Paganism – Is It Evil? You Decide

By Heathclyff St. James-Deville

Wisdom is the greatest characteristic of the Pagan cultures of old but sadly, such wisdom is rarely seen today. There are those who are still wise and despite the mocking of such folk by the so-called ‘Civilized,’ the Pagan still has much to offer.

One of my most beloved Wiccans, Scott Cunningham (1956-1993) had this to say in his book, Living Wicca (1992):Living Wicca is for those who have become enchanted by the moon shining through the trees; who have begun to investigate the sublime world that lies out beyond the fabric of daily life, and who stand in smoke-shrouded circles, raising aloft their hands to greet the Goddess and the God as the candles flicker on the altar…for those who, through choice or circumstance, meet with the Silver Lady and the Horned God alone.

In the book, Wicca for One, by Raymond Buckland, another of my favourite writers on Wicca, I found a beautiful Self-Dedication Ritual; the words of which truly sum-up (at least to me) this wonderful Path:

God and Goddess; Lord and Lady. I am here a simple seeker of knowledge, a lover of life. I here dedicate myself to you and to your service. You are the ones I have chosen to serve. I do this of my own free will, with no pressure from any other. Guard me and guide me in all that I do, for all that I do is in love of you and of all life. Help me live my life with harm to none. Help me to acknowledge the depth and beauty of all life, animal, vegetable, and mineral. The animals, birds, fish, reptiles, and all living things are my brothers and sisters. The trees of the forest, the plants, flowers, herbs and all growing things are my brothers and sisters. The rocks, soil, sand, the rivers, lakes, seas, all waters of the earth, and all that is of the earth, are my brothers and sisters. Make me one with this family. Let me guard them and work for them as they all work for me. Lord and Lady, from this day forth I accept all and will ever abide by the Wiccan Rede: ‘An it harm none, do what thou wilt.’ I pledge myself to you, the gods. I will always protect you as you do me. I will defend you against those who speak ill of you. You are my life and I am yours. So Mote It Be.

The novelist, Robert Carter, writes in his book, The Giant’s Dance, [Harper Voyager 2011] a wee bit of wisdom that I believe we should all reflect upon – “It is the task of all people to make life less unfair if they can.” And this can be extended to all life. So as I see it, the Pagan Path, no matter the Tradition that one follows, can help not only our immediate world as we learn to value the life both seen and unseen, but also the numerous planes of existence that we may not even consciously know to exist.

Scott Cunningham had a sentiment that I wholeheartedly have taken on board for its truth is self-evident:

This [Wicca] can be a lonely path, because so few of us follow the Old Ways. It’s disheartening to spend your time reverencing nature and watching the Earth suffocating under tons of concrete while nobody seems to care.

Wicca: Guide for the Solitary Practitioner p.75

I shall end here by quoting from the Theosophical book, To Light A Thousand Lamps (2001) by Grace F. Knoche, who has so brilliantly written:

"Already the theme of our oneness with nature has revolutionized present-day thinking and lifestyles. Once again we are beginning to see ourselves as participants in an ecosystem of cosmic dimension. We are discovering that we, the observers, measurably affect not only the object we are observing but the entire complement of evolving entities. Best of all, we are realizing, though not sufficiently as yet, that we are one humanity, and that what you or I do to help another benefits all, striking a resonant chord in the on-going symphony that together we are composing. Though the burden of our inhumanities are indeed heavy, the universe must rejoice over the slightest movement of compassion in the soul of even a single human being."

Is this not the goal; the underlying reason as to why we must not fear the Pagan, the Heathen or the Wiccan; the Witch?

The above is based on a talk given to the Australian branch of Theosophical Society (Pasadena) as located in Melbourne, Victoria, on March 2, 2013. To read the full presentation, go to:

To contact Heathclyff, send an e-mail to: or write to P.O. Box 7064, Wattle Park, Victoria 3128 AUSTRALIA.