I’ve been interested in paganism for a long time, and have identified as a pagan for several years now. If you don’t know much about it, I’ll just correct a few misconceptions – we don’t go around casting bad spells and many of us don’t go in for prancing around naked outside! There are lots of great things about being a pagan, so I hope you’ll learn something interesting here.
Pagans are very tolerant people. We accept others for who they are, regardless of race, sexuality or beliefs. All we ask is that the same respect is given to us, and that our beliefs are accepted as valid.
There are many different pagan paths, so you have a lot of freedom. No one tells you what you must believe in, it is for each individual to decide what they believe and what speaks to them.
Paganism is about connection with the earth, nature and our past. Most pagans are animal lovers and environmentalists, and are often involved in green issues or animal rights and welfare.
Pagans respect other religions and may even adopt certain aspects of them. It would no doubt surprise many Christians that many pagans and witches respect Christ greatly as a prophet. We also believe that there is room for all belief systems – just don’t force yours onto anyone else.
5 Being Yourself
There is great scope for individualism. I’ve always felt that religion should be a private matter, so I choose to practice by myself. Other pagans prefer to be part of a coven and to practice rituals and celebrate festivals with other like-minded people.
Paganism has been around for much longer than any other religion. So at Christmas and Easter you can complain loudly that they are actually pagan festivals that were stolen by the Christian Church, and go on about Easter eggs being fertility symbols.
Paganism, wicca and witchcraft are all about taking responsibility for yourself. You don’t have someone else to tell you what to do, but should make your own decisions, and always be aware of the consequences. For instance, it is not considered appropriate to try to influence someone else when casting a spell, as that would conflict with their right to choose.
We don’t mind being laughed at. It’s nice if people have some respect for our beliefs, but we can poke fun at ourselves as well. Goddess knows that some of our activities must look pretty daft! We also laugh at each other – read this cardiffpagan.co.uk for a sample of pagan humour (I’m an eclectic pagan, by the way …).
9 Make up Your Own Mind
I’m very much an individual, and nobody tells me what to do or what to believe in. For this reason, conventional religion never appealed to me. Paganism doesn’t have a ‘holy text’, so there are few rules, other than the mantra ‘do what you will, as long as it harms no-one’.
I hope that this has been of some interest, and that you’ve learnt a bit about paganism. It would be a much happier world if we could all accept that everyone has different views! No-one’s right or wrong …
Top Photo Credit: _-=Dreemreeper=-_
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