So I have finished the major work on the Pagan Values page, compiling links to as many of the posts from the International Pagan Values Blogging Month as I can track down. This compiling has been delightful because it has forced me to re-read the many posts and blessed me with finding some essays I missed the first time around. I suspect I sill keep finding a few more until next years event, as I re-read and tweak the page and links.
I am also reading the excellent book The Other Side of Virtue by Dr. Brendan Myers, and a Penguin Classics collection of the writings of Cicero. So the topic of Pagan values is still very much present in my mind and life right now. I am also processing some ideas, and feelings, raised over the course of the IPVBM event. I have been having some trouble with, and having a realization about, the reactions that some folks had to my use of the word “Pagan”; and with my pairing the word “Pagan” with the word “Values”.
Cavalorn seemed to think that by using the word “Pagan” I was trying to imply that there is, or should be, or historically was, some sort of over-arcing “Pagan” religion?! I tried to address this in a previous post, but as I say I’ve had a further realization. Patti seemed to think that by merely discussing the virtues, values, and ethics of the many forms of contemporary Paganism that it was implied or suggested that we should (or must) all have the EXACT SAME values, virtues, or ethics. Labrys seemed to be of the opinion that in claiming certain values as being inspired by or present in contemporary Paganism some how ripped them out of the hands of other faiths or paths, or denied the fact that these paths have values (or value) themselves.
What I have realized is that what these articles and, coincidentally and deliciously, all of those tired old “our form or branch of Witchcraft/Heathenry/Hellenismos/Paganism/etc… is better/purer/right(as opposed to wrong) than yours” agruments… what ALL of them have in common is that they are firmly rooted in the dualism and dichotomy mindset of monotheism!
This is to be expected as most of us are currently residing in over cultures of monotheism, but still… ( Note to Self: what Sannion said…) Now that we’re Pagans do y’all think you could at least start examining pluralism, as a world view?!? …
This is to be expected as most of us are currently residing, and have been raised, in over cultures of monotheism, but still I am of the firm belief that Paganism in its many forms is more naturally inclined towards pluralism!
As Deborah Lipp wrote in one of her contributions…
“Fundamental to our values, I believe, is pluralism. Everything we believe, even the lines we draw in the sand, must be rooted in plurality. There are many gods, many paths, many truths.” ~ Pagan Values Month: Putting the “poly” in polytheism
Many Gods, many paths, many truths, many values, and many Paganisms!
(Pax heaves a happy and breathy sigh)
“I feel SO much better now!”