It is human nature to fear and judge the things in life that we do not understand fully. One example of this is paganism. Pagans are not a new thing in the world; however, even though they have been around for some time, it seems that they are still one of the most misunderstood groups in the world.
Want to make sure that you understand as much about paganism as you can? Have a pagan in your life you want to make sure feels understood and appreciated? If you do, you should look at our guide to the five common misconceptions about pagans.
1. Pagans and Demonic Magick are not the same
One common misconception about pagans is that their beliefs are the same as that used in demonic magick, satanism and various other shall we say what are perceived to be ‘darker’ religions. However, this is not the case. Those who believe in the pagan religion do not believe in the devil, and these two beliefs are not linked.
In fact, not only do pagans not believe in the devil, but they also do not believe in there being one God. Instead, they think that several gods and goddesses have their own part to play in the world’s harmony.
This can be compared somewhat to Buddhists and Hindus too. On the whole, paganism is a peaceful religion that worships nature and all of the good things in life.
2. It is an ancient religion
Paganism has some foundations that date back a considerable amount of time; however, it is still very much a living religion with millions of followers worldwide. It has also gone on to spawn modern religions like Wicca, which was invented by Gerald Gardener in the 1950s, and which owes a great debt to ancient pagan practices.
Gerald was an anthropologist and, according to many sources, he is the one who founded Wicca off the back of many pagans who came before him.
3. It isn’t a real religion
One question that often comes up when it comes to pagans is whether or not they actually believe in a real religion. Paganism is recognised as a religion, meaning those who celebrate the events throughout the year can actually do so as and when they wish, and they have the right to do so under religious freedom laws
It really depends on the part of the world that you live in as to whether or not those holidays are allowable away from work or whether they are something that you just have to celebrate within normal everyday life. Some pagans are forced to book holidays from work to celebrate important events in the Pagan calendar, such as Lammas, but that’s modern life for you!
4. There is animal sacrifice
Another misconception that can be linked to the dark religion misconception is whether or not pagans sacrifice any animals during their rituals. This may have been a popular practice, carried out by many religions in the deep and distant past, however, it is not the case today. In fact, paganism in its many forms is a celebration of nature and all the living things that call this planet their home.
Pagans love animals and do not want ever to feel that they need to harm them or kill them as a part of a rite. Sure, there are going to be offerings as a part of the ceremonies, but these will be of bread, fruit and wine, never anything living.
5. There is a dark bible
There is no book that pagans follow as a part of their religion, let alone a dark bible that can be used for evil purposes. Paganism is usually learnt from person to person and is passed down as someone joins a particular group.
Depending on the person, they may decide to write their own pagan book, with all the essential things they believe and follow. However, rather than including dark spells or evil doings, they are much more likely to include records of the person’s dreams and any herbal remedies that they may make and use on a regular basis.
I hope that this blog post has helped you understand more about the pagan religion and how it is all too easy to judge their beliefs and approaches without thoroughly learning about them and what they mean to each individual.
The important thing, like so many things in life, is that you take the time to learn and to show your understanding, as this will, in turn, allow you to improve yourself and the world around you too. Something that pagans themselves believe and put out into the universe.
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*This is a collaborative article