Archive for February 9, 2013

Introduction to Pagan Ethics


This Category, *Pagan Ethics, contains a series of posts that are a commentary on a book – Living with Honour – written by Emma Restall Orr.  My interest in Pagan ethics emerges out of a need to capture in words the attitudes and behaviour that might manifest out of a person’s love of Gaia and dedication to an Earthen Spirituality.  Emma’s beautiful book, which I at first eagerly skimmed, then read slowly and carefully and now enjoy re-reading has stimulated my thinking and inspired the comments in these posts. I obviously highly recommend the book and hope that my commentary serves the spirit of *Pagan Ethics and challenges the reader to examine their attitudes and world view toward a greater reverence for our place within and among the life of Gaia.  As my one-time friend Wolf says, may Gaia bless.


Introduction to Pagan Ethics


One word sums it up – Honour.  Pagan ethics are based on reverence for Nature.  The practice involves all our interactions with nature.  Pagans have no belief in a supernatural Deity nor a God or Gods that exist outside of Nature.  Emma does not wish to speak for all Pagans, thus in her book “Living with Honour” she refers to *Paganism – the Paganism she is describing as she sees it.

Starting with an umbrella concept: The word Honour has been chosen as the best representation of the foundation cornerstone.  Honour can then be explicated with three supporting stones forming a balanced triangle: a strong, stable and self-supporting structure consisting of Courage, Generosity and Loyalty.




                     Courage                         Generosity



All remaining aspects and details of *Pagan ethics rest on this platform.



Emma translates the three upper layer words into alternatives that hold the essence of our 21st Century culture.  They are:  Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.





                        Honesty                           Respect

21st Century




Thoughts of evil spirits, evil acts, the devil’s work do not exist in *Pagan ethics.  There is no force of Nature that is evil.  There is no fear in *Paganism of satanic or supernatural beings for “nothing exists beyond the natural.”

I am in full agreement with the *Pagan attitude toward evil.  Without a God up there to judge us, we have to hold ourselves responsible for our actions.  We do what is right because it feels right and feels good to do what’s right; we do what is right because of respect for ourselves and others, not to keep ourselves out of Hell down below somewhere.  We do have the ability to sense the rightness and wrongness of alternatives.  Of course, right and wrong are culturally derived and this must be kept in mind.  However, I would like to speak to the belief that nothing exists beyond the natural in a later post.

Free Will 


Emma explains that we are free to make our choices and reminds us that we are all connected.

I like to think that we are connected through the body of the Earth – we and every being are all Earthlings.


Attitude towards Death


“Death then, to the *Pagan, is a gateway of release, exquisitely transformative, yet also simply just another step or two along a much longer road.  I offer the question:  Who dies?  More on this subject in the next post.






We have been Warned

Another Dirty Secret of Monsanto


“In the EFSA report, which can be read online, you can find (within the scientific wording) that researchers discovered a previously unknown viral gene that is known as ‘Gene VI’. What’s concerning is that not only is the rogue gene found in the most prominent GMO crops and about 63% of GMO traits approved for use (54 out of 86 to be precise), but it can actually disrupt the very biological functions within living organisms. Popular GMO crops such as Roundup-Ready soybeans, NK603, and MON810 corn were found to contain the gene that induces physical mutations. NK603 maize, of course, was also recently linked to the development of mass tumors in rats.

According to Independent Science News, Gene VI also inhibits RNA silencing. As you may know, RNA silencing has been pinpointed as vital for the proper functioning of gene expression when it comes to RNA. Perhaps more topically, it is a defense mechanism against viruses in plants and animals alike. On the contrary, many viruses have developed genes that disable this protective process. Independent Science News reports that the Gene VI is one such gene.”


We have been warned, repeatedly from extremely credible scientists and researchers.




Are we Gambling away our Grandchildren’s Future?

What is the relationship between weather and climate?


“Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.


NASA and NOAA plus research centers around the world track the global average temperature, and all conclude that Earth is warming. In fact, the past decade has been found to be the hottest since scientists started recording reliable data in the 1880s. These rising temperatures are caused primarily by an increase of heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere created when we burn coal, oil, and gas to generate electricity, drive our cars, and fuel our businesses.


Hotter air around the globe causes more moisture to be held in the air than in prior seasons. When storms occur, this added moisture can fuel heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow.


At the same time, because less of a region’s precipitation is falling in light storms and more of it in heavy storms, the risks of drought and wildfire are also greater. Ironically, higher air temperatures tend to produce intense drought periods punctuated by heavy floods, often in the same region.


These kinds of disasters may become a normal pattern in our everyday weather as levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere continue to rise.


The United States is already experiencing more intense rain and snowstorms. The amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest one percent of storms has risen nearly 20 percent, averaged nationally—almost three times the rate of increase in total precipitation between 1958 and 2007.

Some regions of the country have seen as much as a 67 percent increase in the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest storms — and an updated version of this figure from the draft National Climate Assessment suggests this increase may have risen to 74 percent between 1958 and 2011.”



Yes, you may have read about this and heard this before, but for some, there needs to be constant reminders from credible sources that the human caused increase in greenhouse gasses affect BOTH the weather and the climate.


When you choose to gamble with dice, you only lose YOUR money but when you gamble with the unknown effect of so much CO2 in the atmosphere, you are gambling with your grandchildren’s future and the future of all living beings.