We bring our late spring theme, “Practice”, to a close with this thought by Mary Jo Weaver:
“First the appearance, then the dance, then the story.”
Pagans often claim that they have no orthodoxy (right belief), only orthopraxy (right practice), by which they mean they privilege action over belief. Mary Jo Weaver writes in her essay, “Who is the Goddess and Where Does She Get Us?” (published in the spring 1989 volume of the Journal of Feminist Studies), that the formula, “first the appearance, then the dance, then the story”, specifies the proper relationship among theophany, ritual, and theology. If we were to rephrase that statement in naturalistic terms, then we might say: “Experience precedes practice and practice precedes reasoning.” But is this ordering true for Humanistic and Naturalistic Pagans?
Give this issue some thought then share how you order these three elements of spirituality: experience, practice, and reasoning. Explain why in the comments below.