copyright Thorn (BMW) last update June 2002

VALUES (new Jun 2002)

WHATS IN A NAME (new Jun2002)




Gewessi What's Gewessi?

A Gewessi is a person who honours the old gods of Britain, the spirit of the land that can be found in the landscape, for those prepared to look.

A spiritual outlook which honours nature and which recognises many divine beings, both Goddesses, Gods and the Fair Folk. Venerating nature isn't just a diffuse awareness of a greater power but includes a strong sense of the spirit of the place, of the sanctity of particular locations, and working with the local & national hero-cults Maybe it was better said by Rich Westwood in Moonshine 1 Nov 86:

"Paganism is the name we give to the religion/philosophy native to this land. The religion of Alba, Kymru, Eirean & Albion, of Mannin & Kernow. It is not so much a religion in the Christian sense of the word - it is a celebration of the land. Of the Earth that feeds us - of the Trees and Plants that give us air that is fresh and heals our hurts. Of the sun and moon that give us energy and growth.

It is the religion of the Land - and the Powers and energies inherent in the land. It is the recognition of the Godforce - the Great Spirit - in its emanations around us. That force is purer and rawer than when emanated through man - be he the Son of God or not. There are no prophets, Guru's or Masters to interpret the word of the spirit for us. We are all recognised as a son or daughter of spirit. The aim is for each to recognise and act upon that quality in ourselves.

Spirit hums and vibrates all around us - it feeds and clothes us. It heals and can balance us. No-one except you can tell you how it should be - what you should be doing. The responsibility for your life is yours alone. The tree will speak to you if you care to have respect for it and listen. The sky, the thunder the birds and the animals, the rocks. All are your teachers, and will teach you directly of the power of spirit. If you are capable of hearing.

Call these powers what you will - names do not matter, and neither do images. The Kelts, when they came upon Imperialist Classicist Greece & Rome, laughed at nations that needed images in their temples to remind them of what their gods looked like. For they had forgotten, or never knew, the essence, the Spirit, and the Kelts had not.

For the Kelt was not ever divorced from the Great Spirit of All. They had no need for temples and churches of stone - a space set aside as sacred implies the profanity of all else. This is not truly a pagan way - all is sacred and is recognised as such. All is an emanation of Spirit and so all is Sacred and Holy."

There is one point where I disagree with Rich Westwood, in his assertion that 'names do not matter'. They do. You won't get very far understanding the power of the Oak if you insist on calling it a pine nor will you understand the Spirit of this land by accessing an Egyptian goddess..

When Rich was writing in 1986 Paganism did, or still had the potential to, describe the religion/philosophy native to this land. In 2001 Paganism has come to be an umbrella term covering a number of different spiritual traditions that mix and match Eastern, Western, & Northern cultures (I'm personally not aware that the Southern - Aborigines & Maori- cultures are yet incorporated in the mix) to suit an individuals personal mood of the moment.

Any discussion of what paganism means seems to ends up with as many pagans saying it doesn't fit as agreeing it does.

Paganism isn't a single religion, it's an umbrella term used to cover a number of paths/faiths/religions that share certain concepts in common (though no one group will necessarily hold to all of them, they tend to respect the differences).

I therefore offer up a new name for pagans trying to follow the native pre-Christian faith of Britain:

The name Gewessi comes from a British tribe

Gewessi Values.What I find missing from most pagan paths are any values by which to live in this world. Apart of course from the Wiccan rede, which many pagans after examining in good conscience reject as unworkable.

I think in part, this is because we are still in the main a religion of converts we come to paganism with a set of values based on the mainstream culture in which we live. Then throw in a touch of eastern karmic debt to scare people into 'behaving' So I'm putting a set of values at the core of Gewessi, they are I believe primarily Celtic values:

          1. Courage - seek excellence in all endeavours
          2. Creativity - Every time you wish or want, you plant a seed
          3. Faith - Nature is a manifestation of Spirit and so all is Sacred and Holy
          4. Honesty - Mean what you say, Say what you mean
          5. Honour - Always keep your word.
          6. Hospitality - Always respect others and their rights
          7. Justice - Seek always the path of 'right'
          8. Loyalty - Never betray a trust.
          9. Responsibility - When you make a choice, you change the future


    Nine words the Gewessi prime directive make: "Walk softly & carry a big stick de dum"