When is a pagan NOT a Pagan?

The title of this entry may seem a little odd because people use the two terms interchangeably. But this is allowing inaccuracy to creep into our writing if we are not careful. In my blog, I have already spoken about the fact that Pagan does not equal Celtic or Wiccan UNLESS you are Celtic Pagan or Wiccan. Yesterday, I spoke about the fact that Hellenic pagans do not have a “Halloween” festival in the religious sense like other Pagan faiths. That is because I use the CAPITAL letter to denote ‘denomination’ and the lower-case to denote ‘religion’. Under this usage an Asatru is pagan but not Pagan. The same applies to followers of Hellenismos.

This can be confusing to some people which is why I prefer the terms Hellenismos and Hellenic Polytheism to the term ‘Hellenic Pagan’. Using that kind of terminology is more accurate even if it does not “reclaim” the word ‘Pagan’ the way that some members of our overlapping pagan communities would like. Working on the Delphic Maxims the way that I did recently has reinforced my desire for accuracy in my writing. I do not want to confuse people by accident when I write. It is part of the responsibility we each have one to another. It is part of the responsibility that those of us who are parents have towards our children. If we are to teach them our ways of life and worship, don’t we need to be accurate?

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