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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Honor

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

What Trump jury's media consumption ...


So: a jury of twelve regular janes and joes had the courage to do what Mitch McConnell and his nithing Senate Republicans did not: to find the Criminal Trump guilty of his crimes.

Whatever the future may bring—stalling appeals, a corrupt and partisan High Bench, denial of a second loss—we have at least that much: twelve regular Americans, striving to do what's right.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



“Witches honor,” says my friend, holding up her fingers in a V in front of her face.

She was grinning as she said this. I too laughed, as she'd intended; but I also took her at her word.

One of the sillier aspects of the 60s sit-com Bewitched—which is saying quite a bit—was the “Witch's Honor” sign, here demonstrated by the incomparable Agnes Moorehead, who played Samantha's mother Endora in the series.

(Any Boomer Era witch who tries to tell you that her decision to embrace the Craft was unaffected by watching the jet-setting witches of Bewitched as a child would be lying; but, frankly, I doubt that you could actually find anyone who would even attempt to deny it.)

In the series, paired with its accompanying hand-sign (the terminally eclectic might say mudra here), Witch's Honor in effect constituted an oath of truth-telling, and that's exactly how my friend was using it.

There's no comparable gesture of ritual affirmation in the contemporary real-life Craft. Maybe there should be; this was just one of the things that my friend's use of the TV hand-sign was saying. In a way, she was making fun of us for not having one. The cultural poverty of the Craft is something that every serious modern practitioner has to face up to (and then work her butt off to undo).

Before my friend's laughing allusion, it had never occurred to me to wonder why that particular gesture—which, quite frankly, I hadn't thought about actively in years—would be paired with the act of giving an oath.

But think about it.

V for Vow. (Or Veritas: “truth.) The point of the V frames the mouth with which I speak my vow; its horns point toward the eyes, meaning: I bear witness. One could even read it as calling the viewer to bear witness to my oath. The fact that I make this gesture with my strong hand (right for righties, left for southpaws) means: I strongly affirm.

If we're really pushing it, we could even see the V as an invocation of the Horned God, to bear witness to the fact that what I say is true.

(If ever, for even so much as a nanosecond, you doubted that the ability to Bullshit is one of the foremost Powers of the Witch, dear reader, be here roundly disabused of your foolish misapprehension. Witches put the “Bull” in Bullshit, baby.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Trump's Role in Capitol Riot May Figure in Criminal Probe - Bloomberg


Contains sexual content


Call it the “honor system.”

Most traditional societies were—and are—societies of honor.

In such societies, honor—also called reputation or name—is an important motivator of action. In these societies, one acts in such as way as to preserve one's honor, whether individual or collective, and tends to avoid acting dishonorably to avoid the resultant shame.

The opposite of honor is a state that the Old English-speaking Hwicce, the original Tribe of Witches, called níð: dishonor.* One who behaved dishonorably was known as a ðing or—even more cutting because it's diminutive—a níðling.

None of these words survived into Modern English, having been replaced by Norman French instead. (In any given society, the moneyed/ruling classes are the ones who can best afford to be preoccupied with matters of honor.**) If they had, we would today speak of nithe (rhymes with writhe), and know the nitheful as nithings (r. writhings) or nithlings.

For the ancestors, what was considered nitheful was frequently non-normative behavior. In societies with strong gender-role categories, the paradigmatic act of nithe for a man would have been to experience receptive sex, especially willingly. (Some, of course, would still see it this way.)

Nowadays our ideas of what constitutes nitheful behavior have changed in major ways; but in neo-traditional communities—like the pagan community—the concepts of name and nithe are still important.

What do other people say about you? If you give your word, do you keep it? Can others trust you?

Those seeking current examples of nithe and the nitheful will have not far to look.

  • Twice-impeached loser one-term president Donald Trump is a nithling of the worst sort. On current evidence, this is a man—to use the term loosely—who has never once, in his entire life, behaved with honor.
  • All those spineless Republicans (and Democrats, for that matter) who, throughout his mis-administration, have cravenly enabled this nithling president, are themselves despicable nithings and well deserve our opprobrium.
  • All those who broke into the American Capitol, who left their trash on its floors, who defecated in its corners: all are nithlings, one and all.
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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The Bigger the Lie, the bigger the shame.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    There is no honor without honesty.

North Horse: 10/25/13


To the Pagans and Heathens That Took Part in Yesterday's Assault on Congress:


I don't know you, and I don't know who you are, but I know that you were there, and I have a question for you: Where is your honor?

Truly, is this how honorable people act?


By your actions yesterday, you have brought shame upon yourselves.

By your actions yesterday, you have brought shame upon your kin.

By your actions yesterday, you have brought shame upon your people.

By your actions yesterday, you have brought shame upon your ancestors.

By your actions yesterday, you have brought shame upon your gods.


I hereby declare your shame before all the people.

I hereby declare before all the people that you are nithings, beings of no honor.

I hereby raise this nithe-stang against you.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Hear, hear! There is a silver lining to the dark cloud of the past 4 years for me, though. When Sarah Palin declare
On Not Mentioning the Malefactor's Name

Announcing the perpetrator of the most recent mass shooting, the police chief of Virginia Beach said pointedly: “I'm only going to mention his name once.” It's been gratifying to note other news commentators following his lead.

This restraint fulfills an ancient and ancestral urge: why reward ill-wreakers with fame?

Case in point: the Troll-in-Chief. We've got a geis in place against mentioning his name at our coven meetings, and I note that, even at other times, we do the same. I've noticed the same practice among other Lefties.

To speak the name gives life, said the people of ancient Egypt. To this end, they spoke of You-Know-Who—the heretic pharaoh—not by name, but as the Criminal of Akhetaten.

Why give life to the undeserving?

The ancestors were driven to deeds of heroism to make their names live after them. As for those who do the opposite, let their names die with them.

"The dead are pleased when their names are remembered," say the Kalasha, the only remaining Indo-European-speaking people who have practiced their traditional religion without interruption since antiquity. The bale-workers, let us deservedly forget.

On the day that Alexander the Great was born, the most beautiful temple in the world—the temple of Artemis at Ephesos—was destroyed by a massive fire. When they caught the arsonist, they asked, unbelieving, “Why did you do it?”

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Hear, hear!
Is the Notre Dame Fire 'Karmic Payback'?

I hear that out there in social media land there are pagans rejoicing in the Notre Dame fire as karmic retribution for the Catholic church's multitudinous misdeeds.

If so, shame.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The I-35 bridge over the Mississippi here collapsed on Lammas Eve a number of years ago, killing 13 people. The bridge had been un
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    According to my local paper they were doing some reconstruction work. Acid rain has damaged the limestone so that it was crumblin

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How's Your Honor?

The Virtues* are central to most Old Pagan systems of ethics, and chief among them is Honor.**

How's yours?


What do others say about you?

What do those that know you well say about you?

What do those that know you less than well say about you?

How good is your word?

If you say you'll do something, do you follow through?

If you take an oath, do you keep it?

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Honor is longer than life." (James Stephens)
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #

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