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The Dangers of Oaths

It has been a curious observation over many years, how oaths amongst the various branches of the folkway are often sworn with good intentions but sometimes have very undesirable after affects.  At the time what seems like a good idea can years later seem like a mistake and regret upon swearing the oath soon follows.

At some point you will be approached to swear an oath to an organization or person. Before you do that be fully aware that the oath last a life time unless broken by the other party thus the oath becomes dissolved. There are many different kinds of oaths some are kindred oaths and some are of a personal nature such as blood brother or blood sister oaths. Regardless of the type of oath all are and should be treated with great respect and with reserve when it comes time to swear an oath.

Some may be thinking I am saying never swear an oath because at sometime it will no longer beneficial, that is not what I am really saying, I am saying be careful when approached to swear an oath because it will bind you to that organization or person, which in turn may do something that will bring dishonour, strife or judgment upon you via the oath.  Often is the case when x swears an oath y but 3 years later y swears an oath to z, who does not like x. Because y has oath to x and to z it creates strife which there is no escape without hardship, such situations will result in the oath to either x or to z being broken and thus dissolved but not before disgrace and dishonour is shared by x, y and z.

This situation also occurs in organizations, if x swears a kindred oath to the Y kindred to be a member x should also be aware of any oaths the kindred has taken to be a member of a Z national organization. Because of the oath that bounds the Y kindred to the Z national organization, the x member would be bound to the Z national organization via the Y kindred oath.

It doesn’t take long to see how a spider web of oath to oath can occur thus resulting in conflicts and subsequently unwanted allegiances to organizations and individuals. This is so clearly illustrated in Theodism, where a þrall would swear an oath to their lord who had sworn an oath to a higher level and so on; soon you would have every one swearing an oath to everyone; how is that possible you may say? Because the þrall is oath bound to the lord and the lord is oath bound to the regional organization which that is oath bound to the kingdom by proxy everyone is oath to each other. It creates a very large mess of unwanted consequences.

So remember when you are approached by an organization or person to swear an oath to what the full consequences of that action are.

Noil

Posted in Forn Seðr.


One Response

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  1. Hrafnmann says

    I think most of what Noil said should go without saying if any heathen has spent their time studying the lore a bit. I smidgen of reading will reveal that oath-taking is a very serious business for they can form the wealful bonds of strength, or the fell fetters of doom. An oath is a real thing, physically and metaphysically, since once it is spoken it weaves its way into wyrd thus affecting countless situations in unforeseen ways with real physical implications. It is not just some air flowing from your mouth easily dispelled when inconvenient. An oath will be ever present in one’s decisions and actions, and its presence should always be foremost in mind. It will be the mete-wand of all that one does. Failure in this vigilance will often result in the skeins wyrd tripping one up with an ever increasing frequency as wholesome ties turn to bitter fetters. There is only one path when a person takes an oath and that is adhering to it. Many unheedful of the whole process and who willy-nilly make multiple oaths or engaging in layers of them, will soon feel the ponderous weight of their wearing. These folk should not be bewildered as to why things seem to be going wrong all the time, or why situations become impossible; yet some in unblissful ignorance, curse everything but themselves. Oaths must be held with respect for their power. They can be amazingly potent and enriching things that manifest in various expressions of strength, for that is their intent.

    ~Hrafnmann



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