I have been giving a lot of thought to what virtues/values I have as a Celtic pagan. Specifically a modern Celtic pagan. I sat down and thought about what it was that drives me and who I wish to be. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I realized that many of the words we use to describe moral principles and/or virtues have very subtle flavors and nuances of meaning. Take “hope” for example. The definition of this word is often so nuanced that people can have very different definitions of what it means to them.
I decided to start with the Gaelic word for virtue, bua. Bua has the following meanings:
Bua, then carries many connotations at once. I would sum it up as meaning “a natural, learned, or earned ability of right action”. Now this is by no means an exhaustive definition, but it is one I can work with. I like to go to Gaelic for a deeper glimpse into the Celtic mindset on things, a mindset that I relish! So, now that I had my own notions of “virtue” and bua to work with, I set to the task of defining more clearly what, if any, set of virtues I live by. I came up with the following list, after taking many concepts and distilling them together. They are in no particular order:
- Buíochas: (gratitude, appreciation)
- Ceannasacht: (sovereignty)
- Dearscnaitheacht: (excellence)
- Féile: (generosity, hospitality, festival)
- Comhphobal: (community, union)
- Taitneamhachtaí Cultúrtha: (cultural preservation)
- Caomhnú an Chomhshaoil: (environmental protection)
- Dóchas: (hope, expectation)
- Fírinne: (truth)
After some thought I basically figured out that most of what I consider to be important in the world, and what means I would use to procure for myself a good life. In upcoming posts in this thread I would like to lay out what it is about each one that is important, and more importanly how I define them. It seems to me there is a real lack of discussion on Celtic Reconstructionism about what constitutes a good life. I think this is unfortunate. I am interested in what others pagans (not just us Celtophiles) think constitutes “the good life”. So each subsequent post in this thread will concentrate on each bua with more specificity. I would love to get as much input as I can. If you have anything to add I would *love* to hear it!