Those who may not be exposed to Wicca or other Pagan religions may wonder what draws people to those forms of faith, often leading them to leave Christianity or some other religion to follow Pagan belief systems. What is it that makes people choose to worship Pagan gods?
Opening Up the Spirit
This answer to these questions is complex. First, and possibly most important, it is important to remember that not everyone is Christian to start with. There are many, many people in the Pagan community—Wiccans and otherwise—who have never been Christian. Some were raised agnostic or atheist, others in Jewish families, etc. Let’s all remember that Pagans are not simply dissatisfied Christians.
The second thing that needs to be mentioned is that, for the majority of Pagans, it’s not a question of running away from something, but instead moving towards something. Those who were once Christian didn’t simply wake up one morning and say, “I hate Christianity I think I’ll go be Wiccan (or Heathen, or Druid, etc).” Instead, most of those people spent endless years knowing they needed something other than what they had. They spent time seeking and searching until they found the path on which their spirit was most content.
Now, that having been said, why do people become Pagan? Well, the answers to that are as varied as the people who are part of the Pagan community:
- Most Pagan belief systems include polarity between the masculine and feminine. Some people find that this balance is more to their liking than a patriarchal community.
- A need for acceptance. In general, Pagan groups have no restrictions or injunctions against homosexuality, bisexuality, or another gender status. Someone in the GLBT community. needing spiritual fulfillment may be drawn to Wicca or other Pagan paths because they know they’ll be accepted without any regard to who they sleep with.
- A sense that there’s something else out there. For many people, the idea of one single god seems illogical. Many people are drawn to the polytheistic aspects of Paganism.
- A need to reconnect with nature. In our fast-paced society, more and more people are becoming aware of a need to get outdoors, away from the city, and reconnect with the earth the way our ancestors did. Many Pagan belief systems, including Wicca, embrace the connection between man and nature and encourages people to find the Divine in all of nature’s creations.
- Paganism, for the most part, is pretty flexible. There is no set doctrine, no universal big book of rules, and no church hierarchy. This means that people can practice their faith any way they like.
- A need for personal empowerment. Most Pagan paths put a lot of emphasis on personal responsibility. If someone makes a mistake, they must learn to live with the results, and they can’t weasel out of things by saying it was the will of God.
Regardless of why someone has become Pagan, it’s not uncommon to hear people say that finding their spiritual path gives them a sense of “coming home,” as though it was where they were supposed to be all along. They haven’t turned their back on another faith, but simply opened their spirits to something more.
By Patti Wigington