Paganism is an earth-based spiritual path. There are many types of Pagans, and all have somewhat slightly different beliefs. Despite this, they do typically share many views too. The easiest way to understand this is to consider Christianity. Christianity is to Paganism as Wicca is to Baptist or witchcraft is to Catholicism. In other words, Paganism is the base and many branches or paths that come out of it. All a bit different, but based around a very similar belief system or world view.
Some Pagan paths include Wicca, Witchcraft, Shamanism, Druidism, Ceremonial Magick, Heathenry, Old Norse, and many others.
These are my top five things that I have found most Pagans, and those that follow any Earth-Based Spiritual Path, typically believe. As stated, not everyone thinks the same thing. Still, generally speaking, these are five things that you will find many, if not most, which follow these spiritual traditions, hold a belief in.
1. Do As You Will, But Harm None – Life Affirming
This is a significant rule within these communities. The idea is that you have personal freedom. With it, you can do anything you desire to do, so long as it’s not going to harm yourself, another person, or the natural world. There is a focus on pleasure and living an enjoyable life – on being happy. Provided it’s not harmful in any manner.
2. The Devil, or Absolute Evil, Does not Exist
As a general rule, The Devil, or Satan, is a creation of the Monotheistic religions. Most Pagans’ simply do not acknowledge the existence of the Devil. Likewise, the majority of people that follow an Earth-based religion firmly believe that all people are responsible for their own actions, decisions, and behaviors. There is no such thing as “an evil spirit” or “the devil” made me do it. Personal responsibility, both for good and evil, is stressed.
There is also no hell, at least not as believed in by those who follow monotheistic religions. Reincarnation tends to be the dominant view connected to what happens after death, though again, this is not true of ALL pagans.
3. Earth is Precious and Should Be Respected and Revered
Within these religions is the belief that the natural world is sacred. It is holy to them, just like a church is to a Christian or a temple to a Jewish person. Most that follow an Earth-Based spiritual path seek out the beauty of nature and do their best to help the natural world in whatever manner they can. Some become activists, but again, that is not true among all of them.
Along with this is the belief of the importance of being connected to the cycles of this physical world. This includes the phases of the moon and the turning of the seasons.
4. Abilities That Some Would Call Supernatural Do Exist
Just because something is seen as supernatural doesn’t mean it actually is. That is what many Pagans’ would say. Pagans believe in things like ESP, psychic ability, and astral traveling. They also believe that there exist other worlds beyond our own and that fantasy creatures like fairies and elves are alive and real. They also think that these things are normal and natural to anyone who chooses to acknowledge them, pay attention to them, and learn to tune into them. Thus, while the average person may consider that a Pagan believes in the “supernatural,” Pagans would say these things are natural and normal. Something everyone can do or see if they only believe, try, and practice.
5. There are a God and Goddess
The majority of people who practice Earth-based spirituality believe in duality. That means there must be a God and a Goddess. Furthermore, this God and Goddess assumes many different forms and go by many different names depending on the culture one is attuned to and the time of the year one is in.
The Goddess is seen in one of three forms: the maiden, mother, and crone. The maiden is the personification of youth, innocence, romance, and beauty. The mother is the personification of adulthood, nurturing, and responsibility. Finally, the crone is a personification of old age, wisdom, and endings leading to transformation (death).
The God tends to take on many forms. Some of these include the sacrificial son, the father, the horned God. The sacrificial son is a personification of youth, sacrifice, courage, and bravery. The father God is a personification of discipline, structure, and adulthood. The horned God is a personification of survival, sexuality, and life force energy.
Some believe both the Goddess and God are manifestations in the form of the duality of one supreme God called the Great Spirit. There are other names that the Great Spirit sometimes goes by, such as Cosmic Consciousness and Universe. In this belief system, the Goddess and God are personifications of the Great Spirit. It is easier to understand and connect with the supreme energy when there is a Goddess and/or God representing it.
Paganism is not for everyone. There are many Pagan paths, however, and to say you dislike all Paganism because you have trouble with or don’t feel connected to one or two Pagan paths would be a mistake. Exploration and education are the keys, something else highly stressed among the vast majority of Pagan circles.