7 Signs You Are a Pagan
Are you still searching for your life path? Does modern life appear shallow and superficial? Perhaps you believe that life has more meaning: that it should be sacred yet deeply joyful? Do you wonder if you can ever find a community that shares your values and feels right for you? Maybe you are a pagan.
Paganism is a spiritual nature-based path. It may or may not be religious, depending on the tradition followed. What they all have in common is a reverence for the life force in everything Tthat life, in all its diversity is sacred, and that everything in the Universe is interconnected and interdependent. People called to the pagan path undertake to live life with honesty and integrity.
Above all pagans acknowledge we are all perfect, flaws and all, that human beings are privileged to live on this beautiful planet. They understand that it is our duty to revere and take care of the Earth and the life upon it.
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair . . .— Khalil Gibran
Seven Signs You Might Be a Pagan
- You love being outdoors, you experience joy in all weathers.
- You enjoy observing the seasons change.
- You believe all life is sacred.
- You believe there is a higher intelligence or force, but you are uncomfortable with the accepted notion of God, the Almighty.
- You could describe yourself as ‘eclectic’; having an interest in many things.
- You see magic and wonderment in people and in nature.
- You are concerned about several aspects of modern life and despair at cruelty.
What Is Paganism?
Paganism is an umbrella term for many religions and paths. It’s confusing in a way, so once you have determined that you’d like to delve deeper, you will need to understand the various kinds of pagans there are:
- Witches are pagans and they may, or may not be, religious.
- Wiccans are pagans and Wicca is a modern religion.
- Druids are pagans and Druidry is an ancient religion.
- Some pagans do magickal workings, others do not.
- Many pagans follow specific traditions, such as Celtic, Nordic, Faerie, or incorporate eastern or classical practices.
Generally speaking, people who define themselves as pagan, follow an earth-based, polytheistic religion. Some honor many deities, others prefer the more general ‘God and Goddess’.
However, not all pagans are religious in the accepted sense. Some take a little from this religion and a little from that. Others simply celebrate or mark the seasons in a secular way, and call themselves atheists. Paganism is truly a pick ‘n mix path. What they all have in common is a deep respect for nature, our planet, and the divine beauty in the natural cycles which form the structure of life.
I did however used to think, you know, in the woods walking, and as a kid playing the the woods, that there was a kind of immanence there—that woods, a places of that order, had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel; that there was something peculiarly, physically present, a feeling of place almost conscious . . . like God. It evoked that.— Robert Creely
Pagans honor deities from so many traditions that it would be impossible to list them all here. However, here is a small selection.
- Goddess - usually represented by Mother Earth.
- God - usually represented by Father Sky
- The Green Man - a Celtic personification of a nature god.
- Diana - Roman goddess of the moon and hunting.
- Aphrodite - Greek goddess of love and sexy stuff.
- Zeus - Greek god of everything.
- Artemis - daughter of Zeus and goddess of forests, hills and hunting.
- Baba Yaga - Russian goddess, who takes the form of an old woman.
- Ceridwen - Welsh enchantress, Goddess of rebirth, transformation, and inspiration. She has a fascinating story.
- Brigid - a multi-faceted, Gaelic goddess, honored at Imbolc, usually the 1st February, which is sometimes called St Brigid’s Day.
- Freya - Norse goddess of love and fertility.
- Hecate - the Dark goddess, associated with the dead and dark magick.
- Odin - The Norse main man.
Pagans also honor the keepers of the four directions, who are in turn connected to the four ancient elements: fire, water, air and earth. The fifth direction which crosses vertically through the horizontal plane is Divine Spirit, which connects Earth to the heavenly realms.
Natural objects themselves, even when they make no claim to beauty, excite the feelings, and occupy the imagination. Nature pleases, attracts, delights, merely because it is nature. We recognize in it an Infinite Power.— Karl Wilhelm Humboldt
How To Become a Pagan
You don’t have to do anything to become a pagan. You simply have to know it. It feels right to you. You can develop your own tradition as you learn what it means. For you, garden witchcraft might be perfect. Perhaps you will choose to acknowledge nature as your connection to the divine? Or perhaps you’d rather the structure of a Wiccan or Druidry group in order to study a formal tradition.
There are many resources and groups online and, if you want to meet up, you can probably find information about local ‘moots’ (meet-ups). Pagans are generally friendly folk and welcoming to newbies. However, there is often a little political infighting among members of groups—the same as any other organization.
- “Paganism - An Introduction to Earth- Centered Religions” by River Higginbotham and Joyce Higginbotham.
- “Paganism: A Beginners Guide to Paganism” by Sarah Owen
- “To Walk a Pagan Path” by Alaric Abelson
- “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham
- “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft” by Raymond Buckland
There's sunshine in the heart of me, My blood sings in the breeze; The mountains are a part of me, I'm fellow to the trees.— Robert W. Service, "A Rolling Stone," 1912
So, how about you? Do you think a pagan path might be the right one for you?
Questions & Answers
What's the difference between a pagan and a witch?
All witches are pagans, but not all pagans are witches. Witchcraft is just one path of paganism. Other pagan paths include Druidry and Discordianism. Any earth-based religion or way of life can be labelled paganism.
Witchcraft is classed as paganism, and can also include many varied paths, too many to mention here.
It's a complex topic and well-worth exploring if you are interested.
I think I’m pagan, but I’m not sure what religion in paganism. I believe that the earth is sacred. I think people can be witches. But I don’t believe in a god or goddess. I have picked some things out of the religions under paganism. So what would I call myself? Just a pagan?
You can simply be a pagan, if you wish and just follow your own path. If you are drawn to witchcraft, have a look at all the different traditions. I've picked out 60 in this article... but again, you don't have to label yourself anything:
How did you learn that you are a pagan witch? How did you choose this path?
I've been fascinated with witchcraft since a child. My mother had a huge encyclopedia of witchcraft, and I used to read it all the time even though I didn't understand it. Then I put it aside for studies and boys, and then marriage and kids. When I was older, I kept thinking that there must be more to life and I found a book on Wicca in the local bookshop. And that was me launched on my new path.Helpful 4
I'm not sure if I identify as Wiccan or specifically Pagan. I really feel a deep connection to the earth, and I've always had a sort of clairvoyance. I hate crowds, and usually when I dream about something it comes true. A lot of things in the modern world do concern me. I honestly want to treat Wiccan or Pagan as a way to connect myself with the earth and past lives. So how do I know?Helpful 2
I have a very strong interest in Paganism and Wicca, but I believe in God. Is this generally accepted?
There are many Christian witches, but they tend to keep their beliefs secret -- after all, it is sometimes said that Jesus was a very powerful witch.
Wicca is different because the whole premise of the religion is based on the God/Goddess. It is not really possible to be both Wiccan and Christian.
© 2017 Bev G