Universal Life Church
By Al Franks
|Would like to share some thoughts with you. Enlighten me if you feel any of my statements are incorrect, am always open to learning.
I'll offer you this on the subject of Paganism. It is not a religion, as much as it is a belief system. Modern religions follow written doctrine, not so with Pagans. There is a fundamental belief system based on observation and learning that guide a Pagans path. Changing of seasons, movement of celestial bodies, known sciences and unknown science (referred to as magick) are the study of a true Pagan.
There are gods, not always represented by a deity. Just understood that you cannot understand energies of a thing, and the word god is closest fit.
Most Pagans I've encountered feel as I do that evil lies in the heart of man. So if Satan exists, it exists in the individual, not as a separate entity. Politicians for centuries have used this ideal, and religions heaven and hell as a tool to control the masses.
With few exceptions, all religions have a form of specific publication, used to establish doctrine, and a human, identified as founder for the particular idealisms. Hindu being one of the oldest, and most notable to be an exception to this. Of interesting note, all religions that have written doctrine also have a male as figurehead.
This leads to Wicca. Television has portrayed the Witch as female. My assumption is due to events like Salem midwives being burned as practicing devil's work. Walt Disney did his part in portraying the Witch as female, and not in a very positive light. In reality, there are as many male Witches in this world, as there are female. Keep in mind, being Pagan does not mean you are tagged with the title Witch, although Pagans do follow same practices and beliefs, whether using that tag or not . Shaman, Healers, those that believe today's magick is tomorrows science, and Witches, are all equally Pagan. Let me get to the point on Wicca. Wicca has afforded opportunity for a religion to form that is female based, to my knowledge, the only one that is. It has become a girls club. I have objection to Wicca in that they are attempting to form doctrine. Once doctrine is establish and â€œenforced, then Wicca is no longer Pagan. I take offense to many thinking being Pagan means you follow Wicca. Not so, Wicca is just another small offshoot of the bigger picture.
I could go on to argue the fact that all religions of the world started from Pagan roots. From the first time primitive man saw lightening in the sky. Decided there must be a higher power he did not understand, religion, of sorts, has existed. In order to survive, mankind had to study changing of seasons, learn when to plant, when to harvest. Watch celestial bodies to develop a calendar for such things. Celebrations came to be. Good example is observation that every year, days became shorter. Humans prayed the sun would not go away completely. When the days started to get longer it was a joyous time. The sun was reborn and life could continue for another year.
Call it winter solstice, Christmas, or whatever your desire. The reason we celebrate to this day is because ancient humans had a fundamental belief system based on observation and learning. That carries on to this day.
Pagan? One in tune with the way of things, explained, and unexplained, forces and energies that are around us all. Knowing your way along the path of life from intuition, seeing and visions. Feeling harmony, and disharmony of life around you. Communication with sprits, bending the future, casting spells. Using things such as candle magick, Runes, Tarot and some of the lesser known tools (whatever helps you project and focus). These are all Pagan. I would suggest someone wanting to follow the way of a Pagan should pick up every and all writings they can find. Study all religions, learn basics of the science of things. Find the common thread and their own truth within it. You are your own priest or priestess.
I'd be happy to discuss products, if after reading the above you are still encouraged.
Rev. Rich Yohn, an Eclectic Pagan Witch