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Question for experienced Pagans.

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posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:23 PM
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I really feel like me and Paganism/Wicca are on the same lines when it comes to basic understanding and outlook on the world. I'm currently reading my second book on the subject, this one focusing on "paths"
Now, as i understand it, pagans, wiccans and the like dont follow a standard set of rules, rather they have principles that act as guidelines. There really is no beleif of sin and the devil (Aswell as hell) do not exist. Though i read something today that i didnt quite...adhere to. Maybe that will become common as i read more?
I'd like to here your views on this certain extract of the book i'm currently reading.

"If you have decided you have pagan beliefs, what next? How do you actually become one? well, you do not become a pagan by reading books, talking to other pagans on the internet, attending moots, conferences or rituals. They may help you in your quest but the acid test is if you live as a pagan. Do you care for the enviroment in practical ways, such as recycling your rubbish and refusing to buy products that are bad for it? do you treat all people equally regardless of gender, race, sexuality and religion? do you actually have regular contact with nature, splashing through muddy puddles with the wind on your face in a wood or walking by the water? do you support pressure groups working to save wildlife, prisoners of conscience and the enviroment? These are the sorts of actions that define you as a pagan far more then your reading list, social calender or the costly courses. Incedently, because we beleive in living in the 'real world' and interacting with our general communities, it is better to be involved in general campaining organisations such as greenpeace rather then stirring up 'pagans only' organisations for what should be univeral concerns."
No copywrite infringment intended.

Up until that point i was really connecting with the book. But that paragraph makes me feel ... Pressured. You know? Like "Cant be a pagan unless your being active in greenpeace" I dont recycle, i dont boycott products because they are bad for the earth, i boycott products that are bad for people (working conditions, health overall by vendor and consumer) Its not in my character to activly protest against powerstations. I observe whatever part of nature i can. I acknowledge the seasons as they change, Wonder about the effect of full moons, dream about being away from the city and out in the open. I'm all for natural remidies because i have faith in the earth.
But i have to ask other experienced pagans about this little paragraph. Do you agree that in order to be a pagan, this is what you must do? I mean, i understand it connects with many of priniples of paganism and wicca, but surely, you dont have to actively persue them in order to be taken seriously of your beliefs?

Thank you for taking the time to read, i hope you have give me a generious view of this.




posted on May, 8 2010 @ 10:08 PM
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Seems to me that the person that wrote the quoted passage is more interested in making someone an enviormentalist rather that pagan.

While taking care of the enviorment is important it is not the be all end all of Paganism.

As a pagan ( I prefer the term heathen being that I am Asatru ) I am a recycler type person that does not make me more of a pagan than someone who does not, I also drive a large truck with a V8 engine and that does not make me any less of a pagan than anyone else.

Do I treat everyone equally no, I treat folks the way I would like them to treat me and if I percieve a lack of respect towards me I just go out of may way not to interact with that person.

Contact with nature for me is anything from greeting the moring sunrise to taking my dog for a walk, its all based on cirumstances of where one lives. I live in a Metro area surrounded by desert, I feel more in touch with nature in a large city park with trees than I would wandering the rocky desert filled with tumbleweeds.

I am not big on joining anything and being a member of some envioromental movement surely doesnt make some one a better pagan the whole joing greenpeace section of that little quote smacks of a political agenda more than paganism. I have never paid a dime for any course on paganism nor will I ever, knowledge has always been exchanged freely and without expectation with those I consider Kindred.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 12:20 PM
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I don't know you...but am darn proud that you made that connection. I am a pagan of 10 years now...Wiccan for the last 4. Of course I adore the Earth and nature and animals. ((PS I am NOT a vegetarian)

So how do I know I am a pagan or a Wiccan? Phew…you sure do ask the hard questions :-p

It’s in me. Part of the problem we have here (and this isn’t your fault by any means) is labels. People will label me as a Wiccan because of the rituals and spells that I do.

The physical portion of paganism is one who is non-Judeo…not Christian, Islam, Muslim, Jewish Catholic and so on. That’s a fine start but where do you go from there?

Well I am gonna tell you right now I don’t have the answer. What I do have is the answer that fits me best.

I am a Wiccan who falls under the Egyptian pantheon. Specifically I work with Isis and Osiris. Typically Wiccans will be “duothestic” where they work under a Triple Goddess (mother, maiden and the crone – Kind of a bit of each in this one deity) and her counterpart (the Horned God). In my case Isis represents the Triple Goddess and Osiris the Horned God. Some Wiccans follow the Rede which is simply our version of do no harm

An it harm none, do what thou wilt

Also we have a tendency towards magic. Now magic is a HUGE variety here. For some people think magic is lighting fires and healing others. For some it might be manipulation and divination of deities. For me it is nothing more than interacting with nature and Isis but again that is MY belief and by no means am I the end all be all.

That’s the easy part IMO because Wicca is a bit defined. Of course at any time your personal definition of Wicca may change. With that said…

How do I know I am a Pagan? Well for starters as I said I don’t follow the main beliefs. I am polytheistic and that is typical to many but certainly not all pagans.

The word Pagan is Latin based and means rustic basically. A simple life. A natural life. In my own belief a pagan is one who reveres nature. We care for it and feel part of it and are connected to each bit of it. To me each animal is connected to me and I am connected to them. So too with the plants, the water, the sky whatever you like. To me it is a wholesale connection to life in general. Harm none and treat all as equals. However one could say a Christian could revere all life and they aren’t wrong. Pagans do not by any means have a lockdown on the reverence factor. The big difference is the polytheism or if you ARE monotheistic typically it wouldn’t be the Christian God or Allah who you worship. To me it is the faith and feeling you get. I feel Isis and I know she is not accepted by Christianity and thus I consider it paganism. But again…labels are devastating and stupid sometimes

I am sorry this isn’t what you may have been looking for but I wanted to give it a shot

-Kyo



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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I am also a Pagan and do things to help out Mother Earth. I do recycle and do not throw trash on the ground. However, it is something that I would do anyways. I believe that Mother Earth is a living being and we should take care of her, or she will find a way to get rid of us.

The wonderful thing about being a Pagan is we don't have to follow any sort of rules or dogma. You can go decide what it means on your own pace, not let a preacher or book tell you what it is and isn't.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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Pagan is a word describing religion, not a religion itself. However, "Pagans" don't realize this and go on to claim things that have all the individualism of saying "I'm polytheistic."


Pegan is just a blanket term to describe ALL nonabrahamic religions just like the word heathen. However it is commonly used today as a newage belief system that merges green living with "ancient" folklore. You can really do whatever you want and call yourself pagan, that is what most people do.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


fortunately those people are usually spotted quickly. It becomes the 'in' thing to do for some...ah well what are ya gonna do

-Kyo



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