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What Is Paganism and What Is a Pagan?

Cindy has been a writer for a number of years. She enjoys sharing her life experiences and what they have taught her.


I really hope I can find a way to compress the vast amount of information on Paganism into this article. My hope is that for those people who don't really know what Paganism is all about, this article will at least make it a little bit clearer and dispel many popular misconceptions about Paganism in general.

Modern Day Paganism

I discovered Paganism when I was in my mid-twenties, and felt very comfortable with the religion and its ideals. Having been sent to Catholic Convent Schools, whilst living in a Church of England home, it was at first difficult to get over the fear of wondering if by changing religion I would 'be in trouble with God'. It took me a few weeks to become relaxed with the idea of this new religion. Eventually the fact my sister had already changed to Paganism some years before, and experienced all the same worries, made me feel more okay about it, plus my logic told me that the ideals of Paganism were surely what any God of creation would want from his followers.

So what is Paganism? Well, a vast subject to say the least. There are many sects in Paganism, although most of them seem to happily converse together, e.g. Wiccans (white witches), Druids, etc.

My understanding and experience of Paganism in all of its forms is that it is essentially a nature-loving religion, where we believe that there is a supreme God/Goddess, or Great Spirit, and that he/she exists in everything around us, the trees, the plants, the rocks, the water, etc.

Pagans respect the planet, and believe in doing no harm to other creatures or wildlife wherever possible.

Pagans never try to convert others to their religion, and believe that Paganism, and what it stands for, has to be discovered by the individual for themselves.

Pagans will try wherever possible to save any of God's creatures, whether it is a butterfly or a snake, and many Pagans do opt to go down the vegetarian route also.

White Witch

White Witch

Most Pagans that I have come across still believe in Christ, although opinion differs as to whether or not he was the 'Son of God' or simply 'A Great Prophet'. Some will dispute whether or not he ever existed, but I am not one of those, I only have doubts as to the authenticity of many of the Bible quotes due to mistranslations and manipulation over the centuries.

Wiccans, (White Witches), believe in the threefold return law, in other words any spell you cast on someone will come back on you with three times the power. This is always a great incentive not to cast spells that harm another, as the repercussions can be very serious, likewise helpful spells can bring good karma back to the Wiccan in question. Most Wiccans tend to stick to love spells and healing spells rather than revenge spells.

There are also Hedge-witches, who spend their time utilising the plants in nature to create healing ointments etc.

Pagans do generally believe in either reincarnation or life after death, and also that animals have a place in heaven as one of God's creations, be them wild animals or domesticated pets.

The History of Paganism

Paganism began in about 10,000 BC at a time when people were nomadic and had to hunt for their food. The men would then worship the God of the Hunt, the Sun, the horned Stag God and the language of the animals. During these hunts, they would wear animal skins and antlers to make it easier to approach a herd of bison or antelope. (The image of the Horned God that developed from this was severely bastardized by the Roman Catholic Church into the evil entity known as the Devil or Satan).

During this time the women discovered their bodies were in tune with the lunar phases, and so they worshipped the moon and the Goddess deity. At this time women were the ones who led the rituals and were considered as having more power than the men because they were the givers of life.

Men who were either sick or elderly and unable to hunt would stay behind with the women during hunting trips, and this was when the women shared with them their lunar mysteries, which led to these men becoming priests in the lunar cult.

Around 8000 BC the tribes accidentally discovered agriculture and the need to be nomadic ceased because they now understood the role of males and females in reproduction, and the men now knew their input was essential. Once the tribes ceased to be nomadic and began to grow their own crops and breed their own livestock, they became known as 'Pagans', meaning 'country dweller'.

It was around this time that the image of 'The Green Man' came into existence, in the form of a male face surrounded by foliage. This image is still well known in Britain to this day.

The antlers of the Horned God were replaced with goats horns and this later led to such God-forms as the Greco- Roman Horned God 'Pan'.

As time went on many people from various places migrated to live in Rome, bringing their own Gods and Goddesses with them. The nomadic Eutruscans from Asia Minor brought knowledge of magic and divinations. The British (now known as Celts), arrived, as did the Mediranian Cult of the Dead. These people had great knowledge of spirituality and the theories of death and reincarnation. As they spread out they shared this knowledge with the Celts, and these people then became the Druids who oversaw all of the rights of the Pagan People.

Ancient Druid

Ancient Druid

The Druids, the Wice and the Pagans

Druids were mostly men. From 6500–4500 there were still remnants of the solar/lunar cults that dealt with animals, herbs and the mysteries that intertwined with the pagan communities. These people were known as the 'wice', and they were the people who knew of the mysteries and the power of understanding life and earth.

Three major groups of people developed, the Druids who held the men's secrets of the Cult of the Dead, the Wice who held the teachings of the solar/lunar cults which remained mostly made up of women who worshipped the Goddess, and the Pagans, who were common folk, balanced and polaric and who sought out the knowledge of the other two groups.


After the death of Christ, the people from the Middle East spread out across the land, teaching the word of Christianity. Eventually, they made it to Rome, and this is where the mass conversion began. They began with the leaders, Kings and Queens, first by using money and bribery. This way the country dwellers would have to convert as they depended on their leaders for survival.

Pagan temples were destroyed and Christian churches were built upon Pagan holy grounds. The Pagans were naturally not happy about this forcible conversion, so when they were made to build the churches they incorporated many of their symbols into the buildings that can still be seen today.

The Roman Catholic Church perverted the meaning of the name Pagan (from the Latin 'Paganus') and claimed it meant anti-Christian and an 'unbeliever'. Many people today still believe that Pagans are atheists or have no belief in a deity or deities of any kind, and a total rejection of all aspects of Spirituality.

The Goddess was excised from the masses to reappear later to the Roman Catholics in the subordinate form of the Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ himself was deified, and his image transformed into the Son of God. He became the Christian equivalent of the Sun God, an old Pagan tradition of a beloved male deity born to the Mother Goddess who is killed and resurrected after death. The Pagan horned God was transformed into the visualised form of 'Satan' or the 'Devil', the evil being who was the enemy of the Christian God, who only 'evil' people (non-Christians) worshipped, and who had dedicated his existence to totally undermining and destroying the moral turpitude of loyal Christians.

Pagan ideals such as the openness of sex and reverence for women were attacked in order to control the masses by the Church Clergy. Now sex and nudity were considered sinful and abhorrent to the new God image, and women became little more than the property of their menfolk, losing all their property rights and unable to serve in the clergy until the 20th century.

During this time the first Pagan scriptures emerged and were held by two Celts.

In 1100 the Dark Ages began, and no further writing took place. The Pagan scriptures vanished, and the Christian conversion continued to spread, and the Holy Wars began.

When the Christians decided their teachings were not catching on fast enough with the Pagans, the Christian leaders began claiming the Pagans worshipped and consorted with the Devil, and so the inquisition began.


Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches Hammer)

In 1494 two Dominican Monks who were the inquisitors of Papal Bull of Innocent VIII, by the names of Kramer and Springer produced the book the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches Hammer). This laid the groundwork for the reign of terror that swept through Europe well into the 18th century.

This period was known as 'The Burning Times', where it is estimated some 9 million men, women and children were held captive, stripped, starved, deprived of sleep and horribly tortured to obtain confessions of witchcraft, only then to be either burnt at the stake or strangled.

The last Witch to be executed under the laws of the Malleus Maleficarum was in 1747 in Australia.

Witches Being Burned at the Stake

Witches Being Burned at the Stake

Those involved in Paganism went into hiding until 1951 when the last of anti-witchcraft laws were abolished in England.

In 1952 Gerald Gardner published a book called 'High Magicks Aid', before publishing a further book in 1952 called 'Witchcraft Today' and so began the New Age Religion of Wicca.

In 1985 Wicca became a legalized religion and has grown at an incredible pace ever since. The approximate number of Pagans in North America alone surpasses 250,000 and is believed to actually be much higher because many lie on their census forms to avoid persecution.



This is clearly an enormous subject to try and cover in one article, so I may well continue in further articles where I explain more about modern Pagansim, Wiccan Altars, Rituals etc.

A quote I found whilst writing this that I really liked was that 'Pagans are not anti-Christianity, they are prior to Christianity'.

In the links section below you will find a list of sites I found very useful as a research tool when writing this piece, and if you do have the interest in this subject I highly recommend them.

Ancient Pagan/Witch Image

Ancient Pagan/Witch Image

© 2008 Cindy Lawson


Sammie15p on February 20, 2012:

Thanks you misty :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on February 19, 2012:

You are welcome Sammie, this is what being a Pagan is all about, not being forced into it, but discovering it for yourself and sticking with it because it 'feels right', not because you are 'told it is right'. Keep looking, there is so much information out there, and so many organisations you can join, (just Google your area and 'Pagan Groups'). Good Luck

Sammie15p on February 19, 2012:

Hi. I'm only 15 but I just discovered one of my friends is pagan and I researched it out of curiosity. From this article this is the only religion I've heard of that makes the slightest bit of since to me. Thank you for making this article. I would love to learn as much as I can about this

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 07, 2011:

Thanks hecate-horus, the brainwashing is hard to shake I agree, but thankfully I got over it within about a year, so I am sure you will soon too. Glad you enjoyed the Hub too :)

hecate-horus from Rowland Woods on November 07, 2011:

Great hub on Paganism! After 2 years of being a Pagan,I confess that I still feel little anxiety about "going to Hell" for my beliefs...the brainwashing is hard to shake!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 06, 2011:

I recall hearing that the Swastika had been around for many centuries before the Germans 'reversed' it and used it in a way that unfortunately tainted it for most people forever more.

I will have to ask my Sister about the cross on the rosary, as she is a mine of information on Paganism in general and attends a Wicca group every week.

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on October 06, 2011:

I don't know either about when the cross or a cross symbol first appeared with the rosary.

I know that crosses, in one form or another, have been symbols for thousands of years. The swastika, as far as I know, began its existence in Asia Minor and traveled with the tribes during the Indo-European movement. This means you will find the Swastika with roots in India and Europe. Thanks to Hinduism and Buddhism spreading from India, you will also find it in China and Japan. It is also a well known and very ancient symbol in Tibet.

The swastika comes to us originally as one of Thor's runes. It is actually a good luck rune. If you reverse a rune you reverse its meaning. The Nazi swastika is actually the traditional swastika reversed.

Of course the ankh originates in Ancient Egypt.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 06, 2011:

Funnily enough Rod we were only talking about that famous Soccer game and the Germans and the English singing 'Silent Night' the other day. What a strange coincidence.

Thanks also for the further detail on the Christmas Trees :)

RE-the roasry, I seem to recall that the Pagans used them as prayer beads too, but the Christian church changed the prayers to their own prayers, i.e. Hail Mary's and The Lord's Prayer. I am not sure about the cross, as that too is originally a Pagan symbol, but whether or not it was on the original prayer beads or not and the Christians just added a 'Jesus' to it I don't know.

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on October 05, 2011:

I don't know the story about the rosary beads but I am not surprised at a pagan origin. As for the Christmas tree, you are right. It came into Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria. It had been a tradition in Albert's country. When the royal family began putting presents under the Christmas tree it caught on.

Something strange happened on Christmas day in 1914. The Germans sang Silent Night in their own language and, across the way, the British joined in singing in English. There was no killing that day. A soccer game actually broke out. Both sides comprised of young men who did not expect to be away from home at Christmas. The French tell a similar story. In any event, the powers that be made sure it never happened again. What is of interest is that Silent Night came into English in the Victorian age along with the Christmas tree.

Certainly, in the northern hemisphere, Christmas is the 'death' of the old year and the promise of the new year.

Where I live, in Australia, it is somewhat different in that it isn't winter but summer. Even so, we still celebrate Christmas.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 05, 2011:

Thanks Rod, that was a really interesting and informative comment. I never tire of learning more about Paganism, for instance I found out recently that the rosary beads originated from Paganism and the Christian Church took over the idea as part of the 'convert Pagans to Christians' scheme. The Christmas Tree is another Pagan idea as it symbolised 'evergreen', holly, mistletoe etc, all Pagan in origin, and of course Christmas itself being 'Yule' a Pagan festival.

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on October 05, 2011:

I will vote up and flag as interesting. A lot of good and useful information including some of the connections Christianity has with paganism.

I have a copy of The Witch's Hammer translated into modern English. What intrigued me most about it was the various ways the authors had to get around the writings of Saint Augustine. He could be a hardliner Christian in some ways but he was not for harming witches. He felt they were not capable of casting spells that really did work and were only tricking themselves and the gullible. He kind of felt sorry for them and was more for converting them into Christians if it could be done or leaving them be. Augustine, being a saint, couldn't be wrong but, in order to prosecute witches (it was considered a book of law) they had to re-interpret what this fellow had written.

The Green Man lived on in Sir Gawain and the Green knight. There were these English mystery plays in the middle ages that were, on the surface, Christian because they had to be but underneath there were tidbits of old pre-Christian pagan ritual.

It seems to me that Satanism is anti-Christian and not Paganism.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 27, 2011:

Thanks MizBejabbers, it is a subject I am fascinated in too, and I love being a Pagan. It is worth bearing in mind this Hub focuses mainly on Wiccans, and there is loads more to learn about other branches of Paganism.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 27, 2011:

Good job on such a complicated subject (one of my favorites, by the way). I hope to see you write more. I enjoyed seeing the comments on Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series. I've read them all, and I think that's what got me interested in this subject.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 16, 2011:

Thanks ChoiceGiver, I must take a look at your jewellery, it sounds really interesting :)

ChoiceGiver on September 16, 2011:

Gosh, thank you so much Misty! I have been looking around for a well-thought out and written piece of writing to explain Paganism and Wiccan beliefs as I sell Wiccan jewellery on it, and this is by far the most interesting article I have read! Many thanks!


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 20, 2011:

Thanks catspirit, so lovely to get feedback from a fellow Pagan.

catspirit on August 19, 2011:

Excellent Hub....I'll be at the Pagan Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah in September. We have a large underground community that is bursting into the forefront

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 04, 2011:

Thanks Druv,

Some very interesting information in your post, so thanks for sharing it here. It would be hard to categorically say that all Druids, Celts etc must have originated from an ancient civilisation in India as a result of what you discovered though, it could have been the other way around just as easily, and the animal protector/horned God could have been a belief from the Druids and the Celts etc by the Indu Valley Civilisation, I guess we are unlikely to ever find out for certain. Wicca is definitely not in the frame either way though, as Wicca was only created as a religion in very recent times (first half of the 20th Century), however witches and witchcraft go back significantly further.

Druv on August 03, 2011:

Wrong word-->"story" i meant "research", sorry

Druv on August 03, 2011:

Hello i have been doing a story and i found out that the Horned God is the same as the God of Indus Valley Civilization. There are artifacts showing a horned God which is one of the form God Shiva known as Pashupatinath -which means Animal protector or the protector of the animals.

Hence the Celts/Druids/Wiccans originated from an ancient civilization of India - the Indus valley civilization.

I found an article showing an artifact of the Druids sitting in a "Yoga" posture called padma-asan with 4 swastika on its chest.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 27, 2011:

Thanks zaarahjasmin, so pleased you enjoyed this :)

zaarahjasmin on July 27, 2011:

lot's of useful info and overview's my first time at this site! i love ur site :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 06, 2011:

I could not agree more Mrs. J. B. Treating nature the way man does largely, deserves a death sentence.

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on June 06, 2011:

Nature is amazing. I make sure I feed my little furry or feathered friends every day. How man treats nature is what kills me.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 04, 2011:

That sounds wonderful Mrs. J. B. I love nature too, it is just so real, and unspoiled (until man interferes that is).

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on June 04, 2011:

I too take care of the wildlife. I have squirrels, rabbits, birds,rats, crows etc. in my yard every day so much so that I named them. All I have to do is click my tongue and they come!

I love nature.......

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 04, 2011:

Hi Mrs J. B., I think people have too many preconcieved ideas in their heads about Witchcraft, Pagansim and Wicca, so judge rashly with little knowledge of the code Wiccans/Witches practice by.

Personally I throw my energies into spending time with a all things Mother Earth related, wildlife, plants, the environment, nature etc. If I can save any small creatures life I will, be it a rabbit caught by my cats, or a butterfly trapped in a greenhouse. I even stop my car at night to move hedgehogs out of the road and into the safety of gardens and fields alongside. I am seldom happier than when I am growing my own food, or caring for animals, and this is why I feel so at home with Pagansim in general. I also enjoy receiving Tarot readings from good quality individuals who I know to be accurate through recommendations. I like to think I live a very spiritual existence.

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on June 04, 2011:

For me since I do quite a bit of this and that with spells, tarot cards, runes etc.. I have had people call me to talk to me about the "evil" I am doing. The people that point this out have more to hide. Yes I can do both but what I do is mostly to improve oneself. What do you do?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 03, 2011:

Good question Mrs. J.B. So far I have not had this happen, although I do get people who are curious about what I mean when I say I 'am a Pagan'. They seems to initially assume I don't believe in anything, but I then explain that I do, which is not all that easy when you try to elaborate.

The worst reaction I had was from a Jehovah Witness, but even that only consisted of him giving me one of their magazines that featured a prominent article on the 'Evils of Witchcraft' (that was when I was a Wiccan, and had stated so).

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on June 03, 2011:

Let me ask you this. How many people when they find out you are Pagan call you evil? A witch? You name it?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 03, 2011:

Hi 'Mrs. J. B.', Wiccan is a branch of Pagansim, (my Sister has been Wiccan for well over fifteen years now). I used to be a 'Wiccan' but realised that due to a lack of time to perform rituals and study the 'craft' side of being a Wiccan, I was better suited to being a Pagan in general as the belief system made so much sense to me.

Thanks very much for your feedback and I am glad you enjoyed this Hub :)

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on June 03, 2011:

I am Wiccan more than Pagan. Great hub!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 31, 2011:

You are very welcome Math-magic. Welcome to the most comfortable and most natural religion you could ever have found. Clearly it was your time to find it.

Math-magic<3 on May 31, 2011:

This really helped me, thanks so much. two of my friends and I are getting in to this, I am the last of them. That information really helped. It really helped me understand the religion. Thanks!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 16, 2011:

Thank you Greenwick, and of course you are 100% correct in your comment. I really appreciate your feedback :)

Greenwick on May 16, 2011:

It is awesome that you pointed out people can be pagan and be Christian. Though I would like to point out that there are tons of pagans who do not believe in Christ and never did. Anyway, it is nice to see a different perspective put up.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 09, 2011:

Cheers for the advice Deborah. My Sister is very good on this stuff too, and has been a Pagan even longer than I have, so is a great source of knowledge on such aspects of Paganism.

deblipp on May 09, 2011:

Well, I guess my advice would be to set that stuff aside and concentrate on the Pagan material for Pagan philosophy, theology, etc.

Deborah Lipp

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 06, 2011:

Nice to meet a 'fellow Pagan' deblipp. I guess I started off Christian due to my education, (infant and primary schools were convents). Now I am inclined to believe in Christ, but not sure whether or not he was a great teacher/prophet. Not sure about the 'son of God' angle though. Too much human interference in the translations and writings of the Bible for me to be swayed by most of what is in it.

deblipp on May 06, 2011:

Yes, I have been Pagan for thirty years and I have written some books on the topic. I was raised Jewish so the Christ issue never came up for me. It is actually a recent phenomenon. Thirty years ago, you *never* found Pagans talking about Christ.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 05, 2011:

Thanks so much deblipp, such a great comment. I can only assume you might either be a Pagan yourself, or have Pagan leanings. For myself, I have never regretted becoming a Pagan. It is such a 'clean' untainted religion, and makes so much basic sense, (I am one of the Pagans who does believe in Christ by the way). Paganism is such a comfortable and natural religion, and surely as any God would want, i.e. us to respect, love and care for his creation/s.

deblipp on May 05, 2011:

Good job. There is a huge variety of Pagan belief. Not all Pagans, maybe not even most, believe there is one God/Goddess/Spirit that permeates nature (pantheism). Many Pagans are "hard polytheists," meaning they believe all Gods are different, and individuals, and not part of "one." Similarly, I would disagree that most Pagans believe in Christ, although certainly some do, and in fact, that is a growing segment of Paganism. The great thing is, of course, that Paganism is pluralistic enough to encompass this variety of belief.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 31, 2011:

Hi Josh, you could try these for starters.

These should be able to give you loads of information to help you follow this path or find out more about it.

Good Luck

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 31, 2011:

Hi Josh,

I don't know whereabouts in the world you are, but leave it with me and I shall try to source some links that I can post here for you.

josh on March 30, 2011:

would you know any websites i could go to

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 30, 2011:

Oh Josh, this is such a huge topic, and so much to cover on one Hub. I suggest you join some Pagan groups on the net and get to know other Pagans and like-minded people who can answer questions etc. This hub is a good basis, but there is loads more to learn and explore, plus many branches of Paganism to consider. I suggest you spend plenty of time on the Net and in Libraries looking into this if you are serious, as this is all part of your spiritual journey.

josh on March 30, 2011:

i am a teenager and would like to know more about this religion. could you assist me with anything

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 29, 2011:

Thank you Jean Bakula, I really appreciate your in depth response to this Hub, and I totally agree with what you said about the hard core Christians here on Hubpages, many of them can be down right obnoxious towards anyone who disagrees with them.

Jean Bakula on March 29, 2011:


I came to this hub because I just read The Mists Of Avalon, and wrote a review, but wanted to see if it already was a hub or was covered. It led me here since one of your readers mentioned the book. It looks like I can go ahead and publish. I really enjoyed your Paganism hub. I read tarot cards out of a friend's store, where they are all Pagans and witches, and I'm the only one who isn't. They let me hang around though because I'm comfortable with a religion that is mostly about Nature, Healing and Women. At the end of The Mists of Avalon, Christianity does take over although it does adopt quite a bit of the Pagan ways. But the last Goddess, Morgaine, looks at a monument to the Virgin Mary when Avalon is no longer visable, and feels good knowing that there is still a "Lady in a blue robe caring for a child." She felt OK that Mary would be caring. There are too many hard core Christians preaching on HP, they should be on a religious forum. Especially the ones who are just taking chapter and verse straight from the Bible without adding any of their own thoughts. They act persecuted on HP, but when I go hubhopping they are at least half of what I see, and it's not original material. Best Wishes to you!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on February 27, 2011:

Hi Tx outcast, I am so glad this has helped, and hope that this feels as good to you as it does to me. Sounds like you were meant to discover it now. You will know what 'feels right' as soon as you find it :)

Tx outcast on February 26, 2011:

Wow. Wow. is all i can say. Im a female , 20, and i just a few weeeks ago felt Gods love. He showed me hell and then turned it all around for the better within my life. I have turned to churches, many churchs, and many christians and cath. they all have told me i hav been chosen.... and God is showing the light to many... Everything around is changing so quickly.. and Misty i do not kno what to belive. But this... this religion... seems to fit me.. i grew up raised by Jahova Witnesses... a little of the Pagan religion relates to Jajova W religion.. i do not know if they are two totally opp religions though... Ill do more reaserch... But, this hav deff opened my eyes onto sooo much more.

thank you . everyone on here has helped so much and made me think.

please continue with the knowladge and sharing... It really helps ppl like me see the world.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 09, 2010:

Interesting comment Jessica and thank you for the feedback. A little puzzled as to why the Virgin Mary reference was amusing to you I have to say. It makes perfect sense that the original 'Mother Goddess' from the Pagan religions would be re-created as 'The Virgin Mary' to make the masses more willing to convert to Christianity.

The comment you made I really liked was the one which said "He is the wind, trees, water, mountains, sky, etc. We are all connected by this spirit."

This echoed my feelings very well indeed.

Jessica on October 08, 2010:

I think the only part I truly believe about this is that pagans did exist and they were around BEFORE Christianity. Of course they were upset about another God existed only being one God instead of many. I do believe like any religion there is good and bad about this one. For example, when Christianity came many took this new form of religion and stained it with their own interpretations. This is where many pagans suffered in the name or hands of Christianity. Our God is love, peace, and forgiveness. Whoever stained this is not of true Christian belief. You story has good meat or mass but lost credibility when you mentioned the Virgin Mary. I had to stop reading there because I found it funny. I truly apologize but it is a comment and my sincerest opinion. One God created this earth. He is the wind, trees, water, mountains, sky, etc. We are all connected by this spirit. That is where the Holy Trinity comes to life. Oscar, you need to google how Paganism formed it's way into the Roman Catholic Church. Romans never accepted this form of beliefs it was only spread through those who weren't educated in their faith and were easily convinced for their human comforts. Pagans are not comfortable with this one God who loves them and created them in their image. It's the human individual who warps what is pure and innocent. Ego is so powerful that it blinds us from truth. I could be very well wrong too but I put my faith in one God. I just can't keep up with all these other Gods. It feels too much like an Orgi of lies.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 11, 2010:

Thanks for your thoughts oscarwms, obviously your beliefs are something you are comfortable with, (which is fine), however not everyone has the same beliefs and that doesn't mean they are wrong any more than it means you are, it just means they believe something different to you. No-one can say for certain who is right until they die and find out what comes next.

Dr. Oscar A. Williams, Jr. from PA on September 10, 2010:

Great hub, well researched. How ever you mentioned christianity in your hub. I wish you put the same research about Christianity as you did into paganism. We will find the Roman Catholic Church is laden with paganism. I'm not Roman Catholic but I am a Bible believing Christian. There is only One Lord, one faith and one batism. One God above all and over all. Paganism is contrary to Christanity. Calling a fish a scorpian does not make it a scorpian. You cannot serve two masters, you wil either love the one or hate the other. cling to one and shun the other.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 20, 2010:

Thank you 4elements, love and light to you also.

4elements on August 17, 2010:

Very well read and written article. I'm glad there are people like me who want to help others understand this religion, Wicca/Pagan. i hope to continue following your words, Blessings my friend, peace, love, and light!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 02, 2010:

Thanks alorelle, I am ever so pleased you enjoyed this. No doubt I will write more about Paganism in the coming months but it may be a while as I have my veggie allotment filling much of my time in the summer, and when I do get the time to start writing again I already have some ideas on other subjects that I want to write about first.

alorelle on August 02, 2010:

Misty. This was an amazing hub and I'm excited to read more from you! I hope that you do write more about paganism. You know what you're talking about and you take the time to worship the subject. This was an awesome hub!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 14, 2009:

Thanks Daniel, and welcome to a wonderful religion that will leave you feeling completely comfortable with your choice and at ease with the environment and the creatures we share this planet with.

Daniel on December 14, 2009:

Wow! Is what comes to mind after reading this. I being new to Paganism by just two years fond it very helpful to say the lest. Im sure you hear this alot but very nice work! And I will also be looking forfard to reading more from you ty and Blessed Be Misty.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 17, 2009:

Hi Dee, I shall see what I can do, but I am not sure why that image is being excluded from the slideshow. Thanks for your informative comment.

Dee on September 17, 2009:

There are 16 images on this page, but only 15 are visible in a bigger version in the slide show. Image #12, titled "Pagan Horned God" was omitted from the slide show. Can you please include it there? Thanks.

A summary of the main points to make about pagan religions, in my view:

1. Almost all of the thousands of religions in the history of the Earth have been pagan religions. Only a small handful of religions have not been pagan. . (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha'i, Sikhism, maybe a few more.)

2. Pagan religions are generally: pantheistic (reverence or worship of Nature); polytheistic (worshipping many Gods and Goddesses); and animistic (seeing an animating life force in all things in Nature).

3. Pagan religions were brutally oppressed by both Christianity and Islam for centuries. Monotheism in general is a statement of opposition to polytheistic paganism; and the Christians and the Muslims did their best to destroy pagan religions. They burned our holy books, destroyed our sacred pagan temples and built churches and mosques over them, desecrated iconic statues of pagan Gods, and tortured and killed millions of pagans.

4. Pagan religions today are undergoing a massive resurgence. Now that the oppression has lifted, the natural pagan religiosity of many people is reawakening.

5. Wicca is only one of many pagan religions; it's unique in that it's mostly duotheistic, focusing worship on a Horned God and a Moon Goddess, who are seen as lovers.

6. The Horned God is not "the devil." Some of the earliest pagan gods wore horns or antlers; they're a symbol of male virility and a connection to Nature and to the wild spirit of animals.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 28, 2009:

Thanks BabaSixto, I am pleased you enjoyed this and hope it can help to educate others with any doubts about what Paganism is all about.

Sixto J Novaton from Florida on July 27, 2009:

Loved and enjoyed your hub very much... I will pass this on to all those that need this kind of awareness....

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 18, 2009:

Thanks Sufi, glad you found it in the end and that you enjoyed it :)

Thanks Pam, I guess I am similar to you as I have never been a part of a Coven, but simply appreciate and love the environment and treat is all as part of the Great Spirit. I believe we are meant to look after it and nurture it, and I always feel at my most spiritual when I am in the depths of the countryside watching nature and the trees, flowing streams etc.

pgrundy on January 18, 2009:

Great hub Misty. I consider myself a pagan with a little 'p' on the few occasions I consider such subjects. In my case it's more of a familial, natural thing, not so much the Neo-Pagan revivalism that took expresses itself in modern covens and so forth. I also look forward to more hubs from you on this. Great work, thank you.

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on January 18, 2009:

Missed this one - Beautifully written Hub.

A few years ago, my friends had a handfasting at the Rollright stones, and asked me to open and close the North Quarter. It was a real honour and a beautiful ceremony.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 17, 2009:

PS. I always am happy to admit I am a Pagan to anyone, and I explain what it means. It would feel wrong to me to hide it in the same way it no doubt would feel wrong to a devout Christian to deny their beliefs or keep them quiet. I am comfortable with the fact that Pagans love and protect the planet in a way most Christians seem not to. Just an afterthought :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 17, 2009:

Thanks JamaGenee, great comment and I totally agree with every word of it. I am sure people like Pam will be a great asset to getting the truth about Paganism out there.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on January 17, 2009:

Wonderful explanation of Paganism in a nutshell! As a baptised Methodist who finally found her way to Wicca by way of a book called "Druids" and a Native American book called "Seven Arrows", I have no problem believing in the *idea* of Christ and his teachings.  They mirror many of the pacifist beliefs of Paganism.  That he was THE Savior of Mankind, no.  Only a prophet who got a lot more publicity than the rest. 

I'm also sure the 250,000 figure for Pagans, Wiccans, etc is but a fraction of the true number, because we're *everywhere*.  Because of the "devil worship" stigma, we dare not declare ourselves as such to co-workers and employers like Catholics, Baptists and members of other "acceptable" religions can.

But perhaps hubs like this one and pgrundy's will help remove that stigma by educating the masses that Paganism is NOT devil worship, pre-dates all forms of Christianity by several thousand years, and the Golden Rule was originally our "An Ye Harm None".

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 07, 2009:

Thanks Suzanne, great to have your feedback :)

justmesuzanne from Texas on January 07, 2009:

Very interesting and well done. You did a good job of addressing all the major points in a limited space.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 28, 2008:

Thanks Terence, glad you enjoyed it and I shall be writing more I promise :)

terenceyap07 from Singapore on October 28, 2008:

Hi Mistyhorizon2003,

Thank you for this very well presented introduction to Paganism, my friend. It is indeed a fascinating hub and a good source of knowledge and future reference.

Knowledge broadens our horizons and helps us to understand each other better. Keep up the good work, my friend.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 26, 2008:

Thank you AEvans, I agree with you that we need to all respect each other's beliefs and learn from each other. I really appreciate your compliment on the quality of my Hub, Thank you again. :)

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on October 26, 2008:

MistyHorizon, We should all be open minded and respect each others beliefs , I do not believe in pushing our own religions down each other I believe in learning from one another although I have experiences with my beliefs I always value others thoughts ,comments and understanding and this article was wonderful!!! Thank you for the respect and likewise to you. :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 23, 2008:

Hi Countrywomen, if a man is likely to lose interest in you soon, he is the wrong man for you. I know we must have a culture difference, but I do believe unless the man wants to love you forever you should wait until you find one that will. I have made these mistakes, but when the relationship has ended I have ultimately been relieved. Try to trust in fate, destiny and karma, and life will send you the right partner eventually, even if not immediately, but don't be in a rush to get married until you really trust your partner.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on October 23, 2008:

Thanks Cindy for the explanation. I am not married yet but having heard from my married friends that some men may lose interest soon. Hence maybe this is also an option...Never know??? What life has in store?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 23, 2008:

Thank you AEvans, it is so lovely to meet a Christian who has an open mind, and I truly respect you for it :)

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on October 23, 2008:

I appreciate this hub although I am christian I sincerely respect that you wrote this article and I hope that this will open many minds. Great Hub!!!!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 23, 2008:

Thank you Steve, that is high praise coming from one with your writing experience. Glad you enjoyed the Hub :)

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on October 23, 2008:

Very well researched and explained hub, Cindy! I am not surprised you are getting very well deserved high scores here!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2008:

Hi countrywomen, good questions.

1) I believe it is possible to undo a binding spell, but incredibly hard and may take a far more advanced Witch/Wiccan to achieve this than the person who cast the spell originally, and even then there are no guarantees they will be successful.

2) If somebody's free will is not strong enough to stay on track with their marital vows then you are best off without them anyway. The decision as to whether a spell is a good idea to help them with their willpower with regards to fidelity or addictions should be theirs. If they decide they want a spell cast to help themselves, then they should be the ones to act on this, using their own free will, and not the desires of someone else.

3) I do believe karma will be effected by your ultimate intentions, so if you genuinely wanted the best for the other person, then the karma would be good.

However, I would also advise anyone thinking of casting a spell on another, to at least seek their permission first, as otherwise what you are doing is treating them as a pawn for you to alter to fit your ideals, and which may not match their ideals. I mean, how would you like it if someone chose to cast a binding spell on you, (especially if you weren't even all that keen on them in the first place), and then at a later date, decided they no longer wanted you, so arranged for the spell to be lifted? Wouldn't you feel just a little bit like a piece on a chess board that they were manipulating to suit their own wants and desires at any one time?

Hope this has helped :)

countrywomen from Washington, USA on October 20, 2008:


About the earlier comment on love spells you did raise couple of good issues:

1) About not getting rid of the spell even after the relationship is over?

If we can do a spell can't we undo a spell.

2) About interfering with free will?

If somebody's free will is not strong enough to stay on track with their commitments (like marrital vows or alcohol\tobacoo addictions) then is it wrong to put a spell to keep him\her from improving in the right direction.

3) Karmic backlash?

If we genuinely wish the good of others then only good will return to us then it is good to have the good karma isn't it.

P.S: I do respect pagan religion, and these questions are more out of personal curiousity.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 20, 2008:

Thank you to all of you for your kind comments. I am sorry to not to have come back to you sooner, but had a dreadful day yesterday (Sunday) as I had to help put my Mum's dog to sleep. She was a greyhound and very special to all of us, so I didn't go near my computer all day needless to say. Bear with me and I shall work on these follow-up hubs as soon as I can.

Christopher James Stone from Whitstable, UK on October 19, 2008:

A great read Misty, and I look forward to your future thoughts on the subject.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on October 19, 2008:

This is very nicely told. You've given us an excellent introduction. I suspect some of the very early history you present especially from nomadic times must be pretty speculative, but that's true of every religion's birth.

Clive Fagan from South Africa on October 19, 2008:

Misty I certainly intend to!

Richard VanIngram from San Antonio, Texas on October 19, 2008:

Blessings on you, Mistyhorizon. Thank you for your helpful, enlightened article -- I look forward to reading more from you!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 18, 2008:

Thanks sixtyorso, good points, and I hope you will read the hubs I follow up on this subject with :)

Clive Fagan from South Africa on October 18, 2008:

I never really mentioned that druidism, Historical issue of pagan festivals being Christianised and the fact that these religions pre-date Christianity by some serious time spans  have always been subjects in which I have an interested. As I said earlier more please. BTW even the comment from Christoph above "touch wood" for luck or good fortune has its roots in paganism!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 18, 2008:

Mighty Mom, thank you too for your wonderful feedback. Yes, it took me a couple of days to pull all the info together and check out my facts and do the research, but I am pleased with the end result and will write more hubs on the topic concentrating on certain areas and races. Please feel free to call me Misty or Cindy, but whichever you are comfortable with so am I :)

Amanda, thanks for commenting, and I am very pleased you enjoyed the hub. I kind of like the Green Man images too :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 18, 2008:

Christoph, thanks for commenting. I am glad you enjoyed this hub and found the info contained in it interesting :)

Shades, thank you for such a complimentary response, it always means so much more coming from you because of the absolute respect I hold for your writing talents. As you noticed I had to miss out certain elements such as the Greek Mythology, but I intend to do further hubs now and cover other Pagan races, Gods and beliefs more specifically. I didn't want this hub to end up being so long that people were bored before they reached the end of it. I love the idea that the planet spawned a religion that is God. Thank you.

Jewels Thanks for stopping by and commenting so kindly. I too believe Paganism had 'feeling' down pat, and a massive knowledge of forces. Truly we should all be lucky to experience this feeling ourselves.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 18, 2008:

Wow, thanks for all the truly positive comments everyone. I was a bit worried this topic might cause a flood of comments from disgruntled Christians, but touch wood, so far there have been none.

countrywomen, interesting question. I have heard of cases where a binding spell has worked so much so, that when the person who cast the spell finally did want to get out of the relationship, they simply couldn't get rid of the person they had cast it on. There is also the karmic repercussions of such a spell, as you are interfering with another's 'free will' by imposing your own over theirs. So in essence, yes I believe they can work as long as they are done correctly, but I do not think we should use these spells from a moral point of view. I also believe that you have to believe in any spell working 100% for it to be fully successful.

Amanda Severn from UK on October 18, 2008:

This is a really good hub, and a great over-view of Paganism I loved the illustrations, especially the Green Man (I've always had a soft spot for those!).  

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on October 17, 2008:

I'm beyond impressed -- not only did you pull this together in record time (wasn't it just last week we were clammoring for a hub on Paganism?), but did a SUPER job! You could and should develop sub-hubs on the different sects and periods of Pagan evolution.

I hope you get widespread interest and make beaucoup $$$ as the Pagan goddess you are! Thanks, Ms. Misty (I just can't call you Cindy, sorry:-). MM

Jewels from Australia on October 17, 2008:

I've bookmarked your hub as a reference source. I regard Paganism as an integral part of our history and especially spiritual history. So much can be sourced from the teachings, rituals, apirations and ceremonies of Pagans back to more ancient times. There is still a marked imprint in our being, both good and not so good from the 'old days' when this way of life was the norm. I believe Paganism had 'feeling' down pat and a massive knowing of forces. It is that feeling subconsciously we want to experience again.

Shadesbreath from California on October 17, 2008:

Misty, you've been a great "hub pal" and so supportive of my stuff for a long time.  I've enjoyed your work too.  But, this is a really awesome work.  You've tackled a deep and really important conversation here that swells in the modern psyche obviously.  While I could spend time pointing out stuff you missed (cthonic foundations and Greek mythology) I see you probably just skimmed it rather than typing it in.  This was a huge project and I'm glad you put this out.  "Pagan" is still almost a dirty word, and, the great vindication of so many centuries of persecution, is that it's all proving true. 

The power-coveting psuedo faiths that for a few stacked centuries managed to vanquish everyone else's religions are still strong, but their opressive dogma fails horribly in the light of global conversation.  The pagans of Europe join with the reason and observation of African faiths, South American faiths, Native American faiths.... basically teh whole world outside of the men with the sharpest swords... to prove there is actually a religion spawned by the planet and, perhaps, it's god.

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on October 17, 2008:

This is a great overview! Lots of information and a great place for people to get their first knowledge of paganism. Thanks for writing it!