Okay, it’s time to banish a few common misunderstandings and misconceptions about the pagan path. Yeah, I’ve probably got this same information on other pages, but there are certain things I like to repeat to stress, to make sure that the message is clear.
First and foremost, pagans are not devil worshipers. They never were. They never will be. Why would members of one belief system worship the bad guy of another belief system? Anthropologists have seen how the Gods (and Goddesses) of the old religion comes to be regarded as the evil ones or devils in the new faith when a culture changes religions.
Modern pagans try to take on a balanced view of history. They reject the propaganda that seeks to link the old Gods with the Christian devil, and in doing so, pagans are free to accept, learn about, and revere the old Gods on their own terms.
“Wicca is nothing to do with Satanic Witchcraft. Wiccans do not believe in Satan. Satan is a part of the Christian religion, and Satanism is a Christian heresy. Wiccans do not perform animal or human sacrifices or perver the Catholic mass. Wiccans do not hate Christians or try to harm them or their faith. Wiccans do, however, wish Christians would stop knocking on their doors or leave leaflets on their front steps in an effort to convert them.” –Thea Sabin, Wicca for Beginners
No Blood Sacrifices, Please…
Modern pagans renounce the practice of human and animal sacrifices. They reject the notion that their Gods require blood sacrifices. That is not to say pagans do not make sacrifices. There are appropriate ways, which are defined as “offerings to the Gods.” These are usually in the form of prayer, song, flowers, oil, a token of food, or even pouring wine on sacred ground or leaving a small meal for wild animals, instead of shedding blood. Even giving up a bad habit can be a sacrifice if done in a spiritually intentional manor.
Pagans and Sex
It is very commonly thought -wrongly I might add- that pagan worship always involves a hot, sweaty orgy. If all you are interested in is group sex, you would have better luck at a swingers club! While pagan beliefs about sex are a bit more liberal than most people’s, their sexual behavior is pretty much the same. Pagans are just like everyone else in their opposition to adultery, rape and child molestation.
When it comes to such things as homosexuality, bisexuality, and sex between unmarried couples, pagans are probably more liberal than most, but that is because for pagans sex is natural and therefore good.
Some pagans, especially those who practice Wicca, sometimes perform rituals in the nude, also known as “skyclad”. This is not true of all Wiccans, and certainly not all pagans, but it does seem to get a lot of press. But even those Wiccans who do practice skyclad rituals tend to be as middle-of-the-road in their sexuality as most pagans. In other words: They think sex is great, but an orgy? No thanks!!
An Excuse For Sexual Abuse
“Wicca is not about using sex to manipulate others or about sexually abusing children. Wiccans find these things as abhorrent as anyone else does. Child abuse is not acceptable, and it is not condoned in the Wiccan path. It’s true that Wiccans tend to be pretty open about sex, but because they’re frank about sexuality, and even celebrate it, most covens will not accept a student under the age of twenty-one. It’s not appropriate to include a child or teenager in rituals that may contain sexual symbolism. That said, if someone tries to tell you that sex is expected as payment for Wiccan training, run screaming into the night. That person is a sexual predator, not a Wiccan.” — Thea Saban, Wicca for Beginners
“Wiccans do not try to convert others to Wicca. Wiccans do not troll the high schools for vulnerable teens to brainwash into secret sects or cults. Wiccans do not go door-to-door trying to convince others that their religion is the right religion. Wiccans know that people in cultures from all over the world, throughout human history — including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Ba’Hai, Buddhists, Pagans, and many others — have been killed for religious beliefs or forced to adopt someone else’s faith, and many Wiccans see proselytizing as a continuation of this bullying and coercion. Wiccans know that there is more than one path to God, and that everyone must find his or her own spirituality (or not, if they so choose). Wiccans believe that if people are meant to walk the path, they will find it without someone proselytizing to them. Wiccans also know that those who find the path on their own value it more than they would if they had been ‘convinced’ to become Wiccan.” — Thea Saban, Wicca for Beginners
Wicca incorporates a lot of dual and polarity symbolism. However, although some religions see dualities as antagonistic, like Go and Satan, for example, Wiccans see them as opposite partners, or two parts of a whole. That whole “black and white”, “absolute wrong and absolute right” mindset has no place in Wicca. Wiccans see many shades of gray. Do not mistake this as being Wiccans do not have ethics, because they most certainly do! — Thea Saban, Wicca for Beginners
There is absolutely nothing in Wicca that says you can’t practice more than one religion or worship more than one god or set of gods. Personally, I draw from several of the ancient sets of gods and goddesses, incorporating Celtic, Egyptian, Norse, Roman and Greek into my life. I am what is called an Eclectic. There is nothing wrong with this. Again, Wicca is about choices and worshiping Nature in all her forms.
A Way to Get Power Over Others
Wicca is a way to build our own personal power. Isn’t that way more important anyways? Seriously. If you’ve seen the movies where the girl casts a spell to gain power over or control of someone else, please remember: that is only a movie. Wicca, Paganism, and Magick so do not work that way. Wicca is about learning to control yourself and your own life.
Only About Magick
“If you are exploring Wicca only so you can learn more about magick, please, don’t waste your time. Wicca is a religion, and you do not need it to do magick. Magick exists outside of religion. Wicca provides one of many paths to magickal practice, but magick is not its central theme. Some Wiccans don’t do magick at all.” — Thea Saban, Wicca for Beginners
Ok, most of that I agree with. Wicca is NOT solely about magick. That is true. Wicca is a religion. That I do not agree with. Throughout my site you will see it called such a lot, because almost all of the research I have seen on Wicca refers to Wicca as a religion. I do not believe this. I believe that Wicca is a way of life, not just a religion. Wicca is about peace. Wicca is about Nature and Mother Earth. Wicca is about learning to live a better life, calm, peaceful, without war and conflict. Yes, magick is a part of Wicca, but it is not all there is to it. I do agree that some Wiccans do not use magick at all. For the longest time, I did not do magick. Magick, put in the simplest terms, is using your will to control the situations you find yourself in and the energies that surround you. I’ll get into that more later.
Please, if you have comments or corrections where you believe we have incorrect information, email me and we will get it fixed. Please include the page address.
I have never denied or hidden the fact that some of the information presented here has been gathered from other sources, and that in some cases I have forgotten where I had read the original information. If I have your information posted and have not given you proper credit, please contact me and we can discuss this.