Living With Honour, A Pagan Ethics

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Author: Emma Restall Orr

Publisher: O Books

ISBN Number: 978-1846940941

Publication Date: 25th April 2008

Reviewed by: TheDruid-3X3


Awens to All:

In the past 2 1/2 Months, I got hold of a Book by the Druid Network's High Priestess Emma "Bobcat" Restall Orr called "Living With Honour, A Pagan Ethics" and spent the past reading it over and so on the Morning of Winter Solstice, I am writing my concise Book Review about it:

The first thing she writes about in the Book is how there are a lot of Pagans who are Hypocritical and that they use their Paganism just to Party, Cause Harm, or be Fashionable with the Rebellious Crowd. Bobcat says that within modern Paganism, each Individual is encouraged to find their own Special Interest and Skill, and then to feed that Insight back into the Community as a whole. She points out that it is through the Paganistic movement, the Natives of North America now are able to Celebrate their Old Customs again without being Persecuted, which is one of the best things about Modern Paganism that I can think of.

She then goes on to discuss what exactly "Heresy" is, which is some that is constantly Attacked by many other established Religions as something Terrible and Bad. According to Bobcat, it is from the Greek "Haireomai", which means to Choose. The word "Hairesis" is the Choices we make in regards to our personal Beliefs. It also refers to being able to Question as being something critical for our being able to make sound Decisions and Choices in regards to our Personal Belief Systems.

She points out that it is from our taking Dominion over the Nature that has been one of the main causes for separating ourselves from Nature and thus not being able to cope with what Nature does give or does not give us. A great example she points to is how everyone was Blame Gaming when Hurricane Katrina came through and destroyed New Orleans. No one could cope with the fact that it was an act of Nature and Nature does not play favorites with all and that in Life, Nature Is Not Fair! She then goes on to point out that it is the True *Pagan who is ready to accept that Nature is Merciless and is actually indifferent towards Humanity. I came that conclusion when I saw how Nature wiped out so many in the Boxing Day Tsunami.

She writes about various other facts of Life such as Death and Sexuality and that all things that we do or do not do eventually comes back to us by the Law of Karma and that Death is not an ending, but a Transition of One Life to the Next Life. Her definition of Death is pretty much the same as that of the Tarot Card Death Major Arcana Card. On the debate on Euthanasia, Bobcat states that why would anybody would want to keep an Individual Alive, in Crippling Pain or Dreadful Disability, when that Person is requesting the release of Death when in reality, Death is just as Natural State of Being as being Born.

Bobcat writes of the concept of "Animism", which was a concept that I had never heard of before. Bobcat then states that Animism is central to Nature-Based Paganism and that it is the Belief that all Animals and Inanimate Objects have Souls. I do certainly Believe that all things are made up of Energy and in all Energy is the Powers of Souls as well as Deity.

Then Bobcat lists off 4 Premises of Choice. They are:
1 - Instinct or Intuition,
2 - Emotion,
3 - Religious Beliefs,
4 - Secular Authority,
5 - And Personal Freedom

She then goes on to describe how constructed by agreement by the Community as a whole. Morals are the Boundary Lines around a Tribal Unit. Such Morals both protect the Tribe from the Behavior of Outsiders and ensure the Tribe itself maintains standards that will keep it adequately at ease. Bobcat then states that Conflict is Natural and must be acknowledged as acceptable, because it is through such Conflicts in Life that the Weak are Defeated and the Strong will Rule. Bobcat does point out that if Authority Controls too much, then it is what can be Blamed for everything. That is why Fascist/Socialist States usually end up looking so deplorable in the few societies that it has come to power in.

Then Bobcat does into the Ethics of Druidism, and lists off the Five Key Tenets of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. She then goes into how Druids always are looking for what is True and that is the Truth and how they use Triads in order to codify their Legal System. She even posts quite a few good Irish and Welsh Triads of Wisdom in this part of the Chapter. Actually, there are so many good Triads of Wisdom in this Book that I will be able to cover 3 Sabbaths worth of 3X3 Triads of Wisdom with Triads taken from her Book.

She then lists off the Heathen Code, which goes:
1 - Make Sure To Keep Ones Oaths.
2 - Being Loyal.
3 - Being Courageous.
4 - Being Hospitable.
5 - And being Bold, in both Thought and Action.

In the part about Secrecy and Persecution, Bobcat writes about how many Pagan Groups, Families and Small Communities dont go just by the Wiccan Rede, but have Tight Moral Codes. I have also found that in my travels as well, and I have also run afoul of such things many times.

One thing I found in this Book is that Bobcat doesn't say very much that is Good about Feminists as she recounts how Feminists like Matilda Gage, rewrote History by saying that Nine Million Women had been Burned Alive during the Burning Times. Bobcat reveals that is Feminist Propaganda and that it was actually about Fifty Thousand People who were Persecuted for being Witches, both Men and Women.

In the part called "Relativism", Bobcat points out how there are Wiccan Pagans tend to share a concern for Environmental Issues, but he points out that usually none actually get involved in an Environmentalistic Causes. I have found that too. I know dozens of people who call themselves *Pagan", but have never helped with Environmental Work such as doing Litter Cleanups in their local Streams, Rivers or Watersheds. Such people are Hypocrites. In one part of the Book, Bobcat actually makes Very Critical Statements about Pagans who show up at Druidistic Events in Expensive SUVs, consuming Corporate Products and Fly off to Southern Europe for Vacations.

But then she points out how some People can be beyond the reach of the Law by being Nomadic, Geographically Isolated, or being of a Social Status that is above that of the Ruling Authority. She points out that such Tribes tend to create their own Codes of Honour and that such Codes of Honour are common in the Criminal Underworld. She then goes on to point out in some Communities where Tribal Warfare and Blood Feuds are common, Honour Killings are often of Women who have acted in a way considered Immoral by the Tribe. Bobcat goes on to say that such Attitudes may seem Outrageous to a Society that Lives with the comfort of a Working Judicial System.

Then there is a part is called "The Tribe", which is a word that Bobcat likes to use a lot. She goes into how we are part of various Tribes that contribute to what we are. Our Immediate Family Circles are a type of Tribe. Our Circles at Work are another type of Tribe, and our Friends that we participate in our various Hobbies or Pastimes. Being a part of a Tribe is how we get support in order to be able to Survive in our Environment, Community and in our Family Units. And it is from that Support from our Comrades in our various Tribes that gives Powerful Incentive to Survive.

In the next part "Being With Other People", Bobcat starts out describing how much better it is in receiving Service from another Person rather than by having Service provided by an Automated Answering Service. She describes how she had an issue with her Phone Service and how annoyed she was with the Automated Answering Service and how things got sorted when she finally got a hold of an Actual Person on the Line.

She goes into making many Critical Statements about Commercialism and the Corporate Agenda and writes about such things quite extensively throughout the Book. It is some of her comments about Commercialism that reaffirms m decision to no longer have TV Cable since it does nothing but promote the Corporate Agenda, along with Political Propoganda as well as useless information about our Media Celebrities.

I did find that Bobcat is Highly Critical of Philosophies of people such as Descartes. I agree with her as his doctrine of "If You Think, Therefore You Are" is where we get people thinking Messianic Thoughts about themselves and that is where we get Biblical Scriptures glorifying Humanity too much, such what is in the Bible's Genesis 1, verses 26 to 31, which I found Bobcat Criticizes in the same light as I do.

In the part about our relationships with Children, Bobcat points out that it isn't long, though, before Parent or Child starts to perceive the other as the "Other". If the parent feels it first, without adequate consciousness to compensate with wakeful caring, the child will often carry the effects throughout his (or her) life: an undertow of a conviction about having been abandoned for no reason". I can understand that statement as I myself was forced to leave Home in my late teens (17) by my Mother just to appease her Boyfriend at the time. Bobcat really hit it on the head with the above statement as I myself have felt Abandoned for No Reason while still a Youth. Bobcat then points out that when a Child is not brought up properly, they you will have a future Problem Parent who will repeat the same mistakes that their Parents made upon them.

Bobcat states that one should never take another Person's Presence for Granted. I have empathy for that as about a year ago, I found myself feeling taken for Granted when someone I used to Respect, who had some Family Related Issues, started using me as an Emotional Scratching Post. I left that situation, vowing never to return.

Bobcat does is Criticize how each and every one of the Revealed and Constructed Religions have always done Marketing Campaigns promoting the claims of knowing the Meaning of Life by saying things such as "We have the Answer! We Know the Truth! We can Reveal the Meaning!". She then goes on to describe how *Pagans are Polytheists who acknowledge countless Deities who represent the various Forces of Nature and that there is no Belief ina Supernatural Deity and that there is no All Powerful Being who is Self Aware, Designed or Created for the Purpose of Self-Glorification of themselves and goes on to say that when it comes to seeking Help with What Is The Meaning Of Life, the *Pagan can not get the Answer from the notion of Deity.

Then in the part called "Meaningless and Becoming", Bobcat points out that it is through our ability to Empathetic that our personal Code of Ethics comes from. I can point out that it is within the Frontal Lobes of our Brains that controls our abilities to be Empathetic. It is when someone has a Dysfunctional Frontal Lobe that you get people who can not behave Ethically as well as Violently, and appearing to enjoying the Chaos they create.

On the subject of Animal Rights, Bobcat then goes on to point out that only in the past 100 years or so did Humanity come to realize that Nonhuman Animals are Beings who have the same Emotions and can Suffer as we do. She then goes into the subject of how we use Nonhuman Animals as Food and mainly goes into how bad the conditions are for various Nonhuman Animals who are raised for Food and how they Suffer in their Crampt Cages and Enclosures. Bobcat then Chronicles how Grain Crops can yield use more Food more cheaply than providing Feed for Nonhuman Animals that we like to have on my Plate. This part explains why one has to pay more per pound for a Steak than for Tomatoes. Then Bobcat goes into our Relationship with our Pets when she says that Treat our Pets similarly as we Treat our Growing Up Youth when they are Growing Up to become 'Persons In Their Own Right'. I actually think that having Pets is some sort of compensation for our disconnecting ourselves from Nature. We try to reconnect by having Pets.

So to conclude, I do have to point out that there are several Good Nature Oriented Short Stories in the Book that are quite entertaining and also a story of how Bobcat used Meditation of the Breath in order to sort out her Fears, Anxieties and Uncertainties. So the most part, I can say that Bobcat does not ever make Dogmatic Statements in the Book. She writes that one has to have Free Will in order to Understand and Respect Nature and she has nothing good to say about the Corporate Agenda, Feminists, or the Realized Book Religions.

In order to fully understand our place in Nature, I highly recommend this Book!

Mata Ne & Ki wo Tsuketekudasai!

Emma Restall Orr, Pagan, Honour, Ethics,
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TheDruid-3X3's picture

Re: Living With Honour, A Pagan Ethics

Awens to All:

I just posted a shorted Review onto about Bobcat's Book.  If my review is accepted, I get to have a Free Book from them.

And there is one that would not mind getting my hands on!




TheDruid-3X3's picture

Re: Living With Honour, A Pagan Ethics

Awens to All:

In recent times, it is Pages 171-172 that are affecting me the most.

On those Pages, Bobcat notes that if a Parent behaves Antisocially to others as well as the Child, then when the Child Stomps into Puberty, they are likely to become a Gormless and Ill-Mannered Monster and having Experienced Insufficient Loving Care and Attention, will go on to Reject this Parental Tribe, hiding their Faces in Disgust and Shame.

She also notes that our Culture must stop Treating Children as Objects as just a means to satisfy the Craving to Reproduce, as a means to Achieve Social Expectation, and as a means of Public Display of Parental Creativity.

She states that we must Acknowledge our Children as People in their own Right and their Personal Rights and Freedoms should be Respected, especially when they start coming of Age in their early teens or they might Rebel in the worst way possible.