So I’ve heard/seen from various sources that it’s a cool idea to write your Book of Shadows in code, or, that is to say, in a language that is not readily readable by those who might stumble upon your BOS. Very contradictorily (is that a word?) I’ve also seen things that say–No, please write your Book of Shadows in a language you know fluently, otherwise you’re going to be running for the dictionary every five seconds when you’re trying to read it. Having tried my hand at the Witches’ Alphabet, I would have to agree with the person who recommended idea #2.
That being said, there’s nothing that says I can’t try to become more fluent in a foreign language, eh? After all, I’m living in a foreign country where I’m (er, very slowly) learning the language. So, this weekend, I had my friend help me translate the Thirteen Goals of a Witch. She didn’t know what she was translating, but thankfully the Goals are pretty generically good ideas for life, so she didn’t suspect a thing. Especially when I made #13 into “Honor God” instead of “Honor the Goddess and God.” That’s right, keeping it covert….
Anyway, now I at least have the Thirteen Goals written in a foreign language, so I know how to write them in the future. The downside is that I currently reside in a country that uses that language, so writing in code is actually very counterproductive. I’d have more of a chance that someone who would find my journal here doesn’t understand English, than the other way around (not including my roommate, who’s from England).
Back to the goal I need to talk about now. Discuss the Goal of the Witch #4: Use knowledge with wisdom.
I actually had to describe to my friend who was helping me translate what this one meant, so I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp on it. It means that you can’t just know information, you have to put it to good use. You have to know your audience, and you have to know what you use your knowledge for. I kind of related it as being an expert in science, but not knowing how to explain anything to anybody. Your knowledge is useless unless you can share it in a way that benefits others.
Of course, I’m not saying that everybody has to be a great teacher. I probably just look at it that way because, well, I am a teacher. For me, it doesn’t matter how great my English is–I have to be able to communicate with my students. I have to develop a good relationship with them, and I have to know what level they’re at so I know what kind of vocabulary and grammar structures I can use. I have to hop between levels depending on who I’m talking to, and if I’m in a group with various levels, I have to use the level of the weakest person there.
As a Witch, I think this rule can apply to many different things. Take the Wiccan Rede for example–An’ ye harm none, do what ye will. Just because a Witch knows how to use her energy for ill intent doesn’t mean that she should, or that she does. I know that, once I get a little better with magick, I could cause harm to another person–but I wouldn’t do that. It isn’t wise, and it isn’t ethical, and that is a type of knowledge that you just know, perhaps for the purpose of avoiding using it practically.
This is maybe even one of the easier goals to interpret. As Witches, we learn, learn, and learn some more, but that knowledge is not all for indiscriminate use. We are not just the knowledgeable ones, we are the wise ones, and that is a good thing to be.