What is Paganism?
This is generally defined as anyone being involved in many types of religious activities or traditions such as acts of religions, practices or any kinds of ceremonies which are not Christian. Jews and Muslims also use this term to refer to anyone who is outside of their religion. Other people define it as religions outside of Christianity, Hinduism Buddhism and Judaism. The latter will just simply define it as being without any particular religion.
If we talk about the strict definition of Paganism then it refers to the authentic religions of ancient Greece, Rome including all of the surrounding areas. It was typically originated by the Stone Age era which is the Neolithic era. This particular term pagan is basically derived from the Latin word, paganus, which means a country dweller. Usually, a pagan has a belief in multiple gods which makes this religion or belief system polytheistic although there is the only one which is chosen as the one which they worship and that god represents the chief god and the supreme godhead.
With the progression of Christianity into the modern age, a pagan became a reference as anyone who is not a Christian and paganism denoted a non-Christian belief or religion. The person who does not fall into the category of fitting into the Judeo-Christian-Islamic or Eastern mold then the one practising that particular religion was said to be involved in paganism.
History of Paganism
According to history and according to the records dating back it is noted that the worship of multiple gods, goddesses and deities was viewed by people as a fundamental element of worship. It was also thought that each and everything basically had a spirit and was polytheistic due to which people had gods and goddesses of the forest, sea and all the aspects of nature.
With the growth of civilizations and also the change and development, the gods grew and changed accordingly as people started associating and acquiring gods of their own occupation and also linked them to the relevance of their own village lives. The old gods although remained and were not completely gone but they were definitely molded or confirmed according to the ever-changing lives of people. Gods also played a pretty essential role in all the aspects of society and thus influenced everything regarding it including laws and customs going all the way to the workings of the community.
Reincarnation, which basically means the rebirth of a body into another bodily form was believed by the people but they did not believe in the existence of heaven and hell. Paganism in today's time celebrates living creatures, Earth, nature and so on. Most pagans who belong to the modern day believe in more than one god and the latter are atheistic.
Pagans System and Religion
- If we look at American pagans practice a vast variety of tradition which are in different forms but the most popular ones amongst them are Celtic, Native America, and ancient Egyptian. Greco-Roman and Norse.
- Kabbalah: this was basically the Jewish mystical and magical system developed during the Middle Ages
- Shamanism: Native American cultures practice this particular tradition. Drumming technique is used and in traditional societies, the shaman travels to the spirit realm to basically gain information regarding the community’s needs as for healing spiritual growth.
- Egyptian: this is pretty popular in today's time and it involves a complex spiritual and magical system which centres on death and rebirth. The development of this took place in ancient Egypt when priestesses and priests became known from their level of knowledge and skill in magical arts.
- Druidism: Druids which were the original ones were priestesses and part of the judicial class of ancient Celts.
- Discordianism: the beginning of this was as a Buddhist practice and the main idea of it was “existence in orderly chaos”. Procedures which were meditative, confusion and enlightenment, chaos and order, pain and pleasure are revealed as inseparable parts of a complete vision of reality.