The Truth About Pagan Rituals And How They Are Being Used
Today, the term "Pagan" casts a very wide umbrella over many old (and new) traditions and practices.
If you look at the word "Pagan" on it's own... it very simply refers to a person that follows/worships more than one God or Goddess.
In ancient times, the word was used to describe someone who was a country dweller. (It was used as a negative term between Christians....)
Today, I consider Pagans to be Magickal practioners who use and worship nature in their rituals. They go by different rules than pure Wiccans, and all of the other religions obviously.
Of course, modern day Wicca derives it's roots from ancient Paganism...but it has changed wildly over time. To the point where Wicca strays from history completely.
Some examples of these new practices are: the specific Wiccan celebrations held on the Sabbats and Esbats, which comprise the "Wheel Of The Year"... The Wiccan Rede... and the Rule Of Three.
The more strict Pagans of today study how the ancients practiced...and track how the specific rituals and beliefs have changed over time. Their goal? To practice Paganism as closely as possible to how it began... in whatever tradition resonates with the group. (i.e. Hellenic, Celtic, Khemtic, etc...)
Hellenic Paganism is probably the most similar to Wicca in terms of the rituals themselves. These use consecrated water... bloodless offerings... etc. Both similar to modern Wiccan practices.
Strict Paganism staying true to history often incorporates animal sacrific, where inedible parts of the animal are offered to the Gods/Goddesses. This is the greatest difference between Wicca and Pagan rituals in my mind.
Traditional Pagans almost always had the option of "blood letting"... including things like "scarification", "death Magick", and "branding". While this is mostly illegal today, some fringe groups still practice these things...and of course I discourage them.
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