- *Forgiveness has been largely absent from my vocabulary since I
became a Pagan. Now circumstances are cropping up thick and fast
which are making me reconsider the issue. In a climate of witch wars,
grudges held lovingly over a period of years, the need for collective
work in our community, and so on, where does forgiveness fit in?
Forgiveness is usually a virtue; depending upon what path you follow.
It is a very mentally healthy act to release a burdensome tally sheet.
That equates to a healthy mind and body. Forgiveness is not "just" a
xtian act, it is a human act. Things change. People change. People
grow. Are you the same person today as you were six years ago, six
months ago, a week ago?
*1. Should leaders "take on" the grudges of the members of the group
Depends, doesn't it? If my coven mate were raped, would there be any
question? If it was a case of domestic violence or any violent
act .you can see where I'm going.
Perhaps talking and knowing all the details of any situation would be
the way to go. So very many times, member "A" believes member "B"
because of respect or admiration or the status member "B" has is
greater or member "B" has been a friend for a long time. When
member "B" was really the cause of the grudge, the guilty person.
Perhaps there is a valid reason, a justification, if you will. We
are not privy to all the information. Also, what I have observed, if
it is a matter of a leaders word against a "no name newbie," who do
you think most people are gonna want to believe? Newbie dose not
stand a chance, usually.
I read a tag quote the other day at the end of an e-mail. It read
something like this "Don't believe every word that comes out of the
mouth, rather watch where the feet go."
Leaders should not "take on" the grudges, however, depending on your
path, leaders have a big responsibility to keep "safe space" for
*Is deciding to set differences aside to work together the same as
giving the stamp of approval to past behavior, which is unacceptable?
No. However, again, it depends on the offensive past behavior.
Usually, deciding to set differences aside is not the same as giving
a stamp of approval to unacceptable behavior. I really wonder who or
what has decided that the behavior was unacceptable? The individual
or the law of the land?
2. What does forgiveness do for the one who is doing the forgiving?
Forgiveness allows your heart to be filled with love and light
again. Sounds fluffy dosen't it. Love is not fluffy. Forgiveness
is an act of strength, not weakness.
*What does it mean in terms of furthering your spiritual development?
My spiritual development? Forgiveness is letting go of the
negative. Love and "negatives" cannot occupy the same space at the
same time. If one's heart is filled with negatives, there is no room
for positive growth.
Forgiveness sometimes means forgiving yourself too. After all, you
were a willing participant in the "dance."
3. Is it acceptable to give a person who has done wrong the
opportunity to make amends via their work with a Pagan group?
Doesn't (almost) everyone deserve a second chance? Do you? Making
amends through "work with a Pagan group" is not the only way to make
amends, is it?
*Should they be excluded from group work until they reach a certain
Level of what? Who is to judge? and who are the jury?
*Would working with those who have dark deeds in their past poison the
Depends on where this person's "energy" is at the moment.
At winters end, I wash all the heavy blankets and place them in
storage till needed next winter. Why not bring this situation front
and center. Why not talk about it with all the members. Air
everything out. Clear "stuff" out. This may not always be possible,
however, communication is very important and can make all the
difference in the world!
*Does being a good Pagan mean worrying only about your own spiritual
development, or is it possible to reach a point where the next step is
for you to do what you can to contribute to the spiritual development
Yes to both. Growth with a teacher or within a coven can assist the
individual with both.
- --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
> 1. Should leaders "take on" the grudges of the members of thegroup
> towards others? Is deciding to set differences aside to worktogether
> the same as giving the stamp of approval to past behavior which isI don't think that setting differences aside is the same as giving
the stamp of approval. It is simply moving on from 'here'. It is
giving someone an opportunity to prove they've changed. However, if
the person has not changed, then they need to go when their behavior
is damaging to others in the group. I don't think that leaders need
to 'take on' grudges of anyone. I personally try hard to not hold on
to grudges and would question those who do. Is it really a grudge
they are holding on to? Or a lack of trust for past deeds.
> 2. What does forgiveness do for the one who is doing theforgiving?
When I forgive it is more about letting go of anger for my own sake.
When you hold on to anger and hate and cannot forgive then you are
letting the one who hurt you control you. I have had to learn this
lesson over and over in my life in dealing with abuse. I forgive my
ex for beating the crap out of me, BUT he will never come near me or
my children again. Forgiving is not about letting people hurt you
repeatedly, it is about empowerment. It is about saying I refuse to
let you control me by making me continue to hate you but you will
never hurt me again.
At dictionary.com one of the definitions of forgive was "to renounce
anger or resentment against"
> What does it mean in terms of furthering your spiritualdevelopment?
> What - if anything - does forgiving do to/for the person beingforgiven?
I think to the person being forgiven it's like getting a clean slate
in which to try again to be a good person. Sometimes we all need a
clean slate to start from.
> 3. Does forgiveness have a place in a Pagan world-view? If so,
> it?If we don't forgive then are we better than those who have cast us
out or judged us? This may sound harsh or judgemental, but I feel as
pagans we need to rise above some of the religious groups we have
been raised with. Whether we like it or not, we live in a primarily
christian world. If we are not forgiving to some extent then how do
we even survive in a world that hates us? Isn't being a pagan all
about living in harmony with the earth and the peoples in it? How do
we do community service or help humanity or help the earth when we
are walking around with hate in our hearts? (like many christians
even though they don't realize it?)
Is it acceptable to give a person who has done wrong the
> opportunity to make ammends via their work with a Pagan group?Should
> they be excluded from group work until they reach a certainlevel?
> Would working with those who have dark deeds in their past poisonthe
> group energy?Name me one person who has never done a dark deed. Don't we all have
skeletons in our closet? I think it depends on the person who has
the dark deeds. have they repented of their ways? Have they come to
terms and acknowledged what they've done? What is their plan for
never doing it again. If they don't have acceptable answers for
these questions then they don't belong in the group, in my opinion.
I am pretty tired so I am not sure how much sense any of this
made :) I hope I haven't just raised more questions for you. Good
luck with your whirling mind.
- This remides me of the groups out here in Washington and Idaho. There
is so much anger that one of the big groups has disbanded. I know I
was part of the ones that they all love to hate. Why? Well I can't
keep my big mounth shut. I stood up for 3 guys who where thown out of
the group for being to "Crowley". Well I got thrown out too for it.
That was 6 yrs ago and the leader of that group to this day hates me
for it. It's sad because once her and I were "best" friends. I run
into her all the time just because I know her sister in law.
Last yr I posted on diferant group that it was tireing to see so many
forwards. So because of my "past" bad behavier I was kicked off that
group. Opps one of the moderaters was that one girl.
So even tho I have long forgiven her and anyone who I think might have
hurt me. I am a lepper.