Paganism is believed to be the first and most original religion and is often seen as the basis of all other religions still in existence. It is followed by many people all over the world, including Dayanna Volitich in this country. She is not alone in that, as paganism has a very strong following that is growing rapidly. Here, she explains the ins and outs of what is involved in this ancient religion.
Dayanna Volitich Describes the Main Beliefs of Pagans
Paganism is a very wide-ranging and hard to define religion because it is not dogmatic. However, there are a few things that almost every pagan will believe in, regardless of their own personal definition of the religion. The first thing is recognising nature as divine. This lies at the heart of paganism as its followers are incredibly aware of nature and believe the continuous cycle of life and death is evidence of the power of the Divine. Hence, pagans are almost always eco-friendly and will minimize their impact on the natural environment.
The concept of the Divine is much more difficult to define. Pagans recognise both feminine and masculine divinities and others have no gender at all. However, the Goddess and God, also known as pantheons, are the most important as they have an annual procreation cycle. In other words, the moment of birth and the moment of death defines a year for a Pagan. There is a strong emphasis on gender equality although women play sometimes a more prominent role than men; and almost every pagan ceremony will worship the Goddess in particular.
Although paganism is a religion, there is no liturgy or doctrine that it is based on. This makes it difficult to understand as a theological concept. The main foundation of paganism is that people can do as they pleased so long as their actions do not harm anyone else. Hence, the theology of paganism is more about experience and rituals are in place to enable followers to contact the Divine and feel more at one with the gods and goddesses.
As is perhaps only human, paganism has started to divide itself into different groups of followers. Today, pagans recognise heathens, Odinists, sacred ecologists, shamans, druids, and Wiccans. Often, these groups have their own particular practices and traditions, respecting specific gods, following Celtic traditions, witchcraft, ecology, and so on. However, virtually all of them have a strong ecological vision because they believe that the natural world has its own spirituality and vitality and that this is what makes human life possible.
Until recently, being bacon was something that most people did behind closed doors. Their religion has long been misrepresented and they have even been persecuted. As a result, people continue to believe that pagans worship the devil, are sexual deviants, take part in black magic, and are essentially evil. None of this is true and it is positive to see that there is no greater awareness of what paganism actually is.