Articles/Essays From Pagans
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
Into the Dark
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Weeds and Seeds
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Pagan Virtue of Moderation
Article ID: 12785
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,587
Times Read: 2,615
RSS Views: 30,912
Posted: January 11th. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,615
The sun beats down as I weed my garden. It has been weeks since I’ve done this chore, and the excessive weeds begin to choke life out of the young tomato and basil plants. The heat is almost too much for me to bear, and I wish for more moderate weather. If I stay out much longer, I’ll overheat. It’s strange how the body can withstand temperatures fifty to sixty degrees below normal body temperature, but only a few degrees higher kills us. I wonder if the heat will scorch my plants or if they will live to bear fruit.
A shadow passes on the ground. Two hawks circle overhead, hoping that a small squirrel or bird will show itself and become dinner. It may be a cruel thought, but without their culling, there would be too many small animals for this land to feed. It is their job to ensure that the population of the foragers stays at a reasonable level so that all have enough provisions.
The hawks are beautiful and majestic. Their wings spread out wide as they make graceful, aerial loops. To be so high and free with the world laid out beneath them is envious.
I am reminded of the tale of Icarus. To escape the island of Minos, his father Daedulus built wings of wax and feathers in order to fly away. Icarus’s father warned him not to fly too high, for the sun would melt the wax, nor to fly too low, for the water would weigh down the wings. In the middle course of moderation he would be safe. Once in the air, Icarus felt the freedom and exhilaration of flight. Higher and higher he went, not heeding his father’s advice, until the sun melted the wax and Icarus fell to his death in the sea.
Can we see the lesson Icarus’s death gives us? The lesson is to seek the middle moderate way, for in moderation, by not giving in to extremes and excesses and letting our lives be ruled by our appetites and unchecked desires, we will be safe and happy. It was not that Icarus shouldn’t have enjoyed his flight; but that he should have let his head rule rather than his passion and realized that sometimes a good thing is not better in greater amounts.
The Greeks are wonderful teachers of moderation. On the gable of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi is written “Nothing in Excess.” The fact that the Greeks had several Gods and Goddesses of moderation stressed how important moderation was to their ideal character and to their daily life.
Apollo is often called a god of moderation since it is on his temple where the warning was issued to live a life of temperance. From Pandora’s box, the Goddess Sophrosyne came. Along with moderation, she was the Goddess of self-control and restraint, both essential elements if one is to lead a moderate life. Sophrosyn was not only the name of a goddess, it was also the term used for moderation and self-control, both of which the Greeks felt were needed to avoid misfortune – both misfortune from Godly intervention and misfortune from making bad decisions.
In modern day, we often think of the sins of an excessive lifestyle in terms of the physical. Overeating produces obesity. Overspending and living beyond our means generates debt and poverty. Overuse of alcohol and drugs creates an addict. To the Greeks though, moderation was not limited to the physical world. Their stories contain lessons of those whose attitudes are immoderate.
For example, the Greek concept of hubris warns us of the results of having an extreme attitude. Hubris is a pride or arrogance so great that it defies the Gods or the laws of the Gods. By exhibiting hubris, one says that they are better than the Gods. More than one Greek tragic figure met a bad end by being hubristic. It was not wrong to be proud, but pride in excess (deserved or not) was a sin to the Greeks. It can be a direct confrontation; for example when Arachne claimed that she wove better than Athena and was punished by Athena turning her into a spider. Regardless of whether it was true or not, claiming to be better than a god was wrong to the Greeks.
Hubris can also be an indirect confrontation such as trying to avoid one’s fate. The story of Oedipus is an example. When his father abandoned him, he was trying to defy the Gods by attempting to avoid the oracle’s prophecy, which was that his son would kill him. The story goes on to show other examples of hubris when Oedipus, due to his extreme arrogance, kills his father in a road dispute and begins his own tragic downfall.
Nemesis, a goddess often linked to hubris, was known as a Goddess of moderation. She was the Greek Goddess who punished the perpetrators of hubris. Her job was to maintain equilibrium in the lives of the Greeks.
The idea of transgressions by living or feeling extremes was abundant in Greek culture and literature, but moderation, as a virtue, does not apply only to those who lived in the past. I see moderation in my daily life. It rules the natural world. The laws of moderation produce the balance the Earth needs to stay healthy. If it is too hot, the plants wither and die. In extreme cold, vegetation does not grow.
Even the animal world seeks balance. In a healthy environment, the predators, such as the hawks I saw, keep the preys’ numbers low enough to survive with the available resources, yet high enough to reproduce and continue as a species.
My garden, my microcosm of the natural world, does not do well with excessiveness either. Too many weeds will choke out the plants. Yet, if there are no nutrients from previous vegetation, the soil will not produce healthy flora – a blighted area, where even weeds will not grow, does not make a good garden. With too little water the greenery withers, but too much water makes them limp and wilted. Only with a harmonious balance of its environment will my garden do well.
Through the lessons of the Greeks and the lessons of the natural world, I see the value of moderation, but it is as a modern Pagan that I feel the need to place moderation in my life as a virtue. I see my garden as a metaphor for moderation because it is Mother Earth who benefits most from a moderate lifestyles. Everything we do affects the world around us, and through moderate living, we can help repair the damage done to Mother Earth.
By decreasing our needless consumption, we decrease our impact on the planet. Buying less material goods decreases the production of items, the harm that production does to the environment, and the amount of needless things that will one day fill our landfills. By eating less and not overindulging in food, we tax our over-burdened soil less and food can be distributed more evenly around the planet.
There are so many tiny actions we can do in our lives to help our planet by employing moderation. From keeping our homes at a reasonable temperature in order to conserve electricity to driving less in order to conserve gas, these small acts build up to become large contributions, especially if everyone does them.
The Greeks practiced moderation as a way to show piety to their gods. We can do the same to honor our Mother Goddess.
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Author's Profile: To learn more about Josie - Click HERE
Other Articles: Josie has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Josie... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).