Sep 5

Sacred Oathbreaking

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is no caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come.”

This is one of the things I love best about the Unitarian Universalism: that every seeker, every gypsy—everyone is joyously welcome.
We don’t often sing the part about oath-breaking, but they did at 2013′s UU General Assembly. In many pagan traditions, Oath-Breaker is considered one of the worst epithets to be leveled at a practitioner.
Is it better, right, more enlightened to keep an Oath for oath’s sake? I imagine each one of us has a different answer.
I have consciously, conspicuously become an oath-breaker.
Sometimes, just like in faerie stories, we can make wicked vows that tie us to negative or outmoded actions and thoughts. For much of my life, I have proudly proclaimed that I “do the things I say I will do,” and often, I have done those things at great peril to my Souls. It was a mask of “honor”, when I would’ve been more appropriately dressed in the nakedness of vulnerability. An honest oath breaker was more free than a crippled Knight Champion: I only saw that when I broke what Rumi calls the “glass cover of my heart.” There is, as he says, no fixing that, and I delight in its destruction.
Sometimes, we must draw a line in the sand—not out of arrogance or spite—to preserve our integrity, our well-being, or even our lives. The Huntsman spares Snow White, even though the Queen has bade him to kill her. The Uninvited Faerie leaves an escape clause for Beauty’s slumber.
For me, breaking a wicked vow can be a breaking through. Many of us would not be reading these words if we had not broken vows to the faiths of our forebears, or parted company from churches we initially chose. Still others broke relationships with family and loved ones because we were not safe there. As seekers of truth, it is our task to delve deeply: to unearth the treasures of our hearts, and to find the thickets of of brambles that impede our progress toward Bliss.
Whoever you are, wherever you’ve been, no matter how many oaths you have broken, come, come, yet again, come.

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