Pagan Druid

by admin on May 19, 2011

Pagan Druid

Pagan Druid

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Why I am a Pagan Druid

Can someone explain the Wiccan, Pagan, Druid, and "alternate" religions to me? And the differences?

Serious question. I have a few friends who are Wiccan, but most don't talk about it with me. Maybe because I am outsider, who knows. What is the difference between a Pagan, a Wiccan, a Druid and some of the other "alternative" religions as I hear some people call them. Please let me know especially if you belong to one of these religions, as I am curious and I want a better answer than wikipedia or whatever gives. Are their ranks like their are in the standard religions? Like priests, rabbis, and such? Do you have to study to become part of any of those religions? Are there services for these religions? What's the deal with magic and these religions? Please enlighten me so I am not ignorant about these religions.

Alternate Religion is any religion outside the mainstream. In the US that's anything non-JudeoChristian. In the Middle East it's anything not "of the Book" in India it's not Muslim. It's what Alternative Music used to be, before it became a genre all it's own, but maybe that's before your time. Alternative religion seems to be going that same direction.

Pagan http://www.sacredhearth.com/Whatispagan.html

Wiccan- A religion based on the writings of one Gerald Gardner and his followers which in turn were based on beliefs about an ancient "witchcraft" cult in Europe. Officially established a little over 50 years ago. A Wiccan Coven or Circle is generally led by a High Priest or Priestess and most often by one of each. To become a High Priest or Priestess, you must go through three levels of training, each lasting at least one year, and with a year in between when you're supposed to just worship. There is a God and Goddess, and this duality is important (that's why it's important to have both a Priestess and a Priest) and provides balance. The God and Goddess have triple aspects, the Goddess the Maiden, Mother and Crone, The God is the Infant Sun at Midwinter the Triumphant King at Midsummer and the Dying King in the fall, when he presides over the harvest and the hunt. The Goddess's three aspects are associated with the moon and she is both mate and mother of the God King. The Mother is worshipped at the full moon, and the Crone at the dark moon, and the Maiden at the new moon. Usually the Goddess is most important with the God's passion going on in the background, but sometimes they are given equal footing. There are variations, of course, I can only give you info based on people I know personally, and having never been a Wiccan, I can only give you basics.

Druids believe in many Gods and Goddesses, mostly associated with natural phenomena. Every group has a tribal Goddess associated with the dominant river region (This may very by tradition, I am only familiar with the Druids I know personally, obviously) but other Gods are also important. The religion is based on a modernization of reconstructed beliefs of the ancient Celts (not necessarily a Celtic pantheon though) whose elite educated class of holy men was known and Druids. Unlike Wicca who holds 5 elements sacred, Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Spirit, Druids have three, Earth, Sky and Sea (which correspond to other worlds and states of being) and instead of the traditional Circle of the Wiccans, Druids have "portals" to the other worlds, the Well, the Tree and the Fire. Most of the holidays are the same, but rather than being associated with a cyclic drama, each holiday is usually dedicated to its own specific God or Goddess (or pair) rather than some life cycle of one or two. Druid Groves are usually led by an Arch Druid. I am not sure of the process to become an Arch Druid, but I believe there is a study program. The Grove I used to participate with (the commute was a killer, had to give it up.) Only met on the Sabbats (the two solstices, the two equinoxes and the four crossquarter days midway between them) and did not have lunar esbats.

As you can see, Druidry and Wicca are very different, only their holidays are similar. If you learn the ways of one, you will not just automatically adapt to the other. I am in an all-path group now and I still have alot of trouble when a Wiccan is leading because it confuses the hell out of me. Likewise, I get alot of strange looks when I'm leading. But we manage because we're dedicated to the all-path plan.

Many Pagan religions utilize magic as a form of active prayer to help them unite with the universe and with the divinities. Magic is often incorporated with worship much the same way that benedictions are incorporated into Christian worship. This is, however, not always the case. Many Pagans don't use magic at all, unless you count prayer, lighting candles and the occasional aromatherapy. Witchcraft is a magical style, NOT a religion. And contrary to popular belief, Wicca is a religion, NOT a magical style.

Most Pagan groups do not require study to join, but usually there is an educational element to the rituals. Pagans are a bibliophilic group and we are generally trading books, having classes and teaching each other all the time! I know in many Wiccan groups there are three training levels, but only the first is required of members. The second and third are just for those wishing to be Priests and Priestesses. Druids have a training program, at least ADF does, but that's not required for members either, though many choose to do it.

The traditional times for Pagan services are the solstices as equinoxes and crossquarter days (Called the Sabbats) and the full moon and sometimes the dark moon or new moon (Called Esbats). The all-path group I'm in plans 33-35 worship services a year (we don't always have that many because location is a problem, unfortunately, we don't have a big church organization sponsoring us, so we don't have a designated building.), though we meet for fellowship in between, dinner, the zoo, group trips to the theatre, etc. Just like any fellowship organization.

PS There is no God called Manon. He was invented by Hollywood for a movie. The closest is a Sea God called Mannanan who is a Druid God, not a Wiccan God. He helps with communications between worlds and Astral projection and ferries the dead to an island beneath the Sea where they will await reincarnation. We call upon Him at Samhain to bring our messages to our dead loved ones.

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