When I told myself that I was going to do a light post today, I thought I would simply update everyone on the progress of my Book of Shadows. After all, I had posted the other day about how I felt that me starting a new BOS was the start of a new stage in life, so wouldn’t it be nice to keep everyone updated?
But then I saw Beverly Blaine’s post on Values here and I was immediately torn. I wanted to do a post like that too! Then I almost instantly thought… 20 values? I don’t know of any Wiccan values list that is that long. Even the ‘Goals of a Witch’ by Scott Cunningham is only 13 points long.
As I sat and sipped my cup of green tea (delicious, btw) out of my Zelda cup, I decided to blend the two concepts. Why not give you both an update on my Book of Shadows as well as a discussion on Wiccan values? Because oh so coincidentally the progress I’ve made in my BOS is writing out the Wiccan Rede, which just so happens to also be my main value in life.
So let’s start with the progress in my BOS. So far, I feel it is progressing well. I have written out the Rede by hand with a quill, and have added some swirls in the corners. [I will not post pictures of it fully, as it is a sacred object and I am not comfortable sharing it with the public] As it is an old BOS that I am erasing and re-updating (before that it was a journal that I had repurposed) it feels like a beautiful merging of the past with the present. For my PTSD, to erase the journal entries from a negative time in life in order to refill them with beautiful watercolor and positivity- it feels very holistic.
Now, for the Rede. The Wiccan Rede is famously known in its shortened version as “An Harm Ye None, Do What Ye Will”. But in truth, it is a rather long poem about the cycles of seasons, magic, and living correctly. It was beautiful to read, and really brought me back to my roots. Namely, living magically in tune with my spirituality (whatever that means has changed for me over the years, as it does for many a Wiccan) and non-harming. When I first fell across this value it was through yoga as ‘ahimsa’, then through Buddhism, and finally through the Wiccan Rede. I would say non-harming is the value that I have hinged my life upon, and the one stable principle that has guided me through many difficult decisions.
Some people find the Wiccan Rede simplistic, I find it incredibly nuanced. Non-harming is a delicate affair. It forces you to stand up for yourself in order to not allow yourself to be harmed by others. It forces you to be gentle when voicing yourself so as not to harm by your speech, yet you must speak up because silence can reinforce harm as well by allowing illusions and falsehoods to live. Worse, often we are forced to balance our decisions upon the past of least harm, as there seems to be harm happening no matter which way we look.
There are so many ways to apply the Rede to mental illness and the concepts surrounding it, but I wanted to keep this post short. For now, is the Rede (or some similar concept of non-harming) something you ascribe to? If so, how does it impact your life and especially your experience of mental illness?