Pagan Membership Club

Pentagram - The Pentagram is a symbol used by many Pagans to represent their beliefs.
@myfanwy65 (1030)
United States
July 13, 2007 8:53am CST
Who gets to decide if someone is Pagan? Should it be up to anyone else to tell you if you are Pagan or not? Does it matter if you do or don't eat meat, belong to a coven, live in a large city, or do or don't have pets? What is the criteria? Should there really be any requirements? Have you ever run into people telling you that you are not a Pagan? Or have you run into people who tell you that if you are a Witch you are automatically a Wiccan?
3 people like this
7 responses
@Sushicook (691)
• Sweden
13 Jul 07
The way I see it, it's the same for every religion. You define your own standards, you decide if you are of that belief or not. If you consider yourself Pagan, and share atleast some similarities with other Pagans, then hey, you're a Pagan. Belief is a personal experience, and I for one don't care what other people say or label me as.
1 person likes this
@myfanwy65 (1030)
• United States
13 Jul 07
I agree with you. :D I think individuals decide what they are. Thanks for your response.
• United States
23 Jul 07
One of the things that attracted me to Paganism is the lack of rigid structure that is present in other mainstream religions. I eat meat, live in a big city, have a cat, and don't belong to a coven. I think what matters most is what is in your heart, you should not have to meet a long list of requirements as if Paganism is a "special club". I have run into numerous people who have told me I am not Pagan because I don't do this or that. It is ridiculous!
1 person likes this
@Galena (9123)
14 Jul 07
all the time. I've been told by wide eyed Silver Ravenwolf wannabes that I am not a proper Witch because I eat meat, I don't beleive in the Wiccan Rede and I don't beleive that there was a time when everyone was Wiccan, and it was a matriarchal utopia. and I don't beleive Wicca is even a century old. now I was born and raised in a family of Witches, who have lived and breathed it for 5 known generations (maybe longer, but no concrete evidence) but according to these younguns, I'm no Witch because their latest book says so. oh well. as far as I'm concerned, what makes you Pagan is having a spiritual beleif based on spirits of Nature and of the ancestors. what makes you a Witch is practicing Witchcraft (as opposed to having read about it and beleiving in it. the phrase "I have been a Witch for xyz, and feel like I am thinking about casting my first spell" make me roll my eyes. unless you are doing it, you are not one. like reading a book on woodwork will not make you a carpenter, no matter how well you understand the theory)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
13 Jul 07
This is a really interesting question. There are so many different types of Pagans, so many different Pagan groups, and so many stereotypes of what a Pagan should be like. I started on my Pagan path as a young child, originally taught by my great-grandmother. So I never really questioned my own status as Pagan, though later as a teenager I found myself doubting some of the newer Pagans around me who were just started to explore. I must admit that for a while I was a bit of an elitist about the whole issue, feeling that because I grew up Pagan I had some kind of status over the mass amounts of teen converts. My perspectives as an adult are a lot more balanced. =p These days I have people that it's hard for them to believe I am Pagan because my life seems fairly normal. I have a full-time job at a bank, a husband, a one-year-old. I live in an apartment, have no pets, don't belong to a coven currently (though I do belong to a Unitarian Universalist fellowship, which includes other pagans). I eat meat.... mmmm meat. What makes me Pagan? Every day, all day long, I am in connection with my Gods. Every decision I make, every step along my way, is influenced by my honor code and what I feel the Gods expect of me. That's it, that's all. I celebrate what holidays I can, considering my health, job, and family obligations. I mark celebrations in my life in ways that are Pagan. My son will learn about my religion, my husband's religion, and many world religions so that he can make his own choices. And anyone who says I'm not Pagan enough because I don't do whatever specific thing they choose to call "Pagan" can take it up with the Gods. =p
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
13 Jul 07
If you believe in many gods, you are a pagan. If you believe in one God, you are either a Christian, Jew, or a Moslem. I am a Christian. You can also be a witch and not be a Wiccan. It does not matter what categpry you are, if you believe in Zeus,Thor and Woden, worship the suns and the stars, The Great Pumpkin, the Spider god or anything except the God of the Bible, you are a pagan. The others are names for various types of paganism. A pagan is simply someone who believes that not one God is in charge, but he has to worship the god of the sky for a good flight, the god of blessings for financial rewards, and each god is given a certain category as what he can do.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
13 Jul 07
There is no wonder that there are solitary practicioners of many religions/beliefs/ways. Exclusion has been a nasty aspect of humans in general that I have not understood. Since through differences they make life interesting. Not everyone believes that. I hope you find what you look for and continue on the chosen path that you follow. I have not had any difficulty since it is only currently that openly sharing you pagan or wiccan beliefs has become mainstream and even as online groups.
@brothertuck (1257)
• United States
13 Jul 07
What is Pagan? Christians used to be Pagan. Pagans are the ones who don't follow the main religion, so are Christians still Pagans in Japan, China, India? By being of a different religion are you part of a Pagan religion or a cult? I don't know if I am Pagan or not because I am not of a nature based religion, but one that is human based. I believe in some of the Christian belief, but not all of it, I believe in some of the Wiccan relgion (and not all Wiccan's are Witches, nor Witches - necessarily Wiccan.) I believe in some of the Eastern beliefs. I also lean towards the Satanic beliefs which tell you to be responsible for what you do. Many people have beliefs that are not exactly one individual belief system, and if others don't categorize them in what they feel they are, it is the other persons problem. Christians of some strict forms feel that other Christians who don't believe the exact same way feel they are not Christian, so where does that leave them.