For some odd reason Dogma has been popping into my head for the past two days.... no not the movie LOL (shhh... I didn't even know what dogma really meant; in fact I had to look it up! **hangs head in shame**) You know I have never seen the entirety of that movie? I really should sometime!
Now why would a word that I don’t know the meaning to keep running through my head? Curious… so I thought to myself, hey, it’s a “D” word, I will use it for my next “D” post!
Dog-ma n. 1. A system of doctrines proclaimed true by a religious sect. 2. A principle, belief, or idea, especially one considered to be absolute truth. (Webster’s Dictionary)
It is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group/organization, an undisputed belief accepted without evidence. The word dogma originates from a Greek word that means opinion, belief… or to think, suppose, or imagine. The plural is dogmata, used as a systematic theology, a discipline of Christian theology that is used to rationalize accounts of the Christian faith; however dogma is not limited to Christianity… obviously, as it is derived from the Greeks, a pagan culture, right? So essentially, dogma exists in paganism as well, right?
YES! The Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law, the Charge of the Goddess, and the 13 Principles of Belief written by the Council of Witches are all principles of belief in paganism; they are in fact doctrines proclaimed true by a religious sect, principles and beliefs considered absolute truth!
Thirteen Principles of Belief
1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.
2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility towards our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called "supernatural", but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.
4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity - as masculine and feminine - and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.
5. We recognize both outer and inner, or psychological, worlds - sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. - and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.
6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.
7. We see religion, magick and wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it - a world-view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft, the Wiccan Way.
8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make one a Witch - but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.
9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and our personal role within it.
10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way," and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.
11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, or the origins of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.
12. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil", as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor do we accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.
13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.
Bide within the Law you must, in perfect love and perfect trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.
For tread the circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.
Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the old ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again.
Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane, and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.
When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart’s desire seek.
Heed the north wind’s mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the wind blows from the east, expect the new and set the feast.
When the wind comes from the south, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the west, all hearts will find peace and rest.
Nine woods in the cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God’s insight.
Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady’s tree burn it not or cursed you’ll be.
Four times the major sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.
As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it’s now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.
When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lammas night power is brought to magick rite.
Four times the minor sabbats fall use the sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.
In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the sun has reached it’s height time for oak and holly to fight.
Harvesting comes to one and all when the autumn equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you’ll be.
Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you’ll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.
With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is now wear the star upon your brow.
Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill:
An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will!
The threefold law is the law of return, basically it is the belief that whatever you put out into the Universe it will be returned to you threefold… in short, it is Karma; you reap what you sow. It is a reminder to be aware of what you send out during your spellwork (or in general) for you will get it paid back to you, thrice… good or bad.
Charge of the Goddess
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.
Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.
There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not yet won its deepest secrets: to these will I teach things that are yet unknown.
And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.
For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and mine also is joy on earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings.
Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it; let naught stop you or turn you aside.
For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth; and mine is the Cup of the Wine of Life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.
I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold I am the Mother of All Living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven; whose body encircleth the Universe; I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the heart’s desire, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me.
For I am the Soul of Nature, who giveth life to the universe; from me all things proceed, and unto me must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and mortals, thine inmost divine self shall be unfolded in the rapture of infinite joy.
Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.