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Advice on doing a speech on Paganism?

I’m doing a speech on Paganism at my school (I am a Pagan), and was wondering what some main points I should include would be? I am thinking of including the differences between historical (paleo) Paganism and modern (neo) Paganism, a few of the different traditions of Paganism (Wicca, Asatru, Shamanism etc), and some of the misconceptions about Paganism. What are some other things I should include in a short speech to people with no prior knowledge of the subject?
Thanks!

11 COMMENTS

  1. Honestly not sure, I would point out the differences between Paganism and christianity and other religions. YOu might want to dispel any myths.
    I would have lots of good pictures and keep it simple.

  2. You should tell the similarities between Judeo-Christian religions and Paganism.
    And add the Holidays (Yule, Ostara, Samhain, etc) and their relationship to Christianity.
    Wish you luck 🙂

  3. Point out that it’s not Satanic, or Devil worship, that belief in Satan is a Christian practice, and not a Pagan practice. That’s a common misconception aired here, although sometimes I think it’s said to stir up trouble, rather than from ignorance.

  4. also perhaps point out that the native religions of the americas were pagan, and the struggles they have had to maintain their culture despite the physical and cultural genocides of the european christians

  5. making the fact that paganism is a positive religion, and beleif rather than the social steryotpe of negative, evil and stupid, ie its about nature, respecting life, understnading life, accpeting the balance of life and death, good and bad, and not about devil worship etc
    that the myths, are just that, myths, borne out of propagnda and a religion and belief system thats not well known about or understood
    that christianty actually has its roots in paganism, the celebrationsm/holidays and even traditions such as easter eggs, xmas trees, etc are all of pagan origin
    that paganism is oen of the oldest forms of belief system, ie rrespecting and understanding nature , earth, the world and universe around us
    that most pagans are actually nothing like the ‘steryotype’, and tho some pagans may seem ‘odd’ and a bit ‘silly’, its just like anyother religion, any other belief system and still deserves the same respect as you are willing to give those
    that there are many different types of pagans, as you said allthe religions, but also non religious pagans, atheistic pagans, eclectic pagans, even christian pagans, yes, there are people who defy social steryotypes and thats not a bad thing
    because THAT is what paganism is all about, learning who YOU are, not who soceity wants you to be
    good luck on yoru speech 😉
    dont pressure yourself, just be who you are, tell them your views/beleifs/and life and who you are, as that is what paganism is about

  6. First…..I would point out that MOST Pagan Paths are “Nature Based”. We honor the Earth and nature.
    Second that most Pagan Paths are Poly-Theistic. We honor all the gods & all the goddesses………..of every religion.
    Most Pagans honor the “Wiccan Rede”, even if they are not Wiccan.
    “As it harm none, do as thou wilt”
    We dont eat babies.
    We dont sacrifice little animals on our barbecues.
    **SIDE NOTE** I have been known to “sacrifice” chicken, some beef and a deer on my barbecue.
    We dont worship Satan. Most of us do NOT believe that Christian Deity exists.
    Pagans are as varied (maybe more so) as any other group of religions.
    Wish you luck.

  7. Greeting,
    Just three points I’d like to make.
    1) You may want to talk about Baltic Polytheism. The Balts were the last Pagins in Europe (along with the Lapps) and Lithuania was the last pagan Kingdom in Europe (Samogetia was christianized in 1410). Because of nobility in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth choosing Polish for it’s culture, Most of Lithuania stayed Pagan until the late 1700’s early – 1800’s. In fact, the last holy grove still worshiped in Vilnius was only cut down during the reign of Grand Duke Stanislovas Augustas Poniatovskis (1732-98).
    With this it continued to die out until the 1st Lithuanian national awakening where people like Simonas Daukantas (1793-1864) and Dr. Jonas Basanavièius (1851-1927) worked to revive the old Lithuanian culture and Religion.
    “Lithuanian Religion became a popular phenomenon during Lithuania’s inter-war independence. Duke Jonas Berþanskis (1862-1936) ardently propagated Lithuanian Religion. Vilius Storosta-Vydûnas (1868-1953) organized public celebrations of the holidays of Lithuanian Religion. He also wrote a number of very important and influential philosophical and literary works about Lithuanian Religion. Domas Ðidlauskas-Visuomis (1878-1944) reformed Lithuanian Religion, calling it “Visuomybë,” ‘Universalism.’ He established congregations in Lithuania and abroad, and founded a sanctuary called “Romuva” in 1929 in northwest Lithuania. 1930, a fraternity called “Romuva” and, in 1932, a sorority called “Vestals of Romuva,” were founded to foster Baltic unity, based on the principles of Baltic Religion. ”
    With this it’s again rising in popularity.
    2) The difference between Syncretic vs. Ethnic
    3) Wicca is not historical paganism and is a modern invention created by people like Gerald Gardner after joining a supposed “New Forest Coven”
    For more information on wicca read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca#History

  8. Don’t be afraid of focusing on differences. i.e. concept of salvation. I’d appreciate a speaker that wasn’t afraid of the word cult too, the only difference between a religion and a cult is cultural acceptance.

  9. My experience is that just explaining my tradition alone
    takes at least 15 minutes… so depending on how much
    time you have, it may be hard to cover many different
    paths.
    In my work for the Goddess, when I need to speak very
    briefly, I hit on 3 key points…
    1. The original Neolithic Goddess cultures, and the Kurgan
    invasion which brought a violent male war-god into Europe
    and the Middle East.
    2. The modern revival of our religion.
    3. The metaphysical aspects of our practice.
    As interesting as it is, you need to skip recorded history
    entirely, because it’s much too lengthly. I simply explain
    that by the time writing was invented (circa 3000 BCE)
    religions following that time had evolved from the confusion
    which resulted from the forced union of peaceful Goddess
    cultures with the barbarian war-god culture which had
    invaded Europe and the Middle East. Ultimately, the
    followers of the most violent of these war-gods (Yahweh)
    attained political control and persecuted and destroyed
    the other religions… leaving us with what we see today…
    war-god religions like Christianity and Islam.
    That won’t be popular, but it’s true… If your teacher is a
    Christian, you may get to experience some of that good
    old fashioned persecution I mentioned, in person.
    I speak to pagan groups so nobody has any problem with
    hearing it… and I’m not a student, so nobody can give
    me an “F”… LOL.
    Good luck, and Blessings !
    Jean

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