What is the religion Paganism and Wiccan?

What is the religion of Paganism and Wiccan? What are some of their beliefs? What are some details about these two religions? Are there many followers?

2 thoughts on “What is the religion Paganism and Wiccan?

  1. Paganism is not a religion. “Pagan” generally refers to anyone who is not a Judeo-Christian.

    Wicca is one pagan religion. It is a modern, polytheistic path focused on personal experience with the divine and views the spiritual and physical worlds as being closely connected. Ritual is generally centered on a god and goddess whose identities vary according to the individual Wiccan. There’s probably something shy of a million Wiccans in the world, primarily in America, but significant others in the UK and Australia

    For more info:
    http://wicca.timerift.net/wicca101
    http://wicca.timerift.net/wiccans.shtml

  2. The word pagan comes from the Latin “Paganus” meaning country dweller, rustic etc. Christianity in its early years was an urban religion and “Pagan” was an insult hurled at the country cousins who saw no need to convert to the new religion.

    Many do not consider paganism a religion in inself, but today there are many who do not follow a particular path and consider their religion to be Paganism.

    These days it is a generic term encompassing a diverse range of religions excepting the main three Judaism, Islam and christianity. There is debate as to whether or not it includes Hinduism.

    Paganism includes any of the pre-christian religions. Today’s pagans are technically Neo-pagans as we are reconstructing what our ancestors believed/worshipped etc. Although they have their roots in ancient practices, this cluster of religious beliefs has been refigured in modern times, often in association with an interest in eclectic New Age practices.

    Pagan beliefs can be broadly categorised in three streams – polytheism (belief in many gods), pantheism (belief that the whole of reality is divine) and animism (the belief that spirits are active in aspects of the environment). Some movements have a strong feminist/goddess orientation. Within those broad definitions, neo-pagan traditions proliferate.

    Pagans can include pantheists, agnostics, soft or hard polytheistics, eclectics, druids, shamanists, re-constructionists (Norse, Celtic, Kemetic etc) or any of the generally indigenous religions (American Indian, Australian Aboriginal, African), However some atheists self-identify as atheistic pagans, and there are pagans who are monotheistic, only worshipping the divine feminine.

    Eclectic paganism is often misrepresented by those new to paganism. It doesn’t mean picking from a salad bar of gods and goddesses and using what ever you want. It means having a sound knowledge of your core religion and integrating non-competing ideas. People who honour deities from different religions are poly-religious or multi-faithed.

    Wicca is one of the more popular denominations and is a neopagan, nature-based religion popularised in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant, who at the time called it Witchcraft and its adherents “the Wica”. He said that the religion, of which he was an initiate, was a modern survival of an old witchcraft mystery religion that had existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian paganism of Europe. The veracity of Gardner’s statements cannot be independently proven, however, and it is possible that Wiccan theology began to be compiled no earlier than the 1920s.

    The main thing that I always stress is that not all pagans faiths are nature (earth) based, and that not all pagans are Wiccan’s or Witches.

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