This year’s Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day theme is “Community Unity” Now, I understand the point the organizers are trying to make, but perhaps I should clarify for those who may be new to, or unfamiliar with the Pagan Faith.
You see, by “Unity”, what is really being discussed is the idea of Solidarity. Unity, in its most common usage, means “the state of being united or joined as a whole, especially in a political context”, whereas Solidarity means “agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; and/or mutual support within a group”. The latter clearly eschews any political motivation, as does Pagan Pride Day. Solidarity also underlines a very important point about Pagan Pride Day. We as Pagans have a common interest in showing our love of our Faith and lifestyle, although we do not necessarily practice our Faith in the same way. Much like the different denominations of Christianity, there are different denominations or Paths of Paganism. A common way of explaining this is:
That being said, with all the different Pagan Paths existent in the world today, it can be somewhat baffling for the newcomer. Even those of us who are considered Old-Tymers see new groups forming, changing dissolving and reforming, sometimes with new names, sometimes not. It is all part of the fluid and dynamic evolution of this beautiful Faith. For all their differences, Pagans as a whole tend to agree on a few crucial points:
1. NON-INTERFERRENCE. We believe people have the right to believe as they see fit, without being prosthelized. Simply stated, this is a “live and let live” attitude that has room for not only all types and expressions of Paganism, but also of any other religion.
2. DIVINE FEMININE. We believe in the existence of not only Masculine, but also Feminine Divinity. Some worship a pantheon of Goddesses and Gods, while others offer fidelity to only a pair, or to the Goddess alone.
3. SACRED EARTH. We believe the Earth in its entirety is sacred, although it is agreed that some geographic areas are more so than others.
4. MAGICK. We believe magick is as natural a phenomenon as rain or the sense of smell. Furthermore, Pagans believe that, either through initiation or through epiphany, they are able to effect change in their material environment through the use of magick. Magick includes but is not limited to spell-casting, healing, divination, telepathy, psychokinesis, astral travel and other types of psi phenomona.
5. DIVINE SPARK. We believe that within us is the Divine Spark. It is variously termed soul, spirit and/or astral body. It is through development of the Divine Spark that skill in magick is developed. The Divine Spark is eternal, and whether it is reincarnated or not, continues after death of the physical body.