Veritas is considered to be the Roman equivalent of Aletheia, however, ‘Veritas’ has made its way into multiple prestigious institutions as a motto (such as Harvard and Yale). The meaning of the word is “Truth”, and it is here that I pause. While I understand the idea behind reaching for truth (or attending such prestigious institutions in search of it), hidden deeply within those institutions and the philosophical context is an ideology and it has made its way into corporate jargon as well.
Veritas is said to be a daughter of Saturn and looking at it from that aspect allows a deeper understanding of her nature in the context of ideologies. Saturn is restricted, enclosed in rings, and highly structured. On the edge of what is able to be seen. The social context of an ideology such as that which comes with a motto like “Veritas” reminds me that truth in this way is a state of control framed in a societal context of what is deemed good and right.
What is allowable by a higher chain of leadership that is calling the shots through power that has been taken.
It is not surprising that institutions of education (ability to control what is learned) or of theological beginnings (the path to the Divine and spirituality is through a different institution entirely, where another holier person is required to “get” a lesson or message) chose to use such a motto in reinforcing the power structure. That is not truth, at least, not in the way that truth has presented herself to me and through me.
The Truth about Truth
While the Goddess Veritas is seen as the equivalent of the Goddess Aletheia, I assert they are not the same. Aletheia represents truth for what it is at an individual level. Take into consideration that truth, for any person, is nested within the context of individual perception. An example of this is two people who see the exact same event. When relating the versions of events to others, each person has a different version of the events that transpired even when it was the same event. Who is lying? Who is not telling the truth? They are both telling the truth. The truth is perceived.
Veritas is truth itself, many times depicted in art as the hidden and elusive reality of what is.
It is no surprise that other stories of conception and birth of Truth is that it is man-made from clay. It is not entirely wrong, historical texts and subsequent essays (Dallery, Scott & Roberts, 1992) indicate that the concept of truth as Veritas is man-made “thought configuration that links the Roman understanding of truth as defensive posit (veritas; cf. PL 69-79) to the representational rightness or rectitude, and finally to the Nietzchean analysis of the “justice”of truth as the self-assertion of a will to power (PL 77)”.
The Importance of Discernment
As witches, empaths, seers, healers, and critical thinkers, the ability to discern truth for magic is one of those base level requirements for powerful magic. If we cannot tap into the energy or see the energy/essence clearly, our magic is only working at the level of what we can discern. This is also why “know thyself” is important because it considers our biases, our personal journey, and that which can cloud our ability to see. We must discern truth by pulling it forward, through the gate of unconsciousness into our own. The Goddess Aletheia is who to build this relationship with, she is great at guiding you to the gates.
The Side Eye
In conclusion, the use of Veritas in mottos in business, theological, and educational institutions of power will always get the side-eye. Whether it is because of historical forced indoctrination of people or to assert control, the evidence remains that certain ideologies are still oppressive in nature. It is not an individual right to truth, it is an ability to control others with truth that is man-made. When it comes to truth, I will always choose to look behind what is presented, maybe Veritas and Aletheia are waiting for us to pierce the veil.
A candle and a key,
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B. Dallery, Arleen; E. Scott, Charles; Roberts, P. Holley (1992). Ethics and Danger: Essays on Heidegger and Continental Thought Issue 17 of Selected studies in phenomenology and existential philosophy. SUNY Press. p. 72. ISBN 9780791409831.