Moderate: 1 a : avoiding extremes of behavior or expression : observing reasonable limits <a moderate drinker>
b : calm, temperate
2 a : tending toward the mean or average amount or dimension
b : having average or less than average quality : mediocre
3 : professing or characterized by political or social beliefs that are not extreme
4 : limited in scope or effect
From Our Own Druidry (83)
Cultivating one’s appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health (mental or physical), through excess or deficiency
Again here I’ve used the definition of “moderate” because “moderation” was self defining (“The state of being moderate”), and I found I got more traction and useful definition from the root word.
For me, moderation is the antithesis of “black and white” thinking. In a logic class I took once, we were instructed always to look for a third option, and then a fourth and fifth, when presented with an all or nothing proposition. This helps prevent logical fallacies, but it also helps prevent destructive behavior through obsession (either with excess or deficiency). Looking for the third option doesn’t necessarily mean a middle road (though often that is the case), but can simply mean avoiding the obstacle altogether, or finding a creative and unusual solution to a problem. I’ve explored this a little further in my post Adventures in Polytheism, for those curious.
It is a means of self-care and self-respect as well, to know one’s limits (both physical and mental), and to know how to use those limits but still function with respect to others. Much like hospitality, moderation will frequently run in with other people. The warrior virtues of integrity, courage, and perseverance will come in handy when cultivating moderation (to help you know and stick to your limits and your own sense of balance), and moderation can temper and balance those same warrior virtues (to keep you from running too far with any one idea). For me personally, moderation is the virtue that helps me know when I’ve pushed too far beyond what I can handle mentally, and to know when to balance self care with my desire to please others.
I find this an interesting choice to be included in the nine “primary” virtues of Druidry. While I certainly agree that it is a virtuous thing to cultivate moderation, I think it speaks to the nature of ADF as a group to seek a middle way – to accept both solitary and group work, to cultivate the intellectual mind and the intuitive mind, to be modern Neopagans but to take our cues from ancient cultures. Moderation is about balance, and it is, I think, included in the list in order to balance out some of the more polarizing of the virtues.