I haven’t been a very good Pagan lately. Not like I’ve been doing anti-Pagan things, I just haven’t felt the spirit. I haven’t been thinking about Pagan issues. I haven’t been celebrating seasons or spending time with my ancestors. I’m certain this is tied into my grief over the crappy year TheScott and I have had.

I grew up in the traditional Protestant faith where religion was supposed to be central–the last thing you clung to when everything else was gone. A comfort as well as a requirement, with eternal damnation the consequence of faltering. But as a Pagan, I consider faith optional. There’s no Hell or other punishment for people who don’t participate. I practice religion for comfort and personal development–for what it brings to my life without fear of what might happen if I don’t. Which means the fact that I haven’t been very active lately doesn’t bode poorly for my eternal destiny, it’s just not been very beneficial in furthering my philosophical path. The stupid part is I actually want to be practicing. I’m just…not.

I didn’t ever think I’d miss external motivation to be pious, and I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say I miss it even now. But for the first time in my life, I understand that there are times when required faith has its perks.

But I can turn this around myself. Self-reliance is a Heathen virtue–one of the Nine Noble Virtues  (NNV), in fact. And to help get my head back on track, and maybe give my attitude a boost in the process, I’m going to start a series on the NNV. I’ll have one virtue a month that I’ll write up a post on and try to give myself a challenge to complete based on that virtue. As I’ve mentioned before, these aren’t my natural virtues, so it’ll be a challenge! Hold me accountable Realm?

The Virtues (in their traditional order) are:

  1. Courage

  2. Truth

  3. Honor

  4. Fidelity

  5. Discipline

  6. Hospitality

  7. Industry

  8. Self-Reliance

  9. Perseverance

Instead of covering them in that order, though, I’ll take a look at what’s going on that month and pick one that most matches life. Next week, the first of April, I believe I’ll start with Discipline, as I’m trying to get back in the habit of writing. NO EXCUSES! I have a book to write!

What are your favorite virtues, in other people or in yourself?