I’m rounding up what I consider to be the chewiest blog posts on Pagan “Values” 2011. I’m sorry to say that I have to leave podcasts out – I’m a writer, so I just don’t have time to listen to podcasts since hearing language conflicts with hearing the language inside my head. Perhaps I’ll deliberately spend some time on the treadmill this week for an excuse to catch up. I’m much too paranoid to block sound when I’m out walking around the neighborhood – I by-golly want to know whose behind me, and hear ‘em coming first!
- From Kallisti, People are Strange: a quote from the Enchiridion: “When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Now, it is not possible that he should follow what appears right to you, but what appears so to himself. Therefore, if he judges from a wrong appearance, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person deceived. “ Essentially, someone misunderstanding you is their problem, not yours. On an emotional level that should be true. As someone who has repeated experience with people either a)getting the wrong idea about me or b)having an idea of their own about me that has little or nothing to do with any of my actual behavior, the problem is quite a bit more complicated than that. There’s a reality that women especially often have to start boundaries conversations with “You’ve got the wrong idea, buddy.” But on a level of philosophic tolerance, Kallisti’s outlook from a base of within is fascinating, and worthy of meditation.
- Over at PaganMommy, she talks about her relationship with Truth in the context of freeing herself from superstitions of origin about witchcraft. In one of many books I read recently, an author defined “God” as simply “a person’s proximity to Truth.” As someone who struggles daily to release myself from any form of denial or self-deception, to the point where I sometimes break common social mores for the sake of self-honesty, this essay reminds me of my own start on the path and how stripping me of social convention year by year has made me something else, hopefully happier and better, though that evaluation may not be mine alone to make. It also reminds me of the first piece I ever wrote for the Llewellyn Magical almanac, about getting over both your fear of things going awry and of casting a spell and feeling stupid while you do it.
- Bishop in the Grove writes about faith. An interesting point is raised: “Pagans are so centered around practice. We define ourselves by what we do, not by what we believe (generally speaking). “ This is especially food for thought, because I describe myself as a person of faith, not a person of religion. I am drawn to magic like it’s a biological urge, and while it colors my religious practice in improbably, multi-colored ways, my faith is about just being, rather than about the practice itself. Teo’s writing on the subject, through many pathways and quantum leaps in my neurons, is forcing me to consider how my exposure to Islam and eastern cultures has, long-term, affected my Wiccan religious practice. Coexist Café also throws in with a discussion of faith. “I’ve been told many a time that, because of my faith, I can’t possibly know the difference between right and wrong. That lacking a set of rules to live by and testament to back up said rules precludes not having any rules of conduct or even a conscience at all. ” Interesting, since I daresay people who don’t need to check a manual in absolutely every other arena of life are viewed as “advanced” and even “expert.”
- A simple, but interesting post from Pagan Presence about how Pagan values often align with Catholicism’s 7 deadly sins. Catholic values, now, with less afterlife!
- Diane Morrison has an excellent analysis of the Charge of the Goddess as a morality text on Witches&Pagans. I’ve always viewed it as that, rather than as an invocation method.
- Gus diZerega offered up a paper written on the core tenets of Deep Ecology, something that runs a thread behind multiple Pagan religious practices.
- Fat and Not Afraid has a great entry for Pagan Values month. As someone who runs a plus fashion blog, I can tell from comments that a whole lot of people just don’t get what she’s saying, on a spiritual or a social level. But I have hope for her yet. Especially since a lot of people mistake being fat for being unhealthy, and have turned food, exercise, their bodies, and every source of pleasure and pain into a moral issue – and way too many people think someone else’s body is public business. Pagans do it, too. Notably, not once has God/ess sent me a message that involved “Go on a diet.”
Need some ideas on what to write about? House of Vines has an alphabetical list of core concepts that merit discussion among different Pagan religions. You can also mine Pagan blog prompts for inspiration.