Thursday, September 12, 2013

Virtues Essay: Piety

the quality of being religious or reverent

                                                                   --Oxford American English Dictionary

Piety is a word that seems to have lost favor with the modern mainstream crowd. Once spoken of with reverence, piety now brings to mind (at least among my non-pagan peers), images of lampoonish religious devotion, including but not limited to hooded monks rhythmically pounding their foreheads with some anointed tome.   

In real, everyday life, piety rarely looks similar to such flamboyant and stereotypical visions.  Among pagans, true and sincere piety might be observed in the simple act of faithfully filling the bird feeder, or in taking a precious few minutes each day to pray to the Kindreds, or even in reviewing the daily obituaries and sending sympathy cards to surviving loved ones.  To be sure, there are some grand gestures which absolutely fall within the realm of piety.  For example, taking an oath before one's gods or constructing a personal or public nemeton.  What all these acts, both great and small, have in common at their core is respect:  respect for the gods, respect for our nature kin, and respect for the ancestors.  Through the doing of these deeds intended to honor this respect, in these acts of piety, we manifest into this world a living and breathing *ghosti

It is these acts of piety which serve as our common covenant, a covenant of mutual hospitality, with the Kindred.

“Piety is a discipline of the will through respect.  It admits the right to exist of things larger than the ego, of things different from the ego.”  --Richard M. Weaver

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