Monday, 08th April 2019
To be faithful.
The practice of fidelity.
I happened upon this post recently by Galina Krasskova on her blog Gangleri’s Grove.
It’s not a recent post, it is actually from nearly a year ago, and I found it quite by accident.
(Or did I? Sometimes, I marvel at the synchronicity of life!)
I continue to find it profoundly moving.
It spoke to me about being faithful as a practice.
This resonates deeply for me both as a marriage celebrant and as a devotional polytheistic practitioner.
What does fidelity mean?
The word itself can sound a little old fashioned.
So to rephrase: what does being faithful mean?
To quote directly from Galina’s blog post:
“Fidelity can best be defined as remaining faithful to one’s commitments. One of the things that Sigyn has gently pointed out to me the past few days is that it’s not enough to remain faithful. There are ways to do that poorly, grudgingly, carelessly or mindfully and well. To embrace fidelity in the best of ways is to do so consciously, as an ongoing practice. That means accepting and embracing [self-directed] curbs on one’s behavior in some cases (perhaps not all) and acting consciously from love and a desire for the other’s happiness and health. How do we embody this practice in our devotional relationships and in our human ones too? Do we even give it a second thought beyond the most obvious?”
Over the last week I have read, and re-read Galina’s post.
To be faithful – or fidelity as a daily practice.
What does it mean to you?
How can you make this relevant in your religious / spiritual practice?
How is this relevant In your relationships?
Other posts on this topic:
John Beckett raises the point that fidelity isn’t about having faith, it is about being faithful.
I recently wrote a blog around being a Devotional Practitioner, and how important daily practice was to me.
This, too is part of being faithful.
It’s interesting how few discussions focus on the practice of prayer.
Pagans & Polytheists as People of Prayer ~ Amor Et Mortem
To me, this aspect of faithful practice is very important.
There is however, a lot of discussion given to fidelity in reference to the Nine Noble Virtues.
On a very old WordPress Blog called Pagan Quill which no longer seems to be active, I found a great post discussing fidelity from the perspective of loyalty and being faithful.
I really liked the final few lines of this blog post:
“From holding our faith with our gods, to holding faith with our spouses and friends, the virtue of fidelity describes not just a virtue, but a sacred, interactive and interdependent bond based on merit.”
As an aside, one of the attributes of Ivy is fidelity.
Trees of Sanctuary ~ Ivy, interestingly..
I found this interesting, because where ever I live in the City of my Heart (Melbourne), ivy and violets grow. If they weren’t there when I move in, if they weren’t present when I moved in, they *arrive* if I stay longer than 18 months.
I am just starting to consider this more deeply, and reading this blog post of Galina’s, happens to coincide with reading The Witch’s Familiar by Raven Grimassi.
In this book, Raven talks about relationships of all kinds.
What are your thoughts on fidelity?
Do you see a difference between fidelity and being faithful?
Is it an important consideration in your spiritual or religious practice?
Are there any blog posts that have spoken to you on this topic (pop them in the comments, I would love to read them!)
Its a huge aspect of Co-Masonry. I have worked with the concept of “fidelity” when it comes to my personal practice especially in respects to my regular Kemetic practice.
There does not seem to be much written about it from a pagan perspective, and yet, the more I consider it, the more important it seems to me.
Helen Gilmour says
Sadly faith/fidelity and belief are so conflated it is difficult to separate the two. Let alone explain the difference. Belief requires an abdication of self experience and an embracing of another person’s revelation experiences. It is second hand no matter how one views it and cannot speak to one’s experience or response but may inform one’s responses and experiences. Informing is fidelity, blind faith is out sourcing one’s spirit to a second party.
In short, for example reciting the Nicean Greed, the Wiccan Creed, in fact an form of absolutism, is out sourcing one’s spirit. It is easy, doesnt force internal change.
Fidelity , for me, means finding sources of practice that do resonant with one’s experiences and then acting upon them. A bond of fidelity that interacts and forces us, sometimes painfully, to grow/emerge. Other times it forces us to dance with joy.
The Silence of the Seed
We are scattered now,
the rich soil of becoming.
This breaking open –
of atoms, galaxies, and bacteria
into the next novel moment-
is beyond our comprehension.
Yet we know in our depths
that we are most ourselves
when we are in the breaking through,
into the sprouting life,
in the death giving way to new life,
in the holy mystery
of unceasing yearning to manifest.
We are this mystery of growth,
and yet as intimate and personal
as our breath-
this incessant sigh for completion.
And so we keep the expectant silence of the seed
before the mystery of emergence,
knowing that you are the one
who makes all things new.
From “If Darwin Prayed”
Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics
It is fascinating to consider the difference between the two – which is what captured me in my reading around the topic.
Interesting point of absolutism; I have also been reflecting upon what one author refers to as the Monotheistic Filter; which suggests exactly that.
Thanks for commenting.