PROFILE OF A NEO-PAGAN

I thought it’s worth to take a look at what constitutes the profile of a Neo-Pagan.

Paganism is generally perceived as something from the past associated with witches, heathens, druids and indigenous people.

Neo-Paganism represents today a renaissance, reconstruction and revival of beliefs which society has chosen to misinterpret, suppress or simply ignore.

Those who have become disenchanted with the message of modern religion have looked at themselves in the mirror and realized there is an alternative.

A pagan shows reverence to the sanctity of earth and nature and may worship more than one God.

It is by virtue of this that the eight sabbaths are born and humans celebrate both light and darkness, harvest, equinox and solstice by a series of common festivals.

Worship, ceremonialism, ritual, custom, sacrifice and offerings are at the heart of the practice of expression of faith.

We are all pagans in a manner of speaking.

For example, seasonal decorations, sprigs, holly and ivy, mistletoe, yew, pine and evergreen have been festive at Yuletide long before the celebration of Christmas and the invention of Santa Klaus became a fashion and a trend.

Earth is, as we know, divided into the northern and southern hemisphere and the timing of the alignment of the sun and the moon has always played a significant part in human rejoicing.

There are four seasons in the year and each season has two distinct festivals to celebrate.

The new year is welcomed in with pledges and resolutions, harmonised by a desire to purify the soul by a prolonged period of fasting and to seek redemption or forgiveness for wrongdoing.

Mayday is the First of May and signals the commencement of summer.  Flowers begin to bloom and fertility is at its most potent in all forms of life.

Flora, the Goddess of Flowers, blesses young love and folk dance merrily around the maypole dressed with spiralled white and yellow ribbons which unite earth and sky.

It is the time to make a wish and say a few chosen words in hope and expectation.

Midsummer Solstice follows a few weeks later when summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.

As the year rolls on, the harvest yields food for the coming winter months and we give thanks.

If it rains too much, then our fertile lands become flooded and the harvest damaged.

If it rains too little, we fear a drought and the harvest will not be reaped.

We fear the wrath of the Gods either way.

It is all too easy then to overlook that the primary source of our nourishment and nutrition is not the supermarket shelf but nature itself which solely provides.

And so we reach the end of the calendar year and a great darkness descends.

It is the most appropriate time to pay respects to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, all loved ones.

There is no ‘trick or treat’ about Halloween, except to say this would happen in reverse time in the southern hemisphere.

The celebration of the core elements of earth, nature, fire, light, harvest, time are fundamental to the principles of human belief and why there is a growing trend to believe in and follow the unconventional, to reappraise religious values.

Paganism embraces earth and nature in every way.

A Neo-Pagan is an activist with a conscience and a moral voice.

Protect the rainforest.  Support animal rights and oppose their cruelty.  Work with and not against nature with organic farming and permaculture.

Respect all kinds of sexual and religious orientation irrespective.

Uphold human rights of every man woman and child in the face of propaganda and rhetoric.

Do not exploit or pollute mother earth or nature and do not take what is not yours to take.

If that means that you are deemed a political radical, then so let it be.

Being a Neo-Pagan is not about dressing up in strange clothes, speaking gibberish, wearing a pendant, lighting bonfires, performing magic, sexually cavorting in public, expressing an unconventional and perhaps controversial point of view.

It is about expressing a true faith, whoever you are.  It is about being yourself.

That I think is the profile of a Neo-Pagan.

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