Pagans are everyday people who believe in the Earthly, nature religion of Wicca. There are different schools of thought when it comes to Paganism and Wicca and in fact witchcraft itself; I wish to tell you my thoughts, my beliefs in Wicca and Paganism; please understand this is purely from my perspective and feel free to take on board that which feels comfortable and dismiss that which does not.
The word Pagan comes from Latin word Paganus which means `peasant’. It is linked to green spirituality, earth and nature respect, respect of mankind and the Goddess Consciousness.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Photo credit: Don Sullivan)
For a lot of us to be Pagan is to be Witch but not all Pagans practice witchcraft or even refer to themselves as witches for fear of the stigma associated with the word witch and witchcraft. Paganism is nature worship pure and simple……. A pagan may believe in the religion of Wicca or may choose not to believe in religion of any type, but choose to believe in the earth, nature, oceans, sun, moon, galaxy of stars and the Universe; does this make them anymore less `religious’ or believing than you or I? Absolutely not, in fact the true follower of Paganism is a life affirming gentle soul who dedicates their life to the protection of Mother Earth and all that She is.
It is suggested that many of the Celts in Ireland back in the time 12 000 BCE were Pagan and they worshiped Mother Earth, The Universe and had many Goddesses and Gods. One of the most revered Goddesses is the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis; she has been worshiped for many centuries from the 4th century BCE (Before Common Era) to present day.
Paganism has always been freedom to believe in what you feel most comfortable with, no dogma attachments, to practice what you wish so long as you bring no harm to anyone or anything, but with the onset of Christianity and throughout the Middle Ages things changed for Pagans and believers alike. The new faith wanted `The Old Ways’ stamped out so as to take control of the people and instil the Christian belief system as the only belief system. They wanted one source of worship and anyone who was seen to go against the church was called a witch and persecuted for witchcraft.
Many Christian church hierarchies were also anti women and the role they played as healers was seen to undermine the Christians church’s one God. As far as they were concerned you were to believe in the one almighty God, obey your priest or pay the penalty. Women were primarily there to look after the men folk, keep home and birth children. So the gentle nature religion of Wicca had to be forced underground if it was going to survive and thus Pagans kept a very low, non affective profile; but if they were caught practicing their religion then they were tried and usually tortured into a confession and thus murdered.
Thankfully, much has changed with the modern day and Wicca is seen in a much better light; Christians too are much more informed and enlightened. It is suggested that Wicca is the second largest religion after Catholicism…….
Pagans show their love of their religion through Earth and nature worship, by keeping the earth green, not polluting, recycling, not pillaging from the earth, caring for sick and injured animals and wild life, not succumbing to greed, materialism, selfishness etc.
For some of us we cannot go out into the wild and help animals etc but help on a smaller scale; I for instance, have many dishes of water out in my gardens for the birds to come and drink and bath in. In this hot climate it is a small thing to do but has a big impact and shows in the many birds that come into my yard purely to quench their tiny thirsts.
For those who think that Paganism is just about witch’s and witchcraft, you couldn’t be more wrong and I pray I have given you a little better understanding of who Pagans are and how they live.
I hope your life is enriched in this wonderful Universe and all its mysteries…….