Pagan or not pagan, that is my question.
I have been trying to figure out whether or not I am a Pagan.
I looked in several dictionaries and now I'm really confused.
One says a pagan is one who has more then one God, another says that all religions that predate all existing religions are pagan. Christians say everything except Christianity is pagan. I'm beginning to wonder just what the word actually means, if anything.
Christians use the word with distane, others seem to rejoice in using the word to describe themselves. Now if paganism is a "current religion" then those who practice it really are not pagans then are they?
I think Christians often confuse pagans and wicca's and actually anyone else. Indeed probably the JW's even call other Christians pagan because they celibrate Christmas, a pagan holiday...LOL
So maybe to Islams, Christians are the pagans.....Hmmmm
To a humanist, Christians are now the pagans, believing in that old time Religion instead of evolution or science which is much newer.
Anybody out there think they know what a pagan is?
pagan: means they pay, in Spanish
I personally don't believe in pagans or paganism, it's just another way to label 'non-christians' for mainstream christian religions
and the WT way of describing a 'non-Jehovah's Witness' or a 'worldly' individual.
i guess then that you are also heathen, barbaric and an infidel !
but we love you libra ...
The only common denominator I can come up with is that paganism is characterised by polytheism. That would make Hinduism pagan; it would make Shinto pagan; it would make Wicca pagan, it would...well, it would make a buncha religions pagan.
What does it mean to be pagan? That apparently depends upon whom you ask? Does it endanger your soul? I don't personally think so. The spiritual differential between any religion, polytheistic or monotheistic, today and the level of spirituality of the Absolute is so great as to be virtually infinite. I really don't think the Absolute really cares about the mechanism of worship at our present state of development. I really think it's all about HOW you live your life - not about which spiritual club you belong to. Thus Wicca is as valid as Catholicism is as valid as Hinduism, is as valid as Protestansim, is as....
I seem to remember that the ONLY thing that apparently made Jesus furious was hypocrisy. And I don't think membership in ANY spiritual club will save you from that.
My two cents.
I have never heard that a belief in polytheism made you pagan, but I could be wrong. I have no idea what the real definition is. I think paganism is just another religion like everything else...
Incase you didn't see this on the other thread.
The way i see it, pagan is nature based or derived as opposed to communicated supposedly directly from god. Nature based would include heavenly stuff like astrology, sun adoration, harmony w nature, respect for nature and the environment, and things like that, as opposed to gods command to have all these things in at our command/disposal/subjection to use/abuse/transform/destroy as christians see fit until jesus comes and saves christians from themselves.
Interesting question. As a Pagan, I'm amazed at how many definitions there are for the word. I see Paganism as a new revival of an old religion. The neo-pagan faiths are nature based, but they embrace a direct and personal relationship with the divine, one that does not need an intermediary such as Jesus or a priest or a church, the divine exists in everything and everyone, it is visible daily in our lives and needs no special book to tell us how to interpret it. Watching the sun set is experiencing the divine, celebrating life and love are an integral part of paganism.
Not all Pagans are polytheists - many simply believe in a Goddess or a feminine aspect of divinity, others see a God and a Goddess, though both are aspects of the same energy, still others are ploytheistic and believe in a whole pantheon of ancient gods and goddesses who are all different forms of the One.
In my opinion and experience, true Pagans are characterized by an inner spirituality, an ability to find beauty and joy in the simple things in life and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I knew I was a Pagan over a decade ago when my then fiance tried to bring me into the WTS. He bandied the word 'pagan' around as a sunstitute for 'evil' all the time and finally I just said, "I'm sorry, but I guess I'm really a pagan. I suppose there's no hope for me." It wasn't until years later that I realized how lucky I was to be a hopeless pagan.