In addition to the "Wiccan Rede" there are also 13 articles that are followed. These preambles as they are called aid in attuning the self and becoming one with the earth and the spiritual world through study, self exploration and action. Each has lessons that are learned and not all are easy to complete. It is the drive to complete them and the knowledge that is rewarded as well as the spiritual alignment that makes them worth while. What follows is the list of the 13 Preambles, as well as a deeper understanding of each.
1: Know Yourself
2: Know your Craft
4: Apply Knowledge
5: Achieve Balance
6: Keep your thoughts in good order
7: Keep your words in good order
8: Celebrate life
9: Attune with the cycles of the Earth
10: Breathe and eat correctly
11: Exercise the body
13: Honor the Goddess and God
As you can see from the preambles the worship of deities falls last on the list. I would like to approach that first before we go in depth into each article.
13: Honor the Goddess and God
The Goddess and God are within us as they are also within all living things on this Earth. In this case by following the first 12 articles you are already honoring the Goddess and God because they are a part of you. The 13th article is more about honoring the spirit or energy of the Goddess and God. This can be better achieved after one has attuned themselves by following the other articles. So though at first the 13 Preambles may seem egotistical in a way they are not once you explore them more fully. These 13 Preambles are nothing new, in fact many religions and cultures have them, though they are less stressed in other religions unless you plan on becoming a Priest or Pastor. They are known to us all on some level or another, and we may even follow these preambles without being a Wiccan. That is ok too; these are 13 good things to live by and can benefit anyone regardless of religious background or inspiration.
1: Know yourself
Self knowledge and awareness is something that we all strive to have. How are we going to work with the delicate energies that surround us if we first do not know what is self? This is a difficult one to achieve as there are still so many things out in our world that do not allow us to fully express ourselves as individuals that are aware and filled with love of the self. Once you come to a full understanding of who you are then it becomes easier to accept others for who they are as well. This acceptance becomes one of the first paths to peace. This is not only knowing the self, but accepting the self as well both must be achieved.
2: Know your Craft
How many people do you know that are fully aware of their religion? I'm not just talking about what their places of worship teach them, or what their holy book says. I am talking a full understanding from the conception of the religion to the modern day interpretations of it. Chances are that you do not know many. People tend to follow the teachings that they hear but do not look further into their religion as a whole, unless of course they have a degree in Theology that is. This article talks about having the full knowledge of what your religion is about. Wicca, like most religions is much deeper than the surface information that we are all aware of. It has tradition, it has its guiding forces and it has its incarnation. I know a lot of people that claim to be Wiccan or Pagan and yet have never read or studied the origins of the religion. How are you going to gain a deeper understanding and spiritual awareness if you do not know where you came from to start with? Know your Craft is just that, it is attaining the wisdom and knowledge of your religion.
What does the word learn mean? The dictionary defines Learn as "To gain knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of through experience or study". Learning is something that we do everyday. Each moment that we are alive we are learning and experiencing things. It is the knowledge that we get from experience and study that allows us to make choices in life as well as live our lives to the best and fullest that we are capable of. Think about what the world would be like if no one ever learned anything? Chances are you wouldn't be reading this article right now because you didn't learn to read! When we talk about learning here we are not only talking about the lessons that we have each day, we are also talking about the knowledge of the craft and learning our lessons on a spiritual and karmic level as well. To learn is to know, and to know is to grow.
4: Apply Knowledge
Once you have the knowledge from the learning you need to put it into practical application. Wisdom cannot be spread if people were to hide all of the knowledge that they have attained. This isn't to say that you need to be pushy, but freely share what you know so that you can learn from someone else what they know. This also talks about the application of knowledge of the Rede as well as the Preambles in your life. Apply them fully and you can experience a life you had never thought was possible to explore.
5: Achieve Balance
Balance is important in any metaphysical way of thought just as it is in any religion or philosophy. You strive to achieve a balance of body, mind, and spirit through various forms and knowledge. Many of us have moments when we feel like this balance has been achieved, and yet it fades after a while. Remember that we are all human, and therefore a prone to making mistakes and it is ok to do so. There are of course some individuals out there Sai Baba for instance that has fully attained this type of balance, but for most of us it will come and go. The main lesson is to allow it to come and when it leaves learn and apply what you have learned to attain it once again.
6: Keep your Thought is Good Order
This article is twofold in nature. First it talks about the power of positive thought. Not allowing negative thought patterns to enter your mind is a large part of keeping thoughts in good order. The more that you focus on positive things the more that you will attract those things, as we know from learning about the power of intention. Second, it talks about thinking before you speak. So many people blurt out what they want to say regardless of if it is going to damage someone else in thought or emotion. Think hard about what you are going to say before it is said. Make a conscious effort to plan your words carefully so that what you say can aid in allowing for the greatest good for the persons that you are speaking to.
7: Keep your Words in Good Order
This follows suit to article 6 above. After you have thought about what you are going to say carefully speak those words. Speak in a manner that is soothing and peaceful and try to avoid emotions like anger, hate and frustration in your speech. We can get so caught up in an emotional swirl that we sometimes forget to not express that in our speech. We can certainly tell the person how we are feeling and that sort of discussion is great, that way no one leaves feeling unwanted or insecure with themselves.
8: Celebrate Life
Live each and every day to the fullest that you can experience it. See each day as a new lesson to be learned and do not hold grudges or allow things to bring you down. Sometimes focusing on the day to day living can be the most rewarding, then we are not feeling any anxiety about what the future may hold for us and instead can truly experience life.
9: Attune with the Cycles of the Earth
For Wiccans this one is done quite often. Every Sabbat that we celebrate aids us in attuning to the cycles of the Earth, but there is more to it than just that. Attuning with the Earth also means to love and care for the planet on which you live. Strive to aid the Earth in life. Living Green, planting trees, aiding nature and its inhabitants all help you to attune yourself with the Earth. If we learn to attune ourselves sand aid in taking care of our planet than Mother Gaia will see to it that we are taken care of as well.
10: Breathe and Eat Correctly
Remember that old adage "The Body is a Temple"? As we talked about before with article 13 the Goddess and God inhabit us all, just as they do all creatures. Taking care of the body by incorporating healthy living plays a part in honoring the Goddess and God. This does not mean in any way that you have to live on nuts, twigs and berries! It only means that you are being cautious of what you put into your body. Be aware of what you ingest and how it is going to affect your body and its systems.
11: Exercise the Body
This falls into the article above in a stronger fashion. Not only taking care of the body through eating correctly but also through exercise. It is the strength of the body that aids in the strength of the spirit and mind. Doing these can aid as well in achieving the balance from article 5.
We are all aware of the importance of meditation. It helps us to know what is self and what is not self as well as to connect us with our Higher Self and Guides. Meditation is exercise for the mind and spirit. Meditating in addition to the two articles above become the base foundations for achieving the balance in life. Finding the time to relax the mind can aid us in so many ways and becomes an important aspect to living.
These are the 13 Preambles of Wicca. They are guidelines to follow in order to experience life to the fullest and attune oneself with the spiritual world as well as the physical. Work slowly when following the Preambles, don't rush them or jump ahead, or you will only cheat yourself in the long run. Take each for what it is and learn the lessons that they have to teach you fully.
About the Author:
Rev. Thomas Moore is High Priest of The Coven of L.I.G.H.T in South West Florida, as well as a professional Psychic and Healer. He teaches a variety of classes in the metaphysical field as well as Wicca and is the Store Manager for Starchild Books in Port Charlotte Florida.