By Pat Regan, British Pagan author and founder of PAN (Pagan Anti-Defamation Network)
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FIRED AT ME BY A RATHER ‘CURIOUS’ JOURNALIST...
The following may be revealing and is based on a genuine questions and answers session.
1. WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO PAGANISM AND ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS SPIRITUAL PATH OVER OTHER RELIGIONS?
OK – so you wish to know then how I escaped the thrall of the contemporary death cult (i.e. Christianity).
I have always instinctively felt the divine spark of spirituality inherent in nature. A solitary walk by a beautiful river; a stroll through a woodland in spring or the overwhelming excitement of an approaching thunderstorm in late summer; all such natural phenomena made me hanker for more feelings of exhilaration that can grow from these experiences.
Many years ago such feelings made me want to discover more of the elated 'At-one -ness' with magickal nature.
As a child I often experienced dejavu. Something told me that I had been to certain 'unknown' places before I didn't just believe this; I actually knew it to be true in my heart. I also had magnificent experiences of flights over rooftops and fields, which I later found out to be occurrences of astral projection.
I discovered the secret beauty of spirit in a spider's web, a nettle patch, a shoal of sticklebacks swimming in a brook; in fact I found it throughout my early years in every aspect of the natural world that I was exposed to.
I also found out from my mother, that my grandmother and my great grandmother were very popular in their day with friends and neighbours when the subject of divination cropped up. They often read the cards, tea leaves and crystal ball, so perhaps occult interest has been instinctively passed down to me from ancestors of old. Romantic notion or not, I like to think that it's true. I had no option concerning Paganism. It was the ‘only’ way for me because it was the only one that made any sense. Alternatively, the nonsensical bleating of self-righteous vicars and priests ran past me like water and chilled my blood.
My mother was a very loosely – orientated Catholic. She would visit church like clockwork on Sundays, yet she privately thought a lot of the strict dogmatism was unnecessary. For her, like many others, church attendance was more of a social gathering (like a game of bingo at the Church Hall) than anything based on true worship.
Alternatively, my father was an old soldier who thought the Church and its hypocrisy was one huge joke. I can still recall his mischievous laughter at the comical headgear sported by the stern-faced Catholic bishops, etc. Dad was very much a countryman, a sincere naturalist. He delighted in showing me as child such things like the wonder of a robin’s nest hidden away in an old dry stone wall. This type of uncomplicated, handed-down rustic marvel stayed in my deepest dreams and shaped me towards Paganism.
Even as a child the falsity of the church was becoming obvious to me. Mum would drag me off to mass and I would actually faint each Sunday morning in the pews after glaring at the horrific crucifixion/stations of the cross images around walls. I despised the place with a vengeance. To me it represented death, misery, suffering and oppression. I was forced to attend until I became old enough (about 10 years old) to raise proper theological challenges as to ‘why’ it was that I was expected to happily visit this dwelling place for a death cult of despair each Sunday morning. To me it was just child abuse, imprisonment and repression. I failed to share the expected, hair-shirt guilt trip of being unworthily like others in that dark place. I just wanted to escape! My spirit screamed for liberation and the light of Mother Nature’s freedom, as opposed to this man-made despondency represented in the hollow faces of the weekly parish faithful!
The deliverance I felt after escaping Church was miraculous. I would go off on my bicycle and peddle some miles to the local canal, thereby revelling in the joys of nature. The birds, the fish, the trees, the wind blowing through the reeds on a cold January afternoon; all these organic things moved my spirit and unchained me from the stifling oppression I had felt within the confines of the parish walls.
Mother Nature alone held the key to spiritual insightful and no amount of ecclesiastical baloney from the local priest, about the so-called Blessed Trinity etc, would ever change that fact.
In fact one local priest often visited my mother at home. After she had given him a small glass of sherry he would habitually sit silently in front of the fireplace and before long drift into a deep, grunting sleep. It was always quite comical I recall as we would have to catch his glass before it hit the floor. I remember almost feeling remorseful for the guy as he was quite an amicable little Irish chap. I had the distinct feeling that he subconsciously seems to want to find liberation from the death cult himself! He was better than many of the other more brutal Catholic priests, some who happily compared a harsh caning across the knuckles at school with love for the Jesus figure, on regular occasions.
As I got into my teens I researched the origins of Christian beliefs and traditions and discovered that this was all reinvented Pagan material. I also discovered that the alleged historical basis of the Christ figure was nothing more than regurgitated propaganda from the religious Christian elite wanting to keep the populace in its place. I could not possibly therefore support such a fraudulent religious system that had hijacked all of its customs, rituals, holy days etc from earlier earth-orientated faiths.
The Church, this repressive death cult, had stolen everything from the native spiritual faith system of my ancestors and was now incredibly treating Paganism as the ‘Bad guy’. The truth was clearly in the opposite here! I had finally discovered THE BIG LIE that had kept so many cultures in the dark for so long!
I was eager to discover more and what I found was awesome and most revealing.
2. WHAT IN YOUR VIEW ARE THE MAIN FUNDAMENTALS OF PAGANISM?
Paganism is the world's oldest religion and is part of the prehistoric spirituality of all cultures. It stands as the MOTHER/FATHER spiritual starting point of all contemporary faiths.
Its foundation stone is the belief that everything in the world, animate and inanimate is bound together with a single life-force and therefore every person has a duty to have respect for every other person and every other thing in existence because we are all part of the greater whole. Thus Paganism promotes social harmony and is one of the few spiritual beliefs which put the planet ‘First’, being inherently ecological. Its ideals fit in well with the new ecological consciousness.
The ceremonies and festivals of Paganism are many and varied throughout the world, from the highly structured classical Greek and Roman through to the ancient dances of the American Indians to the animistic tribal ceremonies of aborigines. The one fundamental thing which underpins all these rites is the need to make oneself ‘One’ with the planet; to kind of 'come home' and atone with the Earth as a living entity, which it truly is.
Therefore, all Pagan ceremonies are linked to the cycles of the moon, sun and seasons in order to synchronise oneself with the planet. Most Pagans worshipped together in a tribal or family setting. Although original Pagan worship was public the Church-orientated religious persecutions, which occurred mainly during the 14th to 17th centuries, meant that it became prudent to worship in private. Of course trouble-making Church activists twisted this understandable Pagan precaution for privacy into an issue of mistrust, revulsion and wickedness.
Now in today's modern world where plurality can be seen as a distinct advantage and religious rights are protected within the British Human Rights Act etc secrecy is not necessary. Pagan folk can talk about their beliefs openly without fear of persecution. Nevertheless, some individuals still have to keep their beliefs secret due to intolerance from say parents, friends or even employers. The Church did such a good job throughout the ages of equating the word Pagan with evil that many still suffer due to this religious bigotry.
Paganism has been the whipping boy of society for centuries and we are still in a similar position in time to persecuted black people in parts of the USA during the 1960s. Prejudice against all occultists is sadly ingrained within our society. This antisocial discrimination is frequently misused by trouble-making Christian activists against us, as with the socially destructive Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) hoaxes in the 1990s etc.
The most alarming thing is how easily well-respected authorities like police, social workers, etc quickly fall for evangelical lies rather than listen to the facts given out freely by concerned minorities.
Fundamentally, within Paganism divinity is seen as being both male and female (or God and Goddess) orientated. This belief equates well with how our ancient ancestors perceived the life force many thousands of years ago. Alternatively, leading intolerant monotheistic cults are largely unbalanced and highly suppressive towards women, due to the initial denigration of female spirituality in favour of a ‘One god only’ doctrine!
I support freedom of expression and belief for all, but NOT at the cost of subjugation towards others.
Pat Regan © 2011
Founder of NORTH WEST UFO RESEARCH and Author of:
UFO: THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH
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