• Janus Blume

If I Don't Have Ethics, Am I a Guru?


So I was reading this blog titled “13 Types of Toxic Witches and How to Deal With Them.” by Cyndi Brennan. (BTW: read a couple of her blogs today, and so far, I like her style.) 'Look into whether your teachers and leaders have codes of ethics,' she advises.' Ask about them if they’re not evident. '

Deja vu! Boy, did that bring back memories. How many hours of my life have been devoted to conversations about agreements regarding conduct and ethics in my union, my coven, the Covenant of the Goddess, and just about every organization I’ve ever been part of.

I remember my coven wordsmithing ideas, but not whether we formalized a code of ethics. The Covenant of the Goddess adopted one that looks pretty good, though. Lists of do’s and don’ts aren’t likely to prevent every misunderstanding. Most humans are the walking wounded, and those drawn to alternative spiritual paths may be even more raggedy than our mainstream counterparts.

Codes and agreements may prevent some problems, but the people who need them most are the ones who won’t follow them. To be fair, Cyndi doesn’t present codes of ethics as a solution to challenges between group members. I’ll come back to that in a couple of paragraphs. Those of us who have experience with this type of thing know that querulous people suck up ridiculous amounts of time arguing that yes, they follow the group’s code to the letter.

We all know how we want to be treated. We want others to tell us the truth and respect our boundaries—all of them. Why can’t our codes of ethics be this simple? Nobody’s perfect, and anybody who waits for perfect people to love will have a long, lonely time of it. Imperfect but normal people may try your patience, but toxic people threaten your mental health.

Codes and agreements give a group language to use after the unstable members have made their mistakes, the fragile members have had their feelings hurt, and the leaders are struggling to balance the needs of the individuals against the best interests of the group.

Even though new Witches may start out battered around the edges, the Craft helps many of us find healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Those who are whole enough to walk in good faith with our peers can get back together and recommit to our agreements. Unfortunately, those who find themselves unable to forgive and forget will keep moving on, stirring the pot as they go. We can feel compassion and be kind from a distance without being their victims.

I said that I would get back to Ms. Brennan’s reasons for encouraging readers to ask their leaders and teachers about whether they have a code of ethics. It came up under the topic of The Guru Witch, #3 on a list of 13 where only #2, The Passive Aggressive Witch and #1, The Gaslighting Witch, are more to be avoided. According to the blog, a sure sign of a Guru Witch is they have no code of ethics.

I’m pretty sure I’m not a Guru Witch, but then denial works because it’s invisible. At any rate, maybe I need to develop a code of ethics, so here’s a start. Let me know what you think.

Code of Conduct and Ethics:

I found my life, speech, and actions on Great Love—the Love of Being for Connection which is the Source of creation.

The physical world is comprised almost entirely of energetic vibration, or The Word. I acknowledge the Word as the Source of my life. My Words matter.

  • I speak truthfully

  • I keep my Word

  • I speak carefully out of respect for the impact my Words have on conditions of reality.

I take good care of:

  • My physical health

  • My family

  • My community

  • My personal home

  • My planetary home, the Earth, Mother Gaia

My speech & actions are:

  • Loving—Rooted in deep caring and compassion for others

  • Respectful—Honoring your right to dignity

  • Kind—Aimed at increasing joy and peace of mind for those around me

  • Ethical—True to my values

  • I honor your boundaries,

  • I keep your confidence as sacred

  • I speak only good about others

If at any time you feel as if I’ve violated my code, please let me know.

Here’s a link to the blog that got me started, in case you’re interested.


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Together we'll be people of power, a coalition challenging and changing the structures that divide and limit us.  Women, and men, both cis and trans, non-heteronormative types, and children--of all skin tones. We're standing together for a more peaceful, economically just and environmentally sustainable world. Let's strengthen each other on journeys of personal and social transformation. You in?? Join my mailing list, to be updated on my posts. You can reach me at (831) 428-2497 or janusblume@gmail.com. 

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