Piety [Dedicant Path Requirement]

What is piety? According to Merriam-Webster, piety consists of “fidelity to natural obligations; dutifulness in religion.” Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the quality of being religious or reverent.” In ADF the conversation often turns to the dichotomy of ‘right belief’ and ‘right action,’ right action being generally considered more pertinent. In my mind, piety is doing your duty to keep balance and order in the world – keeping the cycle going. Piety does not, for me, mean any particular theology or belief. It means, quite simply, honoring the world and its ways – the ripples that resound from a vow, the thump of life and death. ‘Right belief’ is hardly a consideration. Right action is its own power; belief is not necessary for effectiveness, only willingness. Willingness to journey is piety in action. Gary Snyder expressed this best when he said, ‘The philosopher may despise mystification, but respects the mystery.’ When the gods call, you do not object about your lack of belief in them – you go. Piety takes different forms for each of us.  Its only true requirements are honor and respect – honoring your duty as a child of the earth, and respecting all you find thereon in the ways that touch them. For me, piety means maintaining the deep ecology of story and song, honoring those who made me and the world that nourishes me, gathering the stories of the people who will tell them to me. It means commemorating the cycle of the world, honoring it – living it. Piety means enstasy – standing-into.


About November Jones

November Jones lives in a small but very colorful house with three cats and her very noisy partner, codename: Batman.

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