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There are virtually as many denominations to Paganism as there are to Christianity. Within Paganism, there are a big number of beliefs, dieties, and ideas. However, we (very similar to Christianity) have sure core values and beliefs which might be central to paganism. Some of our core beliefs embrace:
Respect For Nature
A Belief in Harming None (together with each your self and others!)
Belief in Deity or Deities (differs relying on denomination)
Mutual Respect for All Life
A Belief in “Magick”
While some pagans consider in just one Goddess, and one God, others might consider in ONLY a Goddess, or ONLY a God, or MANY totally different Gods and Goddesses. Also, some pagan paths are extra centered on working “Magick” (the power to make issues occur utilizing willpower and nature) than others. Generally talking, pagans of all denominations are sort, caring people that consider that it’s fallacious to hurt any dwelling creature (together with crops!). We consider within the regulation of three…which tells us that no matter actions we do to others, shall be introduced again upon us threefold. So if we do one thing dangerous to another person, it is going to come again to us 3 times as dangerous.
Pagans are very earth-concious, and stay in concord with nature. They see nature as a dwelling being, and need to deal with her with kindness and respect. Pagans additionally come from all walks of life…there are wealthy pagans, poor pagans, black pagans, white pagans, indian pagans, previous pagans, younger pagans…you get the thought! In reality you might have in all probability met many pagans on the road and did not know they have been pagan! Most pagans don’t actively present their faith, for worry of being outcast or ridiculed by buddies or household. Some pagans even lose their jobs, or worse, simply by admitting that they’re pagan.
Pagans (together with Wiccans, which is a denomination of Paganism) typically additionally discuss with themselves at “witches”. This can actually intimidate or scare Christians, as they think about witches as being evil or merciless as historical past portrays them. This is completely not true, and is simply a stereotype. Many Wiccans are reclaiming the phrase ‘witch’ as a phrase of energy, believing that this phrase has been unfairly maligned. There are individuals who use the time period ‘witch’ who comply with a religious/spiritual/moral path, however who aren’t particularly Wiccan.
The commonest image for paganism is the pentacle. Pagans use this image very similar to Christians use a cross or crucifix. Unfortunately, this image can also be some of the misunderstood! What the pentacle symbolizes to pagans is the 4 parts of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and the purpose on the prime symbolizes Spirit, which is in every part round us. The circle across the H pointed star represents unity. While the pentacle HAS been utilized in Satanism, Satanists use the pentacle with the purpose dealing with DOWN. Pagans by no means use the pentacle on this method…the purpose is all the time up! (See extra details about this within the What we’re NOT part.
Pagans usually rejoice H “sabbats”” (or holidays!) a yr. These are coated extra extenstively in our Holidays part. We additionally have fun 12 “esbats” a yr as nicely. An esbat is a celebration of the moon, often when full. We rejoice the moon, as a result of it’s a image of the Goddess, and it carries her energy with it.
Pagans even have “alters”, however these aren’t evil, archaic issues. These are often a easy desk or stand the place we place our necessary magickal gadgets, comparable to incense, a chalice (which represents the goddess), an Athame (dagger) which symbolizes the god, salt to characterize earth, incense to characterize air, water, and a candle to characterize hearth. There may additionally be different gadgets that a pagan might place on their alter to assist them with their rituals.
Pagans do “rituals” at main sabbats, esbats, or typically for different causes reminiscent of handfastings (pagan marriages), wiccanings (pagan baptising!), or different particular events. Ritual often solely includes casting a circle, calling upon the diety, calling upon the A parts, and finishing up the ritual itself (resembling thanking the diety for the harvest, and so forth). Now, thoughts you, rituals and methods of doing ritual range significantly between denominations and particular person pagans.
Some pagans do belong to a “coven”, which is a gaggle of pagans who worship the identical diety, and have the identical objective and mindset in doing magick. Although some pagans belong to covens, nearly all of pagans are solitary, which suggests they work alone.
These are the fundamentals of what paganism is. Obviously I can’t cowl each matter on paganism with out writing a whole e-book, however I hope that this text lets you perceive the reality of paganism.