Something very ancient… yet very new and revolutionary to our society… is beginning to appear on today’s scene. Though a system of religion, it is as with Buddhism and Shinto, a philosophy and an intimate, person-to-person way of life. Its roots are deeper by far than that of Christianity and Judaism. stretching further back than any other European religion.
It is Paganism
At this point in the century it is rather popular to say to each other that we have come into a new age. The old Pician way of life is changing, and we are entering into the Aquarian age. Thanks to the modern theater there are few who do not know that we are in a time of change.
It isn’t necessary to read a book on astrology to know we are in a transition. One only needs to read the newspaper or listen to a conversation on the bus on the way to work. Our political climate, our racial views, our science our family structure, all have drastically changed in less that the span of one life time. The list is endless. There seems to be no end or peace of mind for anyone. Everything is being examined. Everything seems unstable. Political pressures fashion the wonders of science into fearsome weapons. Commercialism, in its mindless striving for money, has managed to prostitute the finest technical developments and through their waste to pollute much of what still remains of the natural world. Still, for the first time, the entire western world is protesting war, and from within the country waging that war its own population is demanding end of that and of all war. That same nation, poisoning itself five years ago is being directed toward a nation ecological program that may, hopefully, change the face of the globe.
The established major religions are greatly weakened and failing their duty for man, their foundations largely destroyed by a rapidly changing world. Mostly they have failed to grow with the submerged spiritual man.
The aim of the pagan movement, now and in the past, has been to unite man with the tidal harmony of the cosmos. In the Early Christian religion the church endeavored to eliminate the man/nature/unity principle as expressed in the ritual. The early church was in competition with the disorganized and failing Pagan religions. At that time, as this, the Pagans were experiencing much the same conditions we are experiencing, the end of an era. The established religion was much the same as the established religion now. It could not cope with the changing times because it had not evolved with humanity as we progressed the path.
The leaders of the early church attempted to kill the spirit of nature in man, the worship of the planets and forces they represented, but they soon found complete transgression is impossible, and as most new religions do, it attempted to absorb the old, keeping what it considered the best and eliminated the bad. So in the old church we have a slight change in the festivals, they were no longer called astrological, but nevertheless were. The Goddess became the Virgin. The Sun God became the Christ. The lesser and local gods became the saints. The language of the ritual changed, but the meaning did not. Man was still a part of the Gods.
This change of the astrological age continued, though. The Protestant reformation followed, and the death of the ritualistic observation of the cosmic rhythm soon followed. The was followed by the age of reason of the nineteenth century and the scientific machine age producing materialism never experienced by mankind. Our systems soon became systems involved. Systems rather that from that which came from the universe itself. Social orders resulted from the experience of other social orders, all resulting in a pattern that moved away from nature and cosmic rhythm rather than toward it.
Man responded to the patterns he was creating. His life became unnecessarily complex until seemingly almost overnight we were involved in such a complicated method of relationships that relationship itself had no meaning. Science became so self reliant that god, or what ever man has called god, was discarded. Nature, under the exposing but limiting microscope became clusters of cells without the overall patternal meaning. Reason became such a system, such a method that it itself became unreasonable.
The result os and continues to e inevitable. Social systems, psychological systems that are based upon crumbling spiritual, or disassociated social systems result in total disruption, or society pitted against itself in that game we call war. The Protestant insistence of man abandoning his ties with the patterned universe resulted in our aligning ourselves with cultures or leaders who seemed to give us that which we no longer received from our religion. These leaders, uniting themselves with Chaos rather completely or limited qualities (Darkness is easily an alliance) have led us to the brink, and there we stand. It is fortunate we have at least moved into the new age, and if we can quickly align ourselves with the principle available, then we shall survive.
The dark picture is not encompassing. The answer lies deep within ourselves… where it has always been… and out in the world of nature where it has long waited. If you can relax enough to seek the wooded paths, or go to the waters edge you can feel the power that is within us, and that is the power of the universe itself.
The age old lore also exists in folk beliefs. It is in the dusty books of the magician, an in the wisdom of the practices of the Craft. It is in the rituals of the ancient christian way, and preserved by small underground groups since the time of the persecution.
The Pagan Way is very close to the soul of Humanity, it s a natural belief which see man as he is, and the world as it is, and seeds to push neither into a preconceived mold.Paganism sees the mystery and richness of nature, and opens the way to an understanding of it, that the modern world has overlooked.
The present store of rituals and practices has been drawn from ancient sources, some preserved, some restored, and updated by scholars from various Pagan groups… existing but never advertised… whose traditions stretch unbroken since far before the dawn of history.
There are some beliefs that pagans share in common which are somewhat different from that of other humans.
A Pagan refuses to believe that mankind is born innately sinful, and realizes that the concept of “sin” is harmful to human nature.
He realizes the powers of the universe, sometimes called “God” exist, not apart, but as part of man.
These powers may be contacted, directed and benefit gained from; if man first learns to live in harmony with himself and the universe.
The movement of the natural forces, called “tides” by many, directly affect our lives, the evolution of humanity, and the course of direction of the manifested universe.
The Pagan celebrates this force movement, if fact unifies with in, through the calender of the year which we call the greater and lesser festivals.
These festivals are attuned to the tides, and also reflect the eternal problems of man as he has moved forward upon the path of light.
The Pagan recognizes, and harmonizes with, the law of nature called polarity.
We know that “that which is above is that which is also below”.
There is no heaven except that which we ourselves make, and likewise there is no he…
Harmony with and direction of the great natural forces is called magic.
We know that transient of this natural force is the Supernal Intelligence, reflected in all Gods, reflected in man, which is also within all creation.
Paganism is not fixed or dogmatic.
We know of the existence of the spark of life that is within us that does not die, and that returns again and again until has evolved to that which we call the eternal existence above all existence.
We abide by the great rule of love, and that one may do as he wishes as long as it harms no other.
Nature is ourselves, and to harm it is to cut off an arm or leg of our own body. Therefore we support ecology and do all that we can to regrow the forests and renew the seas.
At this time overpopulation is the plague of mankind, from which many of our troubles arise. The Pagan is obligated to restrain from producing that which he cannot support.
We must return to the old ones, for it is there that we exist, and it is from that place that the psychology of out lives emerge. To ignore the nature that is ourselves is to cause life to leave our bodies leaving only shells in the place of that which was once human.