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THE MEANING OF LIFE
To gather experience over countless lifetimes.

We Realize who and what we really are, and come to behave like That.

Ignorance of That and associated bad habits result in mistakes and consequential suffering.

The accumulation of experience eventually brings us to realize that we are not separate from others, which forms habitual devotion to the ultimate welfare of all.
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Posts Tagged ‘Compassion in Wicca’

There are three motivating paths in Occult Arts:  Power, Knowledge, and Love.

Those motivated by power cannot realize their own true nature beyond their individual ability.

Those motivated by knowledge cannot realize their own true nature beyond an idea.

Those motivated by love realize their own true nature in every way, because their motivation includes both knowledge and power, and more besides.  It also includes the power to identify with (sympathize with) anything and everything, including Ultimate Deity, because that’s what we are (with all the power and knowledge implied).  It’s one thing to engage the elementals with stern authoritarian commands, and another to feel as the Ultimate Deity does, and entreat those elementals to help, with tears in your eyes, and sympathy in our heart.  (As an elemental yourself, which would you be more likely to do everything in your power to help?)

Often, the motivation of love is an underestimated principle in Wicca (and I do not refer to love spells here, but to caring and compassion for others).  We have the wiccan rede: “An it harm none, do what thou wilt”, and we have the Law of Threefold Return.  Both of these hint at the importance of caring for others, but don’t quite emphasize the importance and significance of compassion in Wicca.

But it is essential, this emphasis on compassion and love for others.

The most obvious place we find this is in the motivation that Aradia herself had, for studying the occult arts, and for venturing into the Underworld, to find and confront Death himself.  Being immortal, she was tormented by the continual loss of those she loved, all of whom died, every one, every time.  She was tormented by the suffering all of her children endured, helpless to make a lasting difference, all of them dying eventually.  It was caring for others that drove her to study the occult arts.  This caring being foremost, demanded that she gain power and knowledge, but those only in service of her prime motivation: to end the suffering of others.  Wicca itself exists only because of this motivation in Her: she came back from the Underworld with the Secret to the meaning of life, and devoted herself through eternity to easing suffering in others by teaching what she learned.

Suffering.  The great motivator.  People eat, ultimately because they are suffering from hunger.  They work, ultimately because they are suffering from lack.  Suffering of one’s own, or of others is the most common motivation for studying the occult arts (more often, one’s own).

We find hidden on the Wiccan altar a great reminder of the all-important motivation of love.  It is the Scourge.

Attributed to Aradia, it is a whip with 7 knots, symbolic of suffering, ritually administered lightly as possible to prostate participants.

Aradia, motivated by death and suffering, studied the occult and confronted Death, necessarily removing seven prized obscuring veils.

Etymology:  “Sourge” comes form Latin “ex – corrigia” meaning “break attachments”.

The scourge is Aradia breaking attachments, reminding of four things:

  • Alleviation of suffering is the necessary motivation for studying the occult.
  • Attachment to loved ones, health or possessions causes the motivational suffering.
  • Breaking attachment to prized ignorant habits and self-opinions brings necessary suffering.
  • Occult training eases suffering, through emulating Her.

“Art thou willing to suffer in order to learn?”
(Book of Shadows)

Readers primarily motivated by power might ask, how does power arise from love?  The answer is simple.  The Law of Three Fold Return holds the secret.  There is such a principle as cause and effect in this universe.  One only amasses anything by first giving that same thing to others.  Only by doing things for others, and enabling others will things happen for us, and will we be enabled ourselves.  (Obviously, motivation counts.  If you give something solely to get something, you are demonstrating greed, and greed will be demonstrated right back at you, threefold.  You have to really care, to be shown care in return.)

Readers mainly motivated by knowledge might ask: how does knowledge arise from love?  Again, the answer is simple.  Direct personal experience is the quickest and deepest way to learn or know anything.  Love includes sympathy.  If you have considerable love and  sympathy for others (things as well as people), by simply casting your attention on something, to the degree that you really care, you will know what it’s like to actually “be” it or them.  You will learn from personal experience, not books, everything you care to know about anything you turn your attention to.  Sympathy is possible because you are a direct expression of the entire universe.  By turning your attention to anything, you are simply becoming aware, subjectively, of being that thing (to the degree by which you are capable of perfect sympathy).

“I wish to know, in order to Serve”
(Book of Shadows)
 

Love and compassion are the automatic inherent qualities of realizing that you are a direct expression of the entire universe.  If you’re everyone and everything at heart, how can you not feel for every single suffering experienced wherever you turn your attention, feeling for it as though it were you suffering?  After all, it is you that’s suffering.  So, if you’re wondering why it’s important to be a witch, look to Aradia: it’s to help others from their suffering.  If you’re wondering what is the secret to making your spells work, look to Aradia: it’s the Law of Threefold Return.  If you’re wondering how to learn anything, look to Aradia: care enough, and you’ll automatically know what matters.

So, if you want to be a witch, if you want to know the secrets of the universe, and be able to do powerful magic, look to Aradia.  Be like Her, and devote yourself to easing the suffering around you.  The more you do this, the more you’ll be a powerful, wise, and loving witch like Her.

Mer-Amun MerAmun