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
I am pretty sure I am a witch but I do not know where to start learning, and how to tell family members?
Becoming a witch is a choice you make. It is rare that someone is inherently a witch; usually, they feel drawn towards witchcraft. You can start right where you are. I have lots of articles that will help you get started.
If you are young, and you think your family wouldn't approve, then you should hold off with the whole witchcraft thing. However, that doesn't prevent you from learning as much as you can until the time is right. If your family is easy-going, then you can just gently slide into being a witch by small actions: leave a witchy book lying around, ask for a tarot deck as a gift, wear slightly more witchy clothes (if that appeals). Practice visualizing getting a good parking space for whoever's driving, then joke about it and tell them it's witchcraft. Keep it light.
I believe in Jesus and love nature, animals, and believe in the God/Goddess. Male and female energies. Why do you say it is not possible to be a Christian pagan?
I don't say it's not possible; anyone can call themselves anything they like. However, from the perspective of Christianity, it is not acceptable to follow the path of the God/Goddess. There is only one God in Christianity. Many Christians (Roman Catholics in particular) get around it by revering Mary, Mother of Jesus. It's quite possible to be a pagan and adhere to the teachings of Jesus.
You may be referring to my statement that it's not possible to be both Wiccan and Christian. The two are separate faiths and there are too many differences for them ever to work together. It would be like trying to play for two different football teams. For example, Christianity holds the devil up as the ultimate evil; Wiccan worship the Horned God who looks exactly like the Christian devil. Wiccans practice such things as fertility magic; Christians would be horrified at the idea. So while you might uphold the principles of Christianity but practice Wicca, you can never really be both.
What are the difference between witches, pagans and Wiccans?
Paganism is an umbrella term that covers most earth-based religions and traditions. So that means all witches and Wiccans are pagans.
Witchcraft is a pagan tradition that utilizes ritual and magic in its practice. Witchcraft can be quite 'cottage industry' based, and include such things as herbalism, cartomancy, healing, etc.
Wicca is a religion. It is a specific (and modern) path of witchcraft that recognizes the God and Goddess (or named versions of them).
You might find this article interesting. It covers 60 different witchcraft traditions: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/What-Kind-o...Helpful 4
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.Helpful 19
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.Helpful 15
© 2017 Bev G