THE THIRD REDE – LOVER AND BELOVED
For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on earth;
for my law is love unto all beings.
I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart
Moondaughter taught us that the ideal relationship is when two beings interact
as lover and beloved. By this she did not necessarily imply a sexual
relationship; in many cases — such as between adults and children or teacher and student — she considered that any sexual relationship would be a violation
of that concern for the welfare of the other which was the essence of the lover/beloved relationship. Nevertheless, the love between the Lord and the Lady
was for her the ideal toward which all relationships should evolve.
According to Moondaughter, joy is not created by an individual alone. Joy is
created when a lover has a relationship with a beloved. The beloved need not be
another person — an artist feels joy both when she has a stimulating vision or
idea as her beloved, and again when her vision or idea stands before her as a
realized work of art. In this, men and women are the children of the Lord and
the Lady, who also feel joy from such relationships. Whether or not the
relationship is sexual, the interaction of lover and beloved unites them into
The True Will
Moondaughter believed that at some deep level, every being intuitively knows
that joy is produced by relationships between lover and beloved. She taught that
it was from this inner knowledge that the Will of the individual arises. While
an individual may sometimes feel desires to act in ways which are destructive to
others, Moondaughter taught that the Will seeks that joy which is produced only
by harmonious relationships with others.
Since any relationship requires the participation of both self and other, Will
has both the aspect of seeking the welfare of the self and also the aspect of
seeking the welfare of the beloved. According to Moondaughter, these two aspects
of the Will are related and interdependent, not opposed. Since joy comes from
relationships, harming the other in any relationship lessens one’s own joy.
The Ecstasy of the Spirit
According to Moondaughter, it is the nature of Love to seek a beloved to love.
The joy that is produced by the Lord’s love for the Lady and the Lady’s love for
the Lord is beyond human experience, but Love is never satisfied, and so the
Lord and the Lady gave birth children who could respond to Their Love, and give
Them joy, and receive joy from taking Them as beloveds.
My own understanding of this teaching is that as an individual grows in love,
she expands her circle of beloveds until, like the Lord and the Lady, she Wills
the welfare of all that exists. It seems to me that when they first appear
tribalism and nationalism can be healthy stages in this growth, but they can
also become diseases which hold men and women back from a larger, and more
joyful, circle of beloveds.
I know from my own experience that each man and woman can be both lover and
beloved to both the Lord and the Lady, and that the intensity of this
relationship deepens as one brings one’s character into harmony with one’s own
Will. The joy produced by this relationship is beyond words.