This was posted to a group I am on, and is being reposted here with permission of the author. It struck me as something every person - Pagan, Witch, Christian, Muslim. Heathen, Wiccan, Buddhist, Atheist, or on any other path - should do. I've said before, and truly believe, you can't make an informed decision, especially about something as important as faith, without all the information. That includes knowing yourself above all else. This is a great exercise to help you "know yourself." I hazard to say, if you are completely honest you will discover things about the person you live with 24/7/365 that you may not have been aware of. And be prepared - you may not LIKE all you find...
I am going to be brief in my column this month, but I am going to offer a snapshot to every practitioner of where they currently are on their respective paths. There can be only one measurement device to truly determine strengths and weaknesses, fact and fiction, knowledge or plagiarism.
Every practitioner of the craft should write a statement of beliefs at least once each year. This statement should be comprehensive and exhaustive, encompassing every aspect of individual beliefs and values. I am offering here a synopsis of what may be included in this statement, albeit not a complete listing as this will vary with each individual. The purpose for this statement is to measure where the individual is, what new knowledge and experience has been gained that changes previous statements, and it will act as a roadmap to illuminate areas requiring further experience and contemplation.
I caution the reader that what you are consigning to paper will carry a lot of weight in your future life; it will make other dreams and goals obsolete and bring new vistas before your mind’s eye. It is a daunting task but one which is necessary for growth and realization of potential. You are an individual so make this your own. Go into the deepest recesses of mind and intuition for answers, don’t take the easy way out and quote your favorite author or teacher. The finished product will be a valuable addition to your book of shadows.
Why am I here? What is my purpose for existing? Is my realization of life a biological coincidence or is there a higher, manifest purpose for me to be here at this time? Where do I fit into the grand scheme of things, or where do I fit into nature and the Universe?
Is this my first time here, or have I been here before? What are my gut feelings on the cycle, reincarnation, pre-life, post-life, Summerland or oblivion? Did I plan in advance what I am to experience in this life or is all experience simply chance?
Who are the Gods, and where did they come from? Did we create the Gods out of need or did they create us? Do the Gods have power? If the Gods have power, why is it my right to tap into that power, and under what circumstances should I do so? Should I revere one God or Goddess, one pantheon, or is it my right to choose any deity for a specific purpose or ritual? Do I use the Gods or do they use me? Is communing with the Gods a one-way affair, or do I return what I have taken?
What are my beliefs on the Law of Power, the Law of Three, the rede and karma? Are these guidelines or are they concrete rules by which I must live? Are there exceptions, and if so, how have they applied to me?
What is power and where does it come from? Does power come from within me, from nature, from the web of life, or from the Gods? How and when should I use power?
Do I have any gifts that define me? Am I different from those around me, and how? Are the gifts I have meant to be used for the good of others, or for myself? How do I use gifts of intuition, divination or healing? Where do these gifts come from, and why do I have them?
What is important to me? Do I have burning questions that require answers, no matter the time or cost? Am I willing to settle for the writing and experience of someone else, or must I arrive at my own findings through experimentation and experience? What moves have I made in order to answer the questions that I have? Do I, or am I willing to invest what is needed to answer my questions?
What is my focus? Is my focus where it should be, or do mundane issues side-track me? Am I able to follow through a chosen thoughtform to its conclusion or do I vacillate from form to form, unable to completely invest my whole will and desire into the path I am pursuing?
How do I elect to allow others to effect me? Do I give others my power through anger, hatred or envy? Do I dwell on things that are not in my control? Does past experience thwart my future growth?
What do I want, and how will I achieve my desires? How do I pursue goals, and are there better avenues to reach them? Do I have a plan of action in place, or do I allow the chips to fall where they may?
How much stock do I put into what is offered by others? Do I take the words of others verbatim, or do I weigh and decide for myself the truth and value of what I have heard and read?
What I have offered here is but the tip of the iceberg. If you are serious about your path and craft, this should only stand as a brief outline of possible areas that you will cover in your statement of beliefs. The task may seem daunting, but the rewards will be tangible. If I can be of assistance, please contact me, but I will not and cannot answer your questions for you, I do not want that much power in your life.
Once you have completed your statement of beliefs, you will be amazed at the clarity with which you can view your path and the moves which it demands. It will help bring you surety and resolve by defining not only who and where you are, but where you want to go and how to get there.
Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.