Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Never the Twain Shall Meet
Article ID: 3146
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,548
Times Read: 4,910
Author: Gwen Gardner
Posted: December 10th. 2000
Times Viewed: 4,910
As I read the essay question for this month I was surprised. I had asked this question of my teacher just hours before. As someone new to Montana, I had discovered a peculiar phenomenon among the "Pagans" here, something that I had never encountered before. To my complete surprise and astonishment I was running into pagans left and right who also claimed to worship Jesus and/or the Christian god. I had developed a friendship with a gal who was training to be a druid, while still actively incorporating the idea of a one true god. She complained that her druidic friends just didn't understand. Well, considering the almost complete decimation of the druidic orders by the Christians, I can see their point. However, she was adamant that the two very different paths, in my view, could easily coexist. Her argument was something along the lines that she, as a Druid, was simply worshipping nature and that was ok because her Christian god had created nature so it was ok to worship it, as it was a form of worshipping him. I can understand her rather circular argument, but the question then becomes, is she really Pagan? Also, how could she possibly consider herself a Druid? What exactly is the definition of being Pagan? I was under the impression that Paganism is the worship of multiple deities, at least a god and a goddess (although the Dianics kind of threw the god out with the bath water). But she was claiming to really only actually worship one god. When I looked the word pagan up in my Webster's Third New International Dictionary I found the usually reference to "the country dweller" and "heathen" followed by a notation, "especially a follower of a polytheistic religion". There, I knew that part was in there somewhere. How could someone who worships just one god be pagan? But then we are back to another question. Would not someone who only worships, say, Odin, be considered Pagan? How is that justified if one must be polytheistic to be pagan? And we have the ever complexing Dianic example also to deal with. So the real question is; What are the criteria for being Pagan? Do you simply need to believe in a god or goddess other than the Christian god? Even with that as the criteria my new friend doesn't qualify, she only "really" worships the Christian god. Another person I have met claims to have a wonderful relationship with the Lord and Lady, but also claims to "know" that her Christian god is all powerful and the creator of all. I have no idea how one could reconcile those two ideas if one truly believed in either one of them. If you truly have a wonderful relationship with the Lord and Lady why would you even consider the notion of a one( and especially a male) god creating the universe all by his lonesome? On the other hand, if you truly believed your god was all powerful what is the purpose of your relationship with the Lord and Lady? Is not your god providing you with everything you need? Who do you think the Lord and Lady to be? The Christian god is a very intolerant and jealous god. He specifically bans worship of any other gods and I think we can safely assume that would include goddess's, also. If one truly worshipped this god, I would think that having a "wonderful relationship with the Lord and Lady" would be a rather treasonous act. This, actually, is the more important argument that explains why, I believe, one can not be Pagan and Christian at the same time. The simple reason is that belief in the one automatically excludes belief in the other, if one Truly Believes. Pagans worship many gods. The Christian god demands exclusive worship. Pagans are free to decide for themselves on issues such as morality, sexuality, marriage, types of food to eat, what holy days to celebrate and how, according to their own personal choice of deities and beliefs. The Christian god has decreed in a book exactly how the people who worship him are to behave and what they are to believe. Pagans believe that our energy will continue to exist after our bodies cease to function, most believing in some form of reincarnation. The Christian god tells his followers that they must live to a certain standard or they will be punished after death, by being denied his presence and their "soul" sent somewhere awful. These examples of the differences in the two religious paths helps to demonstrate how the two are simply NOT compatible. However, I also believe that both of the people in my earlier examples really want them to be compatible so they are taking the bits and pieces that they like of each and making something new. This has happened many times before, that's why there are so many differing versions of Christianity, not to mention Santeria, Pow-Wow, and some forms of Voo-do. Are these two people really Pagan? The answer to that question lies in the beliefs of the person you ask. Are they Christian? Most Christians would probably say no, and they themselves might think not, and so they say they are Pagan. Pagan is a catchall kind of thing these days. It includes pretty much everyone who at least believes in something(other than the Christian god) and is working in a positive (hopefully) manner in their life. But are they truly Pagan as well as Christian? I would argue no, they are not Pagan in that neither of them fits the most basic criteria of Paganism, a belief in multiple deities. They both want the magic and the freedom provided to followers of a Pagan path but neither can let go of their belief in a one god that rules over all else. They want the safety net of a belief system that is comfortable and familiar, but want to be more than sheep following the good shepherd. The way I see it you are either a sheep or a goat, there is no such thing as sheat or a goep. A choice must be made, a conscious decision reached, there really is no middle ground. You are Pagan and worship multiple deities or you are some form of Christian and worship one deity ( for the sake of this argument, i.e.:Christian or Pagan, I am leaving out any other religious choices). I do think, however, that many people do not and will not ever see it so clearly and that there will continue to be people who will want to somehow take the parts they like from each and mix and match them to fit what they want to believe. That's something those people need to look at in themselves. By only using the parts that are easy or convenient aren't they missing out on the learning experiences brought about by truly honoring the vagaries of the god or gods or goddesses of particular paths? I believe they are missing out on what it truly means to be Pagan. Yes, it can be a lot of fun, but there is also a serious side that needs to be recognized. True dedication to the Pagan path will require the decision to be made. Until then, these people are neither Pagan nor truly Christian and perhaps should go by a different label, if they choose to label themselves at all. The really weird part about this whole debate is that there is any debate at all. Like I said in the beginning, I thought this was an anomaly to Montana, it is unfortunate that it appears to be even more widespread than I would have ever guessed. However, being the ever optimistic Pagan that I am, I hope to show these people and others, by example, how a true dedication to the Pagan Path can be so much more rewarding.
Location: Kalispell, Montana
Author's Profile: To learn more about Gwen Gardner - Click HERE
Bio: My name is Gwen Gardner. I have recently moved to Montana after living for 9 years in Seattle. I have been a practicing witch for about 12 years and consider myself to be of the green witch variety. I love plants and grow a huge garden every year, with great success. I have trained in the Sylvan Grove tradition, although I do not follow that path currently. I am of Scottish descent and am currently part of an eclectic Celtic Magic group here in the Flathead Valley.
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Gwen Gardner... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).