Devotional Polytheist Meme Question No. 17

What qualities should a leader in your tradition possess?

1. Honor & Integrity

A leader in my faith tradition should be a person who holds to a high standard of behavior. They should be a person who is honorable in their actions. As an honorable person, they should respect and uphold the freedoms and rights of all life. They should keep their word when it is given and strive to do their best in all dealings.


2. Discernment

The ability to tell the difference between what is from the gods and what is created within the hearts and minds of humanity is very important. The ability to determine what is just versus what is considered to be proper by the prevailing social mores of where they are located is equally vital.

3. Wisdom

With discernment, deep intelligence and comprehension is necessary. This may manifest as a great deal of scholarly knowledge or it may manifest as a keen understanding of how things work on a more practical level. In either case, the wisdom to know when to act and when not to act is very important. There are times where one must keep their own counsel and others when they should reach out to the community around them.

4. Willingness to Learn

Along with wisdom, a leader in my faith tradition should have a willingness to learn. It is my firm belief that a living faith adapts and grows with its adherents. This requires the leaders of that faith to learn, grow, and change so that they may continue to lead adequately. Failure to do so serves only to limit the faith to a specific set of circumstances of a given time. As life progresses away from those circumstances and that point in time, the faith that does not grow and change becomes irrelevant.

5. Compassion & Mercy

Compassion and mercy are two things that we are called to by Dea. I think it something that is also encouraged by the other gods that I follow. Building relationships with the rest of the world, we find that compassion brings us to greater understanding. This is something that creates a harmonious world and one that is beneficial to people who practice the same faith that I do. In Filianism or Déanism, this state of harmony is called thamë. It is my understanding that thamë is the same as building frith between people and the world. Frith is preferable to conflict and unwholesome strife. (There is strife that is healthful and encourages us to grow.)

Mercy is the extension of compassion to those who are in need. It is something that should be given with out strings or conditions. It is a gift and a blessing. I think that the extension of mercy to those who are in need is perhaps one of the higher callings of humanity. That is, however, my personal opinion.

6. Clear sense of justice

Justice is that which brings the world back into a thamelic state. It is my understanding that we are called to address the evils of the world that humanity continues to perpetrate by all gods. While the path to justice is different for each case, I think that the gods want to see it done. A leader in my faith tradition should have a clear understanding of what is just so that they might guide others in their actions. This may include some form of social activism. It may be ancestor work and spiritual efforts to correct the harm that has been done by our predecessors. In either case, justice must be kept at the forefront of practice because it is a major part of being compassionate towards the world.

Originally Published: 12/14/14
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