So I recently listened to episode #52 of the Elemental Castings Podcast. This episode is the audio of a discussion Panel “Pagans and Hindus: One Billion Strong” from the recent Pantheacon, a Pagan convention in San Jose each President’s Day Weekend. This panel was a continuation of a similar series of Panels from last year… you can find one of those panels also posted at Elemental Castings.
T. Thorn Coyle, host of Elemental Castings, is one of the first speakers in the panel discussion and she talks about the shared cultural and theological value between Paganism and Hinduism of Beloved Community and how on some deep spiritual levels both Traditions deeply value and often widen the idea of Beloved Community to encourage all of Nature and all of Creation, in addition to all of our fellow beings.
Given that part of my own evolving definition of Paganism includes the idea that….
“For the different Pagan faiths and paths there seems to be an overall theme of individual and group development into being a better person(s) (personal growth and perhaps enlightenment, although it is not necessarily phrased as such) by practicing certain rites, and developing our relationships with the Divine (or the essence of All That Is) and with the Spirits of the World Around Us (Land Spirits or Ancestors or Elementals, etc…), and living a number intertwining and overlapping Virtues and Values.”
… you can imagine how this resonates with me.
Then too, as a budding Unitarian Universalist, I am minded of how this idea and ideal of Beloved Community ( a term widely used in Unitarian Universalism) interweaves with the Principles of the U.U.A.
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
~ From the Bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association
Connection, Interconnection, Beloved Community.
Although, admittedly, I sometimes approach this idea and ideal in some different ways from my Fellow U.U.’s, even though my fellow Pagans will find a lot of my ways familiar to one degree or another.
One of my dear friends, and earliest teachers in the Craft, taught me that Witches honor The God and Goddess and The All That Is… even as I have moved away from a strictly Wiccan path that idea of honoring and relating to the Universe… The Ground of All Being, The All That is… has stuck with me… I am intrigued to find this echoing back to me recently.
It seems like such a clear part and parcel of the many forms of Paganism and Witchcraft and Polytheism to me…
What do you think?
Peace, and Curiosity,
Pax / Geoffrey