There is an old saying: "If
you do not define yourself, someone else will do it for you!"
In the past there have been many misconceptions about Paganism.
Because of these misconceptions, the UFP has prepared this booklet,
which we hope will help you to understand our religion.
Today's average person thinks that the word Pagan is synonymous with
"Satanists," "orgies," and "drug-ingesting," and believes that Druids,
Witches and Native American Medicine People practice a mish-mash of
"Devil Worship," "Ungodly Rituals," "Inhuman Cruelty" and "Human
Fundamentalist Christian fanatics and the sensationalist news media
will also tell you that Pagans are "..ugly old women who have sold their
souls to the Devil", "...who work to destroy Christianity, kill babies
and eat lizards for lunch." There are definitely people in the world
that may do those things - but they are NOT Pagans and they do NOT
Paganism isn't the "Devil's work"; it isn't "Satanism"; it doesn't
involve Sacrifices of humans or animals; it isn't becoming bound to
"Demons"; it isn't dark, dangerous or evil; it isn't anti-Christian,
anti-religion, or anti-anything. Paganism is pro-healing, pro-love, and
respects all life. For centuries, the lies have been told...we feel it
is time for the TRUTH!
There are many so called "Occult Experts" on the lecture circuit
selling their seminars to Police Departments and Law Inforcement
agencies. Most of these so-called experts are in reality fundamentalist
Christians who have fabricated an elaborate lie out of whole cloth.
Their statistics are false. Their representations are false. And they
are usually out of business in a few years when rational officials
investigate their credentials.
One of the purposes of the U.F.P. is to desiminate true and factual
information concerning Paganism to Law enforcement agencies, religious
organizations, governmental agencies, etc. The U.F.P. tracks fraudulent
"experts" on the occult and can be contacted to check out the
credentials of anyone who advertises themselves to be such an expert.
For such information call: in Georgia 000-000-0000 or outside Georgia
PAGANISM (sometimes called Wiccae, Witchcraft, Druidism, or The Old
Religion by its practitioners), is an ancient religion which
demonstrates a love of life and believes in the sanctity of nature.
In prehistoric times, people respected the great forces of the
Universe and celebrated the cycles of the seasons as
they related to agriculture, animal husbandry and so on. They saw
divinity in the Sun, Moon, the Earth, running water, and all life.
The creative energies of the universe were personified: masculine and
feminine principles became gods and goddesses. These were not
semi-abstract, superhuman figures set apart from nature: they were
embodied in earth and sky, women and men, and plants and animals.
This viewpoint is still central to present-day Paganism. To most
Pagans, everything in nature -- and all gods and goddesses -- are true
aspects of the Deity. In this respect, Paganism is similar to many
Native American spiritual traditions, as well as other "Earth
Some believe that Paganism had its beginnings in Atlantis before the
deluge. We do have evidence that it existed during Paleolithic times,
co-existing with other Earth Religions in ancient Europe; hence the
common symbols of the Earth Mother Goddess and the Sky Father God
represent the vegetable and animal life of the Earth, and the light and
life giving Sun, respectively. We find these religions in harmony with
Nature and its celebration of life, birth and death, expressed
seasonally. These ancient Earth Religions had a profound influence on
early Christianity, by supplying the concepts of: the Dying God, The
Resurrection, the Redeemer, Grace, and the Trinity. All of these
concepts were part of the religions of Mithra, Zoroastrianism, etc.
The Roman Catholic Church attempted to hide the evidence that it had
"borrowed" these concepts, by destroying not only all the books and
manuscripts of Pagan religions, but also the religions themselves. The
Roman Catholic Church directed a virtual war of genocide and persecution
against Earth Religions. Any book that mentioned any similarity between
Pagan religions and Christianity was burned, buried, or hidden in the
Vatican archives. This effectively got rid of the competition.
Although the Pagan faith was largely repressed, at least in public,
small groups continued to worship in private. Many families continued to
quietly practice their faith, and pass it on from generation to
In recent years Paganism has experienced a tremendous revival, no
doubt fostered to some degree by increasing ecological awareness, the
movement for equal opportunity between sexes, and attitudes of religious
tolerance. There are thousands of active congregations (covens, groves
or temples) throughout the British Isles, the United States, Canada,
Brazil, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Italy,
Spain and even Russia.
How do Pagans practice their faith today? There is no central
authority or doctrine binding on all congregations, and individual
groups vary. But most meet for services once or twice a month, hold
adult religious instruction on a regular basis, and celebrate eight
major holy days throughout the year. Services are highly participatory,
and may include meditation, prayer, singing and occasionally circle
dances not unlike some Native American ceremonies.
Though some Pagans practice their faith alone or with only their
families, many Pagans are organized into congregations of from three to
twenty-three members. Clergy are called priests and priestesses, and
many groups are led by a priestess/priest couple. Other congregations
are less formal, and share leadership roles among the participants. In
either case, membership is considered to be an important commitment, and
often extensive instruction is required before full membership is
All Pagan groups adhere to a code of ethics. None engage in the
disreputable practices of some religious groups, such as recruiting
lonely, impressionable young people to raise money so a leader can live
in luxury (remember Jim Baker and the Christian PTL Club scandal?).
Pagans welcome sisters and brothers, but not disciples or victims.
Pagans are encouraged to question, to grow spiritually, and to assume
responsibility for their own lives. This includes mastering various
psychological and spiritual skills such as meditation and
energy-channeling, which are used for positive goals such as healing or
insight. These techniques have much in common with the Shamanic
spiritual traditions of the native peoples of the world.
Pagan beliefs do not include such Judaeo-Christian concepts as
original sin, vicarious atonement, divine judgement or bodily
resurrection. Pagans believe in a beneficent universe, the Law of Karma,
reincarnation, and divinity inherent in every human being and all of
nature. They tend to have a cheerful outlook on life; and while their
services can be very dignified, laughter and pleasure are an important
part of their spiritual tradition.
A typical sister Pagan religion is Wicca, or Witchcraft. "Wicca" is an
Anglo-Saxon word meaning "to bend or change." This word described the
Shamans or "Medicine Men" of the Tribe or the village. This was the Herb
Woman or Cunning Man of the English community of medieval times. Priests
and Priestess are Pagan just as all Baptist ministers are Christian.
All of the great festivals of the Pagan religions, wherever found,
correspond to natural cycles of Nature (animal mating, seasons, planting
and harvest) or the cycles of the Sun (Solstices and Equinoxes). Most
remain today in the more or less disguised form of: Christmas (Yule),
Easter (Spring Equinox), May Day (Beltane), Thanksgiving (Harvest Home),
Halloween (Samhain), Valentines Day (Candlemas), St. Johns Day
(Midsummers), and Loaf Mass Day (Lammas), comprising a total of eight
major festivals. The Christian Church renamed these festivals because of
it's intolerance for "competition" and it's need to establish holidays
of it's own.
Despite sensational headlines , non-factual books and the maligning
of the words "Pagan" and "Witch", real Pagans do not worship Satan,
never perform "Black Magick," do ill toward others, or desecrate any
person, place or thing. Most Pagan religions do not have a place in
their belief system for a Satan, or evil protagonist.
Pagans do believe in Evil. But, they believe that evil is the result
of choice by people, not a devil or a Lucifer. Evil is created by
letting the selfish side of human nature control the decision making
process. This results in the mental and physical abuse of children and
all criminal behavior. Satan is really only a symbol for Humankind's
inhumanity to others and its inability to control its base instincts.
An evil Satan was invented by the Roman Catholic Church in the first
century A.D. in order to explain the erratic behavior of Humanity, and
blame an outside agent for all human ills. This allowed the Church to
keep its members, even though they continually sinned, but now they
could blame it on: "The Devil made me do it!" The church adopted the
"good god" vs "evil god" philosophy of Mithra and Zoroaster and blamed a
Satan for all evil; the church relieved their members of accountability
and set itself up as the "Good" half of the duality.
Pagans reject this philosophy. They take responsibility for all their
actions. There is no "Devil" or "Satan" to make them do anything. Humans
do evil things by choice. Everyone has the free will to "sin" or do
good, to heal or hinder. Pagans are guided by religious laws which
stands primary within all traditions - the one basic dictum: "If it does
not harm another, do what you will." Paganism is a tradition of love,
nurturing, healing, secrecy and creativity.
Paganism is a family of religions. The word Pagan is derived from the
Latin Paganus, "peasant," or "country dweller," deriving, in turn, from
the Latin pagus, "village." The word Pagan pertains to indigenous
(native) pantheistic folk religions and peoples and means a person who
worships Nature, considers life to be sacred, and identifies with others
who accept the title of Pagan. The word Neo-Paganism means
non-indigenous pantheistic folk religion or new nature religions,
emerging only in the past 25 years, but rooted in ancient traditions and
attitudes. Pagans and Neo-Pagans attempt to live their lives in harmony
There are many branches or "traditions" of Paganism. They are not
just one Church. They are many groups of Priests and Priestesses
practicing "Paganism" or "Neo (from the Greek word for new) Paganism".
You may hear their many names; one is WICCA or Witchcraft. (This
denomination has hundreds of variations or traditions. Among them:
Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Algard, American, Dianic, English, Fairy,
Hereditary, ISIAN, Kingston, Neo-Gardnerian, New Fairy, Shamanic,
Stregha, Y Dynion Mwyn, Dynion Mwyn, Neo-Greek, FeraFeria, New Reformed
Order of the Golden Dawn [NROGD], British, Saex-Wicca, Irish Witta,
Scots-Gaelic, Celtic, Continental, Strega and others.) Other examples of
Pagan religions are: Church of All Worls, ADF, Huna (Hawaii), Amerindian
(any Native American Tradition), Pagan Way, Hindu, Australian
Aboriginal, Voudoun, Santeria, etc.
Pagans conduct their rites of worship in a manner that is ethical,
compassionate and protected under ARTICLE 18 of the United Nations, The
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right and
freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom either alone or in
community with others and in public or private, to manifest his (or her)
religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."
All Pagan religions are "natural" religions both in origin and in
mode of expression as opposed to artificially created ideological
Ideological religions are like buildings: an architect (prophet) gets
an inspiration (revelation) and lays down his visions in blueprints
(ideology/scriptures); then contractors, carpenters, masons, etc.
(disciples/followers) build the buildings more or less according to
specifications. It is assembled, but when it is finished, it cannot grow
and begins to deteriorate (unless it is rebuilt or renovated) until it
is eventually an outmoded and rundown building. It is then demolished
and way is made for new buildings. A world of ideological religions
resembles a big city with all the problems, changes, wars, hatred,
crime, pollution and disease and for the same reason: UNNATURALNESS!
A Pagan religion on the other hand, resembles a tree. It emerges from
the Earth, grows, changes (both cyclically in seasons and continually
upward and outward), bears flowers/fruit, and shares its life with other
living creatures. It is not made, it becomes. When its time ends (for
many trees are potentially immortal, never dying of old age,) it does
not pass from this world, for its "children" have, in the interim,
sprung up from the Earth, each similar yet unique. A world of Pagan
religions is like a forest: NATURAL!
Pagans share a distaste for rigid religious organizations and so
called messiahs and gurus. Obviously, this places their priesthood in an
awkward position: It needs enough religious authority to guide it's
organization, but not so much as to allow it to become oppressive. Since
most Pagans deny the existence of any One True and Only Way, and since
most Pagans insist upon being fallible, Paganism is steered gently
between totalitarian-ism and chaos.
Paganism does not seek converts! It is up to each seeker to convince
a coven, temple or grove that they are sincere and worthy of membership.
Without perfect Love and Perfect Trust, no one is accepted. Paganism
offers a New/old way of life, free from pain, guilt and fear. This way
of life offers love, good will, friendship and the teaching of the
Universal Laws of Truth.
Although religion does not control the life of a Pagan, it does guide
them no matter where they are and what they are doing. Pagan teachings
encompass every aspect of a member's physical, mental and spiritual
experience. These guidelines help them to make the right decisions.
Foremost among these guidelines are those similar to: "Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you."
Paganism has many traditions in common with such traditions as Native
American Shamanism, but they have also adopted concepts from other
sources. Paganism is an organic religion, and like a tree it will grow,
change and produce offshoots as the years go by.
Pagans are committed, as a religion, to change humanities interaction
with Nature, from one of fear, separation, arrogance, domination and
destruction, to a relationship of mutuality, empathy, conscious
evolution and respect for the ancestors of the human species.
They are trying to transform the human-to-plant interaction from one
of greed motivated exploitation, non-sustainable agriculture and
ecological destruction to a Right Relationship that preserves and
protects habitats, optimizes bio-diversity and acknowledges mutual
They also wish to transform the interaction of humans with the
elemental environments of earth/land, water and air from the present
state of "chemical warfare", pollution, toxification and degradation to
a Right Relationship in which all peoples acknowledge, re-balance and
repair the disastrous destruction that has already occurred. Paganism is
a natural religion which finds spiritual values in reason, nature, and
the direct experience of the Gods. Pagans are individualists, and have
no central holy book, prophet or church authority. They draw insight and
inspiration from nature, tradition, the arts, science and personal
experience. Their church organizations are usually loose federations of
autonomous local congregations, structured in a way similar to
To Pagans, every religion is seen as having its own valuable
perspective on the nature of Deity and humankind's relationship to it.
There is no "One True Faith": rather, Pagans feel that religious
diversity is necessary in a world of diverse societies and individuals.
Because of this belief, Pagan groups do not actively recruit or
proselytize: there is an assumption that people who can benefit from the
Pagan way will "find their way home" when the time is right. Despite
this lack of evangelistic zeal, many congregations are quite willing to
talk with interested people, and even make efforts to inform their
communities about the beliefs and practices of Paganism.
Most Pagans view nature as a manifestation of Deity. The male
divinity revered without the female divinity is, at best, only half of
the whole. Both sexes exist in nature. As nature is a manifestation of
divinity, then divinity is manifested in both male and female forms.
Therein lies Paganism - centered around reverence of the Goddess and the
God as aspects of the universal spirit - both halves creating the whole.
Paganism is a religion founded upon the diety of nature and the
balancing energies or non-physical manifestations of the Universal
Some Pagan traditions recognize the duality of nature as The Goddess and
the God, who are the primal female and male forces. They are two equal
but opposite aspects of the Universal Spirit. Some Pagan rituals
celebrate this duality. Contained within the God and the Goddess are all
the deities that ever existed. The Goddess is: maiden, mother, crone;
she is all-women, all fertility; she is seen in the moon, waters, love
and life. The God is: male force; grain in the fields; the Sun; fire;
passion and life. Pagans often cultivate personal relationships with the
God and Goddess. Their deities are not cold or distant - they are real -
as real as rain, trees, people and the Earth.
Pagan traditions are varied and usually linked to a specific culture
or country. Each tradition possesses its own qualitative set of rituals,
laws and magickal rites. The tradition's information is collected into
its "Book of Shadows or Tradition," its key to the tradition.