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Fear not. Pagans are not evil.
Is not anti-Christian but pro-Pagan
(This is in response to a new friend post under the hub "How a Christian became a Pagan". Your comments are indeed welcome. Please note that my intention is not to belittle but to celebrate our differences. Cyberbullying is of course not necessary).
In another hub I stated my experience as a Christian to avoid posts trying to take their frustrations out on my beliefs as a Pagan.
It is difficult to grasp the idea of different beliefs. Religion and Politics are the classic examples. All across the History of Humanity one can study, time and time again how men would even kill for their religion or their faith.
Is not even about Paganism, is about tolerance. Tolerance means that if you find a person that doesn't think like you, you will try and do your best to find a common ground in which you can still communicate or connect with that person, instead of dwelling on what makes you different. This is the main reason why I like to state what we do have in common. :)
I forgot to add that we are both humans. We have feelings and the whole set of emotions.
Church (in general, not in particular) has its hands full with its own flock to be overly concerned on those that rather pasture elsewhere. It would be like the United States taking care of Afghanistan while ignoring Mississippi. Wait, they already do that.
Yes, life is a horrible and magnificent experience, yet I am truly grateful for every lesson learned. But I am not a Pagan necessarily because I had a terrible or a wonderful childhood.
What happy has to do with it?
Allow me to clarify that when I was a Christian it was a truly FEEL GOOD religion, I'm sorry if that has not been your experience. In any event, I do not think religion (or your partner, or your city council, or your job, or your children) are there to make you happy. We are happy because we choose to, regardless. I am happy, doggone it, no matter what. I'm even happy when I'm mad!
I'm just satisfied, content and grateful with my life... all of it. My mother invites me to Church and I take my Bible (betcha I can find Proverbs 12 before most of her brethren). All in good spirits, you know. But yes, my main objective is to feel good. Although I didn't leave Church because I felt bad... It just went on like that... no drama, just life.
Now, for those true Christian believers, I will try to talk to you within your context. The Bible relates something about "for what abounds in your heart, your mouth shall speak" or something like that. Be mindful of poisonous words... It's just the way we talk sometimes, even through the internet one can feel the tone, the attitude... and some attitudes can be toxic... Do you know about neurolinguistics? Is a science that studies things like the placebo effect and the power of prayer. It has many studies that prove that ALL THAT WE SPEAK affects our organism.
This occurs where science meets faith. Science is giving in! Whenever they talk about quantum particles, they are really talking about our spirit. We are all connected. Right now, you and I are indeed connected. When you argue with me, you really argue with the part of me that is within you. When I answer you, I really answer to the part of you that is within me. Words are indeed a powerful thing. They can kill or heal. Let's heal.
Some come from a mindset that implies there is only one religion. There is a great site called www.ReligiousTolerance.org. There is also a great hub around here in the matter of Religion and Tolerance by Leisurelife.
This is the link pertaining to Wicca in the Religious Tolerance site. There are many other religions! And most of them have nothing to do with nobody falling from anywhere.
May the best religion please stand up?
In regards of being the best religion, I just don't think any religion is the best religion. I don't think of this as a spiritual competition to see whose soul is cleaner or who gets where first, or whose life is better than anybody else. In fact, isn't it kind of childish to be bragging like that?. King Salomon said it, right? Everything is vanity... Even the fact that Christianity is indeed a fairly new religion, compared to ancient beliefs and practices that are in record way before the Garden of Eden, doesn't entitle anyone to state that Christianity is less of a religion for having such a short history.
What makes you think my parents raised me as a Christian? Now, that is funny! How can we make any assumption of anybody? Especially in here... :)
In regards of picking what I like, that is too true. For example, I read the Book of Proverbs (a lot). The Bible of course, is not our main reference, but I personally study it in a new perspective.
I cannot talk specifics about what WE believe, for like I said, we follow many different traditions.
I could tell you what I believe, but I think you get the picture that is not going to do us any good. I do love lobster though.
I tell you what I don't believe. I don't believe in the Apocalypse. I don't believe in being part of a religion that, for starters, addresses me within the context of "there must be something terribly wrong with you". ;)
Life is what we make of it. Your convictions embedded in you, create the conditions in which you live. Such is the case with faith. Such is your faith, which I hope it makes you happy.
I speak Pagan, you speak Pagan... we all speak Pagan
Even those that consider themselves 100 plus percent Christian, speak Pagan-derived words, for they account for almost 60% of our daily vocabulary. I am going to end this answer with two examples, the days of the week and the months of the Year.
Sunday is for the God Sun, the most cherished god ever since Neo-Paleolithical times. In fact, some state that the Christian Church, during the expansion of the Roman Empire, came up with "the Son of God" in order to attract those that adored the Sun God. Monday is Moon Day, for the Moon Goddess (note we have a duality male/female within our worshiping). Tuesday is named after the Norse god Tyr, the god of single combat. Wednesday is for the god Odin, or Woden, father of all gods in the Norse religion. Thursday is Thor's Day, Germanic god of thunder. Friday is for love, so its Frigga's day, "the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya." If we take the Bible into account, God rested on Saturn's day, or Saturday. Saturn is the Roman god of agriculture, known as Chronus by ancient Greeks.
Speaking of Chronus, remember Father Time? Well, here it is! Now we know that Father Time is really old! hahaha!!! On the other hand, most of the scientific, medical and legal terms used today have their roots in mythology, or Paganism.
Chronus, is the root for words like chronology and chronometer. The suffix -logy comes from the Greek logos which means "study or concept". The suffix -meter means "measurement".
Our Pagan/Roman calendar
For the months of the year, I can't avoid a bit of history. Nowadays we go by the Gregorian calendar, in honor of Pope Gregory, the same Pope that created Halloween as we know it. Please visit my hub related to Halloween.
Anyhow, it goes like this:
1. January- Janus, god of doors and gates.
2. February- after Februalia or the Etruscan god Februus, god of purification (fire), a time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins. Note how Februus resembles fever.
3. March- before Pope Gregory, March was the first day of the Roman calendar.
4. April- for aprilis, which means to open. Flowers started to blossom.
5. May- in honor of the Roman female deity Maia, and symbol of abundance, daughter of the titan Atlas.
6. June- chief goddess. "Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses, and also the goddess of women and marriage". This explains the "marrying in June" tradition.
The rest of the months are influenced by ancient Rome.
7. July- during the Roman Empire, or before 44BCE, this month used to be Quintilus, or fifth. It was then renamed to immortalize the name of the Roman emperor Julius Caesar.
8. August- originally Sextilus, and renamed after Augustus Caesar, adopted heir of Julius Caesar.
9. September- means seven
10. October- means eight
11. November- means nine
12. December- means ten
So why if September means seven it turned to be our ninth month? More on that in a next hub, I have to eat! Learning and grasping new concepts is so much easier when you know the history behind them. Thank you very much for the opportunity to share.
Gods and Goddesses galore!
- Oglala Sioux (people) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
Oglala Sioux (people),
- African Tribes - Yoruba People
African Tribes - Yoruba People
- Gods and Goddesses of Ancient India - Crystalinks
- South American Gods
Glossary of Native American Terms : South American Gods