Monday Meditation: Pagan Honor, Virtues, Ethics

Honor. Definition: Regard with great esteem; respect. A good name or reputation.

This witch believes that each person should have a personal "Code of Honor", if not a tribal one.
For many who follow the Heathen path (Asatru, Heathenry, etc...), there are The Nine Noble Virtues.

They are as follows:

Self Reliance

The Druids (particularly, the ADF) have a code of 9 Virtues as well:

Wisdom: Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response

Piety: Correct observance of ritual and social traditions; the maintenance of the agreements, (both personal and societal), we humans have with the Gods and Spirits. Keeping the Old Ways, through ceremony and duty

Vision: The ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present and future

Courage: The ability to act appropriately in the face of danger

Integrity: Honor; being trustworthy to oneself and to others, involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, self-confidence

Perseverance: Drive; the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult

Hospitality: Acting as both a gracious host and an appreciative guest, involving benevolence,
friendliness, humor, and the honoring of “a gift for a gift”

Moderation: Cultivating one’s appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health, (mental or physical), through excess or deficiency

Fertility: Bounty of mind, body and spirit, involving creativity, production of objects, food, works of art, etc., an appreciation of the physical, sensual, nurturing

As a student of martial arts, I've always loved warrior codes. Regardless of your thoughts on Castenada, I love a lot of what he wrote about the warrior in a spiritual sense. I find many truths in the Warrior Code, and have my own code of honor by which I live.

One of the most beloved quotes I have is in my BoS. I know I got it from Ly De Angeles at one point in time. I can't find a link to it any longer, so I'm going to share with author attribute (it was not written by Ly):

"I am a swordswoman. A warrior in a time when sagging flesh and weak, fickle minds are the norm.
Do the slaves even recognize the smell of freedom drifting up on the wind, speaking in gentle murmurings of their ancestors and a way of life where the spirits of the land filled every glad and spring, ever desert place, every mountain ridge?
Is there any greater injustice, or tortured soul, than one who is enslaved, yet sees and knows not of the chains that bind him? One who rejoices at the gilded cage that may be called by any name, yet by any name is still a prison.
What does one such as this know of the cherished scent of freedom, when the stench of their own degradation over-powers all else?
Give me a sword wetted in my own blood rather than succumb to the treacherous silken words, and ignorant unconsciousness, of one who knows nothing of the bars that bind more surely than any mortal cell could do."
~Jessica Richmond

The quote is certainly not a standard code, but it certainly expresses a way of life and how she wants to live. It could be called a mission statement indeed.

Here are some other Pagan Honor Codes:

Brendan Myers, a professor of Philosophy in Canada, has written The Other Side of Virtue:Where Our Virtues Come From, What They Really Mean, and Where They Might Be Taking Us . This book explores the cultural roots of modern virtues, using ancient heroic epics and sagas like Beowulf, the Illiad and Odyssey, the Eddas, the Tain Bo Cuailnge, and literature inspired by them including the works of the Renaissance and Romanticism, Shakespeare, Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling. It's a most excellent read for those who are interested in honor codes, virtues, and ethics.

These are just a few examples of Honor Codes and similar mindsets. For those who follow a Pagan path, do you have a personal or tribal honor code that you follow? If so, please share your experience in the comments. For those who've not considered this exercise, why not take some time to meditate upon your own code of honor/ethics/virtues? Write them down and explore the deeper meaning of each.

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. In the Covenant of Hekate, we have what we call the five virtues. Our code is to try to reflect each of these in our daily lives.

    ■ Compassion
    ■ Courage
    ■ Temperance
    ■ Justice
    ■ Wisdom

  2. I love those! What a great code to live by!


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