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> What Is The Definition Of A Pagan Yours And Others, Paganism is a diverse topic....lets see
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celticwoodsman 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 02:14 PM
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I set up this topic just to see how diverse paganism really is. It should be noted that Paganism is really just a loose term of non-Abrahamic...But I have compiled a short list of definitions. I just would invite any pagan, pagan friendly, or any person just to state what they think Paganism is, was, could be, or should be.


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You will not go hungry until I starve, you shall not go thirsty as I have drink, you shall have my bed and be warm, you shall sit on my right as we feast in the great halls of our ancestors, and for when we die, and go to the great battle of valhalla....we shall stand together and fight ....at the end we shall look upon each other strewn with the blood of OUR enemies, and then....I shall call you FRIEND
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celticwoodsman 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 02:15 PM
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pa·gan
n.
One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion.
One who has no religion.
A non-Christian.
A hedonist.
A Neo-Pagan.

adj.
Not Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.
Professing no religion; heathen.
Neo-Pagan.


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[Middle English, from Late Latin pgnus, from Latin, country-dweller, civilian, from pgus, country, rural district. See pag- in Indo-European Roots.]
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pagan·dom (-dm) n.
pagan·ish adj.
pagan·ism n.
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celticwoodsman 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 02:17 PM
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pagan

\Pa"gan\ (p[=a]"gan), n. [L. paganus a countryman, peasant, villager, a pagan, fr. paganus of or pertaining to the country, rustic, also, pagan, fr. pagus a district, canton, the country, perh. orig., a district with fixed boundaries: cf. pangere to fasten. Cf. Painim, Peasant, and Pact, also Heathen.] One who worships false gods; an idolater; a heathen; one who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew.

Neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man. --Shak.

Syn: Gentile; heathen; idolater.

Usage: Pagan, Gentile, Heathen. Gentile was applied to the other nations of the earth as distinguished from the Jews. Pagan was the name given to idolaters in the early Christian church, because the villagers, being most remote from the centers of instruction, remained for a long time unconverted. Heathen has the same origin. Pagan is now more properly applied to rude and uncivilized idolaters, while heathen embraces all who practice idolatry.

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celticwoodsman 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 02:23 PM
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I absolutely get a very bad taste in my mouth, when I hear that definition from webster's dictionary or other "literary" sources. I myself am a practicioner or member of a temple for pagans. I am a pagan. I have been raised with Native American Spiritualism, as well as Druidic teachings. My parents taught me well the values of nature, man, and the spirits. To me a pagan is a spiritualist; a person or a group of people known as a coven who follow no defined theocracy. As well as an earth centered belief system seeking perhaps calm or enlightenment in the self through the teachings of the wild.

That is just my definition and my 2 cents.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 05:30 PM
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Seems to me like it has become a generic term for other than mainstream religons and belief systems. I don't quite agree with all of those definitions and I get bad feelings around the word 'heathen' I see that as some derogatory term that might be used by so called 'Christians' who are to closed minded to see beyond themselves and who would try to convert by force given the chance (Very un-Christian IMHO)

I see Paganism as a very generic refrence. referring to the numerous belief systems 'of the people'. The traditional religons or faths of an area, as it was before the Bible was introduced to the area (Druidism, Shamanism, etc...), as well as modern faiths that are outside of the minstream, such as Wicca.

To term Paganism as anything non judeo-Christian might be a little too loose, but fairly close I think. (Probably includes some it shouldn't) For any degree of precision at all, a more specific term should be used.


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Shadows 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 10:11 PM
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I tend to agree with both of you... dictonaries are so cold!

Paganism is a label that was put on us, not one we choose! The fact that the dictonaries say idol worship really burns my britches... I don't worship statues ( unlike some other religions that call themselves christian). I don,t worship satan, but I do have a great respect for all things and see the spiritualism in everything. I believe that every action I take has an effect on everything and everybody around me and it is my responsibility to see that those effects cause minimal disruption in the grand plan.


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I support the separation of church and hate!

IMAGINATION - the freest and largest nation in the world!


One can not profess to be of "GOD" and show intolerence and prejudice towards the beliefs of others.

Am fear nach gleidh na h–airm san t–sith, cha bhi iad aige ’n am a’ chogaidh.
He that keeps not his arms in time of peace will have none in time of war.

"We're all in this together , in the parking lot between faith and fear" ... O.C.M.S.

“Beasts feed; man eats; only the man of intellect knows how to eat well.”

"Without food we are nothing, without history we are lost." - SHADOWS


Is iomadh duine laghach a mhill an Creideamh.
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urian 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 10:22 PM
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QUOTE (Aaediwen @ 14-Sep-2004, 05:30 PM)

I see Paganism as a very generic refrence. referring to the numerous belief systems 'of the people'. The traditional religons or faths of an area, as it was before the Bible was introduced to the area (Druidism, Shamanism, etc...), as well as modern faiths that are outside of the minstream, such as Wicca.

To term Paganism as anything non judeo-Christian might be a little too loose, but fairly close I think. (Probably includes some it shouldn't)  For any degree of precision at all, a more specific term should be used.

Again, I agree with my esteemed colleage on this one
In this area(dddddddddddeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep in the heart of the bible belt) Pagan is anyone or anything thats not catholic, methodist, baptist, etc.

I dont claim the mantle of Pagan because I have my own ideas that have some basis in "crhistian" teachings, buhddism, assatru, gonstic, taoism, etc but I have been called such because I am not a fundamental christian. I do not claim christian either, btw..eh..rambling

Personally, I prefer HERETIC

but thats just me tongue.gif


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Aaediwen 
Posted: 15-Sep-2004, 05:04 AM
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Personally, I prefer the label (if one need be applied) of Agnostic. I believe in Christ and his teachings, and I also believe in Druidic and Wiccan teachings and schools of thought. In addition, Shadows has been my first real contact with a Shaman, and I have seen nothing to disagree with in what he's said of his faith either. It all fits together, and so it should. I, however, don't think my beliefs really fit under any one label. I've formulated my beliefs over hours of thought on the subject, and comparing the religons I've encountered. And marvelling at how they all say the same thing in different ways. There are so many elements of each one that I believe in, and so many elements I don't follow, that I find it difficult to classify myself. Although above all my faith and belief in God / Goddess is very strong. The only term I've found to describe that is Agnostic.

I believe in Christ and his teachings. Even putting his identity as the son of God aside, the man still knew what he was talking about. Listen and learn!

If someone wants me to sum up my beliefs, almost the first thing out of my mouth is the Wiccan rede. (sounds nice, easy to remember, doesn't sound Roman, and it sumerises the global truth by which all should live)

I believe in a Druidic oneness with Nature. That the devine is manifest in nature, and from nature we can learn to protect, and nurture ourselves. However, if we are to expect Nature to protect us, then we must protect her.
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celticwoodsman 
Posted: 15-Sep-2004, 08:11 AM
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unsure.gif rolleyes.gif angel_not.gif I am so happy that I started this, kinda a pseuophilosophical discussion on labeling, introspection, and "Abrahamic history." As stated before, I referred to myself as a pagan. That term I use only for devout christians, and (for those of you in the US "Hot Topic") goths. I specifically use that so that there is lil or nor explanation. Let them believe what they want, no one has to "justify" their beliefs to me. To my family and friends in my temple. I am a member of a Pantheonic temple; I believe in mom...earth, and dad....spirit.

You might have all these different names but to me its just plain and simple.....mom.....and .......dad.
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 08:55 PM
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I myself was trained as a Gardnerian Wiccan. My thoughts and practices have since drifted considerably, but that's where I cut my teeth.

Meanwhile I've picked up Native beliefs and a slew of other things.

To address anyone's specific "flavor" of religion, I merely bring up the following:

One hundred people could sit in the same church and not one person in there will have the same thoughts, feelings, emotional attachment, or associations as the person next to them. Why? Because we're all individuals, and nobody can claim identical experiences or thought. Therefore there are, sitting in the same church singing the same hymns and reading the same scriptures, one hundred interpretations of God. And they are all correct.

It's no different anywhere else.

I believe that every God that ever was and are now, are all equally valid. I believe in *all* of them. I just don't worship them all.

Now that that's said and I can be a little less stuffy...merrily met, all. ::grin::


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Shadows 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 09:01 PM
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Huzzah! Well said friend! You echo my thoughts well!

Blessed Be!
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 09:23 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 16-Sep-2004, 10:01 PM)
Huzzah! Well said friend! You echo my thoughts well!

Blessed Be!

::grins more:: Why thank you!

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Annham 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 14-Sep-2004, 11:11 PM)
but I do have a great respect for all things and see the spiritualism in everything. I believe that every action I take has an effect on everything and everybody around me and it is my responsibility to see that those effects cause minimal disruption in the grand plan.

Nicely said.

I suppose all or most "religions" believe in the responsibility of taking care of the earth and our fellow men. I definately believe that basic moral teachings are paramount and I would not object to belonging to any "denomonation" where those beliefs (ie the Ten comandments or similar belief systems) were adhered to without the requirement of word for word belief in things that seem like fables and ledgends to me.

"Paganism" and "Agnostic" have always seemed to me to be derogatory terms, so I think that belief systems that differ from the mainstream would be better served if they had names that didn't conjure up ancient derogatory meanings.
I would even steer clear of new terms such as "New Age" because that seems to be generic for everything that is not mainstream and includes a wide variety of belief systems.



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“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

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Sekhmet 
Posted: 18-Sep-2004, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE (ANNHAM @ 16-Sep-2004, 10:57 PM)
"Paganism" and "Agnostic" have always seemed to me to be derogatory terms, so I think that belief systems that differ from the mainstream would be better served if they had names that didn't conjure up ancient derogatory meanings.
I would even steer clear of new terms such as "New Age" because that seems to be generic for everything that is not mainstream and includes a wide variety of belief systems.

I have another thought in that direction.

While terms may be considered derogatory to the general populous, that doesn't mean that it can't change.

Now admittedly, I pretty much despise the "New Age" label because to me it evokes images of crystal collecting and total strangers coming up to you and stating that you were lovers in a former life, so now would be a good time for a reunion lay. But that's me.

The point to this is...I have no problems with the words "Pagan", or "Witch". Even "Agnostic" if it applied to me. Words can change their meanings and their connotations. If we're the first couple of generations that have to do that, well...so be it.
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bubba 
Posted: 18-Sep-2004, 11:45 PM
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I can't say there really is a label for my faith. I suppose it's a collection of things from various faiths (note I don't say religion, I dispise religion as a vehicle by some to gain power over others). I don't need preachers of any kind telling me what and how to believe. My own view of the Creator leans toward a Goddess since males don't bring forth life. I suppose if a label is needed I'd have to call myself a bubbaist since my faith is my own and entirely personal, not subject to anyone elses whims or interpretations. I don't really know if you'd call it pagen, heathen or even heretical, it just is.


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