What are Pagan traditions?

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I was wondering what kind of understanding is held by Pagans and non-Pagans about the traditions of Paganism. Paganism is a broad umbrella of beliefs including: Celtic, Shamanism, Asatru, Ceremonial Magick Voudon, Santeria, Wicca, Druidism, Eclectic, Solitary, Blended or Family Traditions. I was wondering what non-Pagans know about these traditions. If you consider yourself as a follower of one of these traditions, are you comfortable being consider as under the Pagan umbrella? These traditions have been explained to me as sharing at least one of the following characteristics: they are indigenous, earth-centered, containing magickal elements, recognize both female and male deities, were suppressed or eradicated by another religion, or stress a connection to and respect for the natural world.
I consider myself a Solitary practitioner of Paganism
I am not sayinf that I do not already have my opinions on the above questions, but I am of the belief that through opening oneself to other perspectives you can gain understanding and mental development. Thank you 🙂
fireball – please read the entire question. Are you suprised to find that Witchcraft is not a tradition. Wicca is a tradition, and whichcraft is practiced by most but not all Wiccans.
nic – maybe I didn’t phrase the question well. I was asking what is the current understanding of Pagan traditions. I pose this question to Pagans and non-Pagans.
All of the above traditions are active in current society.
wonbatho – I know that what you have said is not totally correct. Violently supperssed, yes but they have continued to be practiced. I am wondering where peoples opinions and understandings come from.
Stranger – it is so wonderful to see examples of tolerance, thank you
Night – wow… it really must be frusterating to think so highly of yourself but yet still have no clue what you are talking about
Night – just because Christians took an old word and gave it a new meaning doesn’t make the new meaning true. Just like when Christians tailored their beliefs around the Pagan beliefs in order to make assimilation easier, they tailored their definitions of words to better fit what they wanted people to think. This really isn’t that radical of an idea.

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witchcraft……magic, spells


What you are referring to are the traditions Europeans followed before the Roman Catholic Church (Christianity) wiped them out.
Edit: Well, my understanding of them is that they are a reconstruction of those old beliefs, I was not suggesting that they are not pertinent today.


Given that in most cases there has been a break in the practise of the above of between 500 to 2000 years, most of the traditions are pretty much made up by bored middle class suburbanites and probable bear almost no resemblance to the actual ancient forms


Most of the Pagans I know are of the Wiccan tradition, worshiping an earth goddess and a god of the heavens. others I know worship a plethora of gods and goddesses from several pantheons. still others from a single pantheon. most of them have been great friends over the years and I am glad that we are able to overlook religious differences and just be friends. as for myself, I am Catholic, though I consider every other religion just as valid as my own. I generally don’t try to convert others as I consider that disrespectful unless they show an interest in converting at which point I am more than happy to guide them.

Aine's Daughter

I am, as I am a pagan, I do worship multiple deities and am part of a family tradition–however, my father would not be, as he is in the same family tradition, but is a practising Christian. If you told him he was a pagan he would laugh in your face and tell you to re-check your definition of pagan.
Family traditions have to assimilate to survive, not because they’re being chased or suppressed, because most of that is over, but just because as the family changes as generations go on, and it must evolve with the family. Suppression, when it did occur, made some of the larger changes present themselves in traditions, but syncretism is a huge thing.

~Heathen Princess~

I am an Asataruar and no we generally don’t like to be limped in the pagan movement. They are seperated slightly linguistically and seperated immensely in thier movements.
I will claim pagan, but I prefer Heathen or Asatruar.
Also we are not earth centered, we are ancestor centered. We generally dont practise magic since there is little magic in or religion outside of sidhr.

ToryL - un canard de Rouen

I am not a pagan and my understanding of pagan traditions is pretty limited. I know most, if not all, Christian holidays were pagan initially and that’s about the extent of what I know.
I like the respect for the natural world but that is about the only common factor about pagans. Even your reference to yourself as a “solitary practitioner of paganism” does not give me any clue as to what you believe or value since there is no common standard of values.
The motto, “first, do no harm” is used by wiccans but, as has been stated, not all pagans are wiccan but are all wiccan’s pagan?
If someone identifies themselves as Catholic, or Methodist, or in my case, LDS, that gives some insight because those denominations have a shared, (among themselves) and standard believe system.
But to say one is pagan, is like saying one is Christian. There is so much variance among the groups that is carries very little understanding with it.


There is no such thing as “traditions of paganism.” Paganism is not a religion. It means non-Judeo-Christian. (It can also mean even ruder things which are not applicable here) Wiccans, Aztecs, Hindus and Ancient Egyptians are all pagans. That doesn’t mean their beliefs are necessarily even similar.
People who identify themselves as “pagan” are generally neopagans such as Wiccans, Druids, Reconstructionists, etc. Other pagans (such as Hindus) generally find the word *offensive*.
Ceremonial magic is not pagan. It’s a magical practice, not a religion. It does generalyl involve religious concepts, most of which have been taken from Judeo-Christainity.
“Eclectic” and “Solitary” are likewise neither traditions nor religions. They are adjectives applied to a noun for better clarification, for example an Eclectic Wiccan as opposed to a Traditional Wiccan. Just saying you’re “eclectic” doesn’t imply anything relgious at all.


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