Thursday, August 9, 2012

O - Oaths #paganblogproject

Oaths can be very ticklish business within Witchcraft covens and magical societies. They are not idle words, and their interpretations can be quite complicated for all involved.

I learned years ago not to take an oath lightly. The first magical oaths I made were to my first coven and Tradition, and they were made in blood. *gasp* I know. Some of my readers will be shocked and appalled that any oaths would be made in blood, while others would expect nothing less. The philosophy behind the blood oath is that every bit of your life force, your magic, your Will, is encapsulated in one single drop of blood. To give it willing is to express  a willingness to die rather than betray the oath -- to put every ounce of Will and Life and Magic into the oath.

I have no objection to blood magic or to blood oaths, but my first Trad demanded this level of commitment for students at too new a place of study -- Witches who were too young in their magic and too green on the Path. If there had been no problems, or only a few problems, with those who took these oaths, I wouldn't be complaining. But ...


One of the bigger issues that I saw was not in coveners breaking their oaths. No. It was in the way a HPS would interpret the oath so that a covener might be labeled "oath-breaker" if they did something with which the HPS disagreed. More accurately, if they did something with of which she disapproved and then had the audacity NOT to apologize or take their meted out punishment. All the Fiends forfend  that a Witch should Know and Dare to do her own Will!

Oh? Do I sound bitter? Probably, yes. This is a serpent coiled beneath the rose that hath indeed struck deep into my heart.

Yes, yours truly was tarred and feathered as an oath-breaker. Unjustly. Painfully. And at a time when I needed the familial support of my coven, Tradition and HPS. No need for the bloody details. But the warning is this:

My HPS believed she removed me from the Tradition. (I was initiated as a 3rd Degree HPS, by the way. Even as a 1* Initiate, "removal" from that family wouldn't have been possible -- not according to the oaths we made to each other.) That was four years ago, almost. Where do we stand now? I'm as close with my former coven sisters as I ever was. One is my coven sister again, in my current coven and Trad. My HPS and I? Are our bonds cut? I know they are not. I dream accurately of her, just as I have for a decade. I have the rage of a dis-owned daughter, but I know we are still family. I love her, and I'm hurt and angry. Our oaths to each other, though, will forever keep us connected.

Beware your oaths. You can't un-make them. A bell cannot be un-rung.

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