Tradition and Ethos


Contemplations on the concept of ethos within an esoteric and tradition-specific context


The meaning of the Greek word ethos is the character that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. It is the root of the word ethikos, meaning ”morality, showing moral character” and the origin of the English word ethics.

Rhetoric scholar S. Michael Halloran says that “To have ethos is to manifest the virtues most valued by the culture to and for which one speaks.” (Aristotle’s Concept of Ethos, or If Not His Somebody Else’s, 1982), a quote that in a generally fitting way sums up the meaning of the ethos term when discussed within the context of this text, and our intention here is to show how and why the assuming of the correct ethos harmonizing with Spirit is of importance, internally as well as externally, within our esoteric and initiatory settings. Continue reading