Most Important and Most Useless

Discussion in 'Paganism' started by Purple_Rhapsody, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. I would like to know, as Pagans what do you think is the most important thing to teach a nonPagan and what should you tell them so they can see Paganism isn't perfect?

    However, please do not use stereotypical sayings. Try and be creative

    I'm a theologist and I'm working on writing down my thoughts and feelings on religion. I want your insider thoughts and feelings.

    Thank You
  2. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    good question... but no religion is perfect, other than in the mind's eye of someone who is truly spiritual in that faith, I suppose.

    I'm not really sure how to not answer that in a cliche way... I suppose the main thing to address to non-pagans is that Wicca and all pagan religions aren't demonic in any way. It's a stereotype that somehow got associated with it.

    Remember when those Harry Potter books first came out? A whole lot of christian biblethumpers went in to histerics about a kids book that 'teaches' witchcraft? That's what I mean... there's nothing demonic about it, really.
  3. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    The rede (if it harm not do what you will), that's basically all we agree on, and pivotal to the ethics.
    That and reassure them that it isn't some phase or evil cult thingy, and we aren't out to corrupt/convert anyone.

    Not naming names, but there are certain authors who present some seriously dud info. Guess that proves that if even so called 'experts' can get things wrong don't expect perfection from any one else.
    It's hard work, learning the skills and then being a minority.
    That and paganism will not magically make life perfect, you won't win the lottery just by lighting a green candle.
  4. To show that it's not perfect, I'd point out that it's dangerous. Blindly casting spells without really thinking it through or taking it seriously can really mess you up.

    Spells without good intentions (e.g for selfish gain) have a habit in my experience of ironically punishing people.

    For example lighting candles is very unlikely to win you the lottery, although in theory that is possible. It's just that if you did win the money, you can count on the fact that your wealth would make you utterly miserable. If you take the pisss about what you expect magic to do for you, it ends up working like an evil genie wish. Exactly what you wanted, nothing like you imagined. That's not to say you shouldn't cast.

    As well as "if it harm not do what you will" I try to live by " and don't expect what you don't deserve"
  5. ForestNymphe

    ForestNymphe Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Merry Meet Purple Rhaspody.
    I think the single most impotant thing to teach a non Pagan is tolerance for all living things and that we carry a spark of the divine within.
    Paganism is as imperfect as any other spiritual path. Many come for selfish gain, wanting some "power" that they can never have. We can't claim "power" or at least I can't. I can project my intent and cast a spell to the Godess to hear me and read my heart. I agree with what astralgoldfish has to say about magic and have seen a few folks really get bit in the ass for wishing harm upon others. People cast stones from all walks of life, pagans included. If you are interested, explore local pagan groups, it's a great way to see what is wonderful and what is downright awful. *lol* Best of luck with your studies and thanks for the interesting post!
    Just my two pentacles.
  6. Celine

    Celine Member

    The thing I like to learn nonPagans is to love the nature like a pagan. Worship it.

    And well, no religion is perfect, nobody ever agrees with EVERYTHING in their religion. I don't see the gods as "gods" but as something "natural". I'm still an atheist thus I worship the pagan gods. :)
  7. I've always thought of pagan god's as representations of one aspect or side of the godess. It helps with being more specific about purpose e..g. protection, healing or whatever. Why worship any gods if you don't believe they exist? Just prayers in the wind.
  8. RyvreWillow

    RyvreWillow Member

    In my opinion, the most important thing to realize is that all paths lead up the same mountain, so to speak. The great thing about Wicca and other pagan religions (i don't know much about the rest, so if this is a generalization, please forgive my ignorance), is that there is no strict dogma (unless, of course, you are a member of some coven or sect, etc with specific rules, but this seems to be a big exception). Some would see this as a weakness, that there are few, if any, defining features that link all Pagans, but i think that's precisely why it is the "perfect" religion :) The freedom to pray, worship, dance, sing, chant, etc in whatever manner you see fit is a pretty awesome thing.
  9. element7

    element7 Random fool

    In a dictionary sense, Pagan would cover anything that's not Christian. Often people hear 'Pagan' and they automaticly assume that means Wiccan. I suppose that Shamanism would fall under 'Pagan'. Most important,imho, is the difference between spirit and religion. One is the raw substance(our inner being, the energy, the quest for something higher), the other is how people go about trying to define it. Most people can relate to love, sadness, hope, dreams, ..... so I usually try to talk on those levels if somebody asks me about what I do. As far as imperfection, well they can just hang out with me for a few days. They'll get plenty of it. :)
  10. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

    for me, i would say, that the most important thing to teach is that the Earth is alive, She is our Mother, and that Deity is Immanent. this Immanence is the energy that matter is made up of.

    as far as acknowledging its imperfections, that's easy. i would point to my own personal love life, where there has been a noticable lack of balance, and say "DON'T DO THIS!" the concepts behind the different pagan religions are wonderful, but the practioner has to actively put them into practice. and that takes work and sometimes its very difficult and painful work.
  11. element7

    element7 Random fool

    Thanks for pointing that out. In this day and age of commodities and where one can clothe themself (at least externally) in just about any sort of role, the work and substance seem to be falling away to contrivance at times.

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