{short description of image} Paganism
Return to Home Page Sources for information on this page: University of Glasgow, Interfaith Chaplaincy Religion & Belief Guide 2010–11, with permission;

General Information
Pagans understand Deity to be manifest within nature and recognise Divinity as taking many forms, finding expression in Goddesses as well as Gods. Goddess worship is one of the primary characteristics of Paganism. Pagans believe that nature is sacred and that the natural cycles of birth, growth and death observed in the world around us carry profoundly spiritual meanings. Human beings are seen as part of nature, woven into the great web of life along with other animals, trees, stones, plants and everything else that is of this earth. Most Pagans believe in some form of reincarnation, viewing death as a transition within a continuing process of existence. In Paganism, spiritual truths find expression in mythopoeic and symbolic forms rather than through doctrine, and reflect a synergy of polytheistic, pantheistic and animistic understandings of the divine.

Pagan ethics emphasise the responsible exercise of personal freedom in trying to live in harmony with others, and with nature. Pagans frequently use the phrase ‘If it harms none, do what you will’ to describe this approach to life. Pagan worship seeks to honour the divine powers and to bring the participants in harmony with them, to celebrate the turning of the seasons, and to mark the transitions of human life with appropriate rites of passage. Rituals usually begin with the creation of sacred space by the marking out of a symbolic circle and the blessing of those within. They may involve meditation, chanting, music, prayer, dance, poetry and the enactment of symbolic drama, together with the sharing of food and drink.

Paganism has no buildings dedicated as places of public worship. Instead, Pagans hold their ceremonies in woods, on hilltops, along the seashore, at standing stones, in parks, gardens and private homes.

Pagans regard nature as sacred and are deeply concerned by the damage inflicted by modern, industrialised societies on the natural world. Many regard environmental activism as a religious duty. Pagans honour Deity in female as well as male forms and strongly uphold equality of the sexes. Women play a very prominent role in Pagan religion. Pagans take it for granted that different people will experience the divine in different ways, and are thus very tolerant of other life-affirming religious beliefs. Proselytising is regarded as offensive and ill-mannered.

Local Contact Details

A Pagan Moot is a local event for Pagans of all paths, where people come together to socialise and discuss relevant topics.

The Chelmsford unofficial Moot takes place in the United Bretheren pub, off Moulsham Street. on the 1st Wed of the month at 8pm. Contact smeezle@gmail.com.

Click here for The Pagan Federation website, and here for South Essex Pagans

This web site has been created and is maintained by Chelmsford Quakers