How to tell your loved ones your Pagan/Wiccan
at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, Are you Pagan? Don t know how to tell the ones you love?
This is can be difficult when it comes to telling some one who has conflicting beliefs or who isn’t open minded about this kind of thing so here’s some advice when it comes to telling your loved ones and Instead of a list of do’s and don’t s we are going to look at a few different things first by answering some general questions.
Q: What do Pagan’s believe in?
A: Pagans believe in nature as the divine and worship the earth as goddess and god, as a life giving entity of balance and opposites.
Q: Do pagans believe in one god or many?
A: Many pagans are what is referred to as Pantheist (pan=many, theistic=gods) and believe in the existence of god or goddess as a duel gender being with many facets depending on the culture those beliefs are coming from. Many pagans prefer to pull belief structures from many different cultures as that is what calls to them the most.
Paganism (or “Neopaganism,” which means the new Paganism) is the overall name for the modern nature religions. Just as Christianity has many different forms (Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, and so forth), so does Paganism. Some of the forms of Paganism include Wicca, Witchcraft, Druidism, Shamanism, Odinism, Goddess spirituality, and many others. Although there are differences between the many forms of Paganism, they also have much in common.
Witchcraft and other forms of Paganism have nothing to do with devil worship or Satanism. On the contrary, Paganism teaches the importance of living an upstanding and ethical life, just like any other religion.
Christians subdivide God into a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Wiccans do the same thing, only they see God as a Mother and a Father. In other words, as a Mother Goddess and a Father God. In fact, one of the biggest differences between Paganism and Christianity is that some Pagans prefer a feminine image of the Goddess over, or in addition to, the traditional masculine image of God
To Pagans, it makes no sense to see spirituality as separate from the material world. The Goddess is present in the material world, just as she is present in prayer and meditation. For this reason, Pagans see nature as holy and many Pagans get involved in recycling and ecological preservation as a way of expressing their religious convictions.
Q: what is Magic?
Most Pagans talk about magic — an easily misunderstood term. To Pagans, magic is not about pulling rabbits out of hats, or conjuring up spirits to do one’s bidding. [Some Pagans prefer the spelling “magick” to differentiate their practice from this type of magic.] Instead, it is best seen as using spiritual power in their daily lives. For example, just about anyone who believes in God will pray for healing when someone is sick. What Christians call prayer, Pagans call magic. It’s basically the same thing: relying on spiritual power to achieve our goals and live happier lives. Just as Christians ask for God’s blessing through their prayers, Pagans ask for the Goddess’ blessing through their magic.
Wicca is basically a new religion. It didn’t really exist before the 1940s. But it is based on ancient spirituality (such as the spirituality of the Druids, the ancient priests of Ireland and Scotland), as well as on modern science and psychology. For many Pagans, following this religion is about getting in touch with one’s (ancient) roots. For example, the more I have learned about the ancient Celts, the more I admire their civilization and spirituality. Modern Pagans try to honour the old ways of our forefathers and foremothers, who lived close to nature and who believed in Mother Earth as much as in a heavenly Father.
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of people around the world follow the Pagan path. Pagans come from all walks of life: rich and poor, male and female, straight and gay, high school dropouts and Ph. D.s. Pagans can be found in every corner of society: as lawyers, teachers, computer programmers, doctors, nurses, mechanics, and writers. The U.S. military has a thriving Pagan population, since many Pagan groups consider it an honourable thing to be a warrior. The Military acknowledges Pagans as practicing a valid religion, and many military bases have Pagan chaplains or chaplain assistants.
Now, you may be thinking, “All this okay, but I still don’t like the idea of Witchcraft.” Let’s take a closer look at that.
In ancient times, to call somebody a Witch meant to accuse them of using spiritual power to curse or harm others. We now know this was based on superstition and fear. Meanwhile, scholars have determined that much of what was considered to be “Witchcraft” in ages past may have actually been the nature-based spirituality commonly practiced in Europe up until the coming of Christianity. As people began to see Witchcraft as nature spirituality and not as something harmful, they began to see it as a good and upstanding thing. So today, when someone calls himself or herself a Witch, they mean it in a totally positive way.
Q: What Do Witches Do?
When people become Witches, how do they practice their spirituality? Wicca is considered a craft of the wise. It involves the pursuit of wisdom in many forms. Thus, people who explore the old religion will do any or all of the following:
- Study. Witches often love to read, and many longtime practitioners of the craft have houses crammed full of books. Nowadays, this love of research also extends to the Internet, where countless websites provide information on mythology, ritual, Goddess lore, and magic.
- Ritual. This would be the closest equivalent to going to church or synagogue. Rituals can be performed alone, in small groups, or in larger gatherings. As a general rule, they are performed on the night of the full moon, new moon, or on one of eight special Pagan holidays known as Sabbats.
- Magic. Less formalized than a ritual, magic consists of any activity aimed at channelling spiritual energy to achieve a specific goal. This can be as simple as meditating before a lit candle or as complex as an intricate ritual involving a series of carefully prepared symbolic objects. Incidentally, the process of doing a magical working is known as casting a spell.
- Craft activities. Many Wiccans and Pagans love to make candles, incense, oils, salves, herbal tinctures, and other items, imbued with natural ingredients that have spiritual significance. Such items are created only for positive magical or healing purposes, and are often used in spells or rituals.
- Nature-based activities. From planting an herb garden to helping clean up a polluted river, to simply enjoying long walks in the woods, nearly all Witches and Pagans truly the outdoors. To Pagans, such ecological activities as recycling or composting are not just good civic duties; they are also spiritually sacred acts.
Q: Are all Pagan’s Satanists?
A: No in fact only a small portion of people are, you see satanism follows an anti theistic approach to worship, and although it mirrors some aspects of paganism, pagans don’t actually believe in the Satan to us he/it doesn’t exist. You see Satan is a christian belief in an ultimate evil where as god is the ultimate good, in paganism we believe in Nature and the balance of nature as the divine, where nature is neither good or evil but a shifting of opposites.
A lot of people believe that pagan’s believe in Satan which just isn’t true in fact satanism can be considered a branch of Catholicism as it does have the belief in Satan and god. I realize that it is a very inflammatory statement and but in truth Satanism is not a form of paganism.
Q: What does it actually mean to be pagan:
A: being pagan means you have a respect for life, all life and have incorporated a daily spiritual practice into your life. Making offerings to the spirits or divine, meditating, perhaps taking yoga in order to connect to the divine. It actually comes in many forms but this is the most basic meaning of Paganism.
Pagans tend to take on a practice what you preach approach, they practice love and teach love, by taking responsibility for their own actions. You see when someone takes responsibility for their actions and teaches tolerance and love it makes the world a better place, kindness spreads. As well as other activities designed for spiritual growth. These miscellaneous pursuits can include meditation, studying a divination system such as astrology or Tarot, taking classes to develop psychic or intuitive ability, or making pilgrimages to ancient sacred sites such as Stonehenge in England or Newgrange in Ireland. Because Witches and Pagans regard all of life as sacred, any of these activities can be spiritually meaningful and an important part of their overall religious observance. There’s no one right way to be a Witch, and so not all Wiccans will do all of these things. But this variety of activities shows the richness and depth of spirituality that is available to modern Pagans.