In June the sun is at it’s height in the Northern Hemisphere and nearly hidden from view in the Southern Hemisphere. Midsummer and Yule, festivals of fire and of light.
Let us then use our hearts and minds and words, invoking the fires of inspiration; let us write of the virtues and ethics and morals and values we have found in our Pagan paths, let us share how we carry these precious things forward in our own lives and out into the world.
Hmmm. Why? Because the sun is high? I may have missed something.
One thing I like about Pagans is that we don't proselytize. And, honestly, if you've spent any time among Pagans you know that (1) no two Pagans agree about anything, hell, most of us disagree with our own selves half the time, and (2) there are as few Pagans living the Wiccan Rede or any other form of Pagan Values as there are xians living the command to "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself." In fact, for a lot of Pagans, their religion consists of buying new-agey stuff in stores that reek of incense instead of buying makeup in the mall. I've known Pagans who are not-nice-people. "Witch wars" describes an actual phenomenon.
But if you put a gun to my head, I'd say that most modern Pagans value the Earth, the body, matter, the connection between all-that-is. (As soon as I'd say that, someone could produce half a dozen examples that disprove what I'd said.) Cock the gun, and I'd say that Pagans tend to value women, women's bodies, the divine feminine, Gaia, the Goddess. Push the barrel a bit into the gentle flesh of my temple, and I'd say that lots of Pagans value ecstatic experience. In fact, for quite a few of what I'd call "festival Pagans," the connection that comes from drumming, fire, dancing, drugs, and sex at the 8 Sabbats IS their experience of Paganism and what they value most about it. And that's v. cool. I'll take that over hating on gays and beating little children in Irish orphanages.
But, in the end, all that I can say is what I value about Paganism. I value the sacrality of matter, bodies, blood, hymen, placenta, semen, cunt juice, bone, phlem, and shit. I value the thing that happens when I see photosynthesis happening. I value a mythopoetic explanation of the world that complements my scientific understanding of the same. I value the ability to part the veils, the chance to ground daily, the glimpse of what it could be like to live in a world where the king and the land are one. I value flow and fire, the ability to be silent and how the last light over the dark west went while morning at the brown brink eastward springs and the holy ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with, ah! bright wings. I value the Spiral Dance. I value poetry. I value the dark. I value the shadow. I value my willingness to let the infinite touch the buckle of my spine and I value the place where change can happen. I value being in touch with things that scare a lot of people and I value valuing that which many devalue. I value the way that boundaries dissolve at orgasm and I value the way that sun feels on skin. I value the way that a living oyster becomes a part of me when I eat it, thereby melding with dinosaur, Hatshepsut, a woman giving birth in Pompeii, and with Sappho, and the way that I will become part of the soil under the lilac bushes when I die.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."