Saturday, March 2, 2019

Making a Study of Virtue

In the first-level training of ADF, the Dedicant Path, we are asked to explore a set of nine virtues and explain them in our own words, including why these virtues may be useful in our lives. I finished my dedicant work a decade ago, and in the subsequent years, I have had many opportunities to revisit these virtues as I've begun teaching dedicant classes and serving as a mentor. It never ceases to amaze me how much more there is to learn or how relevant these lessons are to my current life. Every. Time. 

I am finishing up a revision of my Brain, Music, Ritual, and Magic workshop for Pagan Fires with Three Cranes Grove with divided attention as I find myself drawn to study and write about virtue and virtue ethics. As an orthopraxic polytheist, I truly believe the way we move through the world is one of the most important areas for self-reflection. In studying virtue, we open ourselves to examine our lives, the nuts and bolts of our decision-making, the way we logically make choices, and our methods of self-control. I am a dedicated fan of self-discovery and personality theories, as many of you know. I know my love language breakdown, my MBTI including my shadow type, and my Enneagram. All of these are tools for self-discovery, flawed in their own way, but still useful. Virtue, on the other hand, is a truly personalized, applicable vehicle for learning who we truly are and where our opportunities for improvement lie--as well as how to go about stepping into them!

In this most recent iteration of the virtues classes with Mountain Ancestors, I received a rush of inspiration regarding what my additional nine virtues are and how this practice echoes in other areas of polytheism, such as Hellenism and Asatru/Heathenry. Finally, I will be tying these all together with a short examination on virtue ethics. I am very excited about this work and how it frames how we show up as pagans in interfaith and ecumenical settings. 

For now, I focus on the magic of ritual and music and how those enrich our practices. I feel truly blessed with my current study topics. 

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