Service Is Power

In certain Ceremonial lines, the Oath of the Master of the Temple acknowledges that the Master has received the full force of this truth: that we are all one with the cosmos, and it is our job to translate the work of the whole back into the particular, and that to do so is to be of service. A master of any tradition often realizes a magickal boddhisattva vow, and an acknowledgment that she or he who has crossed into oneness with the limitless flow comes back into forms of discrete expression, the better to serve alongside the Gods. Asatruar build this into practice from the very beginning: service to community, small or large, is paramount. Others of us have to lose some small ego baggage to get there on our way. The practice of service teaches us that every act is necessary to the building of our larger selves, and that our larger selves live and work within the context of yet a larger schema.

As Pagans who do service, we take our places firmly in the circle of humans, plants, animals, and the divine forces within and beyond Nature. I'm glad to stand among all of you who serve: Mara, currently building houses in Haiti; Cid, standing with the workers of Wisconsin; Flame, working with those who have HIV and Hep C; Robert, teaching Heathen women in California prisons; Adam, defending the great forests of Tasmania; Patrick, working for the rights of all Pagans; Brian, devoting time to the Red Cross; SHARANYA organizing to send school supplies to India; Chris, leading anti-racism workshops; Jim, working with the Shoshone people to stop nuclear testing in the Nevada Desert; The Red Tent taking on recycling at the Florida Pagan Gathering; Crystal counseling drug addicted youth . . . The list goes on, and these are just a few people I have met personally. You all know many others. Many of you belong on this list.

Service is part of our religion. It doesn't have to be, but the more we include it, the stronger, healthier, and wiser we all become. Let service be our strength and our teacher. We can balance this with magick, meditation, and celebration. We can balance this service with the pride that comes from knowing our place in the world.

Let's continue to put Pagan service on the map. What's good for the cosmos is good for the soul. What's good for the soul, strengthens community. What strengthens community, strengthens the self.

Originally appeared on Know Thyself and is reprinted with permission.

3/1/2011 5:00:00 AM
T. Thorn Coyle
About T. Thorn Coyle
T. Thorn Coyle is an internationally respected visionary and teacher of the magical and esoteric arts. The author of Make Magic of Your Life, Kissing the Limitless, and Evolutionary Witchcraft, she hosts the Elemental Castings podcast series, writes the blog Know Thyself, and has produced several CDs of sacred music. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!