Some Basic Pagan Beliefs
The beliefs summarized in this article are generally held in Paganism but because Paganism consists of many religions and is so individualistic, beliefs vary. The beliefs summed up here are therefore 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).Individuals often follow a specific pantheon such as Celtic, Norse, Greek, etc. Some Pagans worship the whole pantheon while others choose to direct their worship to a few or even one of the deities. Some Pagans consider the deities to be aspects of reality or personality, which helps them to focus on specific attributes of life or the self such as strength, learning, or love. Other Pagans consider the deities to be external beings who embody certain traits again such as strength, learning, or love. Pagans have very Personal relationships with their deities and so how they perceive them is very personal and individualistic.
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 your wrong doings in this life or the next, vary.
Magick: The ability to use your will to effect real and positive changes in your life is magick. You do not have to practice Magick to be Pagan but many Pagans do practice Magick in one form or another (actually, much of today's modern medicine was once considered to be part of Magick until science explained how it worked). Magick is, of course, controversial. Magick, and the fear that it caused (and still causes in some situations), is what led to the persecution of Pagans.
Ritual: Like the rituals in most religions, Pagan rituals mark changes and events in human life: birth, death, marriage, and so forth. Ritual can be a ceremony of celebration (as in the holy days) or a way of honoring the Gods and Goddesses and thanking them for Their blessings. Offerings made to the Gods and Goddesses often include things of beauty, flowers, stones, crystals, or things of art made by the practitioner, poems, songs, and dance. These offerings demonstrate the level of dedication and devotion of Pagan worshippers.
Sabbats: 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).
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Magick and Witchcraft
A short introduction
The word "Magick" was coined to differentiate serious magic from the staged, sleight of hand kind, such as is done by David Copperfield and others. In layman's terms, Magick entails manipulating energy and focusing the will, often utilizing rituals and items containing certain properties, to accomplish a goal.
The Anglo-Saxon k in Magick is the eleventh letter of several alphabets, and eleven is the principal number of magick, because it is the number attributed to the Qliphoth - the underworld of chaotic forces that have to be mentally conquered before magick can be performed. K has other magical implications: it corresponds to the power or shakti aspect of creative energy, for k is the ancient Egyptian khu, the magical power.
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The word 'witch' is a part of the larger word witchcraft. 'Witch' means magic maker. So witchcraft is the art or craft of making magic. Modern witchcraft is now closer to wicca, which besides meaning 'wise' also means to 'bend'. The word 'bend' brings witchcraft closer to magic or spells.
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