Love is a discipline the mastery of which makes us more powerful Pagans and humans: Just as our power grows as we acquaint ourselves more deeply with Nature, Truth, the focus of Will, and our True and Higher Selves (or “inner divinity”), so our power grows as we acquaint ourselves more deeply with Love. For Love, like Truth, is a position of strength.
When Reform Pagans speak of “Love” rather than “love”, we are referring most often to something that approximates what the East has called “compassionate lovingkindness and sympathetic joy”. Such Love comes upon us, for example, when we appreciate that every being is equally a child of the Goddess and the God, that we all come from the same origin and go to the same destination in Nature, that we all belong to and remain ever within and part of the same sacred Universe.
A capacity for Love is innate in the human spirit. But that capacity reaches its full potential only through intentional practice. Learning how to deploy Love in all circumstances, toward all beings, means that we possess such psychic fortitude that no contrary or adverse power can ever succeed in assailing us. This is perfect Love.
Neopagans often declare an intention to circle in “perfect love and perfect trust”, but Reform Pagans speak more often of circling in “perfect peace and perfect trust” because, whereas peace and trust depend on mutuality and reciprocity among individuals, as among those gathered to circle, Love can attain fullness in the unilateral disposition of a single person, regardless of whether others reciprocate. We cannot assume the existence of peace and trust among persons until we declare these as a shared intention, yet we can—and do—assume that each of us has chosen a path of personal and spiritual development that requires us to learn to express perfect Love.
For Reform Pagans, then, Love is not an imperative to which we must begrudgingly submit but a virtue that recommends itself to us by promising to make us greater, stronger, more complete persons.
Also published on Medium.