I've covered the differences between paganism, witchcraft, and Wicca on the blog before.
Today, for the Introduction to Deity Worship series, we're going to take a closer look at Paganism, it's deities, and how it can be incorporated into your craft.
Let's get started:
**Note: Any information you find here has been from research that I have done personally. If you have doubts or questions about anything I've found, please feel free to follow the links I provide to the original sources and research further for yourself. This is meant to be a collection of knowledge, ideas, and a starting point for deity worship.**
Pagansim is defined as three things:
It's derived from the Latin term, paganus, which stands for "country dweller". It is a belief of many gods; however, there is a supreme figure at the center of most worship.
This is a religion that dates back thousands of years and has become a combination of beliefs and pantheons. Everything is thought to have a spirit, from insects to humans to trees, so there is a god or goddess for every aspect of the natural world.
Here's some popular branches of Paganism:
There's even branches of Paganism that believe in no god or deity and therefore don't worship one.
Like I mentioned in my previous article about Paganism, it is possible to be a witch and not Pagan and visa versa, even though witchcraft and Paganism are commonly lumped together.
There are modern Pagan groups and traditions that can be followed. Some have been shaped by Hinduism and Taosim and others are more Native American or Celtic-based.
As Paganism is the general category for all kinds of different practices, you can experiment with what you want to do.
An altar isn't necessary for some paths but can be used.
Celebrating the solstice and equinox can be apart of your craft if you choose.
You can worship deities of different pantheons, if you choose and they mesh well, once you define your craft and beliefs.
The two most popular practices, I've found, as handfasting ceremonies and following the Wheel of the Year.
Handfasting is a more nature-based wedding ceremony. Each person swears to oaths that they've created together, acknowledge their Gods and Goddesses, and have their hands bond with different colored chords.
Family members can join and put the chords on, which a Druid priest will tie into a knot at the end.
Some use this method of marriage only once and continue living together.
Some renew the ceremony every year.
Some follow the tradition of handfasting, living together for a year and a day, and then renewing or parting ways without officially being married.
If you'd like to read about my personal handfasting ceremony, check out this article.
The Wheel of the Year contains all the holidays that Pagans follow. They move with the seasons and, depending on your practice, will determine how the gods of your pantheon are interacting with each other and mankind.
Every sabbat (yes sabbat not Sabbath), celebrates a different cycle of life and have different meanings. The altar and ceremonies will have different contexts and there's LOADS of information out there on how to celebrate each one. Here's the complete list of the sabbats:
The Northern and Southern hemispheres do celebrate the Wheel of the Year oppositely, as the climates are opposite. Do pay attention to that if you decide to ever practice these.
This list is specifically Celtic; however, I'll include links to other pantheon lists below.
Other Deities and Pracitces