As ‘Pagan’ is an umbrella term there are lots of different sets of virtues that Pagans value. This will largely depend on their tradition and influences and whilst you can see cross overs in some areas others appear wholly incompatible.
What is a virtue?
A virtue in this context is a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person. Obviously what defines a morally good and desirable quality is defendant on culture and context but the definition is sound. As you might expect usage of the word is down on a few hundred years ago and people tend to automatically relate the word to maintaining virginity (patriarchally female vaginity) or the Christian ninefold celestial hierarchy of which the seventh-highest order is known as the Virtues. Obviously it’s the first definition we are looking at her although I will reference the Seven Christian Virtues.
The Five (Hermetic) Pagan Virtues
I have already started, and will continue, my examination of the Five Pagan Virtues that I work towards in my own practice. These are the Hermetic virtues, initial outlined as the four powers of the Sphinx by Eliphas Lèvi the final fifth power was added by Allister Crowley, first in Liber Aleph before fully defining the concept in Magick Without Tears.
As I continue to explore these virtues I will add back links to my posts.
To Know (East/Air)
To Dare (South/Fire)
To Will (West/Water)
To Keep Silent (North/Earth)
To Go (Centre/Spirit)
Five Virtues of the Pagan Student
All pagans are students, even those who have been around the block more times than they might care to admit, and I think more needs to be made of these virtues. ChaosWitch has outlined perfectly the virtues that we students of paganism should strive towards and personally I think if more people observed them forums and Facebook groups would run more smoothly.
The Five Neo-Pagan Virtues
Clearly by listing these as ‘Neo-Pagan’ I’m showing my own prejudice but I’m sure you can forgive me. They are still high ideals but maybe a little too cuddly for me to consider them before those listed above. For a more detailed examination of these virtues please refer here
The Roman Virtues
The Romans were a virtuous bunch, as well as the 15 personal virtues there were 26 public virtues. For a full explanation please visit this site
The Greek Virtues
The Christian Virtues
I’ve included the seven Christian Virtues to illustrate how they grew out of the the Greek Virtues.
I’m not going to got into major detail as to what Satanism, as laid out by LaVey, is beyond this list of virtues. I’ve included them to be reflective of the Christian Virtues above and is a list of personal virtues within the concept of worshiping the ego as a divinity.
These virtues are the 10 Virtues as laid out by Aristotle. He states that he learnt them during his time in Egypt and that they form the basis for preparation for the Egyptian priesthood. These virtues are generally acknowledged by people working with Egyptian divinities, although it is likely that iniatory traditions have their own virtues and codes that they work with. Also it is important to remember that these are Egyptian Virtues according to a Greek commentator. The 42 Laws of Ma’at can also be considered as virtues to follow and uphold although I thought 42 were a few too many to include here.
Here I list the abbreviated version, the fuller text is available here
I will control my thoughts
I will control my actions
I will have devotion of purpose
I will have faith in the ability of the Master to teach the Truth
I will have faith in my ability to assimilate the Truth
I will have faith in my ability to wield the Truth
I will be free from resentment under the experience of persecution
I will be free from resentment under the experience of wrong doing
I will cultivate the ability to distinguish right from wrong
I will cultivate the ability to tell the real from the unreal
The Nine Noble Virtues
Nominally called the Nine Celtic Virtues these virtues are a a collection of ideals for the ‘Celtic’ Warrior sometimes adopted by Heathens and those working within Celtic reconstruction. For a detailed examination please refer to this site
Other Heathen Virtues
12 Aetheling Thews