Interpretation Book

 

Article on Paleo-Paganism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        Symbol of Paganism:

 

Although sometimes referred to as a Sun Wheel, this symbol represents the Wheel of the Year and the eight Wiccan Sabbaths. The term -sun wheel- comes from the solar cross, which was a calendar used to mark the solstices and equinoxes in some pre-Christian European cultures.

 

Origin & History Paleo-Paganism:

Paleopaganism is a term used to describe all ancient polytheistic beliefs, so it's hard to quantify what it is as a whole. The French paleopagans for example carved very fat fertility goddesses and worshiped bison spirits whereas the Greeks carved women holding snakes in their hands and ancient Egyptians worshiped the Sun, the Nile river.

 

The standard of paganism, a pagan culture which has not been disrupted by "civilization" by another culture - Bushmen modern (who are probably becoming meso-pagans), ancient Celtic religion (Druidism), the religions of the pre-patriarchal cultures of Old Europe, Norse religion, pre-Columbian Native American religions, etc.

 

Gardner claimed that the religion was a survival of matriarchal religions of pre-historic Europe, taught to him by a woman named Dorothy Clutterbuck. Many believe he invented it himself, following the thesis of Dr. Margaret Murray and sources such as Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland, and the practices of Freemasonry and ceremonial magic; and while Clutterbuck certainly existed, historian Ronald Hutton concluded that she is unlikely to have been involved in Gardner's Craft activities.

 

While the ritual format of Civil paganism is undeniably styled after late Victorian era occultism, the spiritual content is inspired by older Pagan faiths, with Buddhist and Hindu influences. Whether any historical connection to Pagan religion exists, the aspiration to emulate Pagan religion.

 

Gardner probably had access to few, if any, traditional Pagan rites. The prevailing theory is that most of his rites were the result of his adapting the works of Aleister Crowley.

 

Beliefs:

These beliefs are generally held in Paganism but because Paganism consists of many religions and is so individualistic, beliefs vary. The beliefs summed up here are by no means the only beliefs there are and some Pagans may have different views than these.

 

• Belief in deities

(Pagans believe in the existence of Gods and Goddesses that affect our lives. Paganism tends to be polytheistic (belief in more than one Deity)

 

Reincarnation

(Most Pagans believe that after death, the spirit is reborn in another body. Again, beliefs in exactly what happens and wheter or not you are punished for you wrong doings in this life or the next, vary)

 

Magic

(The ability to use your will to effect real and positive changes in your life is magic)

 

• Rituals

(Pagan rituals mark changes and events in human life: birth, death, marriage, and so forth)

 

Sabbaths

(There are usually eight major holy days, or holidays, in the Pagan calendar. All are agrarian, four relate more to plants (planting, harvest, etc.) and four relate more to animal husbandry (cycles of fertility).

 

Misconceptions:

 

1. Pagans are Devil Worshipers

 

 FACT: Pagans do not believe in the Devil. The devil is largely a Christian concept and since Pagans are not Christians, the devil holds no place in Paganism..

 

2. Pagans are not religious

 

FACT: Pagan religions are just that, religions. They involve worshipping Deities, codes of ethics, celebration of holidays, and a belief in an afterlife. Many Pagans are very spiritual people.

 

3. Pagans make animal sacrifices

 

 FACT: Pagans do not make animal sacrifices, in fact many Pagans are vegetarians. Because Paganism is based upon a love and respect for nature, even the thought of animal sacrifices is repulsive to them.