Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Know Yourself (Part 1 of 13 Goals of a Witch)

One thing that has been in almost the front of my Book of Shadows since I started it is the "13 Goals of a Witch" by Scott Cunningham's book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. I still believe this is probably one of the greatest bits of wisdom that every Wiccan and/or Witch should at least ponder, if not embrace. They really apply not just to magic, not just to spirituality, but to mundane, every-day living.

So let's go through the 13 goals over the next 13 days, one at a time, and take a better look at why and how they apply to living Wicca.

Goal #1: Know Yourself.

This is actually an ancient Greek aphorism found in the Delphic Maxims-- the sayings that were believed to have been given to the Oracle of Delphi by the God Apollo himself. 'Knowing yourself' is a life essential that sadly too many people take for granted. 

It's important to know your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work with them. For example, if you know you hate academics, don't like to do homework, etc., it's probably not a good idea to go to college; a more hands-on trade school, or apprenticeship will serve you better. If you know that you're very well organized and meticulous, you might look for a career that values those traits. 

It's important to know what you want vs. what you need. That helps you assess what's good for you, and what's not good for you. It's not enough to just know others, to know the world, to know the Gods or magic or your religion; it's all interactive. You yourself are a key element, so you need to know yourself first.

My Tip for You Today: Get to know yourself a little better. 

It's not always easy; and at times it can be uncomfortable, or downright painful.

- Sometimes that involves looking back at the track record: what we say about ourselves vs. what we do. Sometimes there is a discrepancy between the two. 

- Sometimes it involves listening to the criticism that others give us. If many people are saying 'you're too sensitive' or 'you are unreliable', it's time to start considering if they're right rather than brushing it off.  

- Sometimes it involves being brutally honest with ourselves. If it's been drilled into us that certain qualities are weaknesses, it's easy to live in denial as a defense mechanism. We prefer to blame things on others than face our own faults and flaws.

This is not an exercise, however, that demands you to beat yourself over the head or repent for your 'less than flattering' qualities; Wicca is not that kind of religion. Rather, it's about learning to accept these qualities as part of you, as part of being human, so that you can learn to work with them, or transform them into something else if you prefer.

How well do you think you know yourself?

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