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From Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

VISION
1

  • a : something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy; especially : a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation
  • b : a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination
  • c : a manifestation to the senses of something immaterial <look, not at visions, but at realities — Edith Wharton>

2

  • a : the act or power of imagination
  • b (1) : mode of seeing or conceiving (2) : unusual discernment or foresight <a person of vision>
  • c : direct mystical awareness of the supernatural usually in visible form

3

  • a : the act or power of seeing : sight
  • b : the special sense by which the qualities of an object (as color, luminosity, shape, and size) constituting its appearance are perceived through a process in which light rays entering the eye are transformed by the retina into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve

4

  • a : something seen
  • b : a lovely or charming sight

From Our Own Druidry (82)

Vision: The ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present, and future.

Vision strikes me as a complicated concept as a virtue since it has so many potential meanings, from the ability to see physically to a more intangible ability to dream and plan for the future. I really like how the ADF definition of this virtue incorporates many of the dictionary definitions in a succinct way – it’s both the physical act of seeing and the spiritual act of foresight and discernment (there’s wisdom again), combined with placing ourselves in the greater path of the Kindreds and the cosmos. I especially like the idea of vision as a manifestation to the senses of something immaterial, since I see my work as a Druid being one of manifesting the immaterial in material ways. Rituals – both big and small – take the forms and ideas about the Kindreds and the Cosmos and make them present as material realities: Fire, Well, and Tree, offerings and blessings.

Vision is more than just divination (though that is definitely part of it). It is the integration of the past, present, and future into a path that can be traveled. There is also an element of challenge to vision, that it expects a lot from us, and does not shy away from the difficulties that create growth.

Part of me suspects, though, that this virtue gets a little bit of abuse in the form of “ADF’s greater vision” – I don’t think that individual Druids, while still displaying the virtue of Vision, will necessarily come up with things that are similar to the core “vision” of the ADF organization and it’s leaders/founders. I don’t know that I always display vision particularly well, and I think group vision is important, as we seek to find ourselves in relationships with each other as well as with the greater beings in the Cosmos, but I don’t think we all have place the same weight on each defined goal to work together in ways that are constructive. As well, I think this virtue means as much our own vision for ourselves as it does our visions as a group.

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