I had meant to start Pagan Values Month by blogging about some of the really cool values Pagans share. Witches, Druids, Shamans,Goddess Folk, Reconstructionists, Mystics – I had a kind of general notion that they had a few things that they agreed upon.SAPRA once tried to define the Pagani as those religions which were Earth-centred, but that cuts out some Recons, and most Thelemites.Some Satanists say they’re Pagans, and some most vehemently deny the charge. (Then again,Some Pagans refuse to allow Satanists common ground, and some don’t).So where, among this bright array of spiritualities, were the common values to be found?
Female empowerment (or re-empowerment) is often a core value for most of these folk, as well as a solid understanding that the Earth is Primary – you can’t have sex without a landbase, for example.
So, Earth centred values, magic-practising, female empowering – are these some of the values by which Ye Shall Know Them?
Apparently not. This bottom-feeding scum, for instance, calls himself a Pagan. He has every right to do so. Just as my hackles have every right to rise whenever I read the drivel he writes. His is the perfect liberty to worship the old gods, and hold the opinions which he does. Mine is the right to avoid reading his tripe.
That’s the thing – our diversity is so great as to make South Africa’s Rainbow Nation look like a bunch of conformists by comparison. And I have absolutely no problem with it. Just as a right wing bigot will be known as such, whatever label he happens to put on his faith, so will my own beliefs and values become known to anyone who cares to find out, by my actions both mundane and magical. And I, too, may call myself a Pagan.
What then is the key concept between these diverse views the Pagani seem to hold? I submit that, more than diversity by itself, we embody a core value of responsibility for all our works, in this world and all the others. Who we are cannot be encompassed by a universal creed. A charter of core Pagan values appears to be an impossibility – and I, for one, would not subscribe to it.
But what we exude between All the Worlds remains, as it always has, our very own, to make and shape and create with as we will.