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How To Become Pagan By SpringWolf, D.D., Ph.D.
 
Introduction:
Neo-Paganism (Pagan Metaphysics) is the fastest growing religion in the US according to a 2001 Census survey. Many people are becoming disillusioned by mainstream religions. Between internal strife, controversies, and war in the name of "God"; a lot of people are looking for a spiritual path that is more at peace and in-tune with the natural world around them.
 
This search has turned many to New Age interests and Pagan Metaphysics. But what is Pagan Metaphysics?
 
Many beginners confuse the translation of the word pagan with it's meaning. Pagan translates to "country dweller", but that's not the definition of the word. It's just the translation from the Latin word Paganus. The translation gives us some insight to understanding the meaning, but it's not the same thing as a definition.
Pagan means any religion that does not follow the doctrines based on Abrahamic teachings. These include Judaism, Christianity and Islamic faiths. These religions share a common history, and are therefore lumped together as non-pagan.
 
Many people add Buddhism and Hinduism into that list; but it's highly inaccurate. Both of these do not share the historical Abrahamic correlation and put forth their own entirely different views of spirituality, creation and living within each of their belief systems.
 
As a label, Pagan is a huge category of religions that would include Witchcraft, Shamanism (of all kinds), Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American beliefs and so on.
 
neo-Paganism is slowly becoming known as Pagan Metaphysics because the basis of our beliefs are Metaphysical in nature. There's nothing "new" (ie: neo) about them. And people are moving away from the label "Witchcraft" because of the centuries of negative propaganda heaped on the beliefs from the early and modern Christian Church. Additionally the label "Witchcraft" was coined by those same early Church leaders who spent decades murdering and executing people who were labeled as a "witch" during the Inquisitions; what practitioners call "the Burning Times". 
Pagan Metaphysics is a religion of honor and respect of all things. Recognizing and believing that all things, seen and unseen throughout the divine universe are interconnected and are part of the greater Divine Consciousness. You are not the God, I am not the Goddess. But you and I and all things, seen and unseen make up the Divine Universal Consciousness. We are connected and interconnected; and part of all there is. 
There are many labels for Pagan Metaphysics, neo-paganism, Paganism, Witchcraft and Shamanism are the most common. There are many denominations of Pagan Metaphysics, what we call Traditions as the knowledge is seen as being passed down through generation to generation. The most widely known tradition here in America; is Wicca. But it's important to note that not all practitioners of Pagan Metaphysics are Wiccan. Think of it this way; Wicca is to Pagan Metaphysics what Baptist is to Christianity. 
 
In Italy the most common tradition is Strega, in Celtic areas it could be Celtic Shamanism or Druidism (no they weren't all Druids), there's also Alexandrian traditions, Dianic, Gardnerian, Faery traditions and a multitude of other denominations, including Family traditions. Some are older thank Wicca and some are younger. As with any religion that grows and evolves over time, Pagan Metaphysics grows into new forms of practice all the time. Another way to think of this is to remember that the religion Pagan Metaphysics sets the foundation of belief and the traditions put those beliefs into practice and sometimes further define or clarify the faith.

This is no different than non-pagan faiths. The Catholic Church was THE church of Christianity at one time. But as the practice of the faith grew, so did additional interpretations of the practice. Lutherians came into practice, Protestant, Methodist and Baptist. And the Christian religion still continues to grow in practice creating new branches of the larger system of faith.
 
If you have an interest in this spiritual path, how do you get started?
 
Gather Together:
A Desire to study and research.
Courage to look within yourself.
A Commitment to work and practice. 
 
Step 1:
What Do You Believe:
Whither you're interested in Pagan Metaphysics or some other spiritual path, you should have an idea of what you believe now. Putting your beliefs into writing instead of just talking about them, helps you define the connection between your beliefs, understand what you believe, and identify what you might not understand or where there are gaps and conflicts. Check the Additional Resources below for a link to a detailed description of this Assignment.
 
Step 2:
Read everything! The more you read, the more you'll be able to distinguish what is good source material from what is not. With the advent of the internet, many students of neo-Paganism have tossed up a website and claimed to be experts. There is a great deal of mis-information on the internet, so don't believe everything you find online. Most educational sites will list the resources of their work or provide a bibliography.
 
Read And Research:
Don't take one persons word or teachings as the only truth or as the only way on this or any spiritual path. No one person has all the answers for you. Only you know what rings true within your own heart and soul. The important thing is to read many views on a topic before you decide what is right for your beliefs and spiritual path.
 
Step 3:
Meditation, Energy & Action:
Practicing what you believe and research is only part of the process. Behind the rituals, holidays, pomp and circumstance are spiritual beliefs that will change your life if you adhere to your beliefs and practice. Meditation is the key to many of the practices of Pagan Metaphysics.
 
How you express yourself, think of yourself, the perceptions you hold of your life, and those around you are all important to your path. This is the energy you create and how you express it.
 
Your actions also impact your spiritual path. The positive intent of your workings, putting into practice what you believe instead of just giving it lip service. This is the act of Walking your Talk. Check the Additional Resources below for a link to a detailed description of Meditation, Energy and Action.
 
For More Information:
ˇ Defining Your Beliefs - What do you believe right now?.
ˇ Meditation, Energy & Action - Walking Your TalkŠ
ˇ Frequently Asked Questions
ˇ Getting Started On Your Spiritual Path - Resources and Information
 
Additional Tips:
ˇ Learn To Meditate and set up a regular meditation schedule.
ˇ Read more than just books on Paganism. Read historical resources, and anthropological accounts.
ˇ Visit Spring on her websites: 
 
Be Careful:
ˇ Don't believe everything you read. If you find one person saying something and cannot find another legitimate resource to support the finding, then discard it and move on.
ˇ Remember that although you might be interested in Paganism, all religions have value and deserve respect. Just because you don't believe as others do, does not mean your beliefs are the right ones, or the only ones.
 
Spring's Bio:
Springwolf is an author and deeply respected teacher of Pagan Metaphysics, Spiritual Enlightenment and personal development. For over twenty-five years, she has been committed to making esoteric material comprehensible and practical for everyone. She has written many articles for magazines around the world concerning Metaphysical principles and pagan practices. And she is the author of “Pagan Metaphysics 101 – The Beginning of Enlightenment”. 
Spring holds a Doctorate of Divinity in Metaphysical Science, a Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling and is a licensed minister in the Commonwealth of Virginia. You can find her complete bio at Spring’s Haven: Vickie Carey, D.D., Ph.D. She is a member of the American Metaphysical Doctors Association (AMDA), you can visit her profile @ AMDA-US and search for Virginia or Dr. Vickie Carey, D.D., Ph.D.
 
Created: 08.21.2009       Updated: 07.03.2014
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