The term paganism has a ridiculously simple origin. Earlier in the Scripture, the nations were designated by the words of pagans or heathens. Gradually the second term became obsolete, instead of it people began to use the now familiar “people”. The pagans remained so themselves that in isolation from the second word gave reasons for misinterpretation.
As a result, the Gentiles began to be perceived as worshipers of a certain faith, “paganism”. But it’s just about ordinary ancient people. Even the Slavic faith is called pagan. It’s good, if by such a word one understands only a stage in development, before the adoption of the world religion.
But it happens that the Gentile is considered a dangerous person, who is lost in his faith, almost a Satanist. As a result, a myth about paganism was born, woven from pieces of truthful information. Having considered the main errors in detail, you can get to the bottom of the truth. Paganism – a simple and understandable topic, there is nothing to talk about.
In fact, the conversation about paganism is not simple and therefore interesting. After all, this phenomenon is very heterogeneous, literally woven from many different directions. In addition, every pagan makes his own picture of the world independently, attaching there a detail for the detail. Such study never stops, so paganism must be perceived as a process, and not as a phenomenon. One can even say that there are as many varieties of paganism as the Gentiles themselves. Believe that it is not worth talking about the subject, it is possible only if you know everything about it, or do not know anything about it. Agree, the first case is much rarer than the second.
Paganism as an integral concept does not exist, since it is about individual perceptions.
On the one hand, paganism does not really have a single center or leader, like the Pope of the Catholics, and there is no universally recognized code of sacred texts, like the Bible or the Koran. However, such polymorphism can be perceived not as weakness, but as flexibility and strength. After all, for any even the most difficult question of a volatile world, one of the currents of paganism will certainly find a worthy answer. Unified ideological currents with an unshakable structure are good for periods of stability that have remained in the past. And for a polymorphic world, there is nothing better than a polymorphic ideology.
The most important thing is that behind individual perceptions of paganism one can consider its integrity, because all directions form a conceptual unity. Someone believes in Perun, developing his features, and for someone the ideal is the image of Veles. There are people who understand paganism as a necessity to live among wild nature and to create everything with their own hands. There are also people who are trying to understand the advanced nature of this faith. After all, it is not only in primitive thinking and veneration of the old Gods, but also in understanding the principles of the universe and the place of man in it. Such views can be useful both in the modern city, and even in the space station. After all, all pagans are united by a careful attitude to the heritage of their ancestors, understanding of continuity and the desire to continue the work of their ancestors.
Although paganism has various manifestations, one common ideal can be traced: the harmony of the world is free and of duty. People really learn to live and accept the external conditions, to develop in them, being ready to sacrifice their own interests for the sake of the higher. That is why one should not be surprised at the diversity of pagan trends – everyone chooses how to realize their way to the ideal. In other words, the principle described above casts a shadow on every heathen.
Paganism is a rejection of the possibilities of a developed civilization, rolling in the Stone Age and its values.
Some conservative and ecological areas of paganism are indeed wary of progress. But this view can be understood – society is ruining nature and the planet.But these people advocate the preservation of ecology, even in the modern form, and the return of a person to a tested and time-tested way of life. In general, paganism does not deny the achievements of science, on the contrary, this system of values may prove to be ideal for the cosmic future of mankind.
Do not think that conservatives among pagans dominate. But their point of view is important, because in the path of progress it will be possible to assess possible difficulties. Yes, and being a supporter of progress, we can not help but deny that many of its achievements we use are extremely inefficient. What is better for a schoolboy – to kill your time at the computer or to live the old fashioned way in a hut in the fresh air? In modern paganism rather strong positions of progressors. They understand that once the construction of a wooden house together with iron forging were high technology. If the Vikings lived to this day, they would go on their trips on powerful submarines.
Pagan-reenactors try to recreate those samples of ancient material culture, and progressives accept reality. They are trying in the modern world to grow in themselves the spirit and philosophy of life that was present in our old ancestors. In this way we pay our predecessors, continuing the baton they started. It is worth mentioning the fact that there are a lot of experts in paganism who, due to their profession, move science forward. These are programmers, physicists, and engineers.
Paganism – this is stupidity, who in our time worships Perun and falls prostrate before the wooden idols?
The modern pagans themselves will not argue with part of this statement. The worship of Perun is really stupid, but no less stupid than the worship of pop-idols and show business stars, movies. Pagans have a common view that their gods should not be worshiped, but simply honor them. And strong, brave gods would be unpleasant for the kind of people who are degrading for them. After all, we are their continuation, students, not slaves. Pagans see in each of their gods not a tyranny, which must be asked and fell before him prostrate, and the ancient congeners and ancestor. In this regard, the faith of the pagans is in perfect harmony with the materialistic point of view of the emergence of religions from the worship of real people who lived at certain times on the planet. So it is bad in veneration of ancestors, from which there is not even a trace in the form of graves, but the ancient culture was preserved?
The main thing for paganism is the understanding that there is no insurmountable and fundamental difference between man and gods. This faith calls not so much to fulfill the will of higher beings, as to realize oneself, cultivating those qualities that the gods possess. So if someone falls flat in front of wooden idols, then this has to do with the personal psyche of a person. There are individuals who simply need someone to worship in this way, but what does paganism have to do with it? Here it is customary to praise the gods with creativity, knowledge, friendship, love, upbringing of children and merry games.
Paganism is not necessary for the modern man, since this system of beliefs was formed in an absolutely different historical epoch.
If this were indeed so, how would the number of followers of paganism multiply? Recently, young people admired robots and cosmonauts, and today everyone is interested in elves, gnomes, mages and hobbits. Standing at the origins of such a culture, Tolkien himself did not suspect how much interest there would be in his work.
Slavic paganism is especially close to us. We all grew up on fairy tales about Baba Yaga and Sera Volka, as a result, the cultural tradition is close to us from childhood, without requiring additional interpretations or scholarly books for understanding. For the modern Russian man, the Slavic myths, in which ideas and the universe are laid, are natural. Paganism created ardent cheerful people who liked our world and existence in it. These people appreciate the beauty of nature and are ready to sing it here and now, and not to hope for happiness after death.In the images of the gods personified truly human traits, let them and brought to the stories in high tales. In the pagan world, man finds examples of how one can behave in life situations, with which the modern world is rich. In addition, there are so many gods in the pantheon of paganism that everyone can choose someone who is personally close to him.
The past century has become very significant for civilization. Humanity survived two world wars, mastered flights in the sky and in space, reached other planets. The man was dumbfounded by the surging changes, not understanding how to live in the new conditions. That is why the time has come to think about who we are and where we are going. It is worth to stop and look back at the landmarks, invented and approved by our ancestors. Let the times be different, but the methodology should be paid attention. To master the gifts of science it is worth becoming philosophers, blossoming the idea with colorful images.
Paganism is a cruel religion, which is devoid of love for man.
Paganism does not really have love, but it’s a compassionate feeling for a person just for the fact of its existence. Speaking of love, it is easy to fall into the trap, because many people understand this word in their own way. Most modern pagans are not at all devoid of love for people. But this feeling is an admiration for opportunities for self-realization, and not a pity for the unfortunate. The poor can be easily helped, according to pagan views, but one can not bathe in a state of misery, erecting suffering in virtue. This logically follows from the position of our ancestors, to whom religion helped to survive in a hostile environment. It was supposed that love should be earned, worthy of it.
The same systems that propagate love for any person, give it out as if in advance. The Gentiles initially treat all people simply benevolently, leaving directly love only to those they know well. The principle of “justice above charity” fully corresponds to the views of the Gentiles. It is not difficult to imagine a world in which any act entails just retribution. Perhaps this is not the most pleasant image, but certainly honest. But imagine a world based on one love, it will be pretty hard. After all, then you have to forgive both evil and hatred. So truly humane can be called just the system that encourages a person to develop and strive to become like gods.
Paganism – the cult of dark forces, for example, here worship the goddess of death Marena.
To discard such a statement is not necessary, we just need to clarify some points. In paganism, it is not customary to paint the world in black and white colors and divide into bad-good. There are more gods here than two, and there are none who are the personification of good or harm. In pagan myths, if they talked about the struggle of the two forces, it is not about good and evil, about preservation and change.
And each such power can serve both good and harm. Is it bad to preserve the accumulated wealth and land, knowledge and traditions? On the other hand, the forcible retention of what is no longer necessary and prevents further movement is evil. Old men are replaced by youth, instead of old trees there is a young growth. So the change can do good – the wasteland turns into a blossoming garden, we ourselves change our lives, gaining new knowledge. But you can not get carried away by this process for the sake of the idea of change – you have to give the planted tree bear fruit. There is also time for birth, and for death. This is part of the universe, which paganism pays fair attention. In this role, the forces of change perform a powerful destructive function.
It would be incorrect to say that paganism reveres deadly forces. Almost all rituals are based on the dual symbolism of birth and death, their unity is emphasized. It is quite logical that in spring and summer holidays there are more often motives of birth, and in autumn and winter – death. Observing the nature, the ancient pagans realized that every time nature comes to life after death.Such a cycle makes it clear that every death is only the beginning of a new life. Further existence is impossible without temporary death, birth is refreshing life. This is the basis for the story of a dying and resurrected god or a hero. Even in fairy tales, you can find a swallowed and rescued Little Red Riding Hood, a resurrected Sleeping Princess and animated with the help of the special water of the hero.
In ancient pagan rites, special attention was given to initiation – the transition of a person to a new status. At the same time, the symbolic death in the former status was emphasized and the birth was already in the new one. For example, with the help of veil, the bride was considered to be a stranger in the world of people, as if in a funeral shroud. To drop it – meant a new birth. Even jumping through the fire, a well-known Slavic tradition, symbolizes the death and burning of everything superfluous and old, the birth of a young and pure spirit.
Pagan rituals are real orgies.
Sexual orgies rituals are for those who are exactly such a subtext here and seeks to see. After all, you can admire the beauty of a naked ancient statue, seeing either the mastery of the creator, or the lustful object. In pagan rituals, a naked body does take a certain place. It was allowed to swim naked under the light of the moon or dance around a fire without clothes. What is important is why it is done. In any ritual it is important that the action performed change the internal state, mood. Exposure in paganism helps to feel unity with nature, to overcome those boundaries between people that are imposed by society and etiquette.
Part of our psyche has a strong connection with wildlife, feelings of freedom have been formed in us for thousands of years. This powerful unconscious component can not be ignored and suppressed. Even today, urban residents are attracted by primitive entertainment – a fire, a walk through the forest, bathing in the river. Until recently, hiking was popular among young people. So what’s wrong with giving your body a chance to completely touch nature?
Pagans become young people in search of self-assertion, over the years it will pass.
Among those who adhere to the ancient Slavic beliefs, many serious scientists, writers, and military. And adolescents looking for the meaning of life, there is in any club, no matter whether it sports or philosophical. Over time, some of these people will be eliminated, and some will master and become the pride of the club. Over time, from such youth, those same scientists and engineers who are imbued with faith will grow up.
Present, ancient paganism is lost.
What people believe today is a fiction, not confirmed by reliable sources. In fact, there are quite a few such sources left, which allowed us to consider pagan traditions as preserved, in addition to reconstructing worldviews and rituals. On the other hand, it is worth acknowledging that the Slavic paganism has far fewer monuments than the ancient Scandinavians or Greeks. But our ancestors had powerful temple complexes, comparable to Greek ones. At each settlement there were stunned wooden statues of the gods, just so our days have not been preserved. Alas, we are not Greece. There remained the work of Homer, Euripides, Hesiod, and from the ancient Slavic literature, an ordinary person can remember only about the “Lay of Igor’s Host”.
However, not everything is so bad, the death of temples and idols does not mean the destruction of tradition. There are old fairy tales that are transferred from generation to generation. In fact, experts find there a lot of interesting things. Surprisingly, Christian teachings against this faith are told in detail about paganism. Instructions of the clergy describe which rituals and beliefs the priest should fear and avoid. However, some teachings date back even to the XVIII century, which testifies to the firm roots of paganism among the people.The fact is that after the baptism of Rus and the subsequent Christianization, the Slavs acquired a complex worldview set, which is appropriate to call the dual faith. The church could not eradicate beliefs and rituals that called the Orthodox traditions. For example, the Bible does not specify the date of birth of Christ, and the church celebrates Christmas on a day very close to the pagan Kolyada, the winter Sunspot. So the holiday of Ivan Kupala was made by imposing the image of John the Baptist on the Slavic holiday – the summer Sun-spine. Ilya the prophet on the chariot merged with the thunderer Perun. Veles people revere under the name of St. Nicholas.
Another source of knowledge about ancient paganism is a comparative analysis of myths and legends of Indo-European peoples. It turns out that there are many similar stories, images and motifs in the legends, and let the names of the heroes differ. The Greek Hermes reminds Odin or Loki from the Scandinavians, Thor is like Hercules. However, behind all this one can see a single essence. Even the etymology of the names of the gods indicates a single root. Although comparative analysis can not fill specific gaps, it is possible to understand the general picture. And who said that we must adhere to the old rules? Modern paganism should be a logical continuation of the ancient models, adapted to the current realities.
For the mass reader, all information about paganism is a set of books in the genre of fantasy.
Someone who really wants to touch this topic will easily find a lot of serious literature on this topic. For example, the works of B.A. Rybakova and are called “Paganism of the ancient Slavs” and “Paganism of ancient Russia.” A lot of research on this topic from historians, linguists, religious scholars.