Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Pagan values

It is difficult to say with certainty that all members of the Pagan community subscribe to the same or similar values (it's always possible to find an exception who still counts as Pagan), but certainly many, if not most, Pagans aspire to certain core values, even if we don't always achieve them.

Most of our values stem from the belief that the Divine is immanent in the world, not separate and distant from it; because All That Is is a manifestation of the Divine, a theophany, it is sacred, not profane.  Therefore sexuality is sacred, food is sacred, the Earth is sacred, animals are sacred, plants are sacred, pleasure is sacred.  I am holy, you are holy.

Tolerance / acceptance: most Pagans aspire to tolerance of what they disagree with, and sometimes even acceptance of it, as something they cannot change.  Many argue for genuine acceptance of other paths and lifestyles.  

Personal responsibility ("An it harm none, do what thou wilt"): we are each responsible for our own actions.  That includes an ethic of environmental responsibility.

Inclusivity:  Most Pagans believe that sexuality in all its forms is sacred; that includes all forms of consensual sex between adult humans, including same-sex relationships, SM and polyamory.  Pagans are also strongly feminist, affirming the equal worth of women and men.

Most Pagans do not exclude others on the grounds of different belief; rather we look for companions on the spiritual path who share our values and interests.

Tread gently on the Earth: Most Pagans are concerned about climate change, animal experimentation, and pollution, and try to tread gently on the Earth.

Interest in science and rational/empirical enquiry:  Most Pagans affirm the worth of science as a way of understanding the world and appreciating the wonders of the universe.  Pagan understandings of the world do not conflict with science.

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