Being raised Catholic means that I grew up in what seems to be one of the most regimented religions of the Western world. We have, of course, the Ten Commandments that permeates Christianity (and Judaism, I think, considering the Ten Commandments were given to Moses), but there are innumerable doctrines that we follow also. (And yes, I still say “we,” despite my current disconnect with the Catholic Church. When I’m out and about, it is so much easier to identify as Catholic than as anything else, especially in the country I live in right now.)
One of the appealing parts of Witchcraft is that there are not necessarily “rules.” There’s the end of the Wiccan Rede, which says things like, “Mind the Threefold Laws you should, three times bad and three times good,” and “These eight words the Rede fullfill: ‘An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will’,” which I think is generally a great philosophy to live by. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there is also the list of the 13 Goals of the Witch, which I talk about in my Year and a Day Journal #9. The great thing about the 13 Goals is that they are just that–goals. And really, they are general things that we should all try to do, because they’re pretty much tips on how to be a good human being. Except for #13, which is to Honor the Goddess and God, all of these goals are basically applicable to everyone on the planet.
Since I’m lacking ideas for journals right now, I thought it would be good to go through each of the goals specifically and do a journal for each of them, so that I can really go into depth. That will be beneficial for me in two ways: 1) I can focus more on what each goal means to me, and how to improve upon that goal, and 2) I can easily come up with the next 13 journals. Bonus.
So, for today, I will elaborate on the first of these Goals: Discuss the first Goal of the Witch: Know yourself.
This is a great goal, but right out of the gate I’m going to say that this first goal really illustrates how these are LIFELONG goals, not things to do and be accomplished. I mean, how can one know oneself in an instant; how can one answer the question, “Who am I?” and never ponder this again?
The answer is, of course, that one can’t do this, and I, specifically, certainly can’t. Everyday I can wake up and ask myself this question, and I might have a different answer. In fact, I probably should wake up everyday and ask myself this question.
In a way, though, I do think we ask ourselves this question everyday. Whenever we have a big decision to make, we think, “What do I want? What is important to me?” When we meet new people, we think, “Who is the person I want to portray?” I think that I question myself each day, sometimes multiple times. I ask myself who I am and who I want to be, even if I don’t realize I’m doing it.
Right now, for example, I’m looking for a job when I return to the United States. It’s crazy how much soul-searching goes into just making decisions about employment. I have to ask myself what kind of job I want ideally, and how much I’m willing to do to get that job, or how much I can sacrifice. I have to ask myself what is the most important thing to me. For example, if I were to apply for a job that’s far away from where I live, or that’s primarily in the evening, I would have to ask myself if I’m willing to sacrifice quality time with my family and my boyfriend, because, at least now, they work during the daytime, and I would have to work in the evenings. I have to ask myself if the salary is worth the work, and I have to ask myself what I’m worth. Am I worth $10 an hour? Am I worth more than that? What do I want in life, and how much money do I have to make to achieve that?
So, I’m asking myself these questions all the time, even if it’s not a direct shout into the void of “WHO AM I?!” I’m constantly reevaluating my life, in many different ways. That’s not to say, however, that I don’t have some ideas about who I am. I know a lot of the things that drive my decisions, and some of the aspects of my character that I can identify and that I cherish.
For example, I’m family-oriented. I’m friendly. I want to make people feel happy, and I genuinely care about my friends’ well-being. I love personal contact, but I love my alone time too. I love nature, and all things romantic. I’m a Hufflepuff, too, which means I’m “loyal, patient, fair, determined, and true” (according to Pottermore).
I have some weaknesses. I can be quite selfish sometimes, and lazy. Sometimes I’m quite impulsive. I’m a rule-abider, which isn’t always good (for example, I told my roommate last week that if I were in a distopian novel, I’d never be the rebellious main character. I’d just be stuck there forever).
I think that there are many more things about me that I am discovering even now, but I’m not worried about the fact that I don’t know all of them yet. It’s definitely a process that’s ongoing.
The tricky one might be the next one–knowing my Craft!