Diversity Week

I'm not so sure how this one is going to go down BUT

This week, it's diversity week, right? (I think this is a purely British thing, but it's definitely national)

So anyway, in college there have been stalls up in the Foyer of minority groups and that, and I think it's a wonderful thing (not that I pay much attention to it.) I'm pretty open to anything really, I'm not racist, I'm not sexist. Obviously I am prejudice to a certain degree because everyone is, but I mean I'd never write out a group of people simply for something they stand for.

ANYWAY so today I go into college and I notice that a girl from my English class (who I do not like, she sits next to me but drives me completely insane) is standing with two other people, all noticeably dressed in full Pagan outfits. Leather sandals, dresses with fake lacing up corsets, flowers on their hairbands etc etc. It wasn't a shock to me that she's a pagan... Sort of. Like I know she claims to be a pagan (when i visited her house, before we went into her bedroom she said "You know I'm a pagan right?" only when we got inside there was nothing pagan really.. just a load of gothic tat.) BUT I didn't really know how 'into' it she was.

And so I thought I'd be nice to her, so I went up to her and tried to talk to her about the religion but I was expected to be asking her all the questions, without her really offering me any insight into the religion whatsoever. The conversation went like:

"Hi!"
"Hi"
"What are you doing here then?"
"Oh I'm just helping out these guys."
"Are you converting?"
"No, we don't convert."
"Oh. So what are you doing?"
"Just answering questions."
"Oh. So um... who's that?" (i point to a statue)
"The Goddess."
"Oh. Of what?"
"Well we have a God and a Goddess."
"Oh right. Well bye then!"

And so before, when I was quite open about Paganism (Or from what I'd known about it, The Wickerman and other nice stories of paganism like with Avebury and all that wonderful area near me) now I'm left wondering what the point of it is?

The impression I got from it today is that it's incredibly incredibly dated. I'm sure it was a wonderful religion to follow back in the Medieval times, but now it's the 21st century, do people still need to dress like it's the medieval times and refer to 'Mother Earth' and things?

ALSO there was a sign saying "I'm a witch. Deal with it." Which seems a tad agressive.

I would be more than happy for someone to tell me I am wrong and kindly fill me in on everything I am missing. It's just this girl is sooo cliche. If there's anything remotely relating to the pagan religion you can be sure she's going to chirp in with something about it.

To be fair I think my annoyance actually comes from just her (Honestly, she is impossible to deal with) and not Paganism itself. YEAH let's turn this into a rant about her.

But please if someone could tell me more about Paganism I'd be interested!

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20 replies since 6th March 2008 • Last reply 6th March 2008

Well I'll just start off by saying Paganism isn't a religion, the way I believe it, it's a kind of cover all term for any religion NOT from the realm of Christianity. Pagans were just regular people back in the day until all the kings and lords converted to Christianity.
So you could be Wiccan, which I presume she is if she is talking about a God and Goddess. I was delving into Wicca a few years back. I had the teach yourself book and all that, but I figured eventually why believe in some goddess who others believed in years ago when I'm don't believe in the christian one? SO I gave it all up.

Personally, now I love the whole dressing up in medieval garb and all that, but I wouldn't claim to be a pagan, coz I'm not. She may just be dabbling like I was, so she doesn't really have a full grasp of it other than there is a goddess and god.
Here's a link to wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism

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I'm Wiccan and very proud of it.

But what I gather is that the core idea of Paganism is that it's very personal and about nature. While you can follow strict rules, and some people do, it's also fine to make up your own rituals and things.

Only rule in Wicca: As long as it doesn't hurt anyone, do what you want (I realise that's probably impractical, but you do the best you can)

It's just about worshipping the earth and seasons and stuff. It's nothing to do with being a goth or dressing up unless that's what you happen to feel comfortable praying in (and then you shouldn't wear it outside of the circle)

If you're Wiccan you're technically a witch but it's not really like spells as you're only allowed to do white magic which is defined as nothing manipulative (so no spells on other people) and not really anything greedy. Like you can't do a spell to make a certain person fall in love with you, but you can do a spell to attract a new love.

It's really a very beautiful faith

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I know that they believe in a Karma type thing, if you do something bad it comes back three times as bad, and if you do something good it comes back three times as good.

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See what all you guys have said have made me think it isn't ridiculous after all, and is possibly the healthiest religion to follow. I just didn't get that from her. Gaaaahhhh I have to go and see her in a few hours Sad

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Oooh-Wiccan sounds interesting! I'll research it!

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Paganism also refers to religions outside Christianity, erm I think. From what I know both wiccan and paganism sound really nice I was considering seeing what it was about, I love nature but don't really feel like doing a dance around a tree or running across corn fields naked at dawn when its the first day of spring Happy It seems like it's all about positive thinking and positive energy.

I have a lot of precious stones that I used to hold and wish for things or try feeling positive from them. I wanna start doing tarot, I don't really beleive in that sort of thing but I do at the same time, it's more hope than faith.

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As I said before, it's very open to interpretation. You can easily be Wiccan and never do any spells (I very rarely do) or rituals or anything. It's more of a faith than a religion.

But Paganism refers to any religion which worships nature, so Ancient Egyptians were technically Pagans, as were druids etc. Wicca kinda takes bits from all of them. It's fairly modern but built on old traditions. It's a little silly to just say you're Pagan because it's such a wide range of religions, but I often say it because people will understand better than if I say I'm Wiccan.

I've just always been really interested in like runes and incantations and things like that; the idea that we can manipulate the energies around us. But it's also really positive cause it's not like you just blame the gods if something goes wrong in your life; that's just the way it is. And you don't go "Dear goddess, get me a new bike please" because it's just silly.

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She told me she was some kind of pagan beginning with S. It was a long word so I stopped listening after the first syllable.

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I can't think which she might mean.

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I asked her again today, she's a Shamanic Pagan.

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well i have no idea about that, but from the sounds of her she's doing to to be different, because everyone i know that is a different religion or faith and are proud of it go into big long (and interesting) discussions on the different things they believe in, and why they believe in it, and what it means to them.

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Oh dear, that's what I did

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I don't see the point in belonging to a religion or Faith if you aren't fully involved in it. But that's just my opinion, coming from a family of hypocritical roman catholics ;)

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I think what Jasmin was saying was that if you're truly into it then you're very proud of it and you go into long interesting discussions about it... But if you're not, and you're only doing it for attention, then you don't talk to people about it (which is exactly what the girl from my college did. She's happy enough to tell me she's a Shamanic Pagan but she doesn't go into any more detail than that really.)

She's also an enormous cliche but I won't go into it.

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