Freedom stands for the belief that I am free to choose which gods to worship while They are free to reject my offerings and refuse me what I ask of Them. It is what allows us to freely attach ourselves to any deity we wish, either because They appeal to us or through a formal vow; likewise, it is also what allows the Gods to freely contact those of us that draw Their attention. Freedom, however, is not without limits and is counterbalanced by duty.
Pietas is the scrupulous fulfilment of one’s obligations towards the Gods, family, friends, and the community/ies you’re part of. If you promised something to a deity in exchange for help and what you wished for came true, it is assumed that the Gods played Their part and you are therefore under the obligation to play yours. By being part of a family, you have duties towards your relatives, both living and those who passed onto the Other Side, and that’s also true for those with whom you have bonds of friendship and community. In some instances, these obligations are obviously not chosen, but imposed on you by the very nature of your relationships: generally speaking, one does not chose his/her family, but is born or raised into it, inheriting duties towards living and dead relatives and even towards family gods. Communal life would have had a similar nature in the past, but given today’s context of diverse societies and secular States, religiously it’s best applied to polytheistic groups and organizations.
Freedom is also not without its opposites, which are superstitio and some forms of magic. The former is born out of the belief that the Gods are out to get you, causing an excessive fear of Them and a submissive behaviour that destroys human freedom. The latter are magical formulas and practices aimed at stealing from or forcing the Gods into a given course of action, which breaks with Their freedom. And while it is true that humans and deities are not equals, I find a balanced religious practice to be nonetheless based on mutual respect with reciprocal rights and duties. It is in this sense of a relationship built on negotiation and agreements that I believe the Gods to be essentially benevolent.