"A question we often get asked is what is Paganism? Let us try and break it down into common questions we get asked"
What is a Pagan? A Pagan is a person who believes that everything has a soul or spirit. This is called Animism, and all Pagan religions share this belief in common. Rivers, animals, rocks, trees, land are all filled with there own unique spirits for people who are Pagans. Traditionally, Christians believe that only humans have souls or spirits.
Many environmentally conscious Christians today share the belief with Pagans that all forms of life have a soul. Pagans see the divine spirit in all life, as do some members of other religions.
Is there more than One Pagan Religion? There are hundreds of different Pagan Religions. Some of the best known Pagan religions are Buddhism, Shintoism, Native American Religions, Hinduism, Taoism, Wicca, Druidism, Asatru, Shamanism, Neo-Paganism and Eclectic Paganism.
Is Paganism a Cult? No, Paganism is a major World Religion, with many branches. More people on Earth are Pagans than any other faith. Some Pagan groups may be classified as cults, just like some Christian groups are cults. The Christian groups headed by Jim Jones at Jonestown, who committed mass suicide, and the followers of David Koresh at Waco, Texas are both considered cults, but they were also Christian denominations. Any religious or spiritual tradition can have cults in its midst, that does not mean that the entire tradition is a cult. Wackos and religious charletans come in all religions, denominations, and races. The word Cult is often used as a slur word to disparage someone elses religious beliefs. It is frequently used derisively toward non-white or indigenous folk cultures and their beliefs.
Are Pagans Devil Worshippers? No, Pagans do not worship the Devil or Satan. Pagans do not believe in the Devil, he is part of the Judeo-Christian Religions and their mythology. Most Devil worshipping groups are not Pagan, because they are centered on a Judeo-Christian supernatural being, namely Satan. These Devil Worshippers are a sect of Christianity, even though many Christians do not want to claim them. Their focus is on opposing the mainstream Christian God and honoring the Devil, neither of these beings are part of Paganism. There is a tradition that calls itself Satanist. Satanists are not devil worshippers. They do not believe in god or the devil or any force outside themselves and other living creatures. They believe they can control their lives without the need to place responsibility on a higher power of any kind. Devil worshippers on the other hand sometimes do claim to be Satanists. . . this leads to lots of confusion.
Are Pagans Witches? Some Pagans are Witches, some are not. Many Pagan groups do not practice Witchcraft. Wiccans are a type of Pagan Witches, there are also Dianic Witches, Green Witches, and other types of Pagan Witches. There are also Christian Witches, many of these people are practicing Christian, but also practice Witchcraft. Santeria is a South American religion that is a blend of VooDoo, Witchcraft and Christianity.
What do I need to be a Pagan? A love of Nature, and a commitment to live in harmony with the Earth and Her creatures. A Pagan will also mark the Sabatts; there are 8 Sabbats that make up the Pagan Wheel of the Year. The Sabbats are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.Esbats are the celebration of the 13 full moons that occur every year. The Esbats are lunar and represent the Goddess at her height of power.(Learn more about Sabbats and Esbats).
Paganism varies with each and every peson, one thing you need to feel in your heart is that its your own spirituality leading you to Paganism. Paganism is for Pagans, only you know if you are a Pagan in your heart.
What is a Pagan Ritual? A Religious or Pagan Ritual is anything that focuses your spiritual energy. A church service is a ritual, so is a wedding, or a funeral, or a Hopi Sun Dance. Humans have created rituals since the beginning of time. Ritual is the way humans express their connection with divinity and each other. There are many kinds of Pagan Ritual, personal rituals you do by yourself, full moon rituals, by yourself or with a group. There are blessing rituals for a new home, or for children, or for healing, or cleansing. There are protection ritual, and banishing rituals, to name a few.
Your may have placed a horseshoe over you door, this is a popular form of simple protection ritual that is rooted in Pagan tradition.
Who is the Pagan God? There is no single Pagan God. Some Pagan faiths, like Hinduism and Eclectic Paganism have many Gods and Goddesses. Some Pagan Traditions like Taoism have no Gods or Goddesses. Some popular deities with contemporary Pagans are Artemis-Diana, Inanna, the GreenMan, IsIs, Brigid, Rhiannon, Apollo, Kore, and Demeter.
Do Pagans Pray? Yes, many Pagans pray and many connect with the divine in other ways. Many meditate as a form of prayer, other drum as a form of prayer, others chant, sing or dance. Some dedicate each task they perform during the day, to the Goddess. Throughout human history people have spoken to their Gods or Goddesses through many different kinds of "prayer".
When a Muslim prays, they bow toward Mecca, when a Christian prays they cross themselves, when a Buddhist prays they chant or make a sand mandala, when a Pagan prays, they may be chanting, doing ritual, hugging a tree or picking up litter on a beach, as a way of connecting with their Goddesses or Gods.
How do you become a Pagan? You look into your heart and ask if it is the right path for you. Some people are born Pagans, even though they do not even know the word, others are born into Pagan cultures, and many others become Pagan when they search their hearts for a connection with their Spirits. To become a practicing Pagan, you must learn to look at Nature and begin to honor Her ways and cycles. Many new Pagans begin by celebrating the phases of the Moon. This can be as simple as taking the time each evening to gaze at the Moon and sing softly to yourself. Make up the words as you go along, you will be amazed at how easy it is. Really look at plants, and your cat, sit quietly and see if you can feel their energy.
The first steps to becoming a Pagan are becoming aware of the magic of the natural world around you. The second step is do a small personal ritual and self-blessing that celebrates your entering the Pagan Path.
What do Pagans do?(Click To Learn More About Pagan Holidays) Pagans try to live in harmony with the Earth and honor the ways of Nature. Pagans strive to strengthen their understanding of this miracle called Life. Pagans go to school, go to work, pay taxes, clean house, garden, raise kids, make art, watch TV, do not watch TV, eat at McDonalds, do not eat at McDonalds and love or hate computers, just like everyone else.
Pagans are just folks who have a different religion, a Nature Religion that teaches them to honor all life. Pagans honor their Goddesses and Gods with the same faith that non-pagans have their own religions.
Where are the Pagan Churches? There are thousands of Pagan Temples around the world. Most Eclectic Pagans, Wiccans and Native American Religions do not worship in churches. Because they are Nature Religions. Religious Rituals are often held outside, in parks, fields, wooded groves, at a beach or lake, anywhere that promotes a connection with Nature. Large public rituals are often held in auditoriums, small rituals are often held in peoples homes. There are also Virtual Temples and Altars online. many christian churches are built on what once was a pagan place of worship (Grove) to encourage the pagan congregation to attend church.
Why do people say bad things about Pagans? People often ridicule what they do not understand. Fundamental Christianity seems especially threatened by Pagans, although I do not know why. Many hateful, ridiculous, and untrue things about Paganism have been said by Fundamentalist preachers, who obviously were not paying any attention to Jesus message. Hate and prejudice were never a part of Jesus teachings. Hollywood has also created many damaging and untrue stereotypes to sell movie tickets. Funny, no one believes Robo-Cop is real, but people seem anxious to believe any absurd thing said about Pagans or Witches. (NO "The Craft" was not realistic or true at all!!!)
How do I start learning about being a Pagan? You look into your heart and begin asking yourself questions about what is sacred. The essence of Paganism is within you, many of the answers are there. Register To Learn More about Paganism. You May Start with remembering to be grateful to the Earth for sustaining your life and giving you food. feel free to ask any questions on our Facebook Page