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Welcome to UK Pagan

For Pagans of all paths, and for Pagans of none.

UK Pagan has been an online home and discussion place since being founded in 2001. We pride ourselves on providing a safe space for active debate and conversation, and a place where followers of other religions are welcome providing they show respect and tolerance.

We strive to be a place for all Pagans, whatever path, whatever stage of their learning; a place where Pagans discuss issues with tolerance and respect for others; and a neutral forum with no "site line" or "site view".

We are made for the community and by the community.

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  • Posts

    • On 7/22/2019 at 10:26 PM, Ellinas said:

      As the second druid bloke above pointed out, we're not all druids...  Non druid here.

      Are we all pagans here?  What is a pagan?  For me, it's just a term of convenience - something that people who've never thought about what it means think they know what it means and assume enough to stop me having to make lengthy explanations, even though they have no idea what, if anything, it means it my case.  Also, most people would just glaze over were I to tell them that I'm a non-reconstuctionist Hellene - itself a term I've made up for my own purposes.

      Are you a pagan?  Depends.  What does it mean to you?  I'm pretty certain there is no comprehensive definition, so you are free to define yourself or not as you see fit.

      As to whether your beliefs are pagan - maybe, maybe not.  What are they and do they accord with your understanding of the term "pagan".  Doesn't matter either way, though.  More important that you believe what you believe than what label is put on it.

      This pretty much sums it up, but I just wanted to answer your questions directly.

      What path you choose doesn’t matter, unless if matters to you. If you feel an affinity towards a certain path then that’s great, but me and probably a lot of others haven’t found yet, or don’t want, a specific label on our faith. It’s a very peronal thing; entirely up to you.

      First steps? None specifically, but I would highly reccomend reading up on some rituals and meditation that you might enjoy or find peace and comfort in, these are a huge part of many peoples practice. Find what works for you; you don’t have to have lots of candles and herbs and do magick, but you can if you want to, or you can just experiment with the practices of different paths until you figure out how you wnt to practice.

      Ideas; 

      Find a nice notebook and make a ‘book of shadows’; note down your thoughts, experiences, any information you find important. Draw, scribble, press flowers, write spells, whatever. It’s your book.

      Find a cushion, get some incence or scented candle and try meditation. I find it most peaceful to do outside on a warm evening, looking at the moon. 🙂 Maybe you could meditate under your favourite trees? Take a drink, snack and get comfy, if you enjoy meditation you might be there a while.

      Read about the wiccan sabbats; they mark the seasons. Samhain, yule, ect. To a lot of people these are a way of acknowledging the seasons. 

      If you live in a large city, it’s possible there’s a coven near you, if you want to. I personally haven’t had the best experiences with them being few and far between, and often having a very specific set of collective beliefs and not much leeway for disagreement, but some people find a great community and friends this way.

       

      No matter what steps you take, or if you choose to call yourself pagan, remember this; Only you can define who you are. Only you can decide what you believe. Only you can know if you are pagan or not, or what path to follow. The answer is in your heart and mind, but it can be hard to figure it out sometimes. Good luck, and have a nice night. 🙂

    • DavidMcCann

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      Posted

      The term pagan was originally Christian slang for anyone who wasn't a Christian, Jew, or atheist — that provides for a lot of beliefs! I'd say that anyone who believes that the world is meaningful and life in it is worth living is a pagan. You sound like a non-denominational druid, if you want to be specific and if that description makes any sense.

      What to do? Observe the lunations and the stations of the sun. Get out to wild places, keeping a lookout for omens and making offerings of food for wildlife. My practice is not so nature-based and I'm sure the resident druids here can give more advice.

    • As the second druid bloke above pointed out, we're not all druids...  Non druid here.

      Are we all pagans here?  What is a pagan?  For me, it's just a term of convenience - something that people who've never thought about what it means think they know what it means and assume enough to stop me having to make lengthy explanations, even though they have no idea what, if anything, it means it my case.  Also, most people would just glaze over were I to tell them that I'm a non-reconstuctionist Hellene - itself a term I've made up for my own purposes.

      Are you a pagan?  Depends.  What does it mean to you?  I'm pretty certain there is no comprehensive definition, so you are free to define yourself or not as you see fit.

      As to whether your beliefs are pagan - maybe, maybe not.  What are they and do they accord with your understanding of the term "pagan".  Doesn't matter either way, though.  More important that you believe what you believe than what label is put on it.

    • Moonsmith

      Report ·

      Posted (edited)

      Whatever else you do please do not try to select a specific path at this stage.  Just be yourself - that is Pagan enough and for many people that is enough for their whole lives.  They are happy with their own thinking. 

      Are you a Pagan?  Well I have come to the conclusion that:

      - No two people believe exactly the same thing even if they share a group or path.

      May I recommend this book.

      - The only thing that Pagans really have in common is a desire to take responsibility for their own spirituality [no priests, gurus or saviours] and they choose to identify as Pagan. 

      If after a while you find that your own thinking is sufficiently like one of the groups with a name then you might think of being one of those but even then you do not have to "join" anything.  I am a Druid but I am the founder and sole member of my "order."  I was just a Pagan for thirty years before I somewhat reluctantly called myself a Druid.  I spent six years with a Druidic tribe before admitting that I thought sufficiently like them to adopt the name.

      Please just be yourself.  It is hard to accept but your beliefs are just as valid as a Pope, a Mullah, A Rabbi or an Archbishop.  That can be hard to accept but no one knows an absolute truth, there isn't one 🙂 . Have confidence in your own thinking.

      I would say "welcome to Paganism" but I also think you've been Pagan all your life.

      Come on in. [We aren't all Druids!!!!!!]

      Edited by Moonsmith
    • Earthdragon

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      Posted

      3 hours ago, Scrabble said:

      Should I follow a certain path or does this not matter?

      Hello 😁

      You are in an interesting position. Perhaps you could ask what your affinities mean to you and try to express them before you look more deeply into particular paths which you may or may not choose to follow in the future.

       

      3 hours ago, Scrabble said:

      How do I begin? 

      I'd say you began a long time ago given what you've already expressed on here 😃

      3 hours ago, Scrabble said:

      What are my first steps?

      As I mentioned above I would reflect on your feelings, the trees, the seasons. Try to formulate some expression of what you are seeking, how you intend to expand yourself, what you intend to connect with, what is important for you.

      Local pagan groups should there some and books are next potential steps.

      3 hours ago, Scrabble said:

      Am I pagan in my beliefs?

      Paganism can be about belief or about a way of living, usually a combination.

      What are your beliefs?

      As for myself. I don't often refer to myself as pagan. I am a person who practises Druidism. Beliefs are fluid as their interpretation.

      Best of luck in your journey. Stick around and let us know how things go!

      ED

    • Scrabble

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      Posted (edited)

      It is such a wide ranging term, pagan, I have an affinity to nature and feel happiest amongst the trees.  I am very aware of the changing seasons and would like to mark these changes in a meaningful way.  Should I follow a certain path or does this not matter?  How do I begin?  What are my first steps?  Am I pagan in my beliefs?

      Edited by Scrabble
      Auto correct.. Grrrr
    • UK Pagan

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      Posted

      After taking a good long look at the why we follow this path, what we do to express our path, and the importance of the Mystic and the Magician, maybe it’s a good time to think about authenticity and validity.

      witchcult.jpg?resize=209%2C300&ssl=1There was a time not so long ago, certainly in the late 80s and early 90s, when the story told by Margaret Murray in her book The Witch-Cult in Western Europe was almost desperately held on to. That the practices of modern Witchcraft were the end of an unbroken lineage of Witches that had survived since far-off ancient times. Even as a newcomer I could see that this couldn’t be true – our magic was created from folklore, mythology, ceremonial magic, herblore, astrology, the Kaballah, old Medieval Grimoires, and more recent New Age thinking. It seemed that people were clawing for authenticity by dreaming up great grandmothers who were Witches, but who might have only dabbled in reading tea leaves every now and then (my Nan did that, but she was certainly no Witch).

      I totally understand the romance of it all. Druid Orders weren’t exempt from these fancies either, but I guess none that I came across tried to say their Druidry could be traced back to the time of the ancient Druids. Most were quite happy going back to 1717 with William Stukeley and John Toland, but even those lineages included people like William Blake as Chosen Chief. The date of 1792 is probably the date for the rebirth of the Druid tradition. When Iolo Morganwg held the first Gorsedd, placing his nine stones atop Primrose Hill in London, and declaring the Gorsedd of Bards of the Island of Britain.

      I regularly heard arguements about lineage and authenticity, with this being expressed in ‘Celtic Reconstructionism’ – a valiant attempt to re-create Druidry purely from ancient sources, and disregarding all of the writings of Iolo and his consorts, but that path was never for me.

      Then something happened.

      220px-The_Triumph_of_the_Moon.jpg?resizeA book was released by Professor Ronald Hutton called Triumph of the Moon, and it kind of changed everything. I remember getting it on the day of release and avidly consuming the words held therein. It looked at the development of Wicca through the lense of verifiable history. To say the reception of the book was varied is putting it mildly. There were those who loved it, and there were those who despised it. Long-held onto sacred views were definitely challenged, and for some that was too much. I was in the loved it camp. As I read the book it felt like years of baggage was falling from my shoulders. Although this book was primarily about Wicca, Wicca was the dominant Pagan path at the time, and it very much influenced the rest of mainstream Paganism. The Wheel of the Year, that dance and Journey of the Grain God, and the Earth Goddess spoke of in Frazer’s The Golden Bough, had been taken to the heart of Wicca and had then influenced the wider Pagan Way, and I had experienced it as a modern Druid through the close links between Gerald Gardner and the founder of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, Ross Nichols. I felt a wave of acceptance and calm that what I had been living was, in fact, something very modern – something created, it seemed, very much from the minds of those two individuals.

      Now I’m not saying that everything we do as modern Pagans is new. Far from it. But the Way all of it is expressed together, that is new. Well, when I say new it sprang into life in the 1950s.

      I want to tell you, this is a Good Thing.

      rucksack.jpg?resize=300%2C225&ssl=1Before Gardner and Nichols there was, of course, the Golden Dawn and the Theosophical Society. Modern Paganism didn’t grow from a vacuum. It grew because that seed had been planted, had been watered and cared for, and it then began to grow. It grew from the Victorian love of the Occult, Spiritualism and Magic, the 60s Hippy movement and the Civil Rights movement in the USA, CND, Greenham Common, the road protests of the 90s, the New Age and New Age Travellers, and now the Environmental Crisis we find ourselves in is encouraging more people to explore ways to have a closer spiritual relationship with Nature. What was held onto as ancient authenticity has been replaced with modern validity? Things don’t have to be ancient to be of value and work. At some point, all religions were new and freshly born. To me it’s an incredible privilege to be here, right at the very beginning of something beautiful. I’m more than happy to own that, and join hands with my fellow Pagans of all paths and walk forward together to see where it all goes, and gently guide it as much as we can.

      How exciting is that?!

      And here’s a thing. That tiny seed is still a very delicate seedling. It hasn’t yet grown into its full potential. It’s still small, and that delicate living thing is held in the palm of all of our hands. I see that some want it to grow faster. They want worldwide recognition of Paganism as a Religious Path – now. Some want us to be perfect in all of our environmental choices – now. Gardeners use fertilizer to help their plants grow, and some of these wishes are indeed fertilizing the soil for growth, but this seedling will not be a fully grown tree in my lifetime. It’ll be something I nurture and love my whole life, but I will, in the end, pass it on to others, who will take over its care. Who knows when it will grow to fruition? If there are indeed another 3000 years, one thing is for sure – one day we will be the Ancient Pagans. One day we will be the Ancestors. Those hereditary Pagans so many wished existed in the 80s and 90s actually exist right now as some of our children, who have been raised at Pagan camps and conferences, and with Pagan parents, choose to walk in our footsteps, and take that seedling to their hearts.

      It’s a beautiful thing. A valid, empowering, modern, Pagan Path. Needed right now more than ever before.

      So how do we nurture it, and encourage its growth? That’ll be for next time.

      So mote it be.

      View the full article

    • Janie Gray

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      Posted

      There are many benefits if you keep on practicing meditation. The benefits of meditation are numerous and there are more being discovered every day. Science has shown that meditation helps to reverse aging, decrease stress hormones, lower depression, improve memory and strengthen the immune system. One of the best meditation app which I have experienced using is the SOS Method app(https://sosmethod.co/). It's unique in that it doesn't require you to quiet your mind, it only takes minutes, and it's been endorsed by doctors, scientists, and regular people all over the world. It's a special formula that fuses music, tones, words and white space, and there are programs for all kinds of needs/issues/goals.

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