Woodcraft Laws

 

 

 

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Site Contents

by Ernest Thompson Seton

The Woodcraft Laws

The following short form is that usually given by the Chief in his brief explanation of the Fourfold Fire

The four Lamps lighted from the Great Central Fire are Beauty, Truth, Fortitude and Love.

From each of these Lamps issue three rays:

bulletBe brave, be silent and obey, 
bulletBe clean, be strong, protect wild life always;
bulletSpeak true, be reverent, play fair when you strive,
bulletBe kind, be helpful, glad you are alive.

The following slightly longer form is that usually used when one member other than the Chief lights the four Lamps and recites the Laws

bulletThis is the Lamp of Beauty:
1. Be clean; both yourself and the place you live in. 

2. Understand and respect your body. It is the Temple of the Spirit. 

3. Be the friend of all harmless wild life. Conserve the woods and flowers, and especially be ready to fight wild-fire in forest or in town.

bulletThis is the Lamp of Truth:

4. Word of honor is sacred.

5. Play fair; foul play is treachery.

6. Be reverent. Worship the Great Spirit and respect all worship of Him by others.

bulletThis is the Lamp of Fortitude:

7. Be brave. Courage is the noblest of all attainments.

8. Be silent while your elders are speaking and otherwise show them deference.

9. Obey. Obedience is the first duty of the Woodcrafter.

bulletThis is the Lamp of Love:

10. Be kind. Do at least one act of unbargaining service each day.

11. Be helpful. Do your share of the work.

12. Be joyful. Seek the joy of being alive.

In the case of Grand Council, the long, titanic form as follows, may be used:

bulletThis is the Lamp of Beauty. From it are these three rays:

1. Be clean, both yourself and the place you live in. For there is no perfect beauty without cleanliness of body, soul and estate. The body is the sacred temple of the spirit, therefore reverence your body. Cleanliness helps first yourself, then those around, and those who keep this law are truly in their country's loving service.

2. Be strong. Understand and respect your body. It is the temple of the spirit, and without health can neither strength nor beauty be.

3. Protect all harmless wild life for the joy its beauty gives. Conserve the woods and flowers, and especially be ready to fight wild-fire in forest or in town.

bulletThis is the Lamp of Truth. From it are these three rays:

4. Hold your word of honor sacred. This is the law of truth, and any one not bound by this cannot be bound, and truth is wisdom.

5. Play fair, for fair play is truth and foul play is treachery.

6. Be reverent. Worship the Great Spirit, and respect all worship of Him by others, for none have all the truth and all who reverently worship have claims on our respect.

bulletThis is the Lamp of Fortitude. From it are these three rays:

7. Be brave. Courage is the noblest of all attainments. Fear is in the foundation of all ill; unflinchingness is strength.

8. Be silent while your elders are speaking and otherwise show them deference. It is harder to keep silence than to speak in the hour of trial, but in the end it is stronger.

9. Obey. Obedience is the first duty of the Woodcrafter. Obedience means self-control, which is the sum of the law.

bullet This is the blazing Lamp of Love. From it are these are three rays

10. Be kind. Do at least one act of unbargaining service each day, even as ye would enlarge the crevice whence a spring runs forth to make its blessings more.

11. Be helpful. Do your share of the work for the glory that the service brings, for the strength one gets in serving.

12. Be joyful. Seek the joy of being alive -- for every reasonable gladness that you can get or give, is treasure that can never be destroyed, and, like the springtime gladness, doubles, every time with others it is shared.

The Birch Bark Roll

 

 

   

 

 


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Last modified: July 03, 2013.