Values, Vision, and Mission

Equipping a Movement Forums General Values, Vision, and Mission

This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Baldr Frostflame 1 week, 5 days ago.

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    Baldr Frostflame


    I read a quote the other day from James Hollis:

    “One of the most powerful shocks of the Middle Passage is the collapse of the tacit contract with the universe – the assumption that if we act correctly, if we are of good heart and good intentions things will work out. We assume a reciprocity with the universe. If we do our part, the universe with comply. Many ancient stories, including the Book of Job, painfully reveal there is no such contract, and everyone who goes through the Middle Passage is made aware of it.”

    I have reflected on my own journeys of faith, from the good faith of the assumptive world, the discovery of bad faith and how others manipulated my good faith for their own ends, the savage faith of loss of belief in anything but the vital functions of breathing, heart-beating, getting out of bed because that is all there was to do.

    I have come to the stage I call poietic faith, where we make up what we place our faith in.
    The trails have all come to an end. It is time to blaze my own.

    There seems to be some affinity with what I call poietic faith and what you call pagan renewal. What do you think?



    Baldr Frostflame

    Hi, Scott—

    From how you describe your concept of “poietic” faith, I think it would be compatible with Reform Paganism and the Pagan Renewal. Chaos Magic has a “meta-belief” concept to the effect that belief can serve a tool for achieving desired effects, and I think this concept sounds similar to what you are describing. Reform Paganism doesn’t prescribe a certain set of beliefs because we are more committed to the individual and collective spiritual journey, pilgrimage, and quest, recognizing that while our beliefs may change over time, those changing beliefs each figure in the broader journey, pilgrimage, and quest.

    Reform Paganism therefore creates a space in which persons are free—even encouraged—to grow in spirit over time without the fear that a certain change in beliefs will put them “outside” our community. So blazing your own trail is normative, rather than transgressive.

    Is that helpful? Thanks for asking. —BF



    Hi Baldr,

    A space to explore, to quest for myself and the collective. That sounds very inviting indeed. Commitment to the journey, pligrimage, quest. If Reform Paganism and Pagan Renewal were just as I would want them to be, they would be like an oasis in a trail-less landscape, a rest stop and an outfitter: a caravanserai for unchartered wilderness of the soul our culture now finds itself in, and me along with it.

    And if Reform Paganism and Pagan Renewal were exactly as you would want them to be, that would be like what?



    Baldr Frostflame

    Scott, I could offer a number of answers to your question, but let me start with just one for now.

    I would begin by saying that I want Reform Paganism to provide a framework and community for spiritual growth and human flourishing.

    Why? How? Well, I find Reform Paganism a natural and free expression of my inborn spirituality as an individual human person. And I view my individual spirituality within a broader context, which makes the larger conviction, vision, and mission of the Pagan Renewal essential in my opinion: I believe that my own highest spiritual and human fulfillment goes hand in hand with that of the broader human family, as we are all interconnected in Nature.

    I have therefore come to think of the Pagan Renewal as like a coin with two sides: Pagan Reformation and Pagan Restoration. On the one hand, I want an ongoing process of reasoned and organic reform in Paganism to lay the foundation for restoring this once and future faith to a place of positive and transformational influence in today’s world; on the other hand, I want this vision of Paganism restored to lend us Reform Pagans a sense of mission and purpose.



    Hello Baldr,

    Thank you for your reply, I have been mulling it over.

    A framework for growth and flourishing… I have read the 15-isms and do resonate with them. As well as the 5 elements…

    Maybe I should start with the question of roles, responsibilities, resources and rewards of being pagan.

    What is it to be pagan, what is it not? Is it a oneness (henosis)? Is it liberty (eleutheria)? Is it an attainment of good fortune/blessedness (makarios)?


    Baldr Frostflame

    Scott, good questions again!

    Reform Pagans need not subscribe to a particular conception of “flourishing”, but I think that liberty, oneness, and attainment of good fortune are each compatible with our goals.

    Is this page helpful in answering your question about what being “Pagan” means?

    Your questions, as well as some others I’ve gotten recently from another source, inspired me to add two pages to

    Ultimately, one need not identify with Reform Paganism or the Pagan Renewal to attain any good thing, but these frameworks serve as common ground for those of us who want to pursue our goals together.

    I hope this all help!

    Blessings —BF

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