Virtues and Precepts or Using the Tools of Our Heroes…

Benjamin Franklin took the 18th century by storm through the persistent attempt to apply Thirteen Precepts and Virtues in his life. They are:

  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation
  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations
  3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time
  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing
  6. Industry: Lose not time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
  7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; speak accordingly
  8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty
  9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think you deserve
  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation
  11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles or accidents common or unavoidable
  12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation
  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates

As every good magician should, I have developed my own to follow or to which to aspire, with Thelemic quotes to explicate.

  1. Courage: “Fear is failure and the beginning of failure and courage is the beginning of virtue”-Liber Librae: The Book of Balance
  2. Silence: “For thereby we mean not the Muteness of him that hath a dumb Devil. This Silence is the Dragon of thine unconscious Nature, not only the Ecstasy or Death of thine Ego in the Operation of its Organ, but also, in it’s Unity with thy Lion, the Truth of thy Self.”-Little Essays Toward Truth
  3. Mastery or Will: “The aim of him who would be Master is single; men call it Personal Ambition. That is, he wants his Universe to be as vast, and his control of it as perfect as possible…the proper method of extending one’s universe, besides the conventional apparatus of material Science, is tripartite: evocation, invocation, and vision. Control is a matter of theoretical and practical acquaintance with Magical Formulae, but notably also of Self-Discipline.” –Little Essays Toward Truth
  4. Service or Work: “I am He. Speak not, O my God! Let the work be accomplished in silence…Lazily, hungrily, ardently, patiently; so will I work.”- Liber Liberia vel Lapidis Lazuli, and obviously, “…with us Government is Service, and nothing else.”- Liber CXCIV: An Intimation with Reference to the Constitution of the Order
  5. Sincerity: “The sincere king may sacrifice with joy ” SUI – The 17th Hexagram, and “Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.”-Confessions of Aleister Crowley
  6. Equilibrium: “Learn first-oh thou who aspire unto our ancient Order!-that Equilibrium is the basis of the Work. If thou thyself hast not a sure foundation, wherein wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature?” –Liber Librae
  7. Cleanliness: “Cleanliness is next to godliness and it had better come first.”- Magick in Theory and Practice
  8. Harmony: “For Perfection abideth not in the Pinnacles, or in the Foundations, but in the ordered Harmony of one with all.”-Liber LXI vel Causae
  9. Chastity: “Chastity may thus be defined as the strict observance of the Magical Oath; that is, in the Light of the Law of Thelema, absolute and perfected devotion to the Holy Guardian Angel and exclusive pursuit of the Way of the True Will.”-Little Essays Toward Truth
  10. Knowledge: “Nevertheless have the greatest self-respect, and to that end sin not against thyself. The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and willfully to reject Truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.”-Liber Librae
  11. Change or Growth, Going, Evolving: “The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. ” and further, “Of all important doctrines concerning equilibrium, this is the easiest to understand, that change is stability; that stability is guaranteed by change; that if anything should stop changing for the fraction of a split second, it would go to pieces.”-Liber Librae