The Meaning of Paganism
by Rose Ariadne
Paganism is a collection of varied earth-based religions based on timeless values such as belief, responsibility, respect, freedom, honesty, courage, will power and justice. This way of life was practiced as early as the Neolithic times.
The general consensus about the word "Pagan" is that it means "rustic" or "rural" religion which implies that is nature based and is usually practiced by people who live in villages or towns that are unadulterated, maybe even isolated. There are many types of pagan religions.
Followers of Wicca and other neopagan practices call themselves Pagan to define their spiritual paths. These pagan practitioners have their own deities, symbols, spiritual ceremonies and festivals including rituals borrowed from ancient ways of life. Wicca is based on the pre-Celtic era European paganism and is Earth centered while Druidic religions are based on the ancient Celtic "professional" culture.
Asatru is another pagan path which follows the ancient, pre Christian Norse religion. Christianity tried its best to connect paganism with Satan, a Christian symbol of evil. However, after the initial conversions and tithing practices, people realized that they were just being fleeced by the monolithic churches who are trying to take their money. Many people are moving towards pagan religions now.
Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the USA. The proportion of Americans who classify themselves as Christian has declined from 86% in 1990 to 77% in 2001. Large numbers of American adults are disaffiliating themselves from organized religions including Christianity.
Pagan religions have always suffered at the hands of ignorant people who considered it a threat to their coffers. Although the term "pagan" refers to polytheistic religions where more one God is worshipped, any sane (aware) human being can understand the all of these energies who are worshipped are from the same source.
Some people believe that the word "pagan" describes a person who follows a non-Abrahamic religion; Christian, Muslim, Bahai or Jewish". This means 45% of the world's residents including Hindus, Humanists, Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, etc are pagans. Another way of looking at pagan religions is by their approach to the entity called God. A monotheistic religion has only one God. A polytheistic religion such as Hinduism has multiple Goddesses and Gods, all of whom are considered to be from the ONE source. However, for the purpose of worship, individual Gods are called upon for each task. Most Hindus know that all the Gods are from the ONE source.
© Rose Ariadne
About the Author
Rose Ariadne has been practicing ancient forms of Witchcraft for over 25 years. You can visit her website at: www.askroseariadne.com/