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Ethics 1, Question 10

The Nine Virtues described in the ADF Dedicant Path are proposed as a starting point for individuals embracing a value system inspired by traditions of the past. Utilizing the ADF nine virtues, develop a Code of Ethics for your use as ADF Clergy. Describe how you derived this code from the Nine Virtues and how you would apply this Code. (No minimum word count for the Code; however the Code must contain a minimum of five principles; 300 words minimum for the description)


This code of ethics is one attempt at creating a personal, Neo-Pagan code that can be used to determine reactions to situations that may come up. Based on ADF's Nine Virtues and expanded into a set of six principles that can help one determine right action in situations where ethics are somewhat unclear.


  1. Rta - Understand what is right in the cosmos, through ritual with others and individual work. This also involves understanding the rhythms of nature and the place of the self within those rhythms, as well as how the self affects those rhythms.
  2. Modern Understanding of Ancient Ways - Knowledge and adaptation of the ways of our Ancestors, and working to ensure that those ways are translated properly into the modern world. Rather than seeking to follow the paths of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers blindly, we seek to understand them, take the paths that are right for us as modern people, and then forge our own paths when our paths can be better traveled in new ways.
  3. Continuing Education - Continuing development, seeking and responding to criticism. I will train others in the paths that I have traveled and marked while seeking to broaden them for myself at the same time. I will not complain about revisiting or re-working things I have already completed, with the attitude that I can always learn more from repeating even the most basic of tasks.
  4. Fairness - I will seek to ensure that others are not unfairly damaged by my work and will treat all people as fellow humans first.
  5. Independence - I will be self-reliant and avoid conflicts of interest, understand that others have power over me and be vigilant for the signs of abuse of that power. I will work to get places on my own, not via favored treatment of any sort.
  6. Responsibility - I will accept responsibility for my actions, and disclose anything that might cause problems or even danger to others in my actions. I will be realistic in any claims made, and seek the input of others when it is needed. I will minimize harm to others in any way possible, and maintain responsibility to the people who trust that their discourses with me are secret and given in confidence.

Description of Code

I spent a lot of time looking at various codes of ethics online, many of which were simply too difficult for me to understand how to apply them at a glance (or a couple of days of reading through them). Two stood out as solid and useful, though: the Code of Ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists and the IEEE Code of Ethics. These were simple, straightforward codes that made a lot of sense and didn't have the added burden of being complicated or designed for a corporation or being watered down with a need to focus on the legalities of the profession. Simply put, they focused on ethics, not laws or covering one's own bases.

Because this was a code of ethics for a clergyperson, I felt it important that the code would reflect certain basic characteristics of ADF's ritual tenets, particularly the idea of a cosmic order that all things fit into. Starting, of course, with the Nine Virtues, I applied them as follows:

  1. Piety informs the Rta principle, as does wisdom and vision.
  2. Wisdom and vision play heavily into the modern understanding of the ancient ways
  3. Fertility is strong in continuing education, as is wisdom
  4. Integrity, hospitality and moderation influence fairness
  5. Courage and perseverance are strongly present in independence
  6. Integrity and piety are the key players in responsibility

This code focuses the Nine Virtues a bit more. I have generally been working through the Nine Virtues by applying each one in turn. This sort of format condenses and changes the Nine Virtues into a more relevant form to every day life, and it also makes the code simpler to convey to others. One of the hopes, I think, with any code of ethics is to inspire those who subscribe to it to reach new heights within that code, and that is what I hope will happen with my own use.

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