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Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Saturday, 14th April 2012
As some of you may know (but many may not ) I am a Pagan. I've often found that many people have a lot of questions about my religion, understandably because it's not taught in schools and the media don't really give a good representation of it. Equally there are a few misguided and misinformed religious people/organisations who may come up with their own 'facts' about my religion, but often aren't true.
Just to start things off:
1. I don't worship the Devil - that's Satanism and as the Devil is a Christian concept I wouldn't believe in it anyway, because weirdly enough I don't believe in the Christian God .
2. I don't ride around on a broomstick, cackling madly and putting spells on people - To start with I don't have a broom or a black cat (though I would love a cat)...the cackling thing may be true, but that's just because I have a funny laugh. As a witch I am completely forbidden from putting spells on people. We're not allowed to mess with people's free will, spells are often performed for spiritual and emotional protection.
3. Pagans don't perform human/animal sacrifices. In fact most of the things you hear/see in the media tend not to be true
So if you have any questions or debates feel free to ask as this will be a great opportunity to provide more detail into our practices, beliefs and lifestyles. I'm not trying to convert anyone (again not allowed, you've got to make that choice yourself ) and I don't want anyone to try and convert me (I've had enough experience of that off the boards, so I don't want it here, ta ). I hope to learn more about other religions too.
Thanks, oh btw Dani I'll also be posting a bit more on different religious symbols xx
Posted by Dani (U15028570) on Sunday, 15th April 2012
This is a really good idea, Hannah
Personally, I'm not sure the media give a particularly fair representation of ANY religion...
So, what do you believe happens when you die?
Posted by Ane (U15012973) on Sunday, 15th April 2012
I dont know know if you have read the mail today theres a headline, Schools go ahed to teach paganism. it is being allowed to be taught by schools to its pupils. Most people are ok with it being tought as another religion to the other 5 religions . but some aren't agree with dani that this is a good idea
Posted by The Marshall (U14786179) on Sunday, 15th April 2012
Did not paganism evolve from the religion of the Celts? What made you so attracted to the Pagan Cause?
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Sunday, 15th April 2012
Hey guys, thanks for your interest. I certainly agree with you there Dani. Ane that’s really interesting and I hadn’t heard about that Ane. I always have been a big supporter of Paganism being taught in schools because quite frankly there is quite a bit of racism and prejudice towards it. Once you’ve nipped that in the bud people tend to see Paganism as any other peaceful, major religion.
So onto the questions!
My personal belief is that when you die your body rots away to become the earth and your spirit joins Our Mother Earth in Paradise. Most Pagans believe in the importance of Mother Earth, and I think as long as you’ve lived a good life you will go to Paradise, no matter what your beliefs or religion. Another belief of mine is that if you have caused suffering (and I mean a vast amount of suffering) then your body just rots away, so in the end you kind of do good and provide nutrients to the Earth. Pagans believe you should avoid causing suffering as much as possible, but unlike Monotheistic religions our Gods do not involve themselves in the suffering of mortals and do not judge the actions of mortals. So it's up to you to decide whether something causes suffering or not, but for me this is pretty clear cut and I don't need 10 Commandments to decide for me whether something is wrong or right. I can chose for myself
Paganism has been established (more or less) for over 30,000 years and though much of the religious basis of it tends to be the same, we have different branches of it. So with Christianity you not only have Protestants and Catholics, but Evangelicals, Quakers, etc. As I said most Pagans place the Horn God and Mother Earth at the centre of their religion, but they may follow different paths, so some may believe in Celtic Gods and Goddesses, some in Norse and some in (for me) Greek Gods and Goddesses. In my opinion it does not matter what you name your God/Gods/Goddesses as long as help others and feel happy and well within that religion. I also mix my beliefs with Wiccan practices, so I’m part witch, part Greek Pagan ! Later I’ll explain my cross over from Christianity to Paganism.
Posted by JayBird (U15173038) on Sunday, 15th April 2012
Um, I just curious, having read your first post - you described yourself as a witch, I think. So are all Pagans witches? I know you said you're not allowed to cast spells on others - but do you actually cast spells?
I'm sorry if these are daft questions, but I know nothing about Paganism, and your description of it was pretty intruiging.
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Sunday, 15th April 2012
No it's absolutely fine, I didn't know most of these questions to begin with (and I've chosen to become a Pagan!), so it's good that you're asking them
Not all, some are Druids, some are Wiccans and some just follow different Pagan Gods and Goddesses. There's a whole mix, not to mention North American and Eastern Pagan beliefs.
I occasionally perform spells for protection and guidance, in some ways they're like prayers, but our Gods don't listen to prays. But if I'm using my tarot cards or even just normal playing cards (tend not to use crystal balls or anything like that), I'll start off by praying to the Gods and Goddesses to protect me from any evil insights or bad spirits.
We're not allowed to cast spells to make someone fall in love with us or things like that, anything affecting their free will is out of the question
Posted by JayBird (U15173038) on Monday, 16th April 2012
Thanks - that's really interesting I never realised that there were so many different types of Paganism! It's great that you're answering people's questions like this; so often people's religions get utterly misinterpreted.
Posted by U14830073 (U14830073) on Monday, 16th April 2012
I want to know what pagans actually believe in? And also I want to know do you have like holy days like you know how Christians have Christmas and Muslims have EId do you have things like that in the pagan religion?? and also the pagan religion sounds a lot like Merlin the programmer that used to come on BBC 1 are they both connected some how??
Thank You :D
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Tuesday, 17th April 2012
Pagans worship the power of the Earth, the beauty and power of this world is what we believe in and what we think needs healing and protecting. Although there is a Paradise, our main duty is to helping this Earth and the inhabitants upon this Earth. This place is a privilage, not a right. It's not something that has been created for us to destroy.
As we have been around for 30,000 years many of our festivals and holidays have been used by other religions. For example, in the Christian faith they celebrate Christmas and Easter.
- Christmas was not the birth date of Jesus and instead the Christians felt it was necessary to have a a festival at the end of the year to cheer everyone up. Most Pagan religions do (The Winter Solstice/Yule), to celebrate the passing of the old year and the revival of the Spring, and this festival was used to get people through the difficult, cold months.
- Easter/Ostara used to be a Pagan celebration of the Spring Equinox, around March 21st. The Goddess Ostara was a Germanic Goddess of Spring.
So yes we have quite a few festivals, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lammas, Autumn Equinox, Samhain (Halloween), Yule. Which I try to follow, but it is often difficult as I don't know a large community of Pagans .
Well the Autherian legends are quite closely tied to Druidism, Magick, etc. So yes that's a form of Paganism. However, I think that's a slightly romantised and fantasy based program, so it's not really that factual about Paganism I do have to say I'm a complete fan of it though :D
Posted by Dani (U15028570) on Tuesday, 17th April 2012
I feel a little cheated that my school didn't feel it was necessary to educate us on things like this - it's intriguing.
Do you have an equivalent to church/mosque/synagogue?
Posted by U14830073 (U14830073) on Tuesday, 17th April 2012
Oh right so are you like one of them environmentalist so you do things which is environmental friendly and be proper into the environment??? I do have another question you know how religions have role models that they follow?? (for example Jesus, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)) I really like the idea about helping the earth and its inhabitants It is really good I never knew this before I had never heard of the Pagan Religion before...... :D
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Tuesday, 17th April 2012
For many of us we tend to keep our religion secret, purely because it isn't worth the hassle. If I feel that I should correct someone's beliefs about it or feel comfortable enough with them, then I'll tell them. But it is risky.
As I don't know many Pagans or am very near any Pagan groups, I'm not really part of a Coven or anything like that I have a few Pagan friends, but they are new to the religion and so we mostly spend our time learning about our religion and supporting one another.
But for those who have enough Pagans who are interested, most will be part of a Pagan Circle or Coven, which is the equivalent to a Church. But it's mostly for celebrations and group support, than any particular religious meaning. Buildings are pretty meaningless to us when we worship Nature :D XD!
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Wednesday, 18th April 2012
Yep, that's the basic idea :D
Not so far as I know, there wouldn't be any point in praising a human overly (no offense intended at all), as all animals are equal and our real power comes from the Earth. Pagans may have gifts like foresight, but they're not treated any differently than Pagans who don't have powers like these.
However, saying that I do think people like Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed certainly existed. You'll have to forgive me for being skeptical as to whether they performed any miracles, though they were certainly great and wise teachers.
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Saturday, 21st April 2012
Excellent news everyone I already had two Pagan friends and now another person has become interested in our religion, and decided to follow Paganism. We're going to set up our own Coven, so it's going to be some exciting months ahead and this means I can probably tell you more about Covens I'll also be getting the chance to practice some spells and potions.
Posted by U15492444 (U15492444) on Tuesday, 6th November 2012
Hello my friend I myself am a Scottish Christian but I was actually at Stonehenge in June for the Summer solstice. Unfortunately it was raining all night
I am quite interested in what you practice. Could you tell me how you perform spells, and, what effects can be felt afterwards?
Note: I am genuinely interested for academic purposes, and I will never try to offend anyone who believes in something other than what I believe in. Actually, let me re-phrase that, I 'try' not to offend anyone, because for everyone it is impossible to bbe perfect.
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Wednesday, 7th November 2012
It’s alright; I’m not a bit offended. Sometimes people are just ignorant, rather than purposefully being offensive. If people take the time to learn about my faith then I welcome that, if they’re just going to rant at me and say I’m evil and whatever, then I don’t really have time for that. And especially where Paganism is concerned, many people don’t know much about it, so don’t worry.
Well as a novice, I’m still undergoing my training (a year’s worth) to learn all about the rules and traditional rituals. Obviously I have to balance that with school stuff, friends, work etc so it’s going to take a while before I know absolutely everything. And as I’m not part of a Coven (I’ve moved from my old town) I’m just on my own, so I can’t really perform spells and rituals . In fairness, spells are tricky to work with. You can’t mess with someone’s free will. So you can’t make someone fall in love with you, but you can make yourself more beautiful to others or have a good luck spell to help with finding love. However, most people tend to agree that spells are only for serious matters, not just frivolous things (though I’m not saying love is frivolous). I once heard an excellent way of describing spells, that like pray, positive thinking, desire or ambition, if you’re determined enough to get something you’re more likely to get it. So prays are often simply you saying, ‘I want something, I’ve said I want something, therefore I will get it.’
I just normally ask for the blessing of the Gods and Goddesses rather than performing a long ritual, they may hear me, they’re more likely not to, but it makes me feel better and stronger and reminds me of my faith. (If that makes sense). Plus Covens are often there, particularly for younger members, as place of spiritual and moral support. There’s so much rubbish said about our faith, it can become very disheartening for young witches. So rather than praying or sermons, that's how we gain comfort.
Posted by U15492444 (U15492444) on Thursday, 8th November 2012
Thank you for the feedback. From what you say, Paganism does not seem the sort of evil witchcraft that some may make it out to be. Actually, I don't know of any religion that is 'evil' in all sense of the word, except perhaps Satanism; but even they see their God (Satan) as good. In other words, many things are relative to the individual.
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Thursday, 8th November 2012
Haha, well we certainly think so, and as it happens if people are joining to hex someone or are found out to be using dark, dangerous magick then often they're forced to leave. Especially if they're older and therefore, should know better.
Religions themselves aren't evil, it's humans who are, humans interpret religion and so they can change the moral or message of something. They could be right or wrong.
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Posted by Cherry (U15190755) on Saturday, 10th November 2012
Hello! I have a question! What are Christo Pagans?
Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Monday, 12th November 2012
During the past many people had duel faiths, one being Christian and the other being Paganism. A lot of the stories and festivals within the Christian faith stem from Paganism. That’s why we still have things like May Day and Halloween. So during the time of the Roman Empire, when they were reverting from Paganism to Christianity, some people still believed in the old Gods and the new faith.
Today some people still wish to remain Christian, but ignore the sexism within the Bible and believe that both aspects of ‘God the Father’ and the ‘Mother Mary’. A lot of the Monotheistic faiths rely completely on the male aspect and ignore the importance of the female. They also believe in the importance of nature, and respecting God’s creation.
Personally, I don’t think you can combine the two. Both due to the Patriarchal aspect of the monotheistic, Judaic faiths and the persecution of my people throughout the medieval times right up to the 18th century. But then I’m a feminist and I never believe it is right or justifiable to persecute any particular race or religion, unless people have used that faith to justify things like murder and war. And I am critical of being totally subservient to a God who gets you to sacrifice your own child, on the basis to prove yourself. Even if my Gods asked me to do such a thing, I would always say no.
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