgement.

Firewillow wrote:

IMO, Absolutely!  A solitary Wiccan can maintain a group dynamic by celebrating with the Gods.  They can be trained by Them and still follow prescribed ritual, though slightly modified to accommodate a singular physical presence within the circle.  I think you are leaving the Gods out of your 'group' mindset, no?

Blue:

IMO no. They are two different things. If things are right there is a bond of love, trust, and a spiritual conection that develops with other humans within the coven setting.

I think you really really have to spend some time in a group setting and experience things  for yourself in order to understand the differences.



 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 19, 2009, 08:15:38 AM
I believe we have had this discussion before and you explained that Wicca runs through your heart, mind, body, and soul.  Who am i to judge ?  I'm really not qualified.

I do think you are missing something of vital importance and that is the experience of having come up through the degrees within the coven. I would be willing to bet that your perspective on things would be different.

Having experienced both the solitary and group practice you would be the one best qualified to render a judgement.

I am in full agreement with you as far as having missed something having not come up through a coven.  Unfortunately, like many others, I didn't have the opportunity.  Therefore, I set out to teach myself with the help of Goddess and God (and in many instances, They taught me ThemSelves), and with the help of those who shared their experiences in literature.  While I missed something on one hand, I wouldn't trade my experiences for what I did gain on the other.

Quote
IMO no. They are two different things. If things are right there is a bond of love, trust, and a spiritual conection that develops with other humans within the coven setting.

I think you really really have to spend some time in a group setting and experience things  for yourself in order to understand the differences.

While I have not been a part of a coven, I have been to group rituals.  While the bond is indeed fulfilling, there is much to be said for the experience of being alone and at one with Goddess and God as well.  When I celebrate a sabbat with a group, I also celebrate that same sabbat alone in my circle with my Gods.  I wouldn't feel quite fulfilled if I did not.  I need that intimate connection.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 09:46:06 AM
   I hear ya F.W.

   Look up solitary in the dictionary and there is a picture of me.  ;)

   Please bear in mind that i'm only trying to share my experience.

 To my mind the Crowley's influence on Wicca is noteworthy. It's very rare, perhaps unique, that someone should be of the 33rd deg., a member of the lodge of England and later affiliate with the Grand Orient. (Not to mention the OTO and the Order of the Golden Dawn.)

 I may not know what i'm talking about but i think my experience of being duely initiated and brought up through the degrees in the AF & AM may have some common ground with coming up through in the tradition of the old guard.

 Two very different things mind you ... but ... maybe some similarities because of their shared ancestry ?

 To the point though :  It was difficult for me to work as part of a group and be a part of a group. I came to it very reluctantly but i knew it was something i had to do as the next step.  I can honestly say i'm a better man for it. I learned some things that i never could have learned otherwise.

 Let's take something that is common knowledge for instance. The master of the lodge is properly addressed as " Worshipful " or " Worshipful Master ".   Now ... a lot of people read something simple like that and go WHOA !. But ... if you had the experience of coming up through then you would understand why that's not a problem.

 From time to time I hear about all of the infighting and power plays that take place in " Wiccan ? " covens that don't have a lineage and it makes me wonder if something has been lost along the way.

 Anyway ... coming full circle back to the Ardennes ! They're kind of a hint that things were very different back then weren't they ?   It's just common sense ... there's no doubt that the Gardenarian Tradition was Wicca.

 As you get further and further away from the source a thing can evolve and morph into something uniquely it's own. That begs the question .... Exactly where is the tipping point ?  That's a sore subject for a lot of folks.

 For me ... it's just an academic discussion. I don't have anything invested in it and as far as i know it doesn't affect me.

 It's not my concern what others do. I just like to talk about this stuff and maybe learn something new along the way.  :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 19, 2009, 09:48:33 AM

 To better understand 6 & 7 it might help to put them into historical context. See ... at that time there was no solitary practice. There were only chartered covens which could trace their lineage directly back to the original coven.

 It's possible that the ritual was prescribed and closely adhered to. It's sort of like a play with different participants having different roles to play from beginning to end.

 If you think of eight or so people gathered skyclad within the circle there might have been some practical reasons for preparing the mind, the body, and the space.

 If you are preparing the space for a group working you really have to consider safety. BMO wrote a wonderful post on the subject awhile back.  Also ... people were participating Au Natural. You have to think about their comfort.

 People do have certain natural body odors. Back in the 50's & 60's people might bathe every other day or once a week even. It was probably a good idea that everyone should bathe before attending ritual.  ;)

  It's just my opinion but i think if you consider the times, and it being a group setting, the Ardennes take on a different meaning.

Food for thought, Blue.  As always.  :)  Although I still believe it would be important to go through these steps alone also; it is part of preparing oneself for the ritual.  Even if you don't think of the energies involved, I know I always feel better after a bath or a shower,or a swim, more relaxed and just... better.  I think this would be an important way to feel prior to doing a ritual to commune with God and Goddess.  

As for the group dynamic versus the solitary experience, I've had neither, but can draw on other group experiences back when I was still learning about Christianity (a while back before my practising Atheist phase).  Take for example something common to most church services - the time when people are singing hymns.  Hearing everyone sing like that in praise of God can be a powerfully moving experience.  However I often found it just as moving and fulfilling to pray by myself.  I think if you have a good coven, Wicca in a group would be much the same way - both types of practice would offer different experiences.  Now if you don't have access to the coven/group experience,

Quote from: FireWillow
I have also said that one likely cannot follow traditional Wicca as put forth by Gardner, i.e. Gardnerian Wicca as a solitaire, but if one maintains the balance of the dogma, beliefs and ritual practice, as closely as possible, one is a practitioner of solitary Wicca, which admittedly is not the same as traditional Wicca, but is still Wicca nonetheless.

I think FW pretty much summed it up.  

For EBS - I promise not to bring up She Who Shall Not Be Named again.  The aversion to her that folks have is telling, and I shall consign her to the fluffpile.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 11:44:54 AM
Carysta wrote:

Food for thought, Blue.  As always.    Although I still believe it would be important to go through these steps alone also; it is part of preparing oneself for the ritual.  Even if you don't think of the energies involved, I know I always feel better after a bath or a shower,or a swim, more relaxed and just... better.  I think this would be an important way to feel prior to doing a ritual to commune with God and Goddess. 

Blue:

Ohh ... i agree completely. Aside from the practical considerations it's important to purify oneself and be in the right frame of mind before attending a ritual.

F.W. wrote:

I have also said that one likely cannot follow traditional Wicca as put forth by Gardner, i.e. Gardnerian Wicca as a solitaire, but if one maintains the balance of the dogma, beliefs and ritual practice, as closely as possible, one is a practitioner of solitary Wicca, which admittedly is not the same as traditional Wicca, but is still Wicca nonetheless.

Carysta responded:

I think FW pretty much summed it up. 

Blue:

Not to belabor the point but i'm not so sure about that.

I've been trying to get something across that might make all of the difference in the world but if it's outside of someones range of experience they don't have a point of reference and will not be able to identify with what you're saying.

About all that anyone can do in that situation is point and say go experience this for yourself so that you can understand.

Ahh well ... I'm gonna stop bugging everyone. ROFL there's about 8 cord of firewood in the rounds out back that needs to be processed, stacked, and dried over the summer. If i don't get to it now  there will be a terrible price to pay next winter. Such is life when you live by the seasons.  :)

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 19, 2009, 02:49:39 PM
F.W. wrote:

I have also said that one likely cannot follow traditional Wicca as put forth by Gardner, i.e. Gardnerian Wicca as a solitaire, but if one maintains the balance of the dogma, beliefs and ritual practice, as closely as possible, one is a practitioner of solitary Wicca, which admittedly is not the same as traditional Wicca, but is still Wicca nonetheless.

Carysta responded:

I think FW pretty much summed it up. 

Blue:

Not to belabor the point but i'm not so sure about that.

I've been trying to get something across that might make all of the difference in the world but if it's outside of someones range of experience they don't have a point of reference and will not be able to identify with what you're saying.

About all that anyone can do in that situation is point and say go experience this for yourself so that you can understand.

Of course one with no point of reference isn't going to decide one day to become a solitary Wiccan and automatically know what I'm talking about.  It's not something one learns in the bat of an eye or even something that can be explained.  For me a came with a good deal of time and practice.  Some who set out on a solitary path may never in this incarnation become ready to learn that of which I speak without joining a lineaged coven.  What I have learned is the result of a great deal of research, study, practice, and meditation.  There are those that are simply not that ambitious or receptive to that which they seek.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Blackmoons Owl on July 19, 2009, 06:18:05 PM
In my googling, I found a whole bunch of 'versions' of The Charge of the Goddess.  I remembered that Doreen Valiente rewrote the original Leviter Veslis (by Gardner, a prose version) so I quoted from hers; there were all kinds of others that were more-or-less the same but with some changes.  I found a site comparing some of the versions here:  http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/wicca/charge.htm that gave a little history as well.  For example I found a version by Starhawk that takes out references to "man", and one by Silver Ravenwolf that bears nearly no resemblance at all to the original charge (the line we just discussed for example is entirely absent in any form).  Anyway my question now is simply, s the Valiente version the one most commonly cited, or does it vary by tradition? 
It can vary by tradition and often the argument is started over who's version is ther correct one.  ;)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Blackmoons Owl on July 19, 2009, 06:33:42 PM
Getting back to the Ardanes, Rules 6 and 7 talk about properly purifying both the circle and the self.  .... but what are some of the 'preferred' methods of purifying self and space?  Are there specific incense types that are better?  Is the act of picturing physically sweeping away bad energy more helpful than cleansing with incense? 
I tend to go with a purification bath (though a shower can work too - as can using a lake, river, ocean or even standing out in a rain shower.  One might also smudge themselves, annoint with oils, fast or avoid eating certain foods to cleanse their system as part of cleansing oneself.

Cleansing a space can involve the besom to sweep energies, smudging (with sage, white sage, sweetgrass or incense), burning incense, sprinking purified water or salt water, sprinking sand or salt, use of music, sprinkling oils, etc.  It varies by practice, tradition, preference and the space you are working in.  You might not want sprinkle water on a hard wood floor or dump salt/sand on your carpet.  Its possible the site you choose does not allow smoke or open flames.  You could find smoke too acrid or if one has allergies, it might be too irritating to use.  All are considerations in preparing your space.  Its also possible you decide to do a ritual and may not have certain items readily available.  (This has happened to me a few times while traveling.)

In a Coven setting, we do plan in advance for what is needed & allowed at our ritual site.  There are times when members are asked to cleanse &  prepare before the ritual and other's where it as a part of the entire ritual.  This is especially true during an initiation. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Blackmoons Owl on July 19, 2009, 06:36:05 PM
If you are preparing the space for a group working you really have to consider safety. BMO wrote a wonderful post on the subject awhile back.  Also ... people were participating Au Natural. You have to think about their comfort.
Dangit Blue - now I have to try to remember which lost post this was.  :P
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 06:38:26 PM
Of course one with no point of reference isn't going to decide one day to become a solitary Wiccan and automatically know what I'm talking about.  It's not something one learns in the bat of an eye or even something that can be explained.  For me a came with a good deal of time and practice.  Some who set out on a solitary path may never in this incarnation become ready to learn that of which I speak without joining a lineaged coven.  What I have learned is the result of a great deal of research, study, practice, and meditation.  There are those that are simply not that ambitious or receptive to that which they seek.

Yes, but for all of your experience and learning you are missing out on the coven ( group ) experience and everything it has to offer. That's something you can't get from occasionally attending a group ritual.

I'm on thin ice here but it seems to me that if a coven were well run it would hold together for years , maybe even generations. Given time ... there is a very deep spiritual connection and bond of love & trust that can develop within the coven.

 As a solitary that's something that you may never know.

 To use a rather poor analogy how would you explain the experience of " The Little Death " to someone that has never experienced it ? Honestly ... i don't think you could.  They have no point of refrence ? Would they ever really know what they're missing ?

 Yes, no, maybe ?

 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 19, 2009, 06:40:42 PM
Dangit Blue - now I have to try to remember which lost post this was.  :P

 Gee ... if you could find it .. it would be so worth reposting.  :)

 I think it was in the first ritual experience thread at the old board ?

 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 19, 2009, 07:00:26 PM
Yes, but for all of your experience and learning you are missing out on the coven ( group ) experience and everything it has to offer. That's something you can't get from occasionally attending a group ritual.

I'm on thin ice here but it seems to me that if a coven were well run it would hold together for years , maybe even generations. Given time ... there is a very deep spiritual connection and bond of love & trust that can develop within the coven.

 As a solitary that's something that you may never know.

 To use a rather poor analogy how would you explain the experience of " The Little Death " to someone that has never experienced it ? Honestly ... i don't think you could.  They have no point of refrence ? Would they ever really know what they're missing ?

 Yes, no, maybe ?

As I agreed earlier ITT that those who have never been in a coven would likely not have shared a coven experience.

I've also demonstrated why this does not disqualify them from being Wiccan.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: thehallwayceiling on July 21, 2009, 07:58:40 PM

http://wicca.timerift.net/laws/161.shtml


Slightly off topic, but I have come to love this site. And Ms. Beyer's Alternative Religion blog on About.com. I believe it was FW that provided a link to the site a while back (I can't remember which thread), and I have been following it since. I didn't even know Zoroastrians and those of the Baha'i faith existed before I started reading her writings. So, thank you FW.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 21, 2009, 08:12:29 PM
Here? http://wicca.com/forums/index.php?topic=89.msg1399#msg1399

I've linked to her blog (I think it was the thread about mending the rift between Satanism and Wicca) as well.

...and your welcome.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 22, 2009, 04:51:45 AM

 This is interesting ....

A quote of the first ten laws taken as a whole.

1: The Law was made and ordained of old.
2: The Law was made for the Wicca, to advise and help in their troubles.
3: The Wicca should give due worship to the gods and obey their will, which they ordain, for it was made for the good of Wicca as the worship of the Wicca is good for the gods. For the gods love the brethren of Wicca.
4: As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
5: So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them.
6: And it is necessary that the Circle which is the temple of the gods, should be truly cast and purified. And that it may be a fit place for the gods to enter.
7: And the Wicca shall be properly prepared and purified to enter into the presence of the gods.
8: With love and worship in their hearts, they shall raise power from their bodies to give power to the gods.
9: As has been taught of old.
10: For in this way only may men have communion with the gods, for the gods cannot help man without the help of man.


 Taken in total ... it would seem to suggest that only through a man may a woman know the gods ?

 That would seem to be in keeping with some of the earlier influences that shaped the formation of Wicca.

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on July 22, 2009, 05:20:48 AM
Taken in total ... it would seem to suggest that only through a man may a woman know the gods ?

I don't see that interpretation.  How are you coming to that conclusion?

Line four, the way I see it, refers to "a man," meaning male.  Line ten, on the other hand, refers to "men" and "man" which I interpret to mean mankind, i.e. 'woman and man.'

In order for me to interpret this to your assertion, line ten would have to read something like "For in this way only may men have communion with the gods, for the gods cannot help women without the help of a man."
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 22, 2009, 05:38:45 AM
Oooh!  Semantics again.  :)  And I haven't even had my coffee yet.  OK, I'll bite. 

Quote from: The Ardanes
And the High Priestess shall rule her coven as the representative of the Goddess.
And the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the God.
And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be he of sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.
For, as the God Himself kissed Her feet in the five-fold salute, laying His power at the feet of the Goddess because of Her youth and beauty, Her sweetness and kindness, Her wisdom and justice, Her humility and generosity,
So He resigned all His power to Her.
But the High Priestess should ever mind that the power comes from Him.
It is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.

While the first 10 lines I believe speak in general of Man(kind) (both genders), if you go on just a bit further, it shows the balance between High Priestess and High Priest that is necessary in a coven.  While the woman needs her High Priest, so could the High Priest not exist without his High Priestess,  who are both representing the God and Godess for the coven.  At least, that's how I interpret this next part.  Simplistic right now yes.  Anyway, I'm starting to see that taking the Ardanes in bits and parts can be good for discussion and learning, but also bad because some parts heavily influence the other parts. 

I think perhaps in our time we've become so used to seeing 'humankind' or 'mankind' instead of just 'man' to represent the race of men (both genders), that it can definitely skew our perception.  Look at my first reaction to the 'mastery' issue - things are not always what they seem :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 22, 2009, 11:40:44 AM
If you DO put a "gender" spin on the thing, I think you actually might get the opposite interpretation from what you're thinking:


 10: For in this way only ...

      ... may men have communion with the gods, for the gods cannot help man without the help of man. [/i]

... would seem to indicate that "men" have only this one way of communing with the gods, while "women" might have other ways.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 22, 2009, 03:21:22 PM
If you DO put a "gender" spin on the thing, I think you actually might get the opposite interpretation from what you're thinking:

... would seem to indicate that "men" have only this one way of communing with the gods, while "women" might have other ways.


 Think about it Theo. You know well ... perhaps better than anyone on this board ... the influences that shaped the formation of Wicca.

 ( if you don't nitpick ) It can generally be said the the traditions which led up to Wicca were male dominated. Consider the Catholic church for instance .... Males hold the primary leadership roles while females hold support roles. Same thing could be said of the Hebrew tradition and a host of others.

 Now ... on the surface the message is " Only through a man can a woman know god "

 Let's look at this on a deeper level.  ;)

 The first twenty lines clearly establish a chain of command !  AHA ! It's a man's way of doing religion.

 At the head of the chain are the Gods.
 
 Second in command is the H.P.

 Third in line is the HPS who is to be humble and ever mindful the her power is only lent to her by the HP.
-----------------------------------

 ( See if you can make the jump )

I believe C_A expressed concern that Wicca was going down the tubes. He was quite right. In it's present McWicca form it cannot endure because it's become too feminized.

 See ... women are fluid and dynamic. Constantly in a state of change. Done a woman's way the coven morphs in and out of existence in a relatively short amount of time.

 Now ... done a man's way the church of Wicca could endure for centuries ... perhaps even longer. If there's any doubt about this consider the long enduring religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

 Male based system !

 Now traditional male based Wicca does differ from the others because there is indeed balance because the extremes of masculine and feminine meet in the middle within the coven.

 Discard the masculine element, as many have done these days, and all you have is imbalance, disharmony, and impermanence ?

 Yes, No, Maybe.

( consider it carefully )
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 22, 2009, 05:04:40 PM
Think about it Theo. You know well ... perhaps better than anyone on this board ... the influences that shaped the formation of Wicca.

Actually, I'm not much of an expert on Wicca -- it's beginnings or anything else.  I've not even read very much by or about Gardner.  I just recognize certain esoteric principles that I see in some of the literature and I recognize a little bit of where they may have come from in other religions and organizations.  Everything else I've posted in this thread is just from intuition based on that.

(BTW:  I happen to come from a background of a "religion" (or an organization anyway) which was founded by woman (actually several organizations, all of which were primarilly founded by women.)  But I don't think that skews my perspective very much.  Blavatsky was not exactly a very feminine character.)



And ... um -- most of what you say about male-dominated religions is, of course, correct on a generic level.  I was just pointing out that the grammar doesn't fit that conclusion in that particular sentence.

Now ... on the surface the message is "Only through a man can a woman know god "

But the sentence is:

     "For in this way only may men have communion with the gods..."


According to the rules of grammar and logic, if there is a gender meaning to that sentence, it is to say that only through a woman (or, rather, through the relationships between men and women and the gods, as well as the precepts for "raising power" outlined in the previous several sentences) can a man "have communion with the gods."  

The sentence places no limitation upon women.  Only upon men.  (IF there is a gender meaning to it -- which I personally believe there is not because it looks to me like it is refering to the entire process and "men" as a generic type of being rather than a particular gender.)

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 22, 2009, 05:38:15 PM
Theo wrote:

But the sentence is:

     "For in this way only may men have communion with the gods..."


According to the rules of grammar and logic, if there is a gender meaning to that sentence, it is to say that only through a woman (or, rather, through the relationships between men and women and the gods, as well as the precepts for "raising power" outlined in the previous several sentences) can a man "have communion with the gods." 

The sentence places no limitation upon women.  Only upon men.  (IF there is a gender meaning to it -- which I personally believe there is not because it looks to me like it is refering to the entire process and "men" as a generic type of being rather than a particular gender.)

Blue:

 I see what you are saying .  It makes sense.  :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 22, 2009, 05:49:33 PM
Quote:

High Priestess and High Priest


And the High Priestess shall rule her coven as the representative of the Goddess.
And the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the God.
And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be he of sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.
For, as the God Himself kissed Her feet in the five-fold salute, laying His power at the feet of the Goddess because of Her youth and beauty, Her sweetness and kindness, Her wisdom and justice, Her humility and generosity,
So He resigned all His power to Her.
But the High Priestess should ever mind that the power comes from Him.
It is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.
And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognize that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.  
So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.
For a true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
And that thereby she will return to that pride of place in anotherlife, with greater power and beauty.


 Ok ... this is another sticking point which people have raised in other discussions.

 To be honest ... It seems like many women simply dismiss it by saying " Uncle Gerry was a perv. "  :-\

 Any other possible explanations ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theosophia on July 22, 2009, 05:56:40 PM
Ok ... this is another sticking point which people have raised in other discussions.

To be honest ... It seems like many women simply dismiss it by saying " Uncle Gerry was a perv. "  :-\

Any other possible explanations ?

Nope.  That one's simple ... he was a perv.    :P



... wait ...  "perv" is short for "perverted."  But it's not "perverted" ... it's natural for an old man to like to watch cute young chicks dancing naked through the forest.

... I'll let others tackle this one.  I've gotta leave work and get home and do some stuff.

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: mom2all on July 22, 2009, 05:58:56 PM
Quote:
And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognize that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.

I'm not exactly sure where i fit yet as far as religion and all go... I kinda have a treat others the way you'd wish to be treated and nurturing type attitude that is searching for where i "belong", But this line just caught me off. I mean aren't all three aspects of the goddess supposed to be loved and honored equally? How can youth be the highest virture to represnt her as the crone in all her wisdom and experince? Again I'm just asking and don't presume to be knowledgeable on this one bit...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 22, 2009, 06:06:31 PM
( See if you can make the jump )

I believe C_A expressed concern that Wicca was going down the tubes. He was quite right. In it's present McWicca form it cannot endure because it's become too feminized.
(snip)
 Now traditional male based Wicca does differ from the others because there is indeed balance because the extremes of masculine and feminine meet in the middle within the coven.

Discard the masculine element, as many have done these days, and all you have is imbalance, disharmony, and impermanence ?

 Yes, No, Maybe.

( consider it carefully )

Considered.

Applauded.

Cross?

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 22, 2009, 07:51:29 PM
I'm not exactly sure where i fit yet as far as religion and all go... I kinda have a treat others the way you'd wish to be treated and nurturing type attitude that is searching for where i "belong", But this line just caught me off. I mean aren't all three aspects of the goddess supposed to be loved and honored equally? How can youth be the highest virtue to represent her as the crone in all her wisdom and experience? Again I'm just asking and don't presume to be knowledgeable on this one bit...

Well ... OK ... there are the three aspects.

Maiden

Mother

Crone

 A woman well into her crone aspect is almost androgynous ( hormonal changes ). Her passions have cooled. It's sweet and endearing how very much alike little old women and little old men are. Once, so far apart, they have grown together in their later years.

 Despite her wisdom and experience a crone might not be the best representative of the divine feminine.

 That narrows it down to the maiden and mother aspects. At which of these two stages in life is a woman the most feminine ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Blackmoons Owl on July 22, 2009, 08:36:20 PM
Quote:

And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognize that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.  
So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.
For a true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
And that thereby she will return to that pride of place in anotherlife, with greater power and beauty.


 Ok ... this is another sticking point which people have raised in other discussions.

 To be honest ... It seems like many women simply dismiss it by saying " Uncle Gerry was a perv. "  :-\

 Any other possible explanations ?
So you figured that part out eh??   :P
I am sure this could have been worse had he gotten his hands on Viagra.

The age factor in the HPS is one of those issues that many HPS struggle with and while most young aspiring HPS think this sounds great, they also spend a lot of time worrying that everyone will turn on them.  This leads some rather ugly Coven politics.  A good leader learns how to manage the Coven so their role is a bit more secure. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: theyork6 on July 23, 2009, 03:47:52 AM


 ( See if you can make the jump )

I believe C_A expressed concern that Wicca was going down the tubes. He was quite right. In it's present McWicca form it cannot endure because it's become too feminized.

 See ... women are fluid and dynamic. Constantly in a state of change. Done a woman's way the coven morphs in and out of existence in a relatively short amount of time.

 Now ... done a man's way the church of Wicca could endure for centuries ... perhaps even longer. If there's any doubt about this consider the long enduring religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

 Male based system !

 Now traditional male based Wicca does differ from the others because there is indeed balance because the extremes of masculine and feminine meet in the middle within the coven.

 Discard the masculine element, as many have done these days, and all you have is imbalance, disharmony, and impermanence ?

 Yes, No, Maybe.

( consider it carefully )

Can there be masculine w/out feminine and vice versa
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 23, 2009, 05:00:34 AM
Despite her wisdom and experience a crone might not be the best representative of the divine feminine.

 That narrows it down to the maiden and mother aspects. At which of these two stages in life is a woman the most feminine ?

Stop, stop....It's not a question "more" or "less" feminine.

The student is the maiden, the HPs is the mother, and the instructors are the crone.  EACH phase is as divine as the others, and follows a path of a lifetime.  AND, as it goes in the Universe, there are PHASES.  Is the new Moon less "lunar" than the full?  Or the third quarter?  Is the sea only the sea at high tide, not at low?

Without these phases, or cycles, we wold starve.  Like a kernel of wheat, we go from seedling to a full. green shaft to a ripened sheaf.  At what point is it "more" or "less" wheat?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 23, 2009, 07:01:38 AM
Stop, stop....It's not a question "more" or "less" feminine.

The student is the maiden, the HPs is the mother, and the instructors are the crone.  EACH phase is as divine as the others, and follows a path of a lifetime.  AND, as it goes in the Universe, there are PHASES.  Is the new Moon less "lunar" than the full?  Or the third quarter?  Is the sea only the sea at high tide, not at low?

Without these phases, or cycles, we wold starve. Like a kernel of wheat, we go from seedling to a full. green shaft to a ripened sheaf. At what point is it "more" or "less" wheat?

Ok ... but !  

1: Balance is achieved by finding a halfway point between the extremes of the masculine and the feminine.

( I think you agreed on that point ? Maybe i was mistaken. )

2: Now ... a maiden is the essense of femininity. She's fem to the extreme.

  A woman in her mother aspect is burdened with practical concerns not to mention the toll that a pregnancy takes on her body. She's not as strongly polarized.

 A woman in her crone aspect is functionally androgynous. A balance within ( of the masculine and feminine elements) has been achieved.

 In respect to balancing the masculine and feminine elements within the coven ... a maiden is naturally the best choice. She's the essense of the goddess.   No ?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Let's take it a step further. I've said before that i believe Wicca to be a very demanding path. It challenges people, and particularly women to go beyond their limits and ascend to a higher level of awareness and understanding.

 Like anything else though ... you only get out of it what you put into it. When a woman is faced with a difficult challenge she has one of two choices. She can withdraw from the challenge in which case no further growth is likely to occur. She's reached her self imposed limit ....

 On the other hand ... she can be bold and forge on ahead through the difficulties. You have to admire the spirit of a woman like that because you know she really does have a chance to take it to the next level.

 The notion that the maiden is a student is not irreconcilable with her being the HPS.  Why ?  It's leadership training.  ;)     You have all of these others in their mother and crone aspect, who have already been through it to guide and support her while she learns.

 IMO ... the maiden coming up through the degrees has already had to come to terms and overcome some of her natural limitations. As a HPS she is challenged even further.

 What are some of the things a woman is tasked with overcoming ? In large part it's her fears.

1: There is the body image problem.
2: There is the possessiveness issue.
3: Hand in hand with possessiveness are control issues . ( both driven by fear and insecurity )
4: There are issues surrounding sexuality
5: There is the fear of being replaced by another woman .. younger and more beautiful.

 These are just a few that come to mind.

 What a great thing it would be to see a woman break through and reach her full potential.



edited for a typo.

 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 23, 2009, 10:32:02 AM
Yes, that's all good, AND valid.

But go back and reconsider the "point of balance to be halfway..."

The "middle" isn't always "HALFway"!  Put me on a see-saw, and my 14 yr. old granddaughter at the other.
220 lbs vs 90 lbs.  The "point of balance" is far from "halfway", or even the "middle".  But we DO BALANCE.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 23, 2009, 12:46:55 PM
Yes, that's all good, AND valid.

But go back and reconsider the "point of balance to be halfway..."

The "middle" isn't always "HALFway"!  Put me on a see-saw, and my 14 yr. old granddaughter at the other.
220 lbs vs 90 lbs.  The "point of balance" is far from "halfway", or even the "middle".  But we DO BALANCE.

 Yes ... i see what you're saying.

 Along the same lines ... put eight granddaughters on the end of the see saw and you'll soon be sitting opposite the 700 lb gorilla ?  ;D  J/K

 I'm still trying to puzzle out how the power dynamic would work within Uncle Gerry's coven.  :-\





 

 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 23, 2009, 09:07:56 PM
Yes ... i see what you're saying.

 Along the same lines ... put eight granddaughters on the end of the see saw and you'll soon be sitting opposite the 700 lb gorilla ?  ;D  J/K

 I'm still trying to puzzle out how the power dynamic would work within Uncle Gerry's coven.  :-\

Not so well, I'd imagine, or Gardnerian Wicca might still be the only tradition out there...  or maybe not, what with his tradition insisting on people working skyclad, which I'd imagine some people are uncomfortable with.  I think the dynamics of any group will vary because individuals are, well, individual.  Just to put a hypothetical spin on things: Gardner (allegedly) only revealed the Ardanes to his coven after Doreen Valiente challenged his motives for replacing her as HPS (and then she allegedly challenged his publishing stuff about Wicca because of all the secrecy that the Ardanes require Wiccans to live by).  What would have happened if Valiente had simply said "Oh, that's a great idea!" at the time?  Would the Ardanes be what we know them to be?  Would they ever have been articulated the way Gardner did in that situation? 

I just have to say one thing about the aged being 'androgynous'... 

A woman well into her crone aspect is almost androgynous ( hormonal changes ). Her passions have cooled. It's sweet and endearing how very much alike little old women and little old men are. Once, so far apart, they have grown together in their later years.

The elderly can be very passionate - ask my 75 year old grandmother and her 77 year old neighbour what they are doing on the camping trip they went on, and it isn't fishing.   My mother works in a nursing home and often enough finds her sweet, androgynous old people in each other's beds.  I think we have a conception of what being elderly should be... but they are still people too, with the same desires and passions as the young, tempered perhaps by familiarity and closeness and experience.  Should they necessarily still be leading a coven in their later years?  Not always, because fresh leadership can bring new perspectives and new understanding to the group, provided that the dynamic is right for it.  Change for the right reasons can be a good thing.  Change for the sake of change or because someone hits a magic number age might not be the best thing.

Also - in the strictest sense 'maiden' is someone who is, um, unspoiled.  How can she symbolically be the partner of the God if she has not yet had the experience of being anyone's partner?  I know we're not in all practicality going to be dealing with an actual maiden in these times - but perhaps that tempering by 'motherhood' (or a broader life experience) makes the mother a better HPS because she has more life experience to draw on?

Just one of my rambles - I've spent a good part of the evening thinking about this, but I don't know if I even fully get what I'm trying to get across.  I think it's a good point to ponder!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 24, 2009, 04:32:45 AM
Carysta wrote:

In regards to the power structure within Gardener's coven.

Not so well, I'd imagine, or Gardnerian Wicca might still be the only tradition out there...  or maybe not, what with his tradition insisting on people working skyclad, which I'd imagine some people are uncomfortable with.  I think the dynamics of any group will vary because individuals are, well, individual.  Just to put a hypothetical spin on things: Gardner (allegedly) only revealed the Ardanes to his coven after Doreen Valenti challenged his motives for replacing her as HPS (and then she allegedly challenged his publishing stuff about Wicca because of all the secrecy that the Ardanes require Wiccans to live by).  What would have happened if Valenti had simply said "Oh, that's a great idea!" at the time?  Would the Ardanes be what we know them to be?  Would they ever have been articulated the way Gardner did in that situation?

Blue:

 The whole subject of the Ardanes has kinda piqued my intrest. ROFL ... it probably shows ?  ::)

 On working skyclad : There's ample precedent for it in traditions which came before Wicca. It's nothing new but it's a big hangup for a lot of folks. Spend some time at a family nude beach. At first it's really weird ... maybe a bit of a turn on ... but it quickly comes into perspective and you realise that it's no big deal. Personally, i would feel much more comfortable around a woman in her natural state than one in a skimpy bikini.

 I read all of the Ardennes last night and was left with the impression that it was a work in progress. A rough draft if you will. There seem to be some areas where Gardener didn't quite finish his thought. If he produced the laws of Wicca in response to Valenti's protest ? ... well ... that makes sense.

 If you dig into the old laws a bit more there are clues that the power structure might have been a little more developed than is generally thought.

Consider:

13: And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be he of sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.  

 That's pretty clear cut. The HPS chooses her "consort" if you will. She appoints the HP.

19: So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.  

 Allright ... from this we can assume that there is some sort of governing body called "the council". The council removes the HPS from office at a time of their choosing. The HP isn't even mentioned but it can reasonably be assumed that he removed from office along with the HPS.

 Anyway ... the HP appears to be sort of a secondary character. He doesn't have the power to remove the HPS nor does he have the power to appoint her.

150: If she returns not at the end of a year and a day, then shall the Coven elect a new High Priestess,  

 This would indicate that the HPS is democratically elected by the members of the coven!

  Anyway ... i think you can reasonably assume that the Gardenarian Tradition ... once it was formed ... might not be the way it's generally thought to be. Pick up little clues here and there and you can start to suss out what the power structure might have been like.

 There was a lot going on behind the scenes that is left unexplained. For instance:

Training

153: It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this be so.

154:And if for any reason this be undesirable, it can easily be avoided by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds to be as brother and sister or parent and child.

155:And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these practices together. So be it ordained.
 

AND

44:Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven because they live over a league away from the Covenstead or are about to do so.  

 This suggests that there was an established training program of three degrees in place and that anyone of the third degree could start their own coven if they wished. There's no mention of what was taught in the degree system though.

 Interesting that it was a big No-No for one woman to train another. Was it the HP's job to train the female initiates or could it have been done by any male of the third degree ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 24, 2009, 05:16:51 AM
Carysta wrote:

I just have to say one thing about the aged being 'androgynous'... 

The elderly can be very passionate - ask my 75 year old grandmother and her 77 year old neighbour what they are doing on the camping trip they went on, and it isn't fishing.   My mother works in a nursing home and often enough finds her sweet, androgynous old people in each other's beds.  I think we have a conception of what being elderly should be... but they are still people too, with the same desires and passions as the young, tempered perhaps by familiarity and closeness and experience.  Should they necessarily still be leading a coven in their later years?  Not always, because fresh leadership can bring new perspectives and new understanding to the group, provided that the dynamic is right for it.  Change for the right reasons can be a good thing.  Change for the sake of change or because someone hits a magic number age might not be the best thing.

Blue:

 I understand ... the elderly have a wildside too.  :)    (I worked in a nursing home for 6 yrs.)

 I'm older ... i've experienced the physiological changes that take place as someone matures. I've seen it in my wife as well. She's going through menopause.

 Much of what makes us passionate is our sex drive. It's hormonal and as we mature our hormone levels change. Take men for instance. A six yo boy doesn't have a lot of testosterone in his system. The hormone levels in a six yo girl are similar. In some ways they are androgynous at that age.

 Once puberty kicks in and the hormone levels rise you start to see a real differentiation in the genders. Hormone levels peak at around 19 for males and then there comes a very gradual decline into the elder years. Most males at age 70 have the testosterone levels of a ten yo boy. Women are generally thought to peak somewhere in their early 30's and then they start to change as well. Once well past menopause a woman's passions cool and she can enjoy a clarity of mind that she had never known before. Getting old is not all that bad.  :)

 There's no doubt that a woman in her crone aspect would be a better choice for a leadership position but it states very clearly in the Ardennes that the HPS is to be a young woman.

 If it doesn't add up you have a mystery on your hands. There may be something not yet revealed.

 You could try to dismiss it by saying Uncle Gerry was a perv but in the context of the Laws of Wicca that doesn't quite add up.

 There might be more going on than meets the eye.   Under what circumstances would it make sense to install a maiden as the HPS ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 24, 2009, 08:21:27 AM
Quote from: Blue
19: So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.

 Allright ... from this we can assume that there is some sort of governing body called "the council". The council removes the HPS from office at a time of their choosing. The HP isn't even mentioned but it can reasonably be assumed that he removed from office along with the HPS.

I think in this case 'in council' is used in the sense of an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice.  We're used to thinking of things like the Town Council which is the governing body of the town, but in the very oldest sense of the word 'council' simply means 'meeting'.  In this case I believe the Ardanes are using the older meaning, which is that the Coven would meet and decide the fate of the HPS.  I don't believe there would be a body within the Coven or separate from the Coven that would govern them, as the governance was already the province of the HP and HPS; I don't know enough about a coven structure to know if I'm in the ballpark or not.  If the Ardanes read "So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven's council so decide" it would be a different matter, but the usage of 'in council' gives away the older meaning :)

(side note - Blue I'm not ignorning the rest of your post because you make some very good points, including the above, but I'm still thinking about the rest of your post and will come back once I've digested it :))
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 24, 2009, 10:37:50 AM
I think in this case 'in council' is used in the sense of an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice.  We're used to thinking of things like the Town Council which is the governing body of the town, but in the very oldest sense of the word 'council' simply means 'meeting'.  In this case I believe the Ardanes are using the older meaning, which is that the Coven would meet and decide the fate of the HPS.  I don't believe there would be a body within the Coven or separate from the Coven that would govern them, as the governance was already the province of the HP and HPS; I don't know enough about a coven structure to know if I'm in the ballpark or not.  If the Ardanes read "So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven's council so decide" it would be a different matter, but the usage of 'in council' gives away the older meaning :)

 That makes sense.  :)

 This is sort of like assembling all of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which have been dumped out in a pile on the table. Start seeing which pieces fit together and eventually some sort of picture starts to emerge.

 So ... there's much more to coven life than just getting together to celebrate the sabbats. There are the mundane affairs of the coven which must be attended to as well. Things like managing the money to pay for ritual supplies, scheduling initiation and degree rituals, electing and removing functionaries like the HPS.

All of the mundane stuff is addressed " In council " ?    It's like a business meeting for the coven where everyone votes to decide the issues at hand ?

 The thing that threw me was something called the "council of elders".  In fact ... i believe we have one here right on the board. Gardiner simply refers to them as the elders.

consider:

36: Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with justice and love, with the help and advice of the High Priest and the Elders, always heeding the advice of the Messenger of the Gods if he cometh.

45: Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven, shall tell the Elders of their intention, and on the instant avoid their dwelling and remove to the new Covendom.  

47:The Elders of the new and old Covens should meet in peace and brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.  

92:If there be any dispute or quarrel among the Brethren, the High Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and inquire into the matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone and then
together.
 

 Ok ... so it looks like the coven meets " in counsel " to decide mundane matters. There is a body of elders .. maybe called the "council of elders" that performs certain functions within the coven ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 24, 2009, 01:58:09 PM
That makes sense.  :)

 This is sort of like assembling all of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which have been dumped out in a pile on the table. Start seeing which pieces fit together and eventually some sort of picture starts to emerge.

 So ... there's much more to coven life than just getting together to celebrate the sabbats. There are the mundane affairs of the coven which must be attended to as well. Things like managing the money to pay for ritual supplies, scheduling initiation and degree rituals, electing and removing functionaries like the HPS.

All of the mundane stuff is addressed " In council " ?    It's like a business meeting for the coven where everyone votes to decide the issues at hand ?

 The thing that threw me was something called the "council of elders".  In fact ... i believe we have one here right on the board. Gardiner simply refers to them as the elders.

consider:

36: Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with justice and love, with the help and advice of the High Priest and the Elders, always heeding the advice of the Messenger of the Gods if he cometh.

45: Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven, shall tell the Elders of their intention, and on the instant avoid their dwelling and remove to the new Covendom.  

47:The Elders of the new and old Covens should meet in peace and brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.  

92:If there be any dispute or quarrel among the Brethren, the High Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and inquire into the matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone and then
together.
 

 Ok ... so it looks like the coven meets " in counsel " to decide mundane matters. There is a body of elders .. maybe called the "council of elders" that performs certain functions within the coven ?

Again, no coven experience here, so I'm going on what's written in the Ardanes, and just my own thoughts :)  I think you're probably very close to the mark with this except I would imagine they'd convene the coven as a whole to meet in council for big things (like a change in HP or HPS, for instance), while for other things they might go to the Elders (like, accepting a member from one covendom into another, where the whole entire coven might not need to be in on the initial decision). 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on July 25, 2009, 06:36:38 PM
Again, no coven experience here, so I'm going on what's written in the Ardanes, and just my own thoughts :)  I think you're probably very close to the mark with this except I would imagine they'd convene the coven as a whole to meet in council for big things (like a change in HP or HPS, for instance), while for other things they might go to the Elders (like, accepting a member from one covendom into another, where the whole entire coven might not need to be in on the initial decision). 

 I have a little bit of an advantage because of my experience with the AF&AM and the Order of the Eastern Star. Two very different things from Wicca but there's that shared ancestry. There might be some common ground here and there.

 It was interesting .... a good while back i was coming out of the movie theater after having watched The Davinci Code. I happened to overhear a man talking to one of his friends and he said ... Hummm ... The Freemasons ... are they even around anymore ? It was just one of those little snippets of conversation you catch on the fly once in awhile. It was entertaining because there is a Masonic lodge in almost every city and town in America. You see the road signs plainly indicating a masonic presence at the town line or city limits. Here's a presence with a whole world of things going on that this man was completely unaware of.

 In the same vein, there are probably quite a few active Gardenarian and Alexandrian covens out there doing their thing. Nothing approaching Freemasonry and it's appendant bodies but they're out there none the less. You have bear in mind though that these traditions are oathbound and initiatory. My bet would be that for the most part they keep to themselves and maintain their privacy.

 That makes it tough because this is the real deal Wicca.

 How does one gain an understanding of what it is without actually being there ?

 I think if you studied the Ardanes carefully it might give you some insight but .....

 At least there's enough information so that you can distinguish between the early trads, the emerging trads, and fluffy McWicca.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on July 25, 2009, 08:41:38 PM

 How does one gain an understanding of what it is without actually being there ?

 I think if you studied the Ardanes carefully it might give you some insight but .....

 At least there's enough information so that you can distinguish between the early trads, the emerging trads, and fluffy McWicca.

I certainly can understand that not having the 'group' experience gives for an incomplete picture.  I'm learning what I can in the best way I can, but I know there are some aspects one must experience to fully understand.  As long as I don't turn into a fluffy bunny I think I'll be ahead of the game tho :)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 26, 2009, 05:51:53 AM

...You have bear in mind though that these traditions are oathbound and initiatory.

 That makes it tough because this is the real deal Wicca.

 How does one gain an understanding of what it is without actually being there ?

 I think if you studied the Ardanes carefully it might give you some insight but .....

 At least there's enough information so that you can distinguish between the early trads, the emerging trads, and fluffy McWicca.

True enough.  As I said when I started this thread, I will get you as close as I can.

YES, it IS.

My intention was to get those reading as much of an understanding as possible.  As has been stated ITT and elsewhere, the "group dynamic" IS important.  Important enough to be a deciding difference.  But I'm taking a whack at it anyhow.

Yes, it will, and that was the point of this thread.

Damn I hope so....

(Ed. for D/A Sp. mistake...)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on August 05, 2009, 07:57:01 PM
Training

153: It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this be so.

154:And if for any reason this be undesirable, it can easily be avoided by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds to be as brother and sister or parent and child.

155:And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these practices together. So be it ordained.
 

AND

44:Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven because they live over a league away from the Covenstead or are about to do so.  

 This suggests that there was an established training program of three degrees in place and that anyone of the third degree could start their own coven if they wished. There's no mention of what was taught in the degree system though.

 Interesting that it was a big No-No for one woman to train another. Was it the HP's job to train the female initiates or could it have been done by any male of the third degree ?

Interesting observation :)  I did bring this up way, way back in the thread but putting a different spin on it, and C_A and FW pointed me towards the issue of balance.  There's that duality in Wicca in that both God and Goddess are respected as parts of deity; so, in having that opposit-gender training, it allows for that duality among people, hence, balance.  I would imagine in practice in a coven with, say, very few male members of the third degree, you might have to make exceptions, or you'd have one or two very busy people lol. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: noquiexis on August 06, 2009, 10:27:48 AM
.x.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on August 15, 2009, 11:57:29 AM
The problem here is that there is even more blurring of the line between the "witches" of old and the "Wiccans" of the last 60 years.  The "witches of old", who practiced witchcraft in a solitary manner were not necessarily practicing a religion.  So to compare them with modern Wiccans in that regard is specious.  Indeed, there a many, many modern witches who practice their craft either in conjuction with, or corrolary to, the religion that they do practice....THAT religion is not necessarily WICCA.  Yes, it is thought by many that a "good part" of the ardanes were more recent than the rest, but some insist that a bit of it does reach back a distance.  I don't believe, and can't quite wrap my head around, the two being expansions or distillations of each other.  G-ddess and G-d are indeed human constructs of the "All".  Most folks who have read more than $RW will agree.  As far as what you'll get from your teacher, there was a reason behind the ardane.  CAN you get excellent results with a good teacher and a good student?  Of course.  But....is everyone either?  Of course not.

I agree with both blue and FW on the practice of Wicca.

Blue believes that it's nigh impossible to practice true, orthodox Wicca alone.  I agree.  There are some things that require a coven, or at least a minyan.  They are, however, few and far between.  And with all of the covens out there dedicated to "Silvery-Winged-Pink-Dragons-And-Purple-Unicorns-With-Bunnies-Frolicking-Beneath-Rainbows-And-White-Light-For-The-Power-Of-Three"...I would JUST as soon see an honest, ardent rite performed in earnest by ME, ALONE, than ALL of the "Save-The-Cute-Baby-Seals-And-Dolphins-And-Don't Forget-Puppies......" spells ever.

FW believes that he is getting every drop of knowledge, wisdom, and skill that the G-ds want him to have, to effectively perform his craft and bring glory and honor unto them.

I don't doubt this for a second....though I must admit, I feel that Wicca at large is the poorer for him not having gone the "standard" route!

"When does woman cease being a woman?"

When she becomes a crone.  Now, technically, this would correspond with the cessation of the menses.  (She only BECAME a "woman" when they began.  Think of the etymology of the word "woman" in the first place.).  While this can vary from one woman to another, it makes no difference to the ardane itself.  A coven may proscribe tenure as a given period of time, another may, indeed, wait for PHYSICAL crone-hood.  Not to be rude, here, BUT I personally prefer a HPs to rechiuse herself at the onset of menopause.  I have seen what estrogen deprivation can do to a coven...

Let's grab the next few lines, shall we?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on August 15, 2009, 12:01:42 PM
22.   In the old days, when witchdom extended far, we were free an worshipped in all the greater temples.

23.   But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret.

24.   So be it ordained that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for our enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of man.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on August 15, 2009, 04:03:01 PM
Let's grab the next few lines, shall we?

Before we do, I wish to interject...

FW believes that he is getting every drop of knowledge, wisdom, and skill that the G-ds want him to have, to effectively perform his craft and bring glory and honor unto them.

I don't doubt this for a second....though I must admit, I feel that Wicca at large is the poorer for him not having gone the "standard" route!

Had the "standard" route been available to me at the time of my dedication, I'd have gladly taken it.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

I wish to clarify the fact that while I identify with traditional Wicca and follow its dogma and tenets as closely as my knowledge as wisdom allow, I have time and time again dubbed myself a 'Solitary Wiccan,' which IMO is not the same religion as traditional Wicca.  C_A and blue are correct in the assertion that the group dynamic is necessary in Wicca.  Solitary Wicca is a product of the evolution of Wicca, a spin-off 'tradition' if you will.  It is there for those of us that love all that Wicca is, but had never had the opportunity to join a coven and progress through the degrees.  It is we that are called upon for a solitary path.  Everything happens for a reason.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on August 15, 2009, 09:52:22 PM
22.   In the old days, when witchdom extended far, we were free an worshipped in all the greater temples.

23.   But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret.

24.   So be it ordained that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for our enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of man.


Honestly, I don't know what to make of the parts of the Ardanes that insist on secrecy due to the threat of torture.  I'm assuming by the time that Gardner presented the Ardanes, the threat of persecution would still exist, but actual physical torture in England?  (I do realize that actual physical torture still takes place globally on a large scale, and I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of torture, I just don't believe that it would have been used on Wiccans circa 1950...) Anyway, I see these lines and others that insist on secrecy as being part of the 'historic' practice of Wica (as written originally by Gardner with one C) or witchcraft, due to the persecution and torture suspected witches did endure.  I think if the parts about secrecy were that important, the people who allegedly revealed the Ardanes to Gardner never would have told him anything, because it would have been breakhing their rules about secrecy so he would never have learned of Wica in the first place so he would never have written the Ardanes... if that makes any sense.  Of course, the Ardanes WERE written, and from what I've read, the varying traditions that stemmed from Gardnerian hold to the practice of keeping much of their rituals secret from outsiders, which makes sense to me also, because any religious group will have its mysteries that are only for those who have been properly accepted into the group. 

Also, Gardner himself did not keep many aspects of Wica as it was revealed to him secret, so basically, he broke his OWN rules fairly regularly as well.   
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: noquiexis on August 18, 2009, 09:07:35 PM
.x.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on August 19, 2009, 03:48:25 AM
In the 1950's, African Americans were still called by names that are considered derogatory today. Homosexuality was considered an abominable sin even by those outside of religious circles. Torture was not unheard of. Witches did not fair any better than these. It is one thing to read about these times, quite another to have lived through them.

Ahh...then of course you wouldn't mind citing at least one account of a tortured Witch (capitalized to denote Wiccan) in the 1950's...

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on August 19, 2009, 08:57:51 PM
In the 1950's, African Americans were still called by names that are considered derogatory today. Homosexuality was considered an abominable sin even by those outside of religious circles. Torture was not unheard of. Witches did not fair any better than these. It is one thing to read about these times, quite another to have lived through them.

Also, because minority groups have fought and won for their rights, there may be more acceptance of other minorities. While torture may not be the threat that it once was, one may still be ridiculed for their choice of religion.

I'm not questioning if they would have been ridiculed, ostracised, probably persecuted in the workplace - I'm questioning actual, physical, tell-us-all-you-know-about-other-witches pain and death torture.  I'm also speaking of a very specific location - England - where Gardner both learned of the old laws and, contrary to the secrecy the old laws implied, published numerous works including the old laws.  I still don't believe they would be tortured in the 1950s in England, and I'd like you to point to a specific instance of torture from that time, please.  Ridicule, while it can be traumatic, is not the kind of 'torture' being spoken of in the Ardanes.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on August 20, 2009, 09:39:20 AM
Gardner wrote under the pseudonym "Scire" untill the repeal of the Witchcaft laws in 1951.  Before '51, he might have been jailed, but I doubt he'd have been tortured or executed.

DID he release a bunch of "stuff" to the masses?  Hmm...yes and no.  His texts weren't disseminated across the internet in the '50s and '60s.  They were taught to people.  Other information was leaked due to some of the "differences" between the earliest covens / trads / people.  Anything else that Uncle Gerry DID release was meant to attract followers...you can't start a religion all by yourself!  But TRUST me.  It isn't ALL out there.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: noquiexis on August 22, 2009, 10:23:41 AM
.x.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Carysta on August 22, 2009, 07:17:01 PM
Gardner wrote under the pseudonym "Scire" untill the repeal of the Witchcaft laws in 1951.  Before '51, he might have been jailed, but I doubt he'd have been tortured or executed.
Anything else that Uncle Gerry DID release was meant to attract followers...you can't start a religion all by yourself!  But TRUST me.  It isn't ALL out there.

Oh, I realize there's quite a lot of information that would be oathbound and not available to the general public - but by his own wording of the Ardanes, revealing anything would have broken the Old Laws.  It's still a conundrum; while I can understand WHY he would have had to publish things to attract followers, that doesn't make it any less of a breach.

Noxquiexis, I think we differ in our definition of torture as it is described in the Ardanes. (Random House dictionary defines torture as:  1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty. so really, both our uses are correct, but it's Gardner's intent that we've got to decipher...)   You cite terrible hate crimes and violence commited because of prejudice, and I realize that the time of the Civil Rights movement, not to mention the time right after the war (my grandfather was a POW for three months, and his brother was 'lost in battle' in 1941) was a terrible time for many people, which is a form of torture.  (I'm also not going to be so blind as to say some individuals were not tortured by the government - heck that still happens today!) However, I believe the Ardanes are not only referring to persecution of some individuals over others, but more specifically persecution and torture in the broader sense of being arrested by a government agency and tortured into revealing who else was practicing.  Less neighbours and groups getting together to beat up and ostracize the evil Witches, more police coming around to arrest someone suspected of being a Witch so that they could torture them to obtain the names of other witches.  After 1951 in England, any official persecution by the government would have been against its own policies; that might not have stopped individuals from performing hate crimes, because hate crimes come from fear, in which you are absolutely correct.

I know this does not answer your question, but I base my opinion on proven facts of human nature. Why else would this clause be included in this document?

Gardner allegedly based the Ardanes on information he received from the New Forest Coven which he stated was a group practicing an old form of Witchcraft and had been for centuries.  I say allegedly because there is some doubt as to whether or not the New Forest group existed, and if so, whether or not Gardner actually used any of their information in creating the Ardanes.  The Ardanes themselves contributed to a schism in Gardner's own coven, when his High Priestess of all people questioned their validity...  If these laws are based on the New Forest Coven's rules, those would date back to the time of the witch hunts, when torture was a definite danger for anyone suspected of witchcraft, which is why I believe the clause would have been included.  This is my own conjecture of course - since we can never be absolutely certain of what was going through Gardner's mind when he presented the Ardanes to the world...

ETA:  ALso, the state of the US during the 50s was much different to much of the rest of the world.  It was a time of intense turmoil with the Civil Rights movement and everything surrounding it, that even up here in Canada we didn't have that kind of upheaval and we'd been in the war for two years before the States; it may be that things were less unsettled in England at the time than you believe.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: tibour on September 02, 2009, 09:20:14 AM
First I have to say this has been one of the best threads ever  8) The Ardanes, as previously sated, seem like a work in progress, and not a very old one either(historically speaking).

As to torture in England circa 1951? As previously stated England was recovering from WW II, also the Cold War was heating up. So paranoia would abound. In the US you had McCarthism starting up. So while actual torture might not exist the fear of it would. Not to mention people were still learning all that had occurred in Europe during the war. Their were also many stories about Hitler and occult powers which have lasted to this day. So I think this would really explain why Gardner was so intent on secrecy, by using the historical context he made it current.  You have to remember the time in which he lived.

Just my 2 cents ;D
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on November 14, 2009, 05:18:55 AM
 * bump *  :)

 It's just speculation on my part but i think there's a good chance that Gardner and his circle of friends were pretty well educated in the esoteric.

 They would have been aware of the Malleus Malefucarum.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/

  And ... the persecution of the Templars.

http://searchwarp.com/swa259138.htm

 (It kinda gives friday the 13th a whole new meaning.)

 Anyway ... when the Ardennes mention torture they might have been thinking about these things.

ETA:

 Also ... there's scant evidence but there may have been such things as witch hunters -or- witch finders. It sounds like something out of Salem in Colonial New England but it may have been going on in the old country as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-Finder_General

 And ... there's all that talk about " The Burnng Times ".   While a Wiccan was never burned at the stake there's ample evidence to suggest that when the church was in power as the dominant political force in Europe it didn't take kindly to those of differing belief systems. It wasn't just witches that were tortured and burned but Jews and a host of others.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: AkashaRose on December 02, 2009, 11:22:00 AM
I started taking some notes on this topic. I'm kind of bumping this so I can find it again later to take some more notes and offer my two cents on this.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: lilpnkbnny on December 17, 2009, 11:36:48 PM
Some of those arguing that Wicca can be what they want it to be, might want to go over some of these and the following conversations.

And I want to go back over them myself so I'm bumping them to find them easier  ;)


ETA...poor wording and judgment I'm not qualified to make. I really have to watch myself lately  ::)

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Br0nlessOne on January 19, 2010, 09:55:54 PM
Wow, that's a lot of rules.  To add to the more recent discussion (i'm not wiccan, C_A, just fyi...take it as you will).  To me it seems that much of the Old Style is inherently tied to the culture from which it's been developed. I think today, popular Wicca (take that as you will as well) provides more of a framework for the western "spiritual path". 

It provides a structure, moral code and community for spiritual growth.  The assumption of The Ardanes was that they were Old Laws but we can't really be sure.  My point is that regardless of their historicity, there stands some very useful points to consider -- especially when working with others. 

I agree that Wicca might do well to go over these points but there stands so much content out there these days from culture all over, to ignore it, Wiccan or not, would just be shortsighted and naive.

Ultimately, the Spiritual Authority rests with the individual and going "Wicca all the way" might be just perfect for someone...but I don't think it should ever come to 'argument'.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on January 20, 2010, 04:44:47 AM
To me it seems that much of the Old Style is inherently tied to the culture from which it's been developed.

I agree completely.

(http://www.beercankorner.com/graphics/oldstyle705.jpg)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Br0nlessOne on January 20, 2010, 06:30:20 PM
Bottoms UP, Wiccan!!1


or


SHOTGUN!!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on January 21, 2010, 02:49:11 PM
Since this has been bumped so much lately, let's kick start it again.

**Disclaimer: I have read nothing by Gardner, and ask those who have to correct inconsistencies with my musings**

We left off on:
Quote
22.  In the old days, when witchdom extended far, we were free an worshipped in all the greater temples.
23.  But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret.
24.  So be it ordained that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for our enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of man.

In 22, Gardner specifically states "witchdom".....not Wicca.  Note the significance of the lower-case letter in rules for literature and grammar.

In 23 and 24 he specifically mentions celebrating the mysteries.  Here, he may not be referring specifically to the Craft, though allow that he may.

Let's assume that he is not.

It makes sense (especially in context with 24), since the Mysteries are not meant to be revealed/spied out/handed over et al., but rather learned and experienced (having done neither yet, this part is speculative)

Now, let's assume that he is.

This also makes sense, since at the time (circa 1950) practicing the Craft was, strictly speaking, illegal.  Was there torture?  I doubt it, though he does reference it.  And in previous centuries, there was torture, and purportedly 1. The Law was made and ordained of old.  This makes sense for the references to torture.  Likely, during the Inquisition.

edited for minor corrections of numerical correlation with the Ardanes linked to, and a potentially unpleasant word-use.  See quoted post by FW below.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on January 21, 2010, 02:56:59 PM
Likely, during the Burning Times.

Oh no you didn't!

Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on January 21, 2010, 02:57:38 PM
AND forging right ahead.

Quote
25  So be it ordained that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.
26 Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and messenger.
27 And there shall be no communication between them, save by the messenger of the gods, or the summoner.

Can we assume here that the Priest and Priestess are considered to be of sufficient moral strength to reveal nothing under torture?  Or is this merely a logistically-minded decision?

Who is this Messenger of the Gods?  I haven't come across this yet, and most of my attempts to search for it only bring up Greek and Roman mythology.  Is this a literal entity/aspect/projection of divinity?  Or a person appointed to such tasks?

And who is the Summoner referenced?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on January 21, 2010, 03:01:20 PM
Oh no you didn't!

I was referring to the scholarly works on the subject, not any actual historical reference.

Did I say something I shouldn't have? 

The Inquisition seems to be one of the most well-documented instances of such in reference to this discussion.  I referenced it for a lack of better inference to where the references to torture might have come from.

Is there a better one?  I'll replace it with that if you supply it.  But the inquisition is the best I have at the moment.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: FireWillow on January 21, 2010, 03:07:10 PM
I was referring to the scholarly works on the subject, not any actual historical reference.

Did I say something I shouldn't have? 

The Inquisition seems to be one of the most well-documented instances of such in reference to this discussion.  I referenced it for a lack of better inference to where the references to torture might have come from.

Is there a better one?  I'll replace it with that if you supply it.  But the inquisition is the best I have at the moment.

I prefer 'inquisition' to 'Burning Times.'  There is such a great deal of misinformation out there and 'Burning Times' is a misnomer anyhow, seeing as how most were tortured and/or killed weren't witches and most were hanged, not burned.

You may call it the 'Hanging times,' if you wish. :P
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on January 21, 2010, 03:08:46 PM
Fixed.  Now.....


Back on track.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 04, 2010, 09:50:25 AM
Bump.

Getting back to the basics.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 04, 2010, 10:01:54 AM
It is my intention to get some of the basic Wiccan tenets, dogma, and beliefs back up where they're more easily found and discussed.

Please note, this needs to stay on track.

Now, where were we?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on July 04, 2010, 10:25:20 AM
Since this has been bumped so much lately, let's kick start it again.

**Disclaimer: I have read nothing by Gardner, and ask those who have to correct inconsistencies with my musings**

We left off on:
In 22, Gardner specifically states "witchdom".....not Wicca.  Note the significance of the lower-case letter in rules for literature and grammar.

In 23 and 24 he specifically mentions celebrating the mysteries.  Here, he may not be referring specifically to the Craft, though allow that he may.

Let's assume that he is not.

It makes sense (especially in context with 24), since the Mysteries are not meant to be revealed/spied out/handed over et al., but rather learned and experienced (having done neither yet, this part is speculative)

Now, let's assume that he is.

This also makes sense, since at the time (circa 1950) practicing the Craft was, strictly speaking, illegal.  Was there torture?  I doubt it, though he does reference it.  And in previous centuries, there was torture, and purportedly 1. The Law was made and ordained of old.  This makes sense for the references to torture.  Likely, during the Inquisition.

edited for minor corrections of numerical correlation with the Ardanes linked to, and a potentially unpleasant word-use.  See quoted post by FW below.

My last attempt to get it running again.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 04, 2010, 10:39:58 AM
Can we assume here that the Priest and Priestess are considered to be of sufficient moral strength to reveal nothing under torture?  Or is this merely a logistically-minded decision?

One would hope that the "strength" involved would be in the individuals involved.

Look at the strngth of Braveheart...Giles Corey...Jean D'Arc...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 07, 2010, 05:34:55 PM
...save only the Priest and Priestess...

Logistics apply here, as well though.  Covens are routinely "hived" off of others. 

"Power shared is Power lost", is a common enough sentiment.  It's another reason for the "craft name", and for the proviso that none shall see the mysteries. 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 07, 2010, 05:36:00 PM
...know where the next coven bide...

Is STILL a reason why there are folks unable to find a Gardnerian coven, even if it's literally down the block.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Arnemetia on July 07, 2010, 06:20:52 PM
That is quite true CA. Even though I live in an area with a large pagan community, finding a working coven has proven to be difficult. I have found one but it is not for me. I feel that when the time is right, where I am meant to be will be revealed.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Mitch on July 07, 2010, 06:58:24 PM
I'm trying to find a coven as well...I was in one for about 6 years but every one moved away...just me and one other but her new man doesn't approve of her religion...so now I'm searching...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on July 07, 2010, 07:27:16 PM
Perhaps, Mitch, you might take this opportunity to explore the solitary path a bit.

...know where the next coven bide...

Is STILL a reason why there are folks unable to find a Gardnerian coven, even if it's literally down the block.

Quote
So be it ordained that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.
Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and messenger.
And there shall be no communication between them, save by the messenger of the gods, or the summoner.

Here it mentions (in reference to the above) communication between covens only by the "messenger".  What, exactly, indicated such trust in a given person to be given such knowledge?  "Knowledge is power" is oft quoted, and is true.  Especially in such a position.  HP/HPS would be elevated to their position due to (among other things) strength of character.  Is this "messenger" perhaps also of sufficient strength to be so trusted with the lives and livelihood of so many?

**sorry if this seems a bit random....it's been a long day**
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Mitch on July 07, 2010, 11:08:25 PM
True Hj...we never stop learning that's for sure; however my mom taught me the craft and introduced me to the God & Goddess when I was about four...I have basicly been solitary for the last 42 years...I love being in a coven...I really miss the companionship with like minds. I really don't mind practicing my faith alone...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on July 08, 2010, 07:17:29 AM
Yes, a messenger or summoner would be someone that could be trusted...implicitly.

Even then, messages would often be coded.  Written to resemble ordinary correspondence.

Since the Inquisition ended several weeks beofre I was born, I don't really know what the qualifications were "in the old", but during my life, I have seen these practices.  Granted, they were used for combined celebrations, (much as today's "Pagan Pride Day").
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on July 08, 2010, 07:39:11 AM
I didn't know the messages where hidden in normal writing.

A thought: is it possible that a "messenger" might have been at times a person not only ignorant of the covens, but indeed of the witches themselves?

It would be very easy (not to mention smart) to use someone totally unconnected to any of it to deliver a perfectly harmless letter to a "friend".
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: WiccanPriest72 on July 09, 2010, 04:22:39 PM
Unfortunately, I've seen the Ardanes get a bad rap by people who simply didn't understand them, didn't want to understand them, or considered them too archaic and thus obsolete.

Personally, I do consider them a highly relevant part of Wicca, not to be taken lightly or cast aside.

Clearly, as a solitary, the ones which govern coven operations don't apply for me, nevertheless, I still strive to understand them and
how they apply in a group setting.

Those that involve secrecy and security may SEEM archaic and outdated in these times, but who knows? Just as discretion can be the better part of valor, sometimes
silence is the better part of wisdom.

When it comes to the ones concerning teaching and personal conduct, these are the ones I can and do live by.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on July 09, 2010, 05:07:38 PM
Those that involve secrecy and security may SEEM archaic and outdated in these times, but who knows? Just as discretion can be the better part of valor, sometimes
silence is the better part of wisdom.

"A wise man knows when to close his mouth and open his ears."

Indeed.  Though they do seem archaic much can be learned from them.

And from practicing them.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: WiccanPriest72 on July 10, 2010, 01:34:27 PM
I am of the opinion that the real problem is not with the Ardanes, or any other aspect of Wicca.
It's often a people problem, stemming from lack of understanding and faulty expectations.

We in many ways created a society where the majority of people expect instant gratification.
Advertising is often geared towards things which make life easier, more convenient, sometimes
(in my opinion) TOO easy and convenient. This can breed a certain laziness and lead to false expectations
if one brings that mindset to the study and practice of Wicca.

I think sometimes people fail to fully realize what it means that Wicca is a mystery religion.
To me, it means that not everything is meant to be understood instantly.
You're SUPPOSED  to think and question and grow in your own understanding.

Also, in most mystery teachings, some things are vaguely worded or worded in such a way that
multiple interpretations are possible. This is done so that people can draw different
interpretations and lessons from the very same teaching, based on their own level of understanding at the time.
I think that's a vital part of what makes any degree system work well.

The Ardanes are no different. I tend to think they are worded exactly as they are meant to be and understanding
them is a matter of finding for yourself the context in which they fit with the rest of the texts. Because they DO fit, even
when they don't seem to.

It may be cliche, but things are not always what they seem.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue moon on July 13, 2010, 06:39:56 AM
=)

As with most anything, any place, at any given time, perhaps things are rarely ever what they seem to be. However, stability, reason, logic, and sanity must have the edge of opposition or it would not need to be so. Eh?

Ahhh confusion. ;D
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: lilpnkbnny on March 02, 2011, 05:37:35 PM
Bump...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 02, 2011, 05:59:39 PM
Bump...

Sheesh....the LEAST you could have done was remind the Old Crow where he left off....

 ;)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: lilpnkbnny on March 02, 2011, 06:03:16 PM
LOL.... This should be stickied and i wanted to remember to come back to it. I have to send myself reminders or I forget  ;)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on March 02, 2011, 06:19:30 PM
We had recently discussed 22-24 in conjunction with each other.

On to 25?

Quote
So be it ordained that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.

This one ties in with the other's mentioned.  It was largely for security, yes?  Should one coven fall, they couldn't take others down with them?

I would imagine it would create something of a domino effect had they known of each other.  This was part of the reason why only the HPS/Messenger knew where another was, and (I believe) only one other.  The potential of a chain-reaction still existed, but it was so significantly lessened as to be considered an acceptable risk, yes?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: lilpnkbnny on March 02, 2011, 07:41:04 PM
So that it makes it easier to see what is being discussed....

http://wicca.timerift.net/laws/161.shtml
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 05, 2011, 11:23:27 AM
On to 25?

This one ties in with the other's mentioned.  It was largely for security, yes?  Should one coven fall, they couldn't take others down with them?
...only the HPS/Messenger knew where another was, and (I believe) only one other.  

...to be considered an acceptable risk, yes?

Yes, this would have been a security issue.  A maximum of three people knowing the location of a covenstead, or at least their corresponding person in another coven, was to prevent the "domino effect".  Also, if the fetch would know of another...or two...it could help the rest go into hiding with adequate time to prevent their apprehension and the ramifications thereof.  But, this encompasses numbers 25-27.  In number 28, while security is still the primary concern, it addresses it as it pertains to congregating...All the way through to number 35...where it REALLY gets interesting.  I know it has been discussed before, but I think it bears a deeper look....

"And that anyone confess their knowledge, be it true, for bribe or by torture, cursed of the G-ds shall they be.  And reborn according to the ways of the Wice shall they not be, but to the hell of the Christians shall their Spirit be consigned for Eternity, as that is just."



Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: timetimetime on March 05, 2011, 12:20:51 PM
The link in the OP is broken for me.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos258.htm (http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos258.htm) works just as well, no?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 05, 2011, 12:33:48 PM
At first glance, yes. 

The original timerift link brings in a redirect...or it should.

So long as they're all there an in order...it's all good!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on March 08, 2011, 05:15:57 AM
"And that anyone confess their knowledge, be it true, for bribe or by torture, cursed of the G-ds shall they be.  And reborn according to the ways of the Wice shall they not be, but to the hell of the Christians shall their Spirit be consigned for Eternity, as that is just."

To be cursed to hell after being tortured seems harsh.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on March 08, 2011, 08:18:53 AM
EBS makes an interesting point.  Why would they be condemned to a place they (at least theoretically) don't believe in?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 08, 2011, 04:59:38 PM
EBS makes an interesting point.  Why would they be condemned to a place they (at least theoretically) don't believe in?

Because the Shristians DO.  And, to break the oath would be tantamount to excommunication.  So it fits.  It's a curse,but if the Hell of the Christians ISN'T where the sould ACTUALLY ends up, that's okay...it's the "thought that counts".

A Jew ceases to be a Jew after passing under the arch of Titus in Rome...same thing.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on March 08, 2011, 06:25:38 PM
Alright, I wasn't thinking along those lines.  Point.

Next?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue moon on March 10, 2011, 01:04:13 PM
Because the Shristians DO.  And, to break the oath would be tantamount to excommunication.  So it fits.  It's a curse,but if the Hell of the Christians ISN'T where the sould ACTUALLY ends up, that's okay...it's the "thought that counts".

A Jew ceases to be a Jew after passing under the arch of Titus in Rome...same thing.

This is quite the interesting thing, considering, as labels are controversial. Obeying and growth accordingly to the Christian path obviously leads to a great many things, depths, layers, etc that are beyond that of Christian by understood definition.

Like for me. I go through Christianity. I am not small minded, but I am obediant and observant of those things most important to my husband. There's more, obviously, but for the sake of keeping it shorter...
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: lilpnkbnny on March 13, 2011, 11:55:52 PM
"And that anyone confess their knowledge, be it true, for bribe or by torture, cursed of the G-ds shall they be.  And reborn according to the ways of the Wice shall they not be, but to the hell of the Christians shall their Spirit be consigned for Eternity, as that is just."

Christians were usually the ones doing the persecuting right? I understood this to mean that if you give up your covens secrets, you would be damned to follow the path of those you fear most. Sort of like...... If you let them win, then they do. Now you go to the hell that they said you would.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on March 14, 2011, 03:31:02 PM

"And that anyone confess their knowledge, be it true, for bribe or by torture, cursed of the G-ds shall they be.  And reborn according to the ways of the Wice shall they not be, but to the hell of the Christians shall their Spirit be consigned for Eternity, as that is just."


 I tend to view it within the context of the time and the place.

 Also ... while Masonry as a tradition predates Wicca by quite a bit of time, and they are separate and distinct things from one another, the forms are remarkably similar.

 If you look at Freemasonry it was founded somewhere back around the 1500's. There's a system of three degrees where an oath and obligation is administered at each of the degrees. Along with the oaths are the prescribed penalties for a violation of those of those oaths of secrecy.

 Now consider the time and place: 1500's Protestant Europe. The level of education is fairly poor, despite the influence of Christianity fear and superstition are prevalent. Now ... consider the penalties of violating one's oath and they're fine tuned to be particularly horrific to a person from the Christian culture of that time.

 Nowadays ... they'll tell you right from the start that these oaths & obligations are ONLY symbolic. It's a different age and a different place. There's no longer the need for such tight security. In fact ... almost all of the secret stuff is out in the public domain now.

 Let's compare this to Wicca: It was likely founded sometime during the 40's & 50's in Protestant England. The church wielded great control over society and the laws of the land were a reflection of that. Much as the AF&AM was was really out there on the edge back in it's time early Wiccan practices were very extreme for their day. They had to be damned careful to keep their rites and rituals private.

 Add to that .... there was most likely a firm belief in the " Burning Times " and the persecution of witches. It creates an atmosphere of paranoia and an US vs THEM mentality.

 It makes sense to me that the founders of Wicca would have fine tuned their penalty to be particularly frightening to a Witch because at the time there was a lot at stake. It also makes sense that some kind of cell structure was put into place so that if one or two were discovered it wouldn't take the whole organization down.

 Here we are now fifty or sixty years into the future. The times have changed and society as a whole has changed. The anti witchcraft laws have been struck down. The myth of the burning times has been largely disproven. Just about everything about the secret rituals of Wicca can be laid bare for all to see and yet the mysteries will still remain incomprehensible to those who have not rightfully earned their understandings by their own merit.

 I think it begs the question ... are the penalties of one's oath merely symbolic now ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue moon on March 15, 2011, 06:50:49 AM
OMGorsh.

The profound importance of acknowledging symbolism is magnified because of the fact that supposed myths and legends are based on truth. And most secrets are completely out in the open, exposed, hence the public indecency, however, for the most part things are veiled in such a way that blue is completely right about it being earned accordingly to one's own merit. Perhaps the biggest secret is that 'there are no secrets' just forgotten and/or repressed/suppressed knowledge. Perhaps not.

Anyways, thank you so much for this topic, C_A. <3

 
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 15, 2011, 07:05:54 AM
I tend to view it within the context of the time and the place.

 Also ... while Masonry as a tradition predates Wicca by quite a bit of time, and they are separate and distinct things from one another, the forms are remarkably similar.

 If you look at Freemasonry it was founded somewhere back around the 1500's. There's a system of three degrees where an oath and obligation is administered at each of the degrees. Along with the oaths are the prescribed penalties for a violation of those of those oaths of secrecy.

 Now consider the time and place: 1500's Protestant Europe. The level of education is fairly poor, despite the influence of Christianity fear and superstition are prevalent. Now ... consider the penalties of violating one's oath and they're fine tuned to be particularly horrific to a person from the Christian culture of that time.

 Nowadays ... they'll tell you right from the start that these oaths & obligations are ONLY symbolic. It's a different age and a different place. There's no longer the need for such tight security. In fact ... almost all of the secret stuff is out in the public domain now.

 Let's compare this to Wicca: It was likely founded sometime during the 40's & 50's in Protestant England. The church wielded great control over society and the laws of the land were a reflection of that. Much as the AF&AM was was really out there on the edge back in it's time early Wiccan practices were very extreme for their day. They had to be damned careful to keep their rites and rituals private.

 Add to that .... there was most likely a firm belief in the " Burning Times " and the persecution of witches. It creates an atmosphere of paranoia and an US vs THEM mentality.

 It makes sense to me that the founders of Wicca would have fine tuned their penalty to be particularly frightening to a Witch because at the time there was a lot at stake. It also makes sense that some kind of cell structure was put into place so that if one or two were discovered it wouldn't take the whole organization down.

 Here we are now fifty or sixty years into the future. The times have changed and society as a whole has changed. The anti witchcraft laws have been struck down. The myth of the burning times has been largely disproven. Just about everything about the secret rituals of Wicca can be laid bare for all to see and yet the mysteries will still remain incomprehensible to those who have not rightfully earned their understandings by their own merit.

 I think it begs the question ... are the penalties of one's oath merely symbolic now ?
The links between Masonry and Wicca are well known.  For then.  We have, IMO, reached an age where it is no longer currently germaine.  Historically, yes, currently, no.  The witchcraft laws had only recently been repealed when Gardner brought these Ardanes up to attention.

The cellular approach to masonry, to avoid the loss of the whole, (think Templars on Friday the 13th...), Wicca HAS NO whole.  I think that's a factor to keep IN the thought process.  The "education level" in that time wasn't "fairly poor", it was DISMAL.  While nobody believes the "millions" aspects of "The Burning Times", it is true that there were inquisitions and pogroms all over the place.  In the 1940's-50's, were the penalties intended to be symbolic?  There are countless people out there, online, who would answer "yes" to this simply by virtue of the times.  But WERE they "symbolic"?  No.  Are they today?  No.  Why SHOULD they be?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on March 15, 2011, 07:39:52 AM
C_A:

 The cellular approach to masonry, to avoid the loss of the whole, (think Templars on Friday the 13th...), Wicca HAS NO whole.

Blue:

 That's a toughie. I mean ... the early covens were lineaged ... true ?

 If that were the case then it should be possible for an inquisitor to trace an organized system back to the source.

C_A:

 In the 1940's-50's, were the penalties intended to be symbolic?  There are countless people out there, online, who would answer "yes" to this simply by virtue of the times.  But WERE they "symbolic"?  No.

Blue:

 I would agree. It may have been that the anti witchcraft laws were struck down but the Church of England was still incredibly powerful. Maybe they couldn't get jammed up on a practice of the craft but at that time there most have been dozens of "morality" laws that they could have been severely punished for.

 It was very much US vs Them. You can see it in the Ardennes. There was a very real and present threat.

C_A:

  No.  Are they today?  No.  Why SHOULD they be?

Blue:

 The thing is that those particular threats seem not to be present in today's society. Wicca has gone mainstream to a certain extent.

 In some ways it's like a chess board. Everything can be right there out in the open for all to see but if you don't earn your understandings the series of concepts will be so alien to your thought process that you'll never get it.

 So .... it appears that there really isn't the need for such secrecy and security in this day and age.

 That doesn't speak to what the future may hold. The outcome of any battle is never assured. There's always a possibility that militant extremist Muslim factions will sometime win the day and we all will be living under Sharia Law in another twenty or thirty years.

 Maybe it is best to adhere to the old ways. Be mindful that you cannot reveal what you do not know.  ;)
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 15, 2011, 07:46:17 AM
That's a toughie. I mean ... the early covens were lineaged ... true ?

 If that were the case then it should be possible for an inquisitor to trace an organized system back to the source.

 So .... it appears that there really isn't the need for such secrecy and security in this day and age.

Yes, they were.  Still are.  Would it be "possible", yes, it would.  But that would require the failure of ONE of THREE possible links in each length of chain.  I would like to presume that they wouldn't get that many...PARTLY by virtue of the threats within the Ardanes, and partly by virue of the PROMISES.  Hang in there...

I believe that there IS a need for "such secrecy".  It's what keeps Wicca what it IS vs. what many would have it be.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: NyteShaed on March 15, 2011, 02:06:51 PM
Yes, they were.  Still are.  Would it be "possible", yes, it would.  But that would require the failure of ONE of THREE possible links in each length of chain.  I would like to presume that they wouldn't get that many...PARTLY by virtue of the threats within the Ardanes, and partly by virue of the PROMISES.  Hang in there...

I believe that there IS a need for "such secrecy".  It's what keeps Wicca what it IS vs. what many would have it be.

if I read that right you, and many others on this board, by aknowledging the fact that you are initiated Wiccans, have damned yourself to the hell of the Christians.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on March 15, 2011, 02:25:24 PM
Indeed.  And that is worth noting.....Ardanes are, indeed broken simply by discussing them here.

Does it matter?  Yes, I think it does. 

Maybe this thread should be locked and pruned....I guess the whole TCC BoS is a bad idea, as well....now that I think about it....TCC is a bad idea. 

Okay.  Time for some SERIOUS reflection....
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on March 15, 2011, 03:19:18 PM

 I think we've opened up a can of worms here ...

 Quote the laws:

   
          28. And only if  it be safe may the Covens meet in some safe place for
          the Great Festivals.

          29. And while there, none  shall say whence they come, nor  give their
          true names.

          30. To this end, that if any be tortured, in their agony, they may not
          tell if they do not know.

          31. So be  it ardane, that no one shall tell anyone, not of the Craft,
          who be of the Wicca, or give any names,  or where any abide, or in any
          way tell anything which can betray any of us to our faces.

 That would put the kaibosh on the upcoming Beltane Festival.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on March 15, 2011, 03:31:05 PM
Indeed.  By Blue's (and NyteShaed's) logic, there should be absolutely no information on Wicca anywhere on the internet, in metaphysical shops, in books, etc.

This board shouldn't exist, and neither should the Festival.

But then, the Ardanes also assume (largely) that witchcraft is still illegal, and that torturing people is still openly allowed (I'm not going to assume it doesn't happen).

So, even against that logic, we have to remember that this is the present, not the past.

Witchcraft is legal (at least in the US, where the festival is being held), Wicca is a recognized religion protected by the First Amendment, and none of us are going to be picked up and tortured to death just to find out where to find the others because firstly, it's illegal, and secondly, I don't think anyone who would actually have the wherewithal to do so actually cares.

Welcome to the real world.  Let's get back to discussing the Ardanes from a scholastic/"as applies to modern life" perspective, yes?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on March 15, 2011, 03:36:48 PM

 On that note:

         86. Ever make it a jest and in some  future time, perhaps, the persec-
          ution may die and we may worship our Gods in safety again.

          87. Let us all pray for that happy day.

 Perhaps that happy day has arrived ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on March 15, 2011, 03:39:03 PM
I'd like to think so.  At least in the states.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on March 15, 2011, 03:45:29 PM
 So this brings us back full circle and i think we have to reconsider whether or not the oaths and obligations are merely symbolic now.

 Another problem to consider ... Gardner is understood to have participated the crafting of the Ardanes yet he himself was quite often in the media limelight.

 ( I'm just trying to look at it from a variety of viewpoints. )
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: NyteShaed on March 15, 2011, 06:07:39 PM
Indeed.  By Blue's (and NyteShaed's) logic, there should be absolutely no information on Wicca anywhere on the internet, in metaphysical shops, in books, etc.

This board shouldn't exist, and neither should the Festival.

But then, the Ardanes also assume (largely) that witchcraft is still illegal, and that torturing people is still openly allowed (I'm not going to assume it doesn't happen).

So, even against that logic, we have to remember that this is the present, not the past.

Witchcraft is legal (at least in the US, where the festival is being held), Wicca is a recognized religion protected by the First Amendment, and none of us are going to be picked up and tortured to death just to find out where to find the others because firstly, it's illegal, and secondly, I don't think anyone who would actually have the wherewithal to do so actually cares.

Welcome to the real world.  Let's get back to discussing the Ardanes from a scholastic/"as applies to modern life" perspective, yes?

Perhaps more to the point, anyone disseminating information on Wicca can be assumed to be a heretic, because they are in contradiction of the Ardennes.

There's always information available, but this suggests that it's not likely to be reliable information, aside, perhaps, from cases where the person spreading it admits that what they are doing is forbidden.  And doesn't claim to b a Wiccan themself.

a bit like what Crowley did with the Golden Dawn's information.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: blue on March 15, 2011, 06:43:28 PM
Perhaps more to the point, anyone disseminating information on Wicca can be assumed to be a heretic, because they are in contradiction of the Ardennes.


 Read the ardennes carefully. My opinion is that this is a matter between the individual practitioner and his or her God(s).

 If that's correct then it's nobody else's business ... and certainly not their place to judge ... true ?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on April 01, 2011, 11:11:45 AM
Where was I?  Oh, right...off doing research...

Compiling an exegesis on information that is already online does not dis-serve Wicca.

So...where were we? Buhler?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on April 01, 2011, 06:09:38 PM
Who the hell's Buhler?

Anyway, we seem to have (quite pleasantly, I might say) steam-rolled from 25 to 35, so we would likely pick up on 36:

Quote
Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with justice and love, with the help and advice of the High Priest and the Elders, always heeding the advice of the Messenger of the Gods if he cometh.

And we'll see how far we steam-roll this time.

This tells us that the HPS leads the coven, with only the help and advice of the other "coven leaders".

Is this a matter of emphasis somewhere?  Perhaps an attempt to "counter" the patriarchal churches of the time?  Put a woman in charge to balance the world's energies against nothing but men being in charge everywhere else?

For a path that speaks so desperately of balance, does this not seem to unbalance things toward the feminine?

The HPS is, in this line, compelled to "heed the messenger of the Gods".  "Heed", mind you meaning "to give consideration or attention to".  Not "damn well listen and apply stupid mortal".  "pay attention to".

Like I "pay attention to" my dog?  I would imagine the MotG would warrant a helluva lot more than what seems to amount to an over-glorified footnote.

"Oh, and while you're at it, if the gods themselves grace you with an avatar, don't sweat it, just acknowledge it's there, what it says if it speaks, and go on about your business."

I'm in a snarky mood tonight.  FYI.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: edens garden on April 01, 2011, 06:10:38 PM
Ferris Buhler? Hjolmaer, I'm ashamed of you.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Edward Collett on April 02, 2011, 03:28:22 PM
Is there, perhaps, another link to use? -just found this topic-
The one posted in the beginning redirects you to somewhere else.

Edit: Nevermind, I was able to find them.  I find them somewhat lacking because it appears to be written during the time of persecution, and a lot of that doesn't really apply to today's society.  

I don't know if the version you had posted was different from the one I read, but it stated that you should write names with ink and then wash it?  If it were truly during the times that it implies then not many would have ink because most were poor, unless by ink they mean charcoal or chalk (which could be since washing ink is very difficult).
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Hjolmaer on April 02, 2011, 06:37:09 PM
Is there, perhaps, another link to use? -just found this topic-
The one posted in the beginning redirects you to somewhere else.

Edit: Nevermind, I was able to find them.  I find them somewhat lacking because it appears to be written during the time of persecution, and a lot of that doesn't really apply to today's society.  

I don't know if the version you had posted was different from the one I read, but it stated that you should write names with ink and then wash it?  If it were truly during the times that it implies then not many would have ink because most were poor, unless by ink they mean charcoal or chalk (which could be since washing ink is very difficult).

There are methods of making a very cheap ink that works well enough.  But the point of this discussion is to discuss the Ardanes.  They were written/adapted/etc by Gardner, so their veracity is somewhat questionable, but they are accepted as Wiccan laws.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Curt on May 19, 2011, 02:20:38 PM
Couple of things. For starters, I read through the entire thread. I am in kind of amazement...when it started I was becoming angry with some of the things said. As I progressed through the thread...I became more and more aware of what was really being said and my increased level of understanding. Thank you all! Regarding secrecy.....I think that is still important. Look around you....there is more and more of what I would call TV Christianity. Be that "Born Agains" or some progam as Pat Robinson has or had. Not to mention some branches of Christianity....well from what I see are quite zealous in thier beliefs. If things go "South" re the economy or some natural catastrophy...watch them come out in droves against anything that they feel threatens their little world.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: naturalpaganmomma on July 25, 2012, 12:09:52 AM
OK my first big stumbling block.  If Wiccans believe in a different system than Christianity, how can Wiccans curse people to the Christian Hell?  Since from what I've read so far Wiccans don't believe in Hell to begin with. 

Bear with me, I'm learning...

We don't?

Wiccans don't believe in a "HELL=AFTERLIFE" per se...as a place? as a Divine retribution by our G-ds?  As an opposite to the Summerland?  Can a Deity create such a place for their own followers?


Giving up the Bretheren or the Mysteries would render you no longer one of "us", but one of "them".  If you're one of "them", you can go where "they" believe.

I found this particular aspect of this thread so thought provoking that I have been studying all day. I wondered what would have made Gardener put it in as a rule. That led me to learning about "The Burning Times." I'm not Wiccan. I'm still trying to figure out who I am still, but I do have a base knowledge of who Gardener is even though I have not read his work.

Now this is not meant to be argumentative. It is solely meant to add to the conversation and hopefully inspire independent thinking and research in my fellow newbies.

In addition to the rendering oneself no longer wiccan by a form of collusion with outsiders, I think it could it also be seen from additional perspectives, which I shall explain.

History teaches us that hundreds of thousands of people were put to death during "The Burning Times" even though not all were witches. Would it not make sense for Gardener to take said information into account and place the rule based on common sense. For instance, something along the lines of, Look what they did to alleged witches in the past. Do you think they would not do that to us as well? This is why secrecy is necessary.

Also, I read somewhere that taking another individual's free will into account and respecting it is also important to Wiccans. By divulging information of other Wiccans to outsiders, is that not also taking away those Wiccans' free will? Taking away their choice to be known and potentially harassed for it?

These are just another two reasons I believe could have been the cause for Gardener putting the secrecy law into place.

I believe his reference to a Christian Hell could also stem from the fact that many were burned at the stake in history. What do they always say about so called "evil doers"? They will "burn in Hell". Maybe Gardener meant burning at the stake to be a literal, physical manifestion of a Christian Hell on earth, so to speak.

Now I will address my thoughts on the validity of that law in today's day and age. Is it valid or is it outmoded?

I would have to say I still believe it valid. Sadly, with no paranoia involved, only clear minded reasoning, I can not honestly say that any pagan is 100% safe from being burned at the stake. It was still within the Twentieth Century that the KKK burned crucifixes on the lawns of African Americans and murdered Emmett Till in 1955. It was also during the Twentieth Century that Brandon Teena (Teena Renea Brandon), a transgendered young adult was brutally murdered in 1993 for being transgendered. Although his death led to hate crime laws, they are still not 100% percent effective. A law, no matter how well intended, does not protect one from a crazed zealot. Plus, as recently as 2001, most likely even more recent than that, Protestants and Catholics were still killing each other in Ireland. A modern day example of potential death resulting from differing beliefs.

As I said, this was not meant to be argumentative in any way. I only wished to share my thoughts and see what others thought. After all, is it not the "old way" to exchange thoughts, ideas, and information? I also hope this made sense, as it is almost two in the morning where I am and I'm tired. LOL!

Blessings.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on July 25, 2012, 11:45:29 AM
I would do some more reasearch on "the burning times".
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: dark magus on July 25, 2012, 01:44:00 PM
I think the idea was that if the laws were broken, then that person has prove themselves not to be wicca rather to have always been Christian, hence the reference to the Christian hell, being a place or concept that Christians or people who have come from a Christian back ground would relate to.
 
Bear in mind, all this was written in the UK during the late 40's and early 50's. The predominant faith was Christianity. And regardless if you did or did not go to church, everyone had awareness of what the Christian heaven and hell was.
 
Wicca, as a religion, did not get legalised in the UK until 1952 (as I remember, could be later). However covens were up and running for a number of years prior to that. Secrecy was needed or you'd get tossed in jail!
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on July 25, 2012, 08:19:13 PM
I am pretty sure it was 1954 when Gardner came up with it....
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: naturalpaganmomma on July 26, 2012, 10:10:00 PM
Thank you both. I will definitely continue to do more research. Is there a particular area of "the Burning Times" I should look into more deeply?
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on July 27, 2012, 07:12:35 AM
I would look for more historical info than a lot of info some Pagan authors tend to write about.  It really wasnt near as bad as a lot of Pagan authors make it out to be.  The 10s of thousands is not accurate.  In other words, the burning times did not occure as portrayed by a lot of authors.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: Scorched Eartha on July 27, 2012, 08:25:28 AM
Those accused of witch craft  in Britain were rarely burned at the stake. They may have been hanged or tortured. A few were even drowned. Generally speaking the centralised Church hierarchy was not the main prime mover behind these events. They were local events and reflected internal tensions within communities, often between the Catholic and Protestant forces who were in those times clashing and jockeying for power.

 The facts are that almost all of the information that is generally accepted as truth by the Neopagan community about the "burning times" is wrong:

   The total number of victims was probably between 50,000 and 100,000 -- not 9 million as many believe.

Although alleged witches were burned alive or hung over a five century interval -- from the 14th to the 18th century -- the vast majority were tried from 1550 to 1650.

   Some of the victims worshiped Pagan deities, and thus could be considered to be indirectly linked to today's Neopagans. However most apparently did not.

   Some of the victims were midwives and native healers; however most were not.

   Most of the victims were tried and executed by local, community courts, not by the Church.

   A substantial minority of victims -- about 25% -- were male.

   Many countries in Europe largely escaped the burning times: Ireland executed only four "Witches;" Russia only ten. The craze affected mostly Switzerland, Germany and France.

   Eastern Orthodox countries had few Witch trials. Stephen Hayes writes:
Quote
"In parts of the Orthodox East, at least, witch hunts such as those experienced in other parts of Europe were unknown...."The Orthodox Church is strongly critical of sorcerers (among whom it includes palmists, fortune tellers and astrologers), but has not generally seen the remedy in accusations, trials and secular penalties, but rather in confession and repentance, and exorcism if necessary...."

   Most of the deaths seem to have taken place in Western Europe in the times and areas where Protestant - Roman Catholic conflict -- and thus social turmoil -- was at its maximum.



Hugh V. McLachlan, "The Kirk, Satan and Salem: A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire," Grimsay Press, (2006) This book describes the witchcraft allegations and prosecutions in Renfrewshire, Scotland, in the 1690s. It covers points of similarities between this case and the more famous Salem case.

 "Christian responses to Witchcraft and sorcery," at: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/

http://www.twpt.com/burning.htm


http://www.mythinglinks.org/euro~west~wicca~burning.html
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: naturalpaganmomma on July 27, 2012, 09:00:22 AM
I thought nine million had to be too high as well. Knowing that the world population was not as high during those centuries, in addition to the black plague randomly rearing it's ugly head, wiping out large populations of people, nine million I believe is an impossible number. TBH, and I can not prove this theory, I think they estimated that high because millions were killed during the holocaust of WWII. I don't think they factored in the world population was larger during WWII than it was centuries ago.

It is strange that in the past I have seen people portray the Inquisition(s) and church dominance heavily in Great Britain, which doesn't seem to be the actual case. It seems...and I know you will all tell me if I am wrong  ;)...but it seems that England (Great Britain) was harder hit during Bloody Queen Mary's reign than at any other time.

And I have pulled us off the original topic. Sorry about that.

Getting back onto topic...I am going to read all the Ardanes and see how they sit with me.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: marisol on August 06, 2012, 04:31:45 PM
Very nice C_A thank-you.
Title: Re: The Ardanes
Post by: C_A on August 12, 2012, 02:30:57 PM
I am pretty sure it was 1954 when Gardner came up with it....

And some of it predates him.

Mind you, I am NOT "validating" anyone's claim that today's Craft goes back 10K years!

Some of it does, however, predate the 50's.  Many parts of scripture do.