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Do you know what "Paganism" is, its types and characteristics?


Many times we hear about "Pagan rites" or "worship of pagan deities" which the Catholic Church and Christianity always faced.

Above all, during the Middle Ages, the Church began a bloody persecution against all those whom it considered pagan.

And it is that paganism means the practice of polytheistic religions that are not accepted by Christianity, or by other religions such as Judaism and Islam.

Its origin is Nordic and it developed especially in western and central Europe, although it later spread to other regions of the world through the Roman Empire.

So Paganism is understood as:

Set of pagans: people who worship gods who, from the perspective of one of the three monotheistic religions, that is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are considered FALSE.

What is the meaning of "pagan"?


Actually, the term pagan comes from the Latin "paganus" that wants say 'habitant of the field or village and it is due to the fact that most of the rites considered pagan were practiced in villages, by the settlers themselves who had adopted it as a tradition and popular belief.

The term "paganism" it came in fact, with the officialization of Christianity as a religion in the fourth century.

But its expansion to the most remote areas of the countryside took longer, so many continued to practice their polytheistic cults.

Paganism and adoration of their Gods

Wicca rituals of Paganism
Wicca and its pagan rituals

After the rise of Christianity in Europe, all those who were involved in acts, ceremonies or practices outside of Christianity were branded as pagans.

One of the best known examples is that of the Nordic peoples, such as the Vikings, who worshiped different pagan gods such as Odin, Thor, Loki and others.

Paganism, moreover, was related to hedonism and the pursuit of pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, as the main objective in life.

For this reason, many pagan rituals, mainly intended for fertility, included sexual practices as part of the worship of their gods.

Other common characteristics of pagan rites are:

  • Worship of spirits and ancestors
  • An aristocratic concept of the human being
  • Adoration of nature and its forces

Three types of paganism:

  • El Earth paganism: It focuses on nature and ecology.
  • Paganism of the self: It focuses on what is known as the deep self, or the development of self-help
  • Paganism of divinity: This type of paganism focuses on different forms of polytheistic devotion and worship of deities.

Pagan religions that you should know ...

We must know that even today there are religions considered pagan by the Church, although the term has fallen into disuse.

All those adherents to religions such as Celtism, Wicca or practitioners of rites of African or Asian origin, are considered pagan.

Among the most popular and practiced pagan religions of all time include:

  • Celtism: religious system that focuses on animism, polytheism and pantheism, based on a theology different from the other currents from which it descends in Neopaganism.
  • Wicca: It is a neo-pagan religion, linked to witchcraft and other ancient religions. 
  • Satanism: It focuses on veneration and admiration for Satan or other similar negative figures.
  • Odinism: It is the religion of Nature, it is conceived as a living organism, which is self-sufficient and eternal. 

Learn more about Saints and deities:

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