There seems to be two groups of people out there. There are those who want to be Knights and there are those who want to tell people that they are Knights. Those in the first category dedicate themselves to the precepts and code of chivalry or our Order and through hard work and discipline become Knights. I recognized these two groups when I wrote the “Challenge” at the beginning of the Armoring ritual for the Order of Scáthach. The Challenge reads:
“I can see in some of your eyes that haunted look that tells me that you’ve been victims. You’ve been set upon, bruised, harassed, suffered setbacks. That’s a terrible thing. But if you came to this place to claim the title “Victim” and expect to have us feel sorry for you, then you’ve come to the wrong place. You may as well turn around and leave. Yet if you came here to empower yourself, to take charge of your life, to say “Never Again!”, then you are very welcome. We Warriors are here to show you how.
“And some of you have that inward look which tells me that you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror. You consider yourself weak or flawed or insignificant. That’s a difficult thing to deal with, to be sure. But if you came here to rub shoulders with us Warriors, hoping that you’d gain some respect or honor by association only, then I suggest you get lost. We’ve no time for that. But if you’ve come here to reinvent yourself, to rise from your own ashes like the Phoenix, to be glorious, then you are very welcome indeed. We are here to witness your triumphs and cheer you on.
“And some of you have fear in your eyes. You’ve found the world to be a chaotic and dangerous place. But if you came here hoping that we Warriors will stand between you and that scary world, then think again. Yet if you came here to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, face your fears and not back down, then you’ll find yourself amongst friends. We Warriors are here to stand with you and watch your back.
“At this point in many rituals the priestess or priest pokes you in the chest with an edged weapon and says things about it being “better to rush upon this” than enter with fear and demand secret passwords.... There are no passwords that will get you through life. What you need to enter here is not a secret. To enter this Circle you need to bring seven things: Loyalty, Justice, Sincerity, Courtesy, Compassion, Courage and Honor. If you have these, then enter...”
The reason that I wrote that was because of people in the second category: People who wish to call themselves Knights but aren’t willing to make any effort to earn that title. The Order of Scáthach is not a place for “victims” to seek sympathy and feel sorry for themselves. It is a place of healing and empowerment. The Order of Scáthach will not be used by people who want to sit around on their ass and wave a membership card around to impress others. Honor is earned. The Order of Scáthach is sworn to defend but has little patience for members who won’t make an effort to defend themselves. To us, the terms Warrior and Knight aren't just titles: They are terms that describe what we really are.
The Order of Scáthach isn’t a club, it is an order of Wiccan knighthood. It isn’t for wannabes, its for Warriors.