In the name of Eunomia, Keeper of Rules…
We start, and continually come back around to, the gods the Order was named for. The Horae, or the Hours, are Greek goddess of both the cycle of the year and the natural order of society. I am not a scholar and Classical stuff is really not my thing, but you can read a good deal about them on the Horae on Theio.
Monasticism, in general, is a way of living day to day deeply in harmony with whatever your order sees as the foundational elements of their religion. Life is structured to cut away what does not directly serve that purpose, to remove the various compromises made by normal people of faith who have day jobs and family responsibilities. Each order carves a slightly different path in that regard, some focusing on the study of scripture, some on charity, some on asceticism. When we initially developed the concept of the Order of the Horae, we had to decide where we would carve that path, knowing that this was only one possibility among many.
We talked to others who were exploring Pagan monasticism, and we quickly realized we were specifically not interested in a Pagan commune where everyone just sort of does their own thing, and does occasional rituals together. There is a place for that, but we were envisioning something more structured. Something with Rules. And yet, we felt that rules need to be kept in balance with other forces. That is really at the heart of polytheism – that powerful forces are balanced by other powerful forces, and that is what makes a coherent whole. So what are the forces that balance Rules?
It was this line of inquiry that led us to the Horae. Three Greek goddesses, Rules, Justice, and Peace, with the idea that all three are needed together, in balance. Well, you could philosophize for ages over the that statement, argue for or against each one and come to many different conclusions, but that isn’t what we did. We had already established that the foundational concept of this Order would be the turning of the seasons, the cycle of the year, so when we found this set of gods, linking the natural turning of the seasons to structured human world of an ordered society, we knew we had found our keystone.
So, we start with Rules, Eunomia. Not even specific rules at this point in the discussion, just the concept of Rules. The concept that we could come together to live in community, and decide that we want Rules in our lives, Rules that help keep us on our spiritual path and Rules that define our social contract. The concept that Rules are not merely a stifling cage we must fight our way free from. Paganism is, at this time, very much a counter-culture movement, full of rebellion and rejection of authority. A lot of people need that, and they thrive in that free-flowing, largely undefined atmosphere. The Order of the Horae is not intended to suit everyone. It is just defining a specific path, and that path involves Rules.
The line continues:
In the name of Eunomia, Keeper of Rules, Horae of the Upraised Hand, I am bound by the Law of the Universe.
There is more to say about the rest of the line, but I’ll get back to it when this line comes around again. This is enough for now.