This week sees us looking at the Nine Noble Virtues again, the virtue for the week is Vision which Our Own Druidry defines as ‘The ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present, and future.’
The Oxford dictionary online defines vision literally as ‘The faculty or state of being able to see.’ or what is more in context with what we are looking at as ‘The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.’
DPWotY asks us to read the Our Own Druidry version until we think we have some understanding of it, then we need to decide whether this covers vision in our own eyes. Is it just a matter of seeing and understanding or is there more to it?
I would say that the Our Own Druidry definition is a decent one, especially in a religious context but it isn’t enough to just see our place/role in the cosmos, we need to see how we can use that to better things, to give back to the Earth Mother in some way and for that we need to be able to use the Oxford dictionary idea of planning with imagination or wisdom, probably a little of both.
Dangler then asks us what we think understanding our place/role in the cosmos means and whether it sits comfortably. Also whether we understand the use of past, present and future in the definition.
I think it is important for us to try and realize that as an Earth Mother/Nature Worshipping religion that we are a small part of a larger whole. I suspect it is trying to get us to take a holistic approach to things in some ways. Our actions affect the planet, the ecosystem and each other and our role should be to help protect all of these things responsibly and to look after them.
The use of past, present and future is I suspect continuing on the holistic approach, we need to understand what has happened in the past, is happening in the present to be able to think about what to do in the future.
Do these terms sit well with me? Yes, I think they are trying to teach us responsible practice and to think outside the box. Therefor they sit quite well.
For me vision is a dual thing, on one hand it is seeing, we see things around us, what has happened and what could happen. On the other hand we envision with our imagination and see what could be, plan, think, hope, pray and scheme ways to make something a reality. I think both of these work well in a religious aspect, and as a noble virtue because it helps make practitioners think and plan and not blindly follow.
A good example of someone who is a visionary is our local Senior Druid, she had a vision to found a grove in Australia and for ten years has worked on that vision, making it a successful reality. She looked at what had come before, what existed now and planned for a better future. Some might argue that it is a small vision but not all visionaries have to accomplish earth shattering things, sometimes one small step leads to another, and another until they have accomplished a number of things that has a large affect.
I’ve worked in Event Management, I sometimes feel this requires a lot of vision, to pull together a team, a venue and everything else and run a successful event takes a lot of effort, planning and imagination. Acheiving it feels amazing, I wouldn’t have ever thought of it as being visionary until this essay, I certainly didn’t think of it as a virtue.
I’ve been part of a team that failed at succeeding to pull off an event, it was bitterly disappointing and the failure stung, we had a vision, we just didn’t have a strong team effort, or plan to pull it all together. I kicked myself for months over not assuming the leadership role, when it was shown that we were lacking a strong leader, I think it was a fear based choice not to.
I suppose really vision is a virtue that is required in neo-paganism and neo-druidry, we are creating something, not just for ourselves, but for others and for future generations. This requires vision, planning and dedication to ensure we are leaving something for those that come after. So if vision is necessary for this, which it is, therefore it is most certainly a virtue.