I figured I’d write on this subject today, because it was something that spawned an interesting discussion last night. I won’t give the total back story, but last night, a friend and I were speaking about hierarchy and importance of loyalties. Where do your loyalties lie? What oaths have you made that bind you to one particular order or another? What’s the ideal order for you?
Those are really self-forming questions. They’re the sort of thing that, if you care at all about honor, you can’t make it too far without. Where do you stand? Do you support friend before family? Stranger before husband or wife?
I know where I stand. I owe my allegiance first to my gods. If something is asked of me that is contrary to my fundamental religious beliefs and convictions, I will adhere to what I know.
I owe my allegiance second to my family, and my like-family. That category includes close friends, my pets and charges, my family, my boyfriend/husband, etc. In all things before I get married, it is blood(mom, dad, uncle, aunt) and charges(pets) first, like-family and boyfriend(s) second. And when I get married, it will be husband, then family.
But Gods, first.
So that all seems pretty standard. But what about say, if you joined a fraternity? A sorority? The masons? Some other organization? Even work and hobbies can create moral dilemmas in prioritizing and making decisions.
I know, for example, that my first year of college, I was planning on joining a sorority. Well, maybe. But I went to the rushes, and I received a phone call, and I picked it up and spoke for a minute. When I hung up, one of the sisters snapped, “No cell phones during our sister-time!” Or something along those lines.
I calmly explained to her that the pecking order in my life was gods and family[like-family counts there, too] come before everything, and that may have been an emergency more pressing than eating ice cream with a group of college students more concerned about power play than making a difference in the world. (Okay, I added that last bit…but still.)
She didn’t like that, much. And I have a feeling that when you join that sisterhood, you take an oath that will attempt to force you to compromise where you stand. Is it sisters before family, then? Sisters before God(s)? With your previous oaths, are you allowed to join that sisterhood without compromising your honor?
Anyone of religious convictions can and will face this problem. Does what your church believes become more important than what you, as a (insert religious follower name here) believe to be true? Is orthodoxy(beliefs) more important than orthopraxy(actions)?
There’s a “rule” of sorts that comes to mind, from the Witches’ Rede of Chivalry. I believe the document itself I received from my high priest, although the introduction does make mention of it coming from Gardner’s Book of Shadows:
A witch’s word must have the validity of a signed and witnessed oath. Thus, give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron.
Maybe I’ll post the Rede of Chivalry as a page now. It could prove interesting.
Have a great day! I’m sorry I rambled so much!