This past Sunday at Yule, I experienced something I’d like to share. I was pacing my Circle, trying to remember what we did back on Aelfheim for the Winter Solstice. I remembered that we saw it as the night to speak to the stars, since it was the longest night, and the stars were out for the longest time during the year. We used to look to the stars for inspiration, wisdom, and guidance. We believed that it was to the stars we returned in between lives.
So, in that spirit, I asked the stars for something I could share with my people. I received a memory. There was someone I knew, of dark hair and sallow skin, who approached me one evening after a dance. He told me that we had to crush the Darkness and was angry that we weren’t doing enough or moving quick enough. He got all worked up and suggested methods which involved dishonesty and deceit. His manner was frightening, I had never known this person to ever think about anything even midly dishonorable.
I tried to tell him that what he was suggesting was wrong, that honor shouldn’t be put aside for anything. After all, corruption was a symptom of the darkness we were trying to fight. By using the methods of the corrupt, I asked, how were we different? He argued that if we used those methods to fight the darkness, instead of to help it, we would be different.
I said that maybe he had been corrupted by the dark, and that he should examine his motivations. He challenged me at this remark to an honor duel to submission. I accepted, and won. In my anger, I suggested he go to the Temple of Light, which was dedicated to healing and purification. He stomped off there.
A few days later I paid him a visit at the temple. He was furious, because while he had free roam of the temple, he wasn’t being let out. He was even more riled up and less reasoning then the evening in the ballroom. Soon after this, the priest/esses decided he really needed to be purified.
The next thing I remember is that he was on a stone table undergoing said purification. The priest/esses were showing him, in his mind, a mirror image of the state of his soul, and how it would look if he continued on his current path. He screamed, and writhed, and groaned. Eventually, after they finished showing him these images, he arose from the table, his manner subdued.
He went to see the King, and tell him of the experience. He warned the King that the temptation to use any method, even a dishonorable one, in such an important struggle was strong. He urged the King to tell our people that no matter how logical it seems at the time, that we must not use dishonorable methods in fighting the dark, for in doing so we corrupt ourselves and become like our enemy, and further the dark’s ambitions.
The moral of the story is that the ends do not justify the means.