Contemporary Paganism is a modern revival of an ancient world-view. Its roots are sunk deep in the shamanistic and natural expressions of universal interconnection found in the earliest known spiritual traditions of mankind. We recognize that we are part of the greater patterns of the universe and we turn toward the practical wisdom of our ancestors to understand them.
Contemporary Pagans are soldiers and police officers, accountants and teachers, writers and artists – we are everywhere. We easily celebrate and mingle with different cultures, ages, lifestyles, beliefs, sexual orientations, income levels, and so on. We see truth as more far-reaching than national, cultural, or religious boundaries. Our spiritual paths have diverse deities, customs, symbols and myths.
We recognize and celebrate the unity of spirit between all things, and seek a numinous connection with the Divine. We see separation as an illusion for we are all one. It is this transcendence, the mystery that lies in the heart of all religions that draws so many to look for a personal path that feels genuine and alive. Contemporary Pagans see a world that continuously borders on the numinous, an awareness of a living consciousness in every object and a conscious intention behind every occurrence.
We recognize the universal aspect of the Divine as the realm of inspiration and creativity. It accessible by everyone without exception. Contemporary Pagans train and develop our skills to become conscious creators. Visualization, affirmation, reality creation, mental influence, and subconscious programming are all tools of creation. We are the creators of our own reality, the microcosm in the same way as Goddess created the entire universe or the macrocosm. As the maxim in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus states: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.” (Dennis Hauck)
Contemporary Pagans are generally opposed to proselytizing, and few come to Paganism through conversion. According to our beliefs, it is up to the individual to choose his or her own path. We do not try to manipulate others into our way of thinking, but we do try to help guide those who have already expressed an interest or educate them about our religion so that they may better understand us. We do not assume ours is the only true path or even the best path for an individual. We feel that the attempted conversion of others is a form of religious bigotry as this assumes that the other person’s beliefs are not as valid as their own.
To Neo-Pagans, a Universal God is experienced differently by each individual. We often choose venerate this Universal God using the term “Goddess” to emphasize the oft forgotten feminine aspect of the Divine, but understanding its equally important masculine aspects. We see all true spiritual paths as an individual journey of growth, change, and evolution. We honor many valid possible interpretations of spirituality, and we see diverse spiritual practices as a means to understanding their own chosen path. We find that our path can mean trying on many hats and many definitions, and recognizing that what works now may not be what always works. We feel that all paths are equally valid as long as they do not infringe upon the basic civil rights or free will of another.