Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Is Paganism in Danger of Becoming an Organized Religion?
Article ID: 11328
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,610
Times Read: 3,666
RSS Views: 85,883
Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 14th. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,666
To give some insight to my background, I have been a Witch since 1960. I have never been a member of an organized religion. Having said this, I personally believe that organized religion is a mechanism created by man to control the hearts and minds of the populace at large. I personally believe that spiritualism is about being an individual both in our thoughts and the manner in which we seek out Deity in a way that works for the individual.
Over the years, more and more folks from organized religions have declared that they are no longer members of such organizations and that they are now following the path of Paganism. But as this exodus continues, one has to wonder if the lines between organized religion and the free thinking individualism of Paganism are becoming somewhat blurred.
Being a Pagan means to be able to think for oneself and thus to have an opinion that may be different from others. And yet more often then not, when one dares to express such an original opinion within the Pagan community, there is dissension. Indeed, dissension where there should be acceptance and open discussion.
This is not to say that everyone should agree with each other all of the time. This is not what individualism, and thus Paganism, is about. But there should be recognition that there are going to be divergent thoughts on a given subject and common respect for such differences should be the norm rather then the exception that it has become.
Within organized religion, folks are taught from birth what to think, what to believe and in short, what is acceptable within the particular parameters of any given religion. Those who don’t follow such rigid outlines are shunned or set upon by their fellow members or cast outright from such organized beliefs.
And this is not to say that such a rigid set of guidelines does not work for part of the populace. But if one is going to declare him or herself to be a Pagan, then perhaps a purging of the mindset and values, and indeed the hypocrisy, that led one to make a life changing decision is in order.
I mention hypocrisy because it is an established fact that the majority of what organized religions claim as their own beliefs are events or beliefs which existed hundreds, if not thousands, of years before the first organized religion took root.
Some of the more obvious examples of such hypocrisy are the Great Flood stories. The first recorded instance of this monumental event was circa 5000 BCE. And it was the Sumerians, a people, engaged in Pagan beliefs, who recorded the first flood story. It was also the Sumerians who recorded the story of the Goddess known as Nin-ti (She of the rib) who was a healing Deity.
They were also known for creating and recording the first Creation story in which Nammu split the heavens from the earth to create two offspring. The heavens became a son called "An" and the earth a daughter called "Ki". These two deities produced a son called "Enlil" who was the god of atmosphere, wind and storm. Enlil eventually became the primary deity of worship in Sumer, circa 2500 BCE. Again, this is not to say that there were not other Pagan beliefs similar or different from these beliefs at the time. Only that these people were the first ones to record such beliefs.
As to the popular story of deity rising from the grave after several days of burial, there are a number of such instances recorded prior to the onset of established religion. Perhaps one of the more popular versions can be found within the beliefs of Mithraism. It has been suggested that it is from Mithraism that the Catholic religion has copied its Miter caps and the swords that are portrayed along their robes (amongst other “borrowed” concepts).
At the year 1 of the Roman calendar, a gentleman named Apollonius of Tyana already had 50 years of established records indicating that he did all of the same feats that are generally attributed to the Christian Christ, including rising from the dead and turning wine to blood.
I bring forth these examples, not to denigrate the beliefs of organized religion but rather to give but a few examples of how rich and extensive Pagan beliefs are.
If one is going to follow the path of Paganism, then perhaps one should be aware that we hold a completely separate approach to personal and spiritual values.
These days, there is far too much concern about being accepted by organized religions. If one is true to oneself then such acceptance by folks who follow a different mindset should not be a priority. This priority is borne out by the obsession of Neo-Pagans to accept and follow the holidays of organized religions.
It is well known that the holidays of organized religions were created to obliterate Pagan holidays that were established to honor Pagan deities and concepts. And yet, it has become the norm to practice Pagan holidays in secrecy and in private so as not to upset a family member who in many cases is a member of an organized religion.
This subservient mindset lends to the blurring of the lines between Pagans and organized religion. There should be an acceptance and common respect on both sides of the equation and not a one sided approach that such subservient views bring.
If one is going to leave the city for the country (so to speak), then one should learn the ways of country life and leave the city life behind. In short, if you are going to proclaim yourself to be a Pagan, and there is a great deal of diversity within the Pagan community, then you should allow yourself to embrace the rich heritage, freedom of thought and freedom of beliefs as they apply to yourself. One should not worry about what others, including fellow Pagans or those members of organized religion, think about you.
To be a Pagan constitutes your right to be a free thinker and not have to follow a set dogma of beliefs. Those followers of organized religion are also entitled to their beliefs and if they choose to be hypocritical and narrow minded in their views of others, well, so be it.
This is not to say that all members of organized religion follow such narrow precepts. But it seems as more and more members of organized religion enter the path of Pagan spirituality, this same hypocrisy is taking root within the Pagan community.
We, as Pagans, must decide if we are going to allow the lines between organized religion and Paganism to become blurred. Or are we indeed going to be true to ourselves and to our particular beliefs?
And that my friends, is a decision each one of us as individuals must make…
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
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