Guest Speaker

Being Pagan

 

What does being a Pagan mean in this day and age? Ask 10 different Pagans and you'll get 100 different answers. Paganism isn't a religion in itself, rather it is an "umbrella" term that covers many many belief systems that are essentially nature based. Before the main, well known religions that are in the word today were established, if we had to give an name to the ancestral religion of humanity it would be Paganism. This is why many people who are Pagan say that they follow "The Old Ways."

Today there are Pagans who follow established systems, such as Wicca, Druidry, Witchcraft and Shamanism, and others who follow no set system at all. Pagans usually believe that there is energy in everything in nature and honour it accordingly. Those who worship deities will honour a Goddess and a God, rather than just a God as in many mainstream religions. The male and female in nature are equally revered, and balance in general is encouraged. For example, light and dark, life and death, as they are all part of nature and the cycles of life. Pagans do not believe in the Devil or Satan. The Devil, as far as Pagans are concerned, is a Christian manifestation as he was originally one of God's angels in heaven before disobeying him and being sent to hell.

Some Pagans practise magic and some don't even believe in it. Again, ask the question "what is magic?" to 10 Pagans and who knows how many different answers you'll get. For some people, their belief in magic is the wonder of the world around us, in nature itself and how Mother Nature reacts to what we do to her. Other people believe that magic is the result of focussing your intent on a subject to influence events to go the way you visualise (either with or without charms, chants or rituals). Many compare this to people in other religions praying as you are "willing" something to happen. In this case, rather than asking a God to do the work for you, you are using your own energy to do it.

This is a very general overview, and just the tip of the ice-berg, but hopefully I have been able to provide some information that you may not have known, or had much knowledge of, before. There are many books, magazines and internet articles providing much more detailed information available. The Pagan Federation was set up in 1971 to support Pagans and to ensure they have the same rights as followers of other beliefs and religions, and they have an abundance of information on the topic as well as elected members who can be contacted directly for help.




 

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