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What exactly is a Pagan?

Does this mean witchery, if so are you a white witch? Also how do you celebrate the yule? Just curious..


Asked by Kathy675 at 4:58 PM on Dec. 5, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 35 (72,642 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • Wow... Okay, I'm gonna do my best to answer you without overwhelming you...

    Q1.) What is Pagan? (Broader Answer HERE)
    A.) Simply put a Pagan is someone who does not follow an Abrahamic path. Abrahamic paths include Christianity, Islam & Judaism. However, those of us who use the term Pagan to discribe our beliefs tend to have one of two things in common, either we belong to a belief system which is "nature based" or one which has ties (directly or indirectly) to a pre-Christian/non-Jewish belief system. The Majority of Pagans are Polythiestic, or at least duelthiestic, but some are not.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:31 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Ok, you have 3 questions there that have nothing to do with each other. A pagan is anyone who doesn't practice an Abrahamic religion. A Pagan or Neo-Pagan, is someone who chooses to label themselves as one as the easiest way to describe themselves, but someone who is a Heathen, a Hellenist, a Native American or even a Buddhist may be lumped in under the pagan label by others. Witches have nothing to do with any religion, though some witches are Wiccan, which is one of many pagan religions. Other witches are Christian, agnostic, Neo-Pagan, even atheist. Yule is a Heathen holiday from northern Europe. Some Neo-Pagans/Wiccans and other pagans have their own modern version of Yule they celebrate that takes some of the real aspects of Yule and combines them with pieces of their own religion (basically the same thing Christians do when they turn Yule into Christmas).

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:02 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Pagan is just the word many religions use to say 'non-beleiver'. Generally, it's anyone who believes in things like Earth Goddess or the pantheon of nature gods. Lots of people mean 'atheist' when they say it, much like 'heretic.'

    Answer by LindaClement at 5:00 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Q2.) Does this mean witchery, if so are you a white witch?
    A.)  Many Pagans are witches, however, not all are. That said, many non-Pagans are witches as well, including many on Abrahamic paths. There is generally no such thing as a "white witch" or "black witch." As with anyone else witches are mearly people, we have good and bad inside us and the vast majority of us do our very best to live a "good" life. Witchcraft/Magick has no color in itself, it's the intent behind the use of magick which creates the "color." MOST witches do strive to live a good life and they usually have a strong belief in Karma, the Law of Attraction or simply the idea that everything we do comes back, so negative actions bring negative results.

    Witches are simply people who practice Witchcraft. Witchcraft is a Practice, not a religion. And ANYONE, regardless of their religion, can practice Witchcraft.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:35 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Other common traditions include the Yule Log, Yule Tree, Decorating with fir, pine, holly and other evergreen plants. Pine in particular is associated with life and rebirth, as many trees can grow from a single cone. Red candles are a traditional accompaniment to the Yule cake, representing the hearth flames of old. Mistletoe has long been considered a magical plant, sacred to the Celtic druids in particular, as well as the Romans and Greeks.

    Just about anything which we commonly see as a part of "Christmas" tradition can in fact be traced back to pre-Christian times and Solstice traditions of the old religions... So they communicate very well in to current day Yule/Solstice celebrations as well...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:45 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Your story doesn't sound to different from mine, just opposite. My mother & family are JWs, so that's how I was raised. However, all of their teachings never could quail the "truth" I had inside me. I am a very proud Pagan, and a proud Witch. Although it hasn't stripped us of our relationship, it has and I'm sure will again, caused issues between me and my family. When I was younger they felt I was simply "rebelling" against their beliefs and teachings, which was far from the truth. But I can understand the damage that a difference in beliefs can cause in families....

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:49 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Thanks!

    Comment by Kathy675 (original poster) at 5:03 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Thanks Sabrina, I grew up in a home where atheism was the belief, I respect all peoples religions or views and find it very interesting, however, I do believe in God, my mother could never change that and now because she doesn't respect my views she no longer has anything to do with me. Her choice.

    Comment by Kathy675 (original poster) at 6:40 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Q3.)Also how do you celebrate the yule?
    A.) Yule is the period traditionally celebrated between late December and the end of January, marking winter on the wheel of the year. It is also one of the names given to the Winter Solstice, which falls on or around the 21st December each year.

    On the darkest & longest night, that of Winter Solstice, communities of old gathered around the Yule log to celebrate the birth of the son of the Goddess, the Mabon. Known as the Star Child, this son would become the Sun God, representing the return of Light, and within a few days the nights would begin to shorten.

    To celebrate the returning of Light, folk would bring out their stored food and enjoy cheerful festivities. Dances, special songs and the decorating of houses and trees would all take place up until what is now known as Twelfth Night, where the Yuletide feast was brought to an end with a final day of merriment and activities.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:40 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Thank you for enlightening me, seems so innocent. Why do people make it seem so ugly when in fact it isn't. Probably assuming and not asking or researching.

    Comment by Kathy675 (original poster) at 6:46 PM on Dec. 5, 2010