The foremost trait among our ancestors was that of honor. As with our ancestors, honor begins with the individual and extends outward to family, clan, humankind in general, to the wildlife that populated the forest, skies and the seas and to the earth itself. To us, honor includes respect, integrity and honesty in action, thought and deed. Take nothing that is not yours. Speak only the truth and keep your word. Defend the rights of others as you would defend your own. Honor all creation, including the self. One cannot live an honorable life without love for the two are inseparable. If you love, honor is a natural result. If you honor, you do so through love.
Hand in hand with the honor due all creation is not only the right, but also the responsibility for the individual to live his or her life in according to free will. There are some who take this as a law of permissiveness and a license for personal gratification with no thought of responsibility. This short-sighted view overlooks the all important caveat, "So it harm none." The honor required by the first law is amplified here and we are reminded that the right of personal freedom also has its responsibilities. We are directed to take control of our lives and exercise our own free will in such a manner that we bring harm to none. The term none is all-inclusive. It encompasses not only our fellow humankind, but also the creatures of the earth, our environment and, perhaps most importantly, it includes ourselves.
There is another side of this coin that is often overlooked. That is, the Law does not preclude self-defense. We believe quite the contrary. If someone is harming you, you have not only the right, but also the responsibility to stop that harm. If others are allowed to harm you and yours, it is not only violating your right to self-determination, it is also encouraging them to continue to harm anyone else whom they see as vulnerable. It is in your best interest to stop them and their best interest to be stopped.
Elsewhere this seemingly Universal edict is sometimes known as the three-fold Law. The ancient Irish view of numerology was a bit different than that generally seen in the western world today, however. The bottom line is that whatever you project into the universe by thought, action or deed will return to you in just measure. This law simply reminds the individual that actions bring reflection back into one's own life. Here we reap the harvest of the first and second law. If we have walked our own path honorably with love and not brought harm to others, the returns are positive. If we have not lived honorably and have brought harm to others, the return is negative. In either case, the return is in full measure. Not only will we lose ill-gotten gains, we will also forfeit eineach - our own honor price above and beyond an equal return.
Here again we see the threads of love and honor of the first two laws carried forward. The edict is to grant to our brother and sister the same honor and respect as we demand from others. Just as we have the right and responsibility for choosing our own path, so do those that share planet earth with us. No one of us has the right to judge whether the person next door is living a proper life and walking a proper path, just as no one else has the right to judge our actions - as long as we bring no harm to others. Most cultures recognized a similar spiritual law. Native Americans taught "Let me not judge my brother until I have walked a mile in his moccasins." If we live in honor, we cannot live in judgement. All paths are equally sacred; yours, mine and the other persons. No path is more sacred than another.
We do not envision a deity who sits high above dictating our lives, judging our actions and ready to strike us down if we err. We believe that we are all of Spirit and within each of us is an integral part of the All-consciousness, or Greater Spirit. To us, the Gods are representatives of that All-consciousness of which we are a part.
They represent aspects of the Supreme Spirit in a manner that we can comprehend. So when the Law states "...give due reverence..." it means due reverence to all existence - including ones self, our fellow humankind, the creatures of this earth and our total environment.
Now what is meant by the word "revere?" If we look to the dictionary, we find the word means to respect and show deferential honor to. Thus we must respect and honor all consciousness, all existence, all creation, This takes the Second Law, which in essence is a Law of non-intervention, one step further. Not only must we not bring harm, we must also respect and revere, to love and protect all forms of being.
The latter part of this Law speaks of obedience to the "Will of the Gods" and perhaps may seem a bit abstract. After all, what is the will of the Gods? The answer can not be found engraved in stone, nor on the lips of some wise man. It can not be found in some musty document for the Will of the Gods has not been written. If we are one with the Gods, as we should be, their will can only be found within the core of our own essence. The Primary Laws that we teach are but a compendium of the basic teachings of our ancestors as one mere mortal has been able to reconstruct them. They reflect the core of our teachings, though perhaps imperfectly. Thus, they are not in themselves the full will of the Gods. We must turn inward, we must do our Pathworkings and commune with our Gods. We must ask - then we must listen - if we are to know.