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Spiritual Knight is so much more than just a fanciful title to give to one self, it is a new way of life.
I began my own internalized quest some time ago. It began with a question and continues on with the same one...what more is there to my life and what can I do to ease the lives of those around me. I used to joke and call myself "Under Dog" like the cartoon character on tv. This poor dog goes around like a spoof off of Superman, trying to do all the right things in life and yet has a horrible time doing them. He is not the natural hero, just a dog with a really baggy flying costume. For the longest time, I too felt as if I were trying to wear someone else's suit that just was too big, or I was too little to fit into it and do it justice. It wasn't until years later that I figured out the secret. You need to make your own suit, based on what you can do and not on what you can't ever achieve.
The steps for me were not easy and I don't expect that anyone who is trying to find themselves will have an easy go of it. But it does help if you are a spiritual person. I don't mean a falling on your knees and seeing the Divine in a glowing halo of light before you each day as you have your coffee. I mean, do you feel and know that you are connected with the Divine? Do you see yourself as a daughter or son of a particular God/Goddess/Aspect of life or nature? Then, look at what it is that drives you. Is it the need to help people, or the need to be incharge of everything? Do you want to help others to do for themselves or fix everyone? Can you see yourself as one who is guided by the Divine or by ego? These may sound like harsh questions, but the reality of life is even harsher. We are humans after all.
As a Spiritual Knight I have found my calling of a person who is put on this Earth to help people in small ways. I'm not a philanthropist, nor am I a counselor, but I am a human with empathy and charity and love. It is those values that assist me and keep me on my tracks.
The terms are often confused, and often needlessly distinguished. The term knighthood comes from the English word knight (from Old English cniht, boy, servant, cf. German Knecht) while chivalry comes from the French chevalerie, from chevalier or knight (Low Latin caballus for horse). In modern English, chivalry means the ideals, virtues, or characteristics of knights. The phrases "orders of chivalry" and "orders of knighthood" are essentially synonymous.
The German translation for "knight" is Ritter (literally, rider). The Latin term in the Middle Ages was miles, since a knight was by definition a professional soldier. In modern times, the Classical Latin term eques was preferred.
The chivalric ideals continued to live on, perhaps precisely because the reality of knighthood had disappeared, and a free rein was given to romanticizing. The French king François Ier insisted on being knighted on the battlefield of his first victory at Marignano in 1515. Tournaments, pas d'armes were favorite entertainment at the French court of the 16th century. More and more elaborate suits of armor were forged for pure display, in increasingly baroque imitations of earlier models. Ariosto's poetic retelling of the crusades popularized the figures of Orlando and Ruggiero and extended the knightly myth for another 200 years. In the 19th century, when no one read Ariosto anymore, Sir Walter Scott and Romanticism took up the cause.
Orders of Knighthood
The origins of orders of knighthood are in the Crusades. In the Latin Orient, a new institution emerged, in which knights (professional soldiers) associated themselves under a strict, quasi-monastic rule of life, for the purpose of protecting pilgrims and defending Christian conquests in the Holy Land. In the 14th century, just as the original military-monastic orders were searching for a new mission after the loss of the Holy Land, kings began creating orders of their own, modelled in part on these original orders, but with a different purpose, to bind their nobility to themselves. Still later, in the late 16th century, these monarchical orders were imitated in form by the new orders of merit which became common throughout Europe.
Because each institution tried to use the prestige of the previous one by imitating it, the term "order of knighthood" has been passed on and is now used for modern awards and decorations which are neither orders nor composed of knights. In modern society, only a very few orders survive from the times of the Crusades, and most "orders of knighthood" awarded by sovereigns or governments (such as the English Garter or the Spanish Golden Fleece) are, in spite of their historical connection, awards of merit.
I will be updating this next section so it is more suitable to a Pagan and a woman as well. But for now, this is from the Book of Chivalry.
An ethical code of Conduct
The Knightly virtues:
Liberality Honor Good Faith
Glory Unselfishness Pride
Courtesy Bravery Loyalty
Code Of Chivalry:
1. Nobility in Service
2. Death before Dishonor
3. Enterprise in obedience to rule
4. Respect for all worthy people
5. Honor all those above your station
6. Command Obedience through respect
7. Scorn those who are ignoble
8. Protect the innocent
9. punish the guilty
10. Courtesy to all ladies
11. Battle is the test of Manhood
12. Combat is Glory
13. Defend your charge unto death
14. War is the flowering of Chivalry
15. Death to all who oppose the cause
16. Arts are the food of the Chivalrous (especially music)
17. Anger blinds, a cool head will win the day
Definition of the Knightly Virtues:
Liberality- generosity; open mindedness
Glory- great honor, popular praise, renown
Courtesy- formal politeness, favor instead of right
Honor- Any token of recognition for distinguished services or high merit; a fine sense of what is just and right with readiness to apply it to one's own conduct in relation to others
Unselfishness- generous; caring for others above oneself
Bravery- fearlessness in the presence of danger; courage
Good faith- Trust upon word alone
Pride- A proper feeling of esteem for one's own qualities or achievements
Loyalty- Faithfulness to country, duty, or friend
The List Field (The showplace of Chivalric Conduct):
1. Courtesy to your opponent at all times
2. In combat if you are uncertain of a blow take it
3. Do not let anger control your actions
4. Do not let the lack of Chivalry in others cause you to be unchivalrous
5. If your opponent is your equal practice chivalric action
6. If your opponent is your better give no quarter
7. Remember your actions speak louder than words
Chrionna's Tabbard Sigil for the White Stag.
It bears the antlers abreast the averted chevron
Thank you for visiting
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at ChrionnaPaistin@aol.com
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