Elements of Religious Traditions
There are numerous religious traditions throughout the world in which this essay will cover the Pagan religious traditions. Paganism is a religion that focuses on rituals using natural surroundings, wisdom, and worshiping many gods. Relationships play an essential part in Paganism. The belief system and practices of the religion are centered throughout the divine, sacred time, and the natural world. Critical issues such as how the Pagan religion was found will also be brought to attention.
According to Paganroots.net, “Pagans are deeply aware of the natural world and see the power of the divine in the ongoing cycle of life and death. Most Pagans are eco-friendly, love animals, and try to live in a way without harming the natural environment too much. Pagans worship the divine in many different forms, through feminine as well as masculine energies often represented by Gods and Goddesses, whose annual cycle of procreation, giving birth and dying defines the Pagan year.”
Sacred Time and Space
Molloy (2010) contends sacred time is “the time of eternity” meaning that Pagans conduct rituals or spells to connect with ancestors and gods that not only focus on the future, but also the deeds and guidance from the gods and ancestors (p. 43). The way many Christians can relate to this is through prayer to Jesus or God in hopes for better future, whatever the goal in the person’s life is, or to have a deeper connection to God. Pagans conduct rituals and spells with tools from nature such as herbs, stones, and Pagan symbols to pray to the gods, goddesses, and ancestors. Ultimately, most Pagans, Christians, and many other religions focus on spiritual energy to pray in their own diverse ways.
Pagans have a deep connection to sacred time as it relates to the wheel of the year and how rituals are scheduled by the cycle of the earth’s seasons. Pagans celebrate eight main holidays. Samhain takes place on October 31, which symbolizes the end of summer and a beginning of the new year. Yule is on December 21 and is the celebration of the “dark days” where winter days are darker. The celebration of Imbolc is to end the winter and begin the spring. Ostara is the spring equinox festival. Beltane is to rejoice fertility not only for humans, but also the fertility of the harvests. Litha marks the summer solstice and celebrated through feasting on the summer harvests. Lughnasad is a festival to share music, crafts, and much more. Last, Mabon is an annual ritual like Christians would celebrate Thanksgiving.
The Natural World
Pagans deeply believe in worshiping the natural world or just plain nature. Nature exhumes much energy that is used for spells and rituals. For example, many Pagans have certain rocks and stones placed throughout his or her homes, to name a few; rose quartz, amethyst, garnet, and emerald have different spiritual characteristics. According to Hall (2003), rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. It not only brings love into the believer’s life from others, but also brings deep inner healing and self-love (p. 235). Amethyst brings spiritual cleansing and serenity (p. 54). Garnet is used for a variety of purposes including balancing energy, inspires love and devotion, brings courage and hope in times of crisis, and alleviates emotional disharmony (p. 136). Emerald brings mental clarity, inspiration, loyalty, and integrity to relationships. Stones are also believed to have spiritual and physical healing to people. Stones are just one type of nature that Pagans use to conduct rituals.
Relations With Each Other
The relationship between the divine, sacred time, and the natural world are how Pagans worship, practice rituals, and what is believed in. To sum this up, Pagans are Polytheists and Pantheons.