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Magical Music

Den Hardy
professional musician and teacher
wedding guitarist
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Paganism

tree of lifeWhat is Paganism?

Paganism is a term used to describe the numerous different nature religions, of which it is said, are the most ancient religions of our world. Today, our definition is slightly narrower and the term Pagan is more often used to describe the ancient European nature religions. However, there have been times throughout history when the ancient line of pagan practices has stretched and even broken. So it is not surprising to find a mix of traditions from other parts of the globe. For Pagans, all of living creation is divine. Every man, woman and child, all creatures that inhabit our world, the trees, forests, mountains and streams, are of the living Earth Mother. When pagans seek to connect with the divine, to come closer to the spirit of life, to the spirit of themselves, it is to the wondrous creation of this living earth, that they turn. Expressions of pagan devotion are found within their, festivals, rituals and ceremonies that are always flavoured heavily with celebrations of the cycle of life as it spirals through the years. Paganism is not easily defined, largely because the word ‘pagan’ was not initially a label that was adopted by pagans themselves. A reverence and respect for mother- nature and all living beings is evident in the pagan philosophy. Generally, there is very little doctrine, dogma or ridged structure to pagan practices, but there are of course always exceptions to the rule. Most Wiccan traditions have a hierarchical structure and quite strict practices. Some Wiccans or Witches are reluctant to call themselves pagans, because they see the pagan as rather ‘free-form’ and unaccountable. Pagans are accepting of difference believing that each individual is responsible for how they seek and develop their own spiritual expression. However, the recognition of divinity in nature often brings pagans together to celebrate the changing of the seasons, the two solstices and the two equinoxes. Many pagans are devoted to numerous Gods and Goddesses, and it is fair to say that paganism is a polytheistic ‘faith’. Male and female are equal in status and this is reflected from the belief that the divine ‘godhead’ is male and female. Pagans care about the survival of our planet and are often involved in the ‘green’ movements. The countryside and wild places and all of nature is in fact the ‘temple’ of the pagan.