Delphic Maxims: Know What You Have Learned (Γνωθι μαθων)

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I have this trick of being able to repeat a phone number in my mind until I have a chance to enter it into my phone. Once I've got it safely squared away, I promptly forget the number. It's a really good example of not knowing what I've learned.This whole series on the Delphic Maxims is an active expression of this one Maxim. I could memorize the list, but would I know it? For instance, it's not enough to remember to Know Thyself, one actually has to put in the work. Memorizing by rote is … [Read more...]

Delphic Maxims: Be Overcome By Justice (Ηττω υπο δικαιου)

This may be one of my favorite Maxims. It is the counterpoint to Obey the Law. Sure, we have to stop at stop signs and pay our taxes, but we are also commanded to Be Overcome By Justice.I love that word: overcome. It reminds me of the old civil rights spiritual: We Shall Overcome.So when it comes to our rights being taken from us, do we obey the law or do we allow ourselves to be overcome by justice?I think the same-sex marriage debate raging in this country is a great example of … [Read more...]

Everybody Say Love

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I didn't have a lot of downtime this weekend really, but I'm in a really good mood this morning. Such a good mood that I'm setting aside what I had planned for this morning (including an essay on my experience with gay marriage) but instead I want to share this feeling of love and hope I have this morning.As we are quickly speeding towards mid-year, I have to reflect that 2012 has not been very kind to me, but I didn't expect the Year of the Dragon to be flowing with milk and honey for a dog … [Read more...]

Delphic Maxims: Respect Your Parents (Γονεις αιδου)

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First let me send out some link love to all the folks also blogging through the Maxims:Aine Llewellyn tackles three at once, Anne Hatzakis takes on Follow God and Obey the Law, John Beckett gives a polytheistic take on Worship the Gods, and Niki Whiting takes on the difference between worship and devotion.With Mother's Day this weekend, and Father's Day next month, this is a good time to consider the 4th Maxim.I know a lot of Pagans have difficult relationships with their parents who … [Read more...]

Worshiping an Imperfect God

Hera gave Heracles her friendship and daughter in marriage because she admired his striving for excellence against all odds. She had given him a hard time because he had been given gifts tricked out of her which made him superior to other mortal men, but is she to blame that he let the stress of adversity lead him to commit murder?

I don't believe in perfection. I don't believe in flawless things. I don't believe in purity. I don't believe in "pure goodness" because it implies the opposite: "pure evil." I don't think such a thing exists.I don't believe the Gods are pure and perfect, without a flaw. That's the sort of language that is used to speak of Jesus, and promotes an unattainable ideal. I don't think humans are less than the Gods for being imperfect. I think that's a dangerous theology to promote. I am not a … [Read more...]

Delphic Maxims: Worship the Gods (Θεους σεβου)

This series has garnered a bit more attention than I expected, with other bloggers joining me on this journey. Since some have asked, here is a full list of the Delphic Maxims. I thought people were familiar with these, but I find this is not the case. As a broad and comprehensive ancient ethical code, they deserve our consideration, even if not our acceptance.I'd especially like to thank Niki Whiting for pointing out that we all break the law at times. I've certainly run a red light in my … [Read more...]

Delphic Maxims: Obey The Law (Νομω πειθου)

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This Maxim is pretty self-explanatory. I don't have much to say about it.It's a very different emphasis from Wicca, which emphasizes doing your will, or Aradia which with it's encouragement to poison the rich makes the most tense Occupy protest look like a kindergarten play.I guess in a way this is a very useful thing to remember today. Pagans have to obey the law too. They have to pay taxes. They have to stop at stop signs. They have to keep on the sidewalks.There is a mode of … [Read more...]

Delphic Maxims: Follow God (Επου θεω)

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The first Delphic Maxim is a doozy. It's got a very monotheistic sound to it. One rough translation of it is "follow/honor that which is godly" which isn't much better. It sounds like a line out of an Evangelical exhortation from the pulpit. Yet when over the centuries the lists of the Maxims, the wisdom of the sages of Greece, and the moral exhortations of the oracular temple of Apollo at Delphi, this was first on their list.If you're anything like me, your mind is likely roiling in … [Read more...]

Considering Michael York’s “Catastrophe”

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I awoke this morning intending to begin a series of meditations upon the Delphic Maxims. Not an easy task, but not nearly as difficult as what I'm about to write. As I began my morning routine of e-mail, rss feeds and social media I read Micheal York's guest post on The Wild Hunt. It's already received quite a reaction, and I'm going to do my best to respond thoughtfully to it because it touches on threads I have been silently weaving with for a long time.There is an End happening. Maybe … [Read more...]

Relying On Faith

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I need to start this post with this note before getting on with the topic at hand. When I wrote about realizing that traditional Witchcraft was a Mystery Tradition and not a religion, I received a lot of positive feedback from trad folk. It was an odd thing, because they seemed to not understand I was in a very real way rejecting Wicca and traditional Witchcraft. My Craft experience was positive, and my initiation profoundly meaningful, and I recommend the experience to anyone, but for me it … [Read more...]


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