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Modern Paganism is a rich and diverse religious movement drawing the attention of the media lawmakers and spiritual seekers This oral is an attempt to answer some of the questions frequently asked about modern Pagan beliefs and practices Firstly I will start by defining the term paganism The term Pagan comes from a Latin word for country dweller and was first used in early Christian times to refer to those not yet converted to Christianity Pagan was a name give to those who were not seen as true believers Today it refers more generally to the faith of those whose spiritual centre is drawn to native and natural religions usually pantheistic or polytheistic and almost always earth-centred But what then is Modern Paganism Modern Paganism or Neo-Paganism is a modern Earth-centred religious perspective which borrows and adapts from pre-Christian paganism as well as from contemporary religious thought While reconnecting with ancient wisdom it speaks eloquently to the needs and concerns of the present The Old Religion is a term that describes the pre-Christian religion of much of western and northern Europe which was based on the agricultural cycles and other natural rhythms of the Earth It coexisted with Christianity for centuries from the so-called Dark Ages up until the Inquisition and the Burning Times of the late Middle Ages It also can refer more generally to other native and tribal religions of the world Some contemporary Pagans call themselves Witches The term has many meanings some carrying rather heavy negative baggage Witchcraft or The Craft is most properly applied to three broad categories Descendants of the European witches of the Middle Ages practitioners of the reconstructed Witchcraft of the 20th century and feminist Witches whose religion and politics centre in the contemporary womens spirituality movement It can generally be said that all modern Witches are Pagans but not all modern Pagans are Witches At least
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