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Paganism


The Horned God and Mother Gaia

Paganism is diverse and personal and you will find that many people adapt this way of life to suit their own preferred system of belief… but within all this diversity, there are certain things that define our basic tenets of belief.

Paganism is a nature based spiritual system…in other words, we have a strong nature and ecological base. We do not worship nature, but rather we worship through nature. We see nature as a manifestation of Deity and we attune ourselves to this force. This alone does not define a pagan, as this nature based attitude could be applied to almost any other religion. But you will find it is a basic premise of all pagan belief systems. Nature represents the whole of divinity and gives us an intimate connection with that force.

Now within nature, you will find a polarity of all energies – there are two sides to almost everything in nature – you could label this the masculine and feminine aspects. Because we see nature as the divine, we also see our divine force as having two aspects – masculine and feminine – God and Goddess. Both are equally important to the existence of the universe and both are equally revered and worshipped within the craft. The fact that we worship both God and Goddess is very much a defining point of paganism. As everything around is energy, we are energy, all just vibrating at a different frequency, means that we are connected. There is no difference between you and the plant outside or the chair you sitting on or Divinity, therefore we are all one. We are Divinity as Divinity are us. WE ARE ALL ONE.

Another defining trait of Pagans are that we attune to nature through the ‘Wheel of the Year’. Our eight solar festivals (called Sabbats) are universally accepted as common ground between the many pagan traditions. The sun is seen as the ‘God’ energy and Solar festivals are usually ‘God’ orientated. And through the the eight festivals we see the ascend of the Sun God (being at the height of summer) to the descend into the underworld (height of winter). And the Sun God being the consort of our Mother Gaia (earth), she is always present in being, maiden, mother (pregnant with the sun just before summer starts) and the crone where she has given birth to the sun and where the cycle starts all over again.The Goddess represents all that is female and the God represents all that is male. But because nature is seen as female the Goddess has a wider meaning. Mother Earth or Gaia, she is seen as the creatrix and sustainer of life, the mother of us all which makes all the creatures on the planet our siblings.

As we attune to the solar cycle and the seasons, we also closely follow the lunar cycle. We perform our worship and practice our craft under the light (or dark) of the moon. The moon is seen to represent the Goddess.

Pagans do not believe that ours is the ‘one true’ path and do not proselytise…in other words we do not push our religion onto other people and try and convert them. We understand that each person has different spiritual needs and we do our best to respect other religious systems. Ancient Pagans would have worshipped one or a small number of Gods and Goddesses, while often recognizing the validity of other people’s deities. Many Pagans believe in reincarnation in some form. It gives Pagans a substantially different view of life. Early Christians saw Karma as a kind of treadmill, trapping people in endless reincarnations, never free. But Pagans see reincarnation as, at best, a chance to improve or to continue unfinished work, and at worst just a simple recycling of souls.

Pagans do NOT believe in the ‘devil’ (by any name). Most believe that the concept of a ‘purely evil’ deity has Christian origins…there is no mention of a devil until the New Testament in the bible. It is interesting to note that those of Jewish faith also do not believe in the concept… and that Christianity stems from Judaism. The ‘old gods’ have aspects of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and it was only the idea of an all-good, all loving deity, that necessitated an antagonist.

This has been a very brief look at what the Pagan path encourages as a belief system.

Paganism is a philosophy… it is a spiritual system, an attitude and a way of life.

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