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Transcript of World Religions
If the religion a person follows doesn't fall into the following religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Eastern religions) than that religion/ follower will be known as a pagan. History In history, people have given a huge importance to the worship of gods and deities. People used to believe that everything had a spirit and was polytheistic. As society changed and developed through time, gods began to change as well. Religion and gods have played a vital role in history, influencing everything from laws to belief and customs to general workings of the community. Reincarnation was one of their many beliefs, but they never believed in the existence of heaven and hell, Paganism (neo-paganism) celebrates the earth, living creatures, nature, but most believe in more than one god where others are atheistic.
Latin term for Pagan? How many followers does Paganism have worldwide? Identifying the number of Pagans worldwide is difficult because they face a lot of discrimination based on their religions. Most people that practice paganism say they practice a different religion because of the discrimination they face. They often do not tell strangers their religious beliefs or offer that information in surveys. There are approximately 3 million people practicing paganism worldwide. Beliefs Traditions Philosophy, Gods, and Afterlife The common belief of all Pagans is that everything has a soul. Most Pagans are polytheistic. A Pagan celebration is always something that consists of focusing on spiritual energy. There isn't a Pagan god, it depends on what type of Paganism you believe in. Some believe in a god, and some believe in gods and goddesses. Many Pagans meditate as a way to form a relationship with a supreme being. The belief is that you should live in harmony with the earth at all times. Many Pagans believe in reincarnation. The Pagan afterlife is said to be a rest period, where you rest, reconnect with the divine, and meet up with others they had known. Some believe god decides how they reincarnate and some believe the person makes that decision.
*Question* The diversity of Pagan traditions has made a comprehensive census nearly impossible.
Generally, anyone who adheres to the Rede or a similar code of ethics can be under the “umbrella” of paganism (in Europe). Rede: An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will. This umbrella shelters a number of "traditions" that have been created over the years, each one with its own set of beliefs, rituals and standards.
There are many different pagans across the world, each with their own distinct traditions, of which only a few will be presented:
Neopagan religions are simply the rebuilding of ancient abandoned Pagan belief systems, such as Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Roman, and other traditions.
-They don't worship Satan, because they don't even believe in Satan!
Over the last few decades, many Wiccans and other Neopagans have come out of the closet, as some now hold public rituals. They are being accepted as simply another spiritual path found in the diversity of North American beliefs.
Neo-Pagan traditions have many of the following common factors: Pagans believe that the purpose of life is to:
live in harmony with nature
develop a spiritual and personal life
inherent divinity within themselves
help people achieve the same as them
Pagans view every part of nature unique and beautiful in its own way, and view the Earth as a mother to all. For a pagan to find divinity, and to connect with their mother, a walk on the beach or even finding a peaceful spot in the park could help them do so.
Besides worshiping nature, pagans also worship spirits which could consist of heroes or deceased family members. Pagan worship may be collective or solitary. Their worship may consist of informal prayers or meditation through which pagans create a deep connection with nature and deity. Pagans conduct their religious ceremonies outdoors as they don’t have any specific places/buildings for worship.
Pagans believe that they are not different or above from rest of the nature. They believe that spirituality is inside the individual and the ceremonies are just a way to communicate with God. Pagans think that religious understanding can be easily understood by symbols and allusions rather than through doctrines. Holidays Rituals And Practices
Their local religious communities are called Kindreds, Hearths, or Garths. Male priests are called Goði; priestesses are Gyðja.
The Blót: (pronounced "bloat" or "boat;" sources differ) This is their most common religious ritual and is a sacrifice to the Gods. In ancient times, an animal was dedicated to the deities and then slaughtered.
The Symbel: A ceremonial drinking celebration in which a horn filled with a drink is passed around the group. Each person delivers a greeting, which can be a toast to the Gods, ancient heroes, or one's ancestors, or simply a story, song or poem. He or she then drinks from the horn.
Profession or Adoption: This is the act of committing oneself to Ásatrú to the exclusion of other faiths, by solemnly pledging an oath of allegiance and kinship to the Gods of Asgard, the Æsir and Vanir.
Celtic Druidism: Druids celebrate a series of fire-festivals, on the first of each of four months.
"Handfasting" was the word used by the ancient Celts for their traditional trial-marriage ceremony, in which couples were literally bound together. However, the handfasting was a temporary agreement, that expired after a year and a day which could be made permanent after the allotted time, if both spouses agreed. The holidays associated with paganism (European) is based on the phases of the moon (Esbats holidays) and the astronomical and agricultural times of the year (Sabbats holidays). There are eight holidays throughout the year, they are known as the "Wheel of the Year."
Celtic New Year
Festival of the dead-Pagans; celebrate death as a part of life
Yule-Winter Solstice-December 21st
celebrates the birth of the new solar year/beginning of winter
festival of inner renewal
Imbolc-Groundhogs Day-February 2nd
marks middle of winter, holds promise for spring
festival of spiritual purification and dedication
Ostara-Spring Equinox-March 21st
beginning of spring and marks equal length of day and night
festival of new growth
celebrate with dances
festival of flowers, delight
height of spring and flowering of life
Litha-Summer Solstice-June 21st
celebration of the longest day of the year-beginning of summer
festival of community sharing and giving to the environment
give thanks to the Queen of the land
time of the corn harvest
Mabon-Autumn Equinox-September 21st (Festival of Giving)
Day and night equal lengths/ marks beginning of fall Sources http://paganfed.org/pagan-wheel.shtml
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/hecate.html Where is Paganism Practiced? -Far East
These are the main areas where paganism is practiced, however, it can be practiced any where in the world. Who Practices it? - Anyone can choose to become a Pagan, and the controversies between Christian beliefs and Pagans ones are sort of twisted
-Pagan customs can be converted or adapted to the Christian faith, but Christian ones are never accepted by the Pagans
-A Pagan can never accept the truth of the Gospel of Jesus- as do Christians Pop Quiz 1. Two groups that fall under Paganism.
2. What does pagan mean?
3. What is the name to describe the eight holidays of the year?
4. What are the four regions that Paganism is mainly practiced in?
5. What is the most common term used to describe Paganism?
6. How many people approximately practice paganism?