Paganism is an ancient type of religion which has quite an inauspicious reputation today. There are many types of paganism, most date back thousands of years, which include Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism, and a few other lesser known and practiced variations.
Yet all of these religions are similar and share common beliefs. Wicca is the most common of these, as it also demonstrates the shared belief of doing well that is common to most forms of paganism. Another common belief, is to gather in small groups, called covens, to practice pagan rites and ceremonies with others.
There are many ancient beliefs, archaic rituals, and forgotten traditions that are practiced by pagans. Many of these are also the origins of widely practiced traditions in the Christian-dominated world of today.
A defining characteristic of many pagan religions, especially Wicca, is the worship and closeness to nature. Pagans treat animals kindly and respect all things, living or nonliving, as though they were a person (Roy N. p.). They also share the worship of their nature gods, which increases their respect for all that is around them (Roy N. p.).
Pagans are very sensitive people that also have high regard for personal privacy (Roy N. p.). With this belief in privacy, many pagans have more time to keep in touch with their inner selves and with the nature around them. Wicca, a more popular pagan religion, focuses on the Earth and uses pure white magic to help others (Roy N. p.). In fact, the Wiccan creed is, “An it harm none, do as thou will,” which agrees with the “good” philosophy (Beliefs N. p.).
Altogether, pagans have a great deal of emphasis on the life and beauty of nature that thrives around them and is radically different than the mythical rumors of witches that have been given to them over time.
Another defining characteristic of many pagans is the dedication to knowledge and self-exploration (Roy N. p.). In fact, it has been said that, “Witchcraft is the oldest, most irrepressible religion in the world because it stimulates the intellect, promotes a simple, practical way of life, and most importantly, is emotionally satisfying” (Art N. p.).
There is a set of beliefs, called the Laws of Magic that help illustrate the beliefs supported by Wicca and other pagan religions. Many of these laws are practical, yet they also relate to the more religious aspect of paganism. One of the most important laws, the Law of Knowledge, states that witches believe that all knowledge is power, no matter how big or small (Bonewits N. p.).
A related law, the Law of Self-Knowledge, states that witches should truly know themselves, for this prevents doing harm to others, once the understanding of the harm is seen (Bonewits N. p.). There are many other laws, one such law explains that coincidence does not exist, but that everything is part of a larger plan (Bonewits N. p.).
The Law of Similarity states that similar representations of things can be made to represent them, such as voodoo dolls (Bonewits N. p.). The Law of Personification states the important belief that anything, concrete or abstract, can be considered alive for whatever purpose (Bonewits N. p.). One commonly known law, The Law of Perversity, also called “Murphy’s Law,” states that if anything can go wrong, it will (Bonewits N. p.).
As if a summary of all other beliefs, The Law of Unity says that everything is linked together to
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