Answering the confusion


In a message dated 8/7/2004 10:05:43 PM Pacific Daylight Time,XXXXXXXX@nc.rr.com writes:

Hello to whomever reads this!

                                            I'm a 16 year old christian raised boy who is starting to wonder about wicca etc.... but i dont understand too much! I was wondering if I could get a good explanation of wicca, paganism, druid, etc! Could i meet a church head? Please write back!

XXXX

Mr. XXXX,

Religion isn't something that can really be explained.  I can explain some basic concepts, but it needs to be understood that they are generally specific beliefs, nothing more.  Religion comes when you learn the concepts and figure out how they apply to your spirit.  That is something that cannot be taught, only learned.

Wicca is one religion among many 'Pagan' beliefs.  It is basically a mixture of Christianity and old Celtic beliefs merged into a modern day way of thinking that relates religion to both the spiritual and the physical world.  It is centered on the holiness of the female above the male, making the mother goddess creator and the father god hero.  Instead of the standard icons like Father Son and Holy Spirit, you have Virgin, Matron and Crone.  Holy concepts are made in a way that related to our physical life as well as our spiritual life.  Holy days are based on natural events, like solstices and equinoxes.  Additionally, there are as many types of Wicca as there are types of Christianity.  They are all variations on a theme, but they are very different in some core belief.

Druidism is another Celtic based belief system.  It is more masculine based, and much less Christian influenced.  Like Wicca it has spiritual concepts that are based on and related to physical lessons.  Many of the concepts are based on plants and animals as their physical aspect.  It is likely closer to the older beliefs of the British isles than modern day Wicca.  True Druidism is much more nature based, making the spirituality come out on the later lessons.  It is a much more formal bellief system that Wicca, and much harder to find a true teacher for.

Paganism is the crux of your question.  It is the word you are truly looking for.  Paganism literally means country religions.  It has come to mean non-Christian in modern society.  Basically, it means you do not practice the dominant religion of the area.  In Muslim areas, the Christians are the Pagans.  The concept in modern times means that you are following an Earth Religion.  A religion with physical icons and seasonal based holy days is usually considered an Earth Religion.

Now this writing has probably confused you more than it has helped you.  If so, I apologize.  Likely your best bet is to meet people that have alternative beliefs and talk to them.  

Now, some warnings.  One unfortunate problem with lesser known religions is that many pretenders try to create cults based on the beliefs.  NEVER commit yourself to a belief structure that tells you that it is the only one that is correct.  NEVER follow a belief system that tells you to harm anyone or anything. If you are looking for a religion to shock people or to make people pay attention to yourself, Paganism is probably not for you.

If you want to meet people at COTE, you are welcome.  We have PNO (Pagan's Night Out), a covered dish social,  the second Friday of each month, and gatherings as listed on our web site (cote-nc.org).  

Reverend Steven A. Stone

Pastor, Church Of The Earth Of NC


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