What is a Pagan?

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Exilus
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Post by Exilus »

Well that i beleive comes from the fact that we arent hunted the way we used to be. I mean two hundred years ago to be a pagen meant death, now it just means people who have no clue try and use it as a term of evil.

As bad as this sounds pagen didn't become a term against our religins untill Constantine brought christianity into the roman empire and used it banish the pagen priests.

What i find simply classic in the history of consantine is that he had a vision that showed him how to win a battle. A christian preist spoke with him and told him it was a message from the christan god and simply beleived him.

But this is is because the roman pagen preists, had become greedy for money, and they taught that sex was a norm, while the christians had begun teaching Monagomy. Both of which were said to be sore topics for constantine who had been in love with hissister and she had deniged him for a pagen man and follower of Jupiter she was in love with.

Do i know if its totally true or not ...No but that is the history as i was taught in college...

But this happens often just likepages did not use the term witch, satanists had taken the term as an act of rebellion against chirstians, and later I think we took the term pagen as our act of rebellion.

Exilus

Sercee
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Post by Sercee »

I'm not so sure we took the term 'pagan' as an act of rebellion. As I mentioned in my last post, it essentially covered all the earth religions (because all the peasants practiced earth religion). Wicca is definately an earth religion. So while it can be rebellious to be too proud of being pagan, we do legitimately fall under that category.

I don't have any resources to back that up though.

Exilus
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Post by Exilus »

You dont need any its an opion...chuckles...

And i agree with you, we all fell under that place as an earth religion, accept the greek and Roman religion is not eath based, infact its probally the closest to the christian Catholic because of the fact that well most of our beleifs were stolen to help convert people.

But I agree with you, I think we are just looking at two sides fo the coin and not both.

Skysong

Post by Skysong »

This was very informative. It might help me when explaining myself to someone who doesn't understand my belief system.

I wish more people were given this article to read. Perhaps it should be required upon choosing any sort of religion. The misunderstandings between religions cause more problems than anything. I guess I just wish everyone could sit and say "Can't we all just be friends?" But I suppose the world isn't ideal.

Sercee
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Post by Sercee »

Most religions, specifically churches I think, tend to try to attract followers the same way as political parties - get into the membership. They aren't trying to inform you about other religions because there's is the 'right' one in their mind anyway.

However, I was pleasantly surprised when I attended a function at a Unitarian Church in my city. There was a class room with charts describing all of the major religions and a lot of smaller ones. I saw Paganism there (though I know it isn't a religion itself, it just encompasses a bunch of earth religions) and it was good information, not just a bunch of hate propoganda like what I had seen in my old church. So, thankfully, they aren't all like that.

Red

Post by Red »

Exilus wrote:
But this happens often just like pagens did not use the term witch, satanists had taken the term as an act of rebellion against chirstians, and later I think we took the term pagen as our act of rebellion.

Exilus

Sometimes I wish I didn't have to use the term Christian to identify myself because of the stigma and vagueness of it. But what else would I use? Baptist? Non-denominational? Wesleyan? No, I am not loyal to any one denomination, so I come back to "Christian."

But "Christian" started out as a slur in Antioch, and it literally means "little christ" so I'm told. And since i'm a sucker for wearing insults as badges of honor, why don't I rebel also and call myself a "Little Christ."

Now that just sounds plain presumptuous doesn't it? Oh well, I guess we're always stuck with our labels.

Exilus
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Post by Exilus »

it is not the label that means anything. It is your way of handling it. The problem that we see alot of is preaching, walking the path of christ is not bad, but preaching it well thats different.

I am roman pagen, my gods predate the bible by 2000 years, so i look at life a bit differently. So i would advise you please have your opions and your ideas on things but understand this is a pagen forum where our beleifs are usally totally different from yours.

Sercee
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Post by Sercee »

Here's the way I view labels:

Because people have such different ways of viewing and interpreting things, not to mention the multitude of languages we have in this world, we need to have words that easily define an idea. Labels do that. So when you're talking to someone you use these words to convey an approximate idea of what you're trying to describe to the person you are conversing with. Once they have an idea of where you are then you can expand on that idea and add to (or subtract from) that definition.

I hate labels, it's evident in some of the conversations we've had on this forum about 'Are witches/wiccans/pagans/etc the same or different' and so on. I'm beginning to doubt that I'm Wiccan, at least the way I originally perceived it. I have my own definition of my faith system. But if someone comes up to me and asks then I'll call myself either pagan or wiccan because that will at least get the general idea across to them.

Storm
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Post by Storm »

Sercee wrote: . I'm beginning to doubt that I'm Wiccan, at least the way I originally perceived it. I have my own definition of my faith system. .
I'm with you there. When I first became interested in paganism/ witchcraft about seven years ago, I believed that Wiccan was the correct term for me. It took me a while, but I realised that wasn't the case.

I now call myself a witch, but only because that is the label that suits me the most. I don't currently believe in reincarnation, and I have had some fundamentapagans tell me that I am not a witch because of that.

I'm just me. We are all just ourselves - entirely unique but always attempting to find some common ground with which to bond with our fellow humans. Otherwise life would be agonisingly lonely.

Exilus
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Post by Exilus »

Witch is not a definition of a beleif..sniles.. witch is an emotional closeness to the gods, and the magic they bestow apon us. If it makes you feel better this pagen calls you a witch..chuckles.. (next comment i couldnt resist its the roman in me) and if you look like that pic in any way hello my name is exilus..chuckles

Red

Post by Red »

Exilus wrote:...please have your opions and your ideas on things but understand this is a pagen forum where our beleifs are usally totally different from yours.
That's why I'm here.

Red

Post by Red »

Storm wrote:I now call myself a witch, but only because that is the label that suits me the most. I don't currently believe in reincarnation, and I have had some fundamentapagans tell me that I am not a witch because of that.
Reincarnation is a new thing to the West. The pagans that early christians knew didn't believe in reincarnation (as far as I know) either. In fact they laughed at Paul for even suggesting the idea that we could be raised from the dead.

You probably know: to believe that this life is the only one we get makes it much more worth living. But technically (biblically anyway) we each get two lives, the question is where we spend the second, a decision which we make in the first.

Sercee
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Post by Sercee »

to believe that this life is the only one we get makes it much more worth living.
To be honest, I disagree with this. Personally I tend to have an attitude that if there isn't a point it isn't worth it. Since I don't believe in heaven or hell then if there was only one life I'd still work hard in it to make it better for others, but I wouldn't feel like it was such a rush. I believe in reincarnation, so to me it's like I'm building a legacy of my spirit and continually building on the life and spirit of the earth.

It's kind of like a video game, where you constantly go up in levels and you're trying to make the most out of each level so the final one is that much better. Well, at least for me. I'm a bit of a geek...

Red

Post by Red »

Sercee wrote:
to believe that this life is the only one we get makes it much more worth living.
To be honest, I disagree with this. Personally I tend to have an attitude that if there isn't a point it isn't worth it. Since I don't believe in heaven or hell then if there was only one life I'd still work hard in it to make it better for others, but I wouldn't feel like it was such a rush. I believe in reincarnation, so to me it's like I'm building a legacy of my spirit and continually building on the life and spirit of the earth.

It's kind of like a video game, where you constantly go up in levels and you're trying to make the most out of each level so the final one is that much better. Well, at least for me. I'm a bit of a geek...
I hear you on that last point. Geeks have more fun.

You said: "Since I don't believe in heaven or hell then if there was only one life I'd still work hard in it to make it better for others..."

None of us do this do we? In fact we often do the exact opposite. And that makes us accountable to the God who created and loves those people we hurt. Forget about heaven or hell for now, at the end of the day we have wronged God by wronging others.

Sercee
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Post by Sercee »

We haven't wronged God, we've wronged ourselves, our family, our peers and our Earth. Though, I believe the Earth may be a God in Herself. Or at least a sentient being.

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