NB: What follows is a lot of questions that I am not even going to attempt to answer, for the most part – they’re the questions that are in my head, and I thought others might get some sort of benefit from hearing about them as they work on their own Pagan Values Month posts.
In thinking about this month’s challenge, the first thing that comes to mind is that I’m not clear on what “pagan values” necessarily are.
Are all the values that I hold “pagan values” because I’m pagan, even though I have inherited many of them from my Christian upbringing and the surrounding culture? Does the fact of my bringing them with me into my pagan life transform them into pagan values, even if nothing about them necessarily changes? And what of values that I hold dear that are demonstrably NOT part of our pagan heritage, such as the imperative to do at least something towards alleviating the suffering of people I’ll never meet, in places I’ll never go? Should I only consider values that I have taken up or modified as part of my pagan journey? Xenia would count, then, but my belief in my responsibility to support my family would not?
As a Hellenist, I have a rich and varied well of ethical and moral philosophy from which to draw – but what do I do with the parts of that heritage that I not only disagree with, but find morally repugnant? Do I discard or ignore them as “that was then, this is now”? If so, then am I discounting an important piece of the cultural environment that also yielded the parts I do like? And if I engage with them seriously, what do I do with the result?
Head whirling now, must go watch Galactica… :)