“Honi soit qui mal y pense” – and other things I like to say under my breath


Some of my favourite phrases:

Honi soit qui mal y pense” is a French phrase that has been around since the mid 1300s and has been used in a lot of contexts, but it basically means “Evil to him who evil thinks”, which turns the speaker of slanderer back to eat their own words in a sense.

Here’s the first paragraph of the Wiki link on this phrase:

Honi soit qui mal y pense” is a French phrase meaning: “Shamed be he who thinks evil of it”. The phrase is sometimes archaically rendered as “Honi soit quy mal y pense”, “Hony soyt qe mal y pense” and various other phoneticizations. It is the motto of the English chivalric Order of the Garter. In Modern French it is rendered as “Honni soit qui mal y pense” (the modern conjugation of the verb honnir being honni). It is also written at the end of the manuscript Sir Gawain and the Green Knight but it appears to have been a later addition.[2] Its literal translation from Old French is “Shame be to him who thinks evil of it”.[3] It is sometimes re-interpreted as “Evil be to him who evil thinks”.


We have all be analyzed and criticized, especially for our actions, all our lives, from our parents, from our faiths, from our friends, and from our online “friends”. Criticism is good and makes one think. But  judging a person by certain actions they do not agree with does not get to the root of why in our spirits and minds and emotions we do them. Hell, I can even quote the Bible saying “Judge not that ye be not judged” in such circumstances.

Another one of my favourite phrases was written by the late High Priest of our coven over the doorway of our temple –  Temet Nosce” or Know Thyself. Of all the gods and metaphysics of the universe, all is within thee, so know your True Will of your Spirit and Soul and then you will be able to know the rest, perhaps.

Of course good ole Uncle Al penned the phrase – “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love under Will.” I actually prefer the German, which is Tu was du willst, soll sein das ganze Gesetz sein. Liebe ist das Gesetz, Liebe unter Willen.” (from Google translate so read German speaks please correct me if this is incorrect). It is the action the comes from the previous phrase.

So let’s summarize here – If you Know Thyself then you can Do What Thou Wilt within Love and if anyone criticizes it then Evil to them who evil thinks. Got it? I prefer to say these phrases in their foreign languages, mostly under my breath, when the situation calls for these blessings and curses to be applied. And a good spit on the ground afterwards seals it well.


All images from multiple sources on the www

4 thoughts on ““Honi soit qui mal y pense” – and other things I like to say under my breath

    • Thanks for that footnote Lauren and hopefully others will read the comments and find it. My elder teacher and High Priestess did not have a garter but where a garter would have been she had the tattoo of our coven, which is a lunar crescent with a star for each degree, thus she and i have three stars. Oh, and it is in blue woad color, lol. I have always been attracted to your lineage, as you know Tab in NC is too, but one linage is hard enough work for me as it is!

      • My tradition is known for it’s tattoos, we have tattoos for each degree that we all get. I’ve never seen anyone wear the garter, but most of our HPSs are far away from my own small group. I’ve always liked the stories around Honi soit qui mal y pense, our Beltane is centered around it. I think its a good phrase to always keep in mind.

        • My teacher was in her early 70s when she pulled up her skirt and showed me that tattoo on her upper thigh, and man did she have nice legs. So i have to get it as my first tat, just above the fold of left groin. And then of course i had to get a single pentagram to balance it, and now 33 tats of sigils and snakes later…. well you know how it goes. it is an addiction, lol.

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