- Pagans worship Satan.
- Paganism is a cult.
- Pagans all dress in Goth.
- Pagans cast spells and curse people.
- Pagans practice animal and human sacrifice.
- Drug use is common.
- Pagans dance around in the nude all the time.
- All rituals and celebrations involve sex orgies.
Pagans Worship Satan
Paganism is a Cult
Merriam-Webster - a system of religious beliefs and rituals.
Yes, I guess it is a cult. And so is every other religion, including Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity.
From a Christian context – a religious group that denies one or more of the fundamentals of biblical truth.
So, anything not in the bible is a cult. Yep, I guess pagans qualify.
Free Dictionary – a religion or sect considered to be extremist or false, usually with an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Though the word “cult” has different definitions depending on the point of view, this is the one that resonates with most people. What else springs to mind? Vulnerable people snatched from their friends and families, living in a rigid commune setting and brainwashed into a state of virtual enslavement to a leader with a Messiah complex, and eventual death or imprisonment all due to a programmed set of crackpot beliefs?
Let’s have a quick look at some of the more famous cults:
Pagans are Goth
Pagan Spells and Curses
This propaganda was a pretty successful effort by Christians to discourage pagan practices by making it evil and thereby swell their ranks with new recruits. Yes, some pagans practice magick, but if you read my post “What is Magick?” you’ll know just what that means. Of those pagans that practice magick, sure some do it for selfish and harmful reasons. Pagans are human; we have our rotten apples just as other religions do. But many pagans also believe in something called the Threefold Law. It’s a lot like the Golden Rule. It states that whatever you send out, you will receive back threefold. Meaning if you send out some negative, harmful energy, it will seriously come back and bite you in the behind. The Wiccan Rede is also revered, and it states clearly; “An ye harm none, do what ye will.” This is not a license to do whatever we wish to do. This quite clearly states, do what you want to do, as long as it doesn't harm anyone. “Harm” can be physical, mental, or emotional. A love spell may seem an innocuous thing, but consider the effects it may have. The subjects' free will has been subverted and that causes harm to that person. The caster may suffer harm consciously or subconsciously by knowing that the love is false. And what about the family and friends of the subject? What will happen to them when he/she turns away? Not so simple or harmless now is it? Magick is a serious thing, and its consequences must be carefully considered before any spell is cast.
You might be surprised to learn that there are probably more pagans that don’t practice magick than those that do. For many, paganism is a spiritual path and a way of connecting with the universe. Magick doesn't really play a part in their belief system.
Animal and Human Sacrifice
Anya – “I love a ritual sacrifice”
Buffy – “Not really a one of those.”
Anya – “To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It’s a ritual sacrifice. With pie.”
Though considered barbaric by today’s standards, animals and people were offered up on sacrificial altars to appease and honour gods from many different cultures. Don’t start thinking it was just the pagans doing this though! Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism; all called for sacrifice, and some still do. Like other religions, paganism has evolved through the years, and many of the common practices of the past have changed or been discarded to correspond with changing ethos. While some pagans do indeed still practice animal sacrifice, most do not. Some actually hold the belief that all life is sacred and are appalled at the idea of killing an animal. Most of these have embraced vegetarian or vegan lifestyles. I believe that most pagans fall between these two extremes and this is the category that I fit into. I believe in nature. A wolf, bear, eagle or lion isn’t evil when it hunts and kills prey to survive. It’s natural, it’s necessary for life to continue in balance. It is not natural or necessary to kill something purely as a sacrifice however, and that makes all the difference.
Drug Use in Pagan Ritual
Nudity in Pagan Ritual
Ritual Sex and Orgies
Some of you are wondering about this thing you’ve heard of called the Great Rite. Isn’t this an example of the debauchery going on in pagan gatherings? If you’ve seen the movie “The Da Vinci Code”, you’ll probably remember the part where Sophie witnesses her grandfather performing a sex ritual, causing her to flee the house and opening a rift between the two. This scene is an example of how the Great Rite may have been performed hundreds of years ago. It is meant to be a celebration of the union of the God and the Goddess. Today, instances of public intercourse during the Great Rite are so rare as to be a myth in itself. The rite is usually performed by the High Priest and High Priestess, who would ideally be in a secure, intimate relationship already. It is usually performed symbolically as I said before, or acted out but without actual skin to skin contact. If the tradition calls for actual intercourse, it is done in private, between two consenting adults. So, while sex does have its place, if you come to a ritual hoping for action, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.