Who needs Deliverance and what does it mean! False Religions Pagan Religion (Paganism)

Pagan Religion (Paganism)

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Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices. Some modern forms of Paganism have their roots in 19th century C.E. European nationalism (including the British Order of Druids), but most contemporary Pagan groups trace their immediate organizational roots to the 1960s, and have an emphasis on archetypal psychology and a spiritual interest in nature. Paganism is not a traditional religion per sebecause it does not have any official doctrine, but it does have some common characteristics joining the great variety of traditions. One of the common beliefs is the divine presence in nature and the reverence of the natural order in life. Spiritual growth is related to the cycles of the Earth and great emphasis is placed on ecological concerns. Monotheism is almost universally rejected within Paganism and most Pagan traditions are particularly interested in the revival of ancient polytheist religious traditions including the Norse (northern Europe) and Celtic (Britain) traditions. Many Pagan traditions are intentionally reconstructionist in that they aim to revive many of the lost rituals of the ancient traditions, including holy days and seasonal celebrations. Besides Nature, many Pagans also worship a variety of gods and goddesses, including spirits which can represent national and local heroes as well as deceased family members. In this sense, many Pagans try to honor their ancestry and ancestors. Some Pagan traditions include ritual magic, but this practice is not universal.

Quick Fact Details:

  • Formed: Since the religious traditions that contemporary Paganisms draw on and seek to restore are ancient, the early 20th century date reflects only the revival of the practices and the communities that are sustained by them.
  • Origin: The diversity of Pagan traditions includes myths, histories, and lore from a wide variety of pre-Christian sources, including northern Europeans as well as those of ancient Mediterranean communities.
  • Followers: The diversity of Pagan traditions has made a comprehensive census nearly impossible. Practioners also point out that social discrimination against Paganism has kept many from practicing openly.

Pagan Beginnings

Rooted in ancient magical spirituality while finding new expressions in the postmodern age, Paganism encompasses many different beliefs and practices.

Pagan Influences

A wide array of spiritual, cultural, and philosophical currents combined to affect the rebirth of Paganism in the post-modern world.

Pagan Founders

Numerous people have played key roles in the development of Paganism, particularly in its mid 20th-century renaissance.

Pagan Scriptures

Paganism by definition has no written sacred scripture. Its "sacred text" and source of authority is the natural world and the personal experience of each individual practitioner.

Pagan Historical Perspectives

Whether they see themselves as returning to ancestral practices or creating a new Paganism for today's world, contemporary Pagans constantly deal with questions of authenticity, identity, and historicity.

Pagan History

Pagan Early Developments

Paganism has many roots the world over, including the largely mysterious prehistoric practices of the Proto-Indo-European people.

Pagan Schisms, Sects

When humankind began to write, sacred myths were recorded, with each distinct culture preserving its own set of stories about the gods and goddesses.

Pagan Exploration, Conquest, Empire

The story of Paganism in the context of empire, particularly the Roman Empire, is not so much a story of conquest as a story of ultimately being conquered.

Pagan Missions, Spreads, Changes, Regional adaptations

Throughout ancient Europe, Paganism evolved into a variety of forms, adapting itself to local regions and venerating gods and goddesses anchored in specific places.

Pagan Modern Age

Combining vestigial Paganism and modernist sensibilities, key figures like Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente revived (or, recreated) nature spirituality for their time.

Pagan Beliefs

Pagan Sacred narratives

Mythology both ancient and modern contributes to the sacred stories through which Pagans find meaning in themselves, their community, and the cosmos.

Pagan Ultimate Reality and Divine Beings

Pagans vary widely in their understanding of deities or spirits, although most revere the natural world as both good and spiritually enchanted.

Pagan Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence

Generally speaking, Pagans see both the foundation and the purpose of humanity as embedded in the physical environment. Humans are not "given" nature and purpose so much as they create it.

Pagan Suffering and the Problem of Evil

Suffering and harm are natural aspects of life; therefore, Paganism aims for pragmatic and virtuous ways to respond to these unavoidable realities.

Pagan Afterlife and Salvation

Pagans regard death as simply part of life, and therefore nothing to be feared. Beyond death lies either paradise or reincarnation (or both).

Pagan Ritual, Worship, Devotion, Symbolism

Pagan Sacred Time

Cycles of the sun and moon establish a sense of sacred time for Pagans, while some ancient fertility or agricultural festivals are still celebrated today.

Pagan Sacred Space

A variety of mythical and ritual approaches to sacred space can be found within Paganism, including ancient ceremonial sites and mythical otherworlds.

Pagan Rites and Ceremonies

From elaborate Wiccan Circles to the simplest of "do-it-yourself" meditations, Paganism encompasses a wide array of ritual practices.

Pagan Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Because it is less about obeying an external authority than about trusting one's inner guidance, Paganism fosters a daily practice of balance and harmony

Pagan Symbolism

While no one symbol is universally held within the Pagan community, several are widely recognized and revered, with the pentagram perhaps the most commonly used.

Pagan Ethics, Morality, Community

Pagan Leadership/Clergy

Instead of a professional clergy, many Pagan groups have an egalitarian priesthood, open to most practitioners who assume ritual or organizational leadership positions.

Pagan Community Organization and Structure

In most settings, contemporary Paganism is a minority religion, which enables Pagans to gather in informal, small-scale communities; many practitioners work as solitaries.

Pagan Principles of Moral Thought and Action

While moral perspectives within Paganism are as diverse as nature itself, many Pagans adhere to principles such as personal freedom, honor, and respect for the rights of others.

Pagan Vision for Society

While Paganism offers no consensus vision for the common good, many adherents believe in caring for the environment and creating a non-sexist, non-homophobic society.

Pagan Gender and Sexuality

As a postmodern religious tradition inspired by ancient fertility practices, Paganism generally celebrates freedom and diversity in regard to human sexuality and gender.