Wisdom from the World's religions inspires our ethical and spiritual life.
Principles and Guidance: A basic definition of wisdom is the use of knowledge. It is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one's actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action.
The ancient Greeks considered wisdom to be an important virtue, personified as the Goddesses Metis and Athena. To Socrates and Plato, philosophy was literally the love of Wisdom.
Wisdom is also important within Christianity. Jesus emphasized it. Paul the Apostle, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, argued that there is both secular and divine wisdom, urging Christians to pursue the latter. Prudence, which is intimately related to wisdom, became one of the four cardinal virtues of Catholicism. The Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas considered wisdom to be the father of all virtues.
In the Inuit tradition, developing wisdom was the aim of teaching. An Inuit Elder said that a person became wise when they could see what needed to be done and do it successfully without being told what to do.
Buddhist scriptures teach that a wise person is endowed with good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct. A wise person does actions that are unpleasant to do but give good results, and doesn’t do actions that are pleasant to do but give bad results. Wisdom is the antidote to the self-chosen poison of ignorance.
In the Thirteen Virtues of a Witch, wisdom has nothing to do with education. You cannot judge people's wisdom by how far in school they did or didn’t get. Wisdom comes from life experience. It is the best tool for giving people good advice and helping them out of tricky situations. Wisdom is the ability to see what is for the best and when or when not to act.
In Norse mythology, the God Odin is especially known for his wisdom, often acquired through various hardships and ordeals involving pain and self-sacrifice. In one instance he plucked out an eye and offered it to Mimir, guardian of the well of knowledge and wisdom, in return for a drink from the well. In another famous account, Odin hanged himself for nine nights from Yggdrasil, the World Tree that unites all the realms of existence, suffering from hunger and thirst and finally wounding himself with a spear until he gained the knowledge of runes for use in casting powerful magic. He was also able to acquire the mead of poetry from the giants, a drink of which could grant the power of a scholar or poet, for the benefit of Gods and mortals alike.
The Ansuz rune A tells of increased awareness of what the future holds. Linked to Odin, it is a rune of inspiration, wisdom, aspirations and communication. Promises spiritual renewal and progress, clear vision and good health.
Air is the element of the East, connected to the soul and the breath of life. If you’re doing a working related to communication, wisdom or the powers of the mind, Air is the element to focus on.
The Six-Fold Goal is another guideline discussed in A Book of Troth by Thorsson and was adopted by certain Asatru groups. The Six-Fold Goals are: Right, Wisdom, Might, Harvest, Frith and Love.
Mimir is a figure in Norse mythology renowned for his knowledge. Mimir is the wise one and Odin's uncle. He guards the well of wisdom under Yggdrasil. Once he is decapitated, Odin gets wisdom from the severed head.
Snotra is a Goddess associated virtue, wisdom, self-discipline and justice. She is always ready to let folk know what is fitting at any given time. Often called on by the lady of the house when men are feasting too boisterously. Snotra is one of Frigg's attendants.
Odin is a major God in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. He is associated with war and death, but also wisdom, poetry and the hunt.
Vor is a Goddess associated with wisdom. Vor is the Goddess of marriage and faithfulness between man and woman from whom nothing could be hidden because she is so wise. She is wise and alert, and she misses nothing.
"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." - Albert Einstein