Reprinted with permission from "Wiccan Warrior" published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. Copyright c 2000 Kerr Cuhulain. All rights reserved.

Each person has the Warrior inside of them. It is a personal decision as to whether you use this archetype or not. Making a connection with the Warrior inside of you is a way of accessing energy and magic that can bring many positive changes into your life. Jungian psychoanalyst Robert Moore put it this way:

"A man who appropriately accesses the archetypal Warrior draws upon enormous resources that enable him to live an empowered life in the service of his fellow creatures... When the Warrior is on-line, we feel a rush of blood and adrenaline, a quickening heartbeat, and a sense of something momentous about to happen. We feel mobilized for action, ready to charge forward to meet life head-on. Our daily concerns fall away from us and we are swept up into a kind of ecstacy in which we see ourselves and the world with a sharpened focus and clarity. Hidden rage is transmuted into energized courage. We come into touch with the great mystery of life and death, and we feel a strange sense of pleasure in the midst of pain."

What Sun Tzu refers to here is accepting reality and working with it. This has always been the true Warrior's way. The most important aspect of a Warrior's perception of reality is honest self-evaluation. "Dishonesty to oneself is bad discipline." I accept my limitations, and either make them work for me or do what I can to turn them into advantages. Each person has natural qualities and abilities as well as certain faults and limitations.

The path of the Wiccan Warrior connects martial disciplines with spirituality. There are many ancient precedents for connections of this sort. One only needs to look at the Asian martial arts to see how the philosophies of Zen Buddhism and Confucianism have been incorporated into them. To incorporate Wiccan philosophies into the Warrior tradition is not difficult. One can find many similarities in comparing modern Wiccan precepts with ancient martial philosophies.

For example, the symbol of the Wiccan religion is the five-pointed star or pentagram. Each point of the pentagram represents one of the five basic elements that form the building blocks of reality: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Musashi's famous Book of Five Rings (Gorin No Sho), a book of Warrior philosophy written in the early sixteenth century, is organized according to these same five elements: Chi No Maki (The Earth Book), Mizu No Maki (The Book of Water), Hi No Maki (The Fire Book), Kaze No Maki (The Wind Book), and Ku No Maki (The Book of Emptiness). These five elements are the "five rings" referred to in the title of Musashi's work. Centuries earlier, Sun Tzu listed five essential considerations for the Warrior: "The five things are the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership, and discipline."

For every strength there is a weakness and vice versa. A Wiccan Warrior recognizes the totality of these characteristics and puts them to use in the most appropriate way. You may be a cook, a teacher, a painter, or whatever other occupation you care to name. Every Warrior is different. "It is necessary to polish your own path."

And this is the way it should be. True Warriors are realists. They take what they've got and they use it effectively. Those familiar with Al-Anon's Twelve-Step Program will recognize some of the steps here:

4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

10. Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

As a Wiccan Warrior I've taken responsibility for my life. I strive to create my life spontaneously rather than letting it be determined by my past, using the principles and techniques of Wicca. What I am is what I've forged with the energy I've raised and the magic that I've worked. I cause change in conformity with my will.

What does taking responsibility mean for the Wiccan Warrior? In Wicca I found that there was effectively only one law, called "The Wiccan Rede." "Rede" is a Middle English term which comes from the root word "raedan," which means "to interpret." In the second edition of Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary it is defined as, "1. counsel; advice. 2. plan, scheme. 3. a story, tale. 4. an interpretation."

A modern English translation of the Wiccan Rede would be: "Do what you will, as long as it harms no one." The Wiccan Rede is a serious responsibility. It teaches us that every action has its price. It calls upon the Wiccan to examine every one of their actions to determine their implications to others. It calls for a high level of self-discipline from every Witch. The basis of law in Western society is extensive sets of rules and regulations against which most people judge their conduct, a relatively simple process by comparison.

It is not an unstructured call to self-examination like the Rede.