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Question for pagans...

I have a somewhat strange question... some of you probably have seen me around this section LOL... I am an atheist, but I would definitely say that I have pagan inclinations. What exactly makes one a pagan? I believe in Mother Earth, and natural/science type stuff. I also believe there are abilities that we have (as humans) that are mostly untapped- either because of our lack of belief in them, or inability to access them. Also- think that there was no specific *creator*- human race has made up the creator stories or myths to appease our own need for answers. I have to say that the only opinions that usually make sense (to me) are those of the atheists/agnostics and also the pagans... Maybe because for most of us to have arrived at the *place* where we are at- we have had to do quite a bit of hehe *soul searching*- and all of that thinking has clarified things.


Asked by mtnmama111 at 3:38 AM on Apr. 12, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 9 (353 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Ok, now for the second part...what the term Pagan means. That's tough because it is such a personal term. Some Pagans believe in no deity, only nature. Others believe in one deity, in a God and Goddess, or in many deities. Some belive in karma and reincarnation, others do not. There are no definite markers that tell you "this is Pagan and this is not".

    I tend to think that one of the main identifying factors of Paganism is the "mystery religion" aspect. In other words, it is expected that each person will uncover the mysteries of life and death for themselves rather than having it "revealed" to them by priests, rabbis, etc. as it is in many other religions. Because of this, there are no laws, no commandments, and no overarching rules in Paganism. Pagans are guided only by their own sense of personal responsibility and by natural consequences (which, btw, is where I think the respect and reverence for nature comes in).

    Answer by jessradtke at 2:49 PM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • Well, depending on who you ask pagans can include anyone who does not believe in the god of Abraham (Christian, Muslim. or Jewish) to anyone who is not Christian.

    What I tend to think of when I think of Pagan is someone who is atuned to mother earth and respects her. Someone who wants to and learns how to connect to their own inner power. And believes in reincarnation. While these things are not exclusive to paganism or fully make up paganism, it's what first comes to my mind.


    Answer by saphire_eyes802 at 9:16 AM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • Saphire eyes said it very well.
    Pagan is the umbrella term for those who dont fall under the Christian-Judeo-Muslim category.

    I think it really is an inner search, no set dogma, a belief in karma(however you may define it) and being good to each other and to Mother Earth.


    Answer by BonesDragonDew at 10:08 AM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • There are many unnamed paths to pagan beliefs. Unlike Christianity where there is one clear belief system, Paganism is much broader... Because of the nature of it's origin there is no clear cut path. Many, like me, do not believe there is a propper path, but choose to follow our own heart and beliefs. Some believe in "the All" others believe in a god and goddess and others believe there are many many gods... The only clear thread you will usually encounter is one of piece. We tend to be pieceful and kind to one another and to the earth and her creatures. We all tend to recognise that all things have a spirit and that needs to be respected. Karma is also another common thread (or some incarnation of Karma) - What goes out comes back.

    If I were you I would do some research, see where your beliefs really fall... There is an excelent website that I recommend to all. Check it out!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:34 AM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • Feel free to mesage me if you have any questions!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:34 AM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • I like a lot of what Sabrina said. But I think that modern Neo-Paganism comes in two forms. One of sub-culture and the other of religious inclination, which Sabrina covered well. But I wanted to add that, religiously Paganism has a strong element of ritual practice as a essential element to religious practice.

    As to sub-cultural: a general respect/reverence of Mother Nature, acceptance of magical/mystical/esoteric practices, acceptance of a wider range of morals, and often an open minded view of life, is often reflected among Pagans from my experience. I would like to stress that Pagan's are not New Ager's, as those often belong more towards a more mystical Christian world view even though there is a great deal of magical practice overlap.

    Answer by isabellalecour at 12:42 PM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • Ask 100 self-identified Pagans that question and you'll get 100 completely different answers! It's a topic that Pagans argue frequently. I need to address this question in two parts since there are essentially two ways to answer it. First, in re: to the sometimes confusing use of the words pagan and Pagan. The terms are not interchangeable because they mean slightly different things. The first (pagan with a lower case "p") is commonly used in reference to ALL people who do not follow a JudeoChristian religion & is used primarily by non-Pagans. It does not refer to a person's religious beliefs, only to their LACK of belief in the JudeoChristian god. The second term (upper case "P") is used specifically in reference to Neo-Pagan religions. This term generally does not include older religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American belief systems, etc. which are both non-JudeoChristian & non-NeoPagan, while the first does.

    Answer by jessradtke at 2:37 PM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • It sounds like we have a lot of common spiritually and I call myself pagan/wiccan. Atheism does not believe in an higher power.

    Answer by RhondaVeggie at 3:04 PM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • I do not believe in a higher power... from these responses I think I am going to be calling myself a pagan from now on... LOL thank you so much. I think the most important part of my *spirituality* is my reverence for Mother Nature/Earth. I guess I had always assumed that paganism always included those *rituals* of which several of spoke. Nothing against all of that- it just isn't *me*. But basically- everything else is where I am coming from- put in a better manner than I have managed to put together myself.

    Answer by mtnmama111 at 3:43 PM on Apr. 12, 2009