Paganism and Pagan Life
These are my views on Paganism today

"Pagan" is the 7th most popular religion in the UK today (UK census 2012)
Paganism Meanings

pa·gan·ism
[pey-guh-niz-uhm]
– noun
1 - pagan spirit or attitude in religious or moral questions.
2 - the beliefs or practices of pagans.
3 - the state of being a pagan.

Wikipedia states - (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic"[1]) is a blanket term, typically used to refer to polytheistic religious traditions.

Reference.com states - (from Latin paganus , meaning "country dweller, rustic") is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world. It is a term which, from a Western perspective, has modern connotations of spiritualist, animistic or shamanic practices or beliefs of any folk religion, and of historical and contemporary polytheistic religions in particular.

Pagan Paths
There are so many different paths under the word Pagan.

Pagans feel more at home in woodland areas as they feel closer to the earth in these places.Pagans feel more at home in woodland areas as they feel closer to the earth in these places.Neopaganism,
Eclectic paganism,
Taoism,
Shintoism,
Tantrism,
Druidism,
Wicca,
Buddhism,
Shamanism,
Animism,
Pantheism,
Polytheism,
Voodoo,
Occultism

These are just a few in a list that can contain hundreds. Some are common, some less so. All have the theme that they are not Christian or Muslim which are in themselves that most common religions. BUT if you were to add ALL the Pagan religions together than that would be the worlds biggest. It is sometimes called The Old Religion as pre-dates Christianity. In the simplest form, it is a spiritual religion. It is generally rooted in the ancient nature religions of the old world especially round Europe but the roots of Paganism can be found throughout the whole world. The word "Pagan" comes from the Latin words paganus, meaning "country dweller or villager".

My Views On Pagan Life TodayPaganPagan

There is no "true" definition of exactly what is Paganism. There are many different views depending on each persons own viewpoint. There are some basic elements that are generally agreed upon though. The main consensus is there are three main religions in the world these being Christianity, Judaism and Islamism. Any other is usually classed as some form of Paganism. As this term is generally formed, there are many outside the three core religions who do not class themselves as Pagan.

During more recent history the definition of Paganism has changed to become a more general term for polytheistic and magical religions usually centering on nature as part of their belief system. Paganism has many forms, the most noticeable are  Druidism, Shamanism and more recently Wicca.

I am not going to go into all the definitions of the different paths here as I hope to aspire those to utilise and use the general search features on the Internet which will bring you details of the different paths of Paganism. In fact, that is the main focus of my websites, the art of research, to learn about different ideas, not to take anything on face value, but to actually take the time to question and confirm everything for yourself. Most of the people who come to my websites have been looking for something more, usually something other than Wicca, and it is their own research and questioning that brought them to my sites.

In magic, you must learn to use whatever you have available for yourself, your own ideas and methods and eventually your own spell work. Where as one person may use red ribbon in a spell, another may use red paper in their version of the same spell. If you are still looking to what path you are yet to embark on, that does not mean that you are not a pagan. Whether you are a Druid, Shaman, Witch or still to discover who you, are you still a Pagan on the pagan path, it is just that you have not yet found your specialisation. By researching and trusting in your own feelings, you have more chance of finding your true calling and you may be surprised to find that it may not have been in the path you originally looking at. Where you may have started out looking at being a witch you may end up being a Sorcerer.

The important part of the pagan path is following what is within you, your spirit, your soul and listening to yourself, discovering, walking, listening to and embracing the true path that will lead you to understanding yourself and the natural powerful magical world you live in. Paganism is such a life changing path that most who discover it never revert to their prior religious way.

Pagans attune their lives with the cycles of Nature. Paganism has deep roots within the minds of mankind for thousands of years making Paganism one of the most ancient and natural religions in the world today.  Even after Christianity started taking over the world the pagan religion remained in the more secluded areas of the countryside. Eventually Christianity replaced the old religion, the church of Rome virtually wiping it out. Some people, often mainly the wise men and women or Witches, quietly remained true to the old religion.  

The church eventually began to purge the world of all people who did not follow Christianity, cumulating in the slaughter of thousands of people including burning of so-called wise women (Witches). Even those just suspected of being a Witch were slaughtered. This did not kill off the old religion, it was driven underground and covens were formed by the surviving wise women to preserve the old ways and the old knowledge.

It wasn't until 1951 that the laws against Witchcraft in Britain were repealed. It has taken hundreds of years for the Pagan religion to start to make a recovery though prejudice is still abound in this so called modern world.

Stonehenge Stone CircleStonehenge Stone CircleFor thousands of years after the first druids worshipped in Britain, Druidry is to become the first pagan practice to be given official recognition as a religion. With concern for the environment growing and the influence of mainstream faiths waning, druidry is flourishing more now than at any time since the arrival of Christianity. The Charity Commission has accepted that druids' worship of natural spirits could be seen as religious activity. After a four-year inquiry, the Charity Commission decided that druidry offered coherent practices for the worship of a supreme being, and provided a beneficial moral framework.

The decision will also mean that druidry will have the status of a genuine faith. Druids worship nature and the spirits they see within nature, places like mountains, trees, rivers and the sea, as well as elements of nature like thunder and lightening and the changing of the seasons. (BBC news 2011)

Stonehenge and the Solstice are very important to Pagan worshippersStonehenge and the Solstice are very important to Pagan worshippersSolstice, Midsummer or Litha means the stillness of the sun. It is the longest day of the year and the time when the sun is at its maximum elevation.

Many Pagans go to ancient religious sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to celebrate midsummer. Seeing the sun rising on the first morning of summer like the ancient mystics give special meaning to these ceremonies.

Many more hold smaller pagan ceremonies in open spaces, woodlands, by steams or rivers, or even solitary personal observance just in their own back garden.

Witchcraft, Wicca, Druid, Shaman, Egyptian, Asatru, Hellenic - What Path?

Witchcraft is a spiritual system that believes in the free thought and will of the individual. Witchcraft is a practice where magic and sorcery is used. Witches are generally aligned to the path of love and light, although there are dark Witches out there, just as there are dark Christians. To be a Witch is to use spells and magic to manipulate the energies within and around the Earth to affect a change within your or another's life. We accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we make. Most importantly however, it teaches responsibility.

Wicca is a modern Pagan tradition. Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s and was a compilation of aspects from various faiths and ideas of his own. The Wiccan Rede did not exist in ancient times, nor was it a concept in general. Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not considered a religion. Wicca and Witchcraft are often used interchangeably but it is important to note that there huge differences between the two though there are many similarities between Wicca and Druidry. Both emphasize the importance of developing close links with Nature and their rites frequently take place out of doors.

Druidry is the earliest recorded native spirituality religion of Britain and Europe. It developed almost 3,000 years ago, but grew out of an even earlier belief. Ancient Druids left no written record of their beliefs and practices, though Greek and Roman writers refer to them. Druidry is about philosophy, spirituality, living with nature and a way of life. There is less emphasis on magic in Druidry, but it more actively encourages the development of music and poetry as paths to spiritual growth.

The Shaman path is a ancient and natural form of magic greatly untouched by modern influences. Shamans are healers, seers, and visionaries. Shamanic practices are present in all pagan paths. The central belief of shamans is that everything contains a spirit from the smallest grain of sand to the largest mountain, animals, plants even the elements have their own spirits. With training a shaman learns to communicate with these spirit Shamans often spend a vast amount of time in solitude on vision quests usually in natural surroundings using mind altering substances to help lift them into the spirit world where they will meet guides and totems to aid them in magickal workings.

The Egyptian path is as its name suggests following the principles of Egyptian spirituality, Egyptian magic structure and deities including Isis and Bast. These traditions are sometimes called Kemetic Paganism or Kemetic reconstruction. It is about finding a balance between man's needs and the natural world.

Asatru is a modern faith, founded by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson in 1973 in Iceland. This path is based upon Norse faith and tradition. This is a polytheistic tradition, a few common deities worshiped include Thor, Odin and Loki. The gods are living beings who take an active role in the world and its inhabitants.

Hellenic is a polytheistic religion based on the the traditions and philosophies Greeks and their deities like Hera, Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Hades and Aphrodite. A typical worship ritual includes purification, a prayer, ritual sacrifice, hymns, and sometimes a even a feast to honor their deities. Hellenes are generally governed by a set of ethics, Humility, moderation and self-control. It also teaches that retribution and conflict are normal parts of the human experience.

There are many Pagan paths, this is just touching the edge of what is out there. Anyone starting on any path including a path of Paganism then research is the first step on that path. There is always something to learn.

Everyone at some point in their lives question the path they are on. Very few ever change their path as they do not know where to go. Each one of us must decide, must question, ask, research and seek where they belong. Blind faith is faith at its worst, saying you are something without even knowing what it entails. How many call themselves Christian but have never read the bible?

REMEMBER ALL THESE VIEWS ARE MY OWN!


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