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'paganism'


Guest greenman-ISG
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hope this is not a silly question :unsure: , but, just been thinking recently, and i know that 'pagan' is used as an umbrella term in some instances, but, do pagans do similar rituals like in wicca for example? if so, what are the differences if any? i think i am correct in saying both pagans and wiccans are in tune with and respect nature, but is there any distinct differences in this also? :huh:

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There's no silly questions.

 

Pagan is not an umbrella term 'in some instances', it just is an umbrella term. Wicca comes under that umbrella too.

 

Some pagans undertake rituals, some don't. Rituals differ from pagan to pagan, even within wicca.

 

Some pagans (strange though this may sound) don't even place nature as important within their path, there are no rules, few constants.

There are distinct differences everywhere within all kinds of paganism, that's the nature of the beast.

 

I'm sorry if I'm not being particularly helpful.

Edited by Esk
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Strictly speakin "pagan" just means a country person (peasant) or taken to mean a non xian. Others can go deeper into the semantics of they so choose!

 

There are all sorts of paths that fall under the general pagan umbrella term:

 

Heathenism, Asatru, Wicca, Witchcraft, Hedgewitchery, CM, etc etc.

 

All will have different approaches, some will include formalised ritual, some will not.

 

I can't speak for others, being a Witch myself, but no doubt folks will spot this thread and be only too happy to give more (and possibly even better) information.

 

An easy way to think of it is that paganism (generally) could be tenuously likened to mainstream Christianity. A service every week, with the whole ritual thing going on, the big events of the xian calendar (equally highly ritualised) plus the everyday following of the faith, in prayer, contemplation, etc.

 

Only pagans will pick and choose selectively according to their path.

 

If that makes sense! :unsure:

Edited by Tas Mania
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hey, every reply is helpful. :unsure:

so, in a very basic sense, is a wiccan just the same as a pagan but they practice magick?

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Hmm. A Wiccan IS a pagan. But not all pagans are Wiccan! (If I am wrong here, John Mac can slap me!)

 

Not all Wiccans practice magic. Many choose simply to record and revere the changing seasons. Practicing magical works is done by pagans of many other paths too. And not necessarily in a ritualised setting either.

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hey, every reply is helpful.  :unsure:

so, in a very basic sense, is a wiccan just the same as a pagan but they practice magick?

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Er... no.

 

Wicca is just one religion within paganism, not all wiccans practice magic (k optional) and plenty of pagans who aren't wiccan practice magic.

 

Not all pagans are religious either... like I say, no rules.

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No, not all.

 

It is confusing, it's huge. Have a read through the past threads in General and in Starters, they should help.

 

Keep asking the questions though, it's the best way to clear things up in your head.

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yeah it sure is huge, it all just seems to merge, like you say no rules which suits me :huh:

defiantly have to look back through previous posts in the forums to learn some more. one thing i have to say is this place is a great wealth of knowledge. thanks for the help folks. :unsure:

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OK, very broadly pagans fall into several groups:

- original paganisms : religions with a continuous history that support the worship of many gods, or else animistic beliefs). Hinduism is one of these, as are many indigenous belief systems across the world.

 

- reconstructionist modern paganisms : people who follow a reconstructed form of a pre-Christian belief system e.g. Religio Romana (Roman), Hellenists (Greek), Kemetics (Egyptian), Heathen/Asatru/Forn Sedh etc (pre-Christian beliefs of Scandinavia, England, Germany, Frisia and other North Sea countries)

 

- other modern paganisms that claim to be based on old religions or practices, mixed with modern inventions: e.g. Druidry, Wicca

 

- forms of witchcraft, with or without any form of religion e.g. traditional, hereditary, hedge, solitary, or just plain witch.

 

- ecletic paganism, where the beliefs and practises are entirely up to the individual

 

Forms of belief include polytheism ('hard' and 'soft'), henotheism, duotheism, pantheism, penentheism, atheism etc etc

 

Forms of ritual depend on the religion and individual.

 

Festival or sacred days depend on the religion and individual.

 

Forms of magic (if any) depend on the religion and individual.

 

Attitude to nature depends on the religion and individual.

 

:unsure:

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Thinking about it, I'm moving this into 'Starter's Orders' as it fits better there. :unsure:

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I know it's off topic, but I just had to say how much I liked your photos of the countryside and wuff Greenman!

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thanks tas mania. i am very lucky as most of the photos were taken near to where i live. lots of countryside!! :) :lol:

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Think of it as you would think of the term European. The term European covers a large number of nationalities and an even greater numbers of ethnicities. I might be English, but I am also European. You wouldn say an Englishman is like a European because he is a European. European is the umberella term and English, French, Spanish etc are the names of individual nations comming under the umberella. The individual nations are all very different, but also share points of common interest.

 

It is the same with Pagan groupings. Often very different from each other, but also sharing some things in common.

 

Don't know if this a helpful way to look at it, but I hope it helps. By the way.....the stupidest question is usually the one which goes unasked.

 

Mike

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hi mike thanks for that. thats a good way of explaining it, makes it a lot simpler. i think i was looking at it as pagan being a seperate 'set' as to speak, of beliefs instead of a collective term used for all the paths of the pagan nature. i always make things complicated for myself ha ha. :)

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