Principles - Pagan Life Rites


Principles of Pagan Life Rites (Ireland)

Pagan Life Rites, in common with other organisations, makes no claim to represent every person of Pagan faith resident on the island. However, it shall serve individuals who seek assistance and shall operate in the interests of Pagan religion and traditions in Ireland.

The primary objective of Pagan Life Rites (PLR) is to serve the Pagan community of the island of Ireland by way of providing trained clergy for the administering of traditional religious rites pertaining to birth, marriage, death and rites for other passages in life. In the case of marriage, the traditional religious rite is referred to as Handfasting which is a continuation of Ireland’s indigenous wedding rite being that custom first recognised in Brehon law. Our Constitution elaborates further on the desire of Pagan Life Rites to offer couples legal ceremonies of marriage, and its subsidiary objects.

As Pagan Life Rites grows, it will further seek, not only to improve the services it provides to the Pagan community, but also to improve the relationship Pagans have with the wider community in the form of increased communication with Government regarding the rights of Pagans. It will also provide information to those who wish to understand our ethos better.

All Clergy listed on the Pagan Life Rites website will be approved by the Board and serving Regional Officers of Pagan Life Rites Ireland.

The ethos of Pagan Life Rites is reflected in the general Pagan attitudes. That is, recognition that there are many aspects of Deity reflected in but not restricted to, the worship of God(s) and Goddess(es); the immanence of Deity within all things; and a direct communion without intercession to the Divine in Nature.

This is encompassed in the following Principles:

  • Service to the community – First and foremost Pagan Life Rites exists to serve the community without prejudice. This means that the services offered by Pagan Life Rites are offered without prejudice to belief, race, gender, sexual orientation or any other reason, so long as they lie within the remit of Pagan Life Rites and are requested by genuine need by a member / members of the Pagan Life Rites.
  • Respect and honour of the land and of nature – The island of Ireland is our home and Her sovereignty is treated with respect. It is held within Pagan belief generally, but not exclusively, that Deity resides within Nature and is immanent in all that is around us. Therefore, the land we live in and the Earth that we walk upon should also be revered and treated with respect.
  • Respect and honour of each other – This is expressed in many ways, from “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, “Do what thou wilt, an’ it harm none”, or “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, Love is the Law, Love under will”… to any number of individual expressions. Whatever way one sees fit to express it, in honouring oneself one also honours others. We, as Pagans, do not impose our will onto others. We do not seek to cause harm to other individuals’ sovereignty, nor to the sovereignty of Nature.
  • Respect and honour of the Divine – We recognise the Divine in its many forms, most commonly expressed, but not limited to, God(s) and Goddess(es). We also respect and honour the reflection of the Divine in ourselves and in those around us. We acknowledge and celebrate the difference in belief and experience of the Divine in our fellow humans, allowing that there is room for everyone to find their own way of expressing union and communion with Divinity, and that each individual or tradition shall not impinge upon the belief and praxis of others, nor will individual members of Pagan Life Rites proselytise their own traditions, beliefs and practices.

Many of us who follow a Pagan faith recognise ourselves as being of Nature.

Pagans, whether in groups, groves, orders, covens, ‘communities of practice’, or solitary, hold rites to celebrate the sacredness of Nature and the celebration of the Divine in all living, be it in a private home, a rented venue, or an historical site such as Navan Fort or Tara. Handfastings are now often facilitated in outdoor settings thanks to Section 16(b) of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014. Having a permanent physical temple can be impractical and, to some, antithetical to our spiritual practice.

Some Pagans eschew the idea of orthodoxy or dogma, preferring to find our own way, as opposed to following a written set of rules or guidelines of practice. There are those of us who would not describe ourselves as Pagan at all, finding the term ‘Pagan’ too constricting. Our spiritual belief may be Earth-based, and Divinity – seen as either immanent or transcendent in relation to our world – may be viewed through a monotheistic, polytheistic, pantheist, panentheist, or animist understanding.

So long as the four Principles of Pagan Life Rites fit within your belief system or practice you are welcome to become a member of Pagan Life Rites Ireland.