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What does it mean to be a PAGAN?

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Moongirl
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What exactly is Paganism and what does in mean to be a Pagan?

Definition on the Pagan Federation website:

A definition of a Pagan:
A follower of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.
A definition of Paganism:
A polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion

.

Further down on their website:

What makes a Pagan?
There are many answers to this; briefly Paganism encompasses the indigenous belief of a country. So before any human-centric religions developed there were many other spiritual traditions in each country. For example Druids in Celtic countries, Shamans in many countries including Native America and Siberia, Shinto in Japan, Witchcraft and Wicca, Norse Tradition and many other traditions.

From Wikipedia:
Paganism (from religions in particular.

But surely, the followers of the above mentioned traditions would call themselves Druids, Shamans etc. I’m a Wiccan and wouldn’t call myself a pagan in the first instance, however Wicca might be found under the Pagan umbrella definition.

So what does PAGAN mean to you and why do you call yourself a pagan? What Gods/pantheons do you worship? Do you call yourself pagan AND druid, pagan AND shaman and so on….? Some people also call themselves Neo-Pagans, but I’m not quite sure what they mean by that. :confused:

I’ve had this discussion with some friends recently and I’m curious on how other pagans define their believes. To be, the word PAGAN is quite vague and could literally describe anyone who worships nature.

It would be interesting to know your views on this! 🙂

BB
Moongirl

38 Replies
Reiki Pixie
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OK, moonfairy cake, lol 😛

Yes there is other important aspects of our daily dietary, like giving thanks for it, the abudance or if you like the fat of the land from the great goddess herself who nourishes and supports us all. Isn't that partly what paganism and earth-based spirituality is all about?

RP

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Moonfairy
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OK, moonfairy cake, lol 😛

Yes there is other important aspects of our daily dietary, like giving thanks for it, the abudance or if you like the fat of the land from the great goddess herself who nourishes and supports us all. Isn't that partly what paganism and earth-based spirituality is all about?

RP

Yes, It's Fairy Nuff IF you keep to the topic. 😀 That's only fair to the OP.;)

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InfiniteBliss
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i don't know much about it and probably can't comment more than others on here but to me, being pagan is all about being connected with nature and the elements.. being in tune with the seasons, cycles of life etc..

wicca or witchcraft is more about practising magic, either in a coven or as a solitarty witch/hedgewitch.. the worship of gods/goddesses and of course, being in tune with the various phases of the moon (maiden, mother and crone) and the 8 festivals or sabbats..

i have to admit though, i get very confused with it all and tend to practice what feels right to me.. i have never felt the need to belong to anything in particular (perhaps i'm just not there yet) but i delve into both by way of feeling connected with nature, understanding what each of the elements mean (to me) and how to harness that energy when i feel i need it.. also moon phases are something i am finding more and more drawn towards.. i have even begun to practice the occasional candle magic/spell.. i also recognise the importance of each of the sabbats, what they mean, how they can be used to draw, attract and release the things we want in our lives.. i don't fully celebrate each equinox and soltice but i'm aware of the energy behind them and hope to develop this even further as and when the time is right..

trouble is, there is so much conflicting information out there, when you are just starting out it can make you feel quite inferior.. hence the reason why i find things that resonate with me and let my intuition tell me the rest.. 😉

x x x x x

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Charis
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Hi everyone,

I realise this too is going a bit off topic, but I just wanted to respond to a couple of comments from earlier in the thread.

Second is an embracing of what we might loosely term 'the old gods' - a rejection of monotheism (single old beardy dude) and an acceptance that the divine has at least male and female aspects, and maybe comes in multiple aspects: so, many gods - polytheism.

I know how common the stereotype is, unfortunately, but nowhere in any of the Abrahamic scriptures (Judeo-Christian-Islamic) is there any concept of the Divine as an "old beardy dude". Yes, there are some unfortunate tendencies, ancient and modern, to think of God in an anthropomophic way, and this is reflected in some of the older Biblical accounts. But at the heart of all three monotheistic faiths is the idea that Deity cannot be represented in or limited to any physical form ("Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image") - and, even more profound, God's self-identification as I AM (see Exodus 3:14).

I agree, too many traditional and scholastic interpretations of these faiths have missed the depth and magnitude of this idea. But it's there, and more than a few followers of these paths are well aware of it.

More in my next post...

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Charis
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Of course, everyone will have their own understanding, which highlights an underlying philosophy: most monotheistic religions are fascist. Pagans generally accept diversity and individuality - they do not believe that they and they alone have the real truth and that everyone else is wrong - and tend not to have the judgmental view that those with 'wrong beliefs' will burn in hell for etermity or get reincarnated as a slug.

Please - if you do accept that truly spiritual living means loving all and judging none - kindly don't write off the majority of the world's seekers of the Divine as fascist. Again, this is a complete stereotype. Even if it is the way too many would-be religious people think, it has nothing to do with true divinity or spirituality, as I'm sure you all know. And more and more followers of the three Abrahamic faiths are actively throwing off the old concepts of "we have the only truth" and "unbelievers will burn in hell". Those are the worst of human beliefs and conceits, not divinity in action at all.

May I please give an example of how far off the mark this characterisation of monotheism is? I'm a Christian. The denomination I belong to, Christian Science, makes very clear throughout its teachings that God is not a magnified human personality (old beardy dude?) up in the sky somewhere. Instead, it gives seven synonymous names for God: Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, Love. These all refer to the one infinite, ever-present divinity, while showing that God has many aspects and attributes - a point that came up earlier in this thread, too.

Christian Science also refers to God as Father-Mother - the one creator and source of all being, including what we think of as masculine and feminine qualities equally. And no, there is no eternal hellfire for non-believers, nor any concept that "we" have this truth and others are excluded. Truth is Truth. The Bible says it explicitly: God is Love. Who or what can be outside that?

I apologise for having gone on at such length. I only hope I might have conveyed the idea that monotheism isn't monolithic - and that in truth, having one God must mean including all.

All love, Charis

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Eragon
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Paganism for me is a way of life ~ a choice. Pagans usually don't worship a God or Godess but follow a Spiritul path treasuring Gaia (Mother Earth) we develop a relationship with nature...all nature including animal spirit a little like Shamisim & the Native American Indians....in fact many of our beliefs lay with the NA.
We tread lightly and walk with the wind, after all at the end of the day Earth does'nt belong to man ~ Man belongs to the Earth!

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lany
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Paganism

I consider myself to be a Pagan but dont particularly follow any specific Gods or Goddesses. I love all nature and the moon and stars. But as a Reiki Healer I also respect the Energy that is all around us. I try to look for the good in everyone, and believe everyone has a path in life to take, but which is not necessarily the same path as everyone else.
Let us be grateful for the beautiful things Mother Earth has provided for us and harm no-one.

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Mystacoll
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sorry to interrupt...

Hey people. i'm a new member here. I have come to this site with a little question needing answering, which may lead to many more questions but could perhaps answer a lot. Confused? hmmm so am i...
Basically, i have been interested in wicca and pagan beliefs for a a good 10 or so years,and have dabbled in many differant things. But i have never been initiated into anything. i once nearly went to a few things and contacted the pagan federation, but the bottom line is im a busy guy who doesnt have a lot of time to travel all the time...i was wondering if anyone knew of any local covens or groups near blandford in dorset? i have recently got engaged and would love a wedding that is a bit more real than singing songs i dont know about a guy who is deabateable of ever existing. Plus Christianity is more or less based on pagan beliefs anyway, and i dont really want a business deal type of wedding in a registry office where we turn up hand over some money scribble our names down and Bob's your uncle...But i believe to actually have a wiccan or pagan wedding i first need to initialise into a group or coven...i could be wrong so please forgive me if i am...this is not the sole reason for wanting to be intialised though...its something ive thought about for years... it would be good to actually have a picture to follow whilst doing the jigsaw puzzle, rather than trying to figure out what the whole picture is without help, if you know what i mean!!!

I would be eternally grateful for any ideas, or any nudges...

Mystacoll

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Justice
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i don't know much about it and probably can't comment more than others on here but to me, being pagan is all about being connected with nature and the elements.. being in tune with the seasons, cycles of life etc..

wicca or witchcraft is more about practising magic, either in a coven or as a solitarty witch/hedgewitch.. the worship of gods/goddesses and of course, being in tune with the various phases of the moon (maiden, mother and crone) and the 8 festivals or sabbats..

i have to admit though, i get very confused with it all and tend to practice what feels right to me.. i have never felt the need to belong to anything in particular (perhaps i'm just not there yet) but i delve into both by way of feeling connected with nature, understanding what each of the elements mean (to me) and how to harness that energy when i feel i need it.. also moon phases are something i am finding more and more drawn towards.. i have even begun to practice the occasional candle magic/spell.. i also recognise the importance of each of the sabbats, what they mean, how they can be used to draw, attract and release the things we want in our lives.. i don't fully celebrate each equinox and soltice but i'm aware of the energy behind them and hope to develop this even further as and when the time is right..

trouble is, there is so much conflicting information out there, when you are just starting out it can make you feel quite inferior.. hence the reason why i find things that resonate with me and let my intuition tell me the rest.. 😉

x x x x x

I am Pagan. So many Pagans don't understand what the essence of the reality of what they are doing. You need to know how the metaphysical universe works first. The first principle is that after the chaos of creation the universe is like a vast sea infinity small particles.

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