Monday, January 24, 2011

The Rebel vs the Warrior

Rebellion is often a useful instrument of change, as we've just seen in the recent citizen's uprising in Tunisia. Yet simply rebelling and doing the opposite of whatever friends, family or society seems to want for you is not the Warrior's way. That isn't rebelling for change, that's rebelling to avoid change. the Warrior is not just a rebel. The Warrior tempers his actions with the responsibility implied by the first half of the Wiccan Rede. Rebels raise and use energy only for themselves. To accept freedom without responsibility is to turn hedonism into religion. The rebel is the shadow side of the Warrior.

The malcontent has no boundaries. Malcontents identify others as the source of their problems, rather than taking responsibility for the changes needed in their lives. Blaming others is simply making excuses for what you don't like about yourself. Indian doctor and author Deepak Chopra tells us that "When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding some truth." Nobel Prize winning writer Herman Hesse tells us that "If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself."

Malcontents don't take responsibility for their lives. You can't sit back and hope to turn into what you want to be. You can't sit back and hope that life turns out the way that you want it to. You must forge your reality. As author Hanns-Oskar Porr once said: "Don't just find yourself. Make yourself." If you don't see yourself as being the way that you would like to be, no one else will either. Remember the old African adage: "Nobody will think you're somebody if you don't think so yourself."

I have encountered people who profess to be Wiccan who seem to interpret the Wiccan Rede to mean: "Do whatever feels good". Perhaps they are thinking of Crowley's "Do as thou wilt"? I run into Pagans now and again who bully their way through the community using that excuse. Hedonism is an attitude that Pagans cannot afford to indulge in. You cannot be so self centered and claim that you follow the Rede. You cannot embrace freedom without any consideration for how your actions will affect others. You must accept responsibility for yourself.

Using the right for individual expression as an excuse for behaviour that is harmful to others is reprehensible. It is a direct violation of the Wiccan Rede. Our Pagan community has fought long and hard for society to take us seriously, and such irresponsible behaviour threatens that sought after respect.

If you want respect, you have to give respect. If you're upset about how people think of you, the first thing to do is to look at yourself. Playwright George Bernard Shaw once said that "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." A Warrior must be impeccable. To earn respect you must make yourself respectable.

I'm not saying that you should conform to other people's ideas of who you are or what you should be. The other half of the Rede tells us to be all that we can be, to go out there and be glorious. That is what "do what thou wilt" means. As we say in the Order of Scathach, who dares, wins, and what you must dare is to be yourself. American poet and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson tells us: "Insist on yourself. Never imitate." Remember the old adage: "Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy."

In Her Service, Kerr Cuhulain

Order of Scathach web site:

Kerr Cuhulain's blog:

Kerr's Latest Smashwords book, Modern Knighthood:

Check out Kerr's daily affirmations:

No comments: