These essays are pretty much stock, and I’m frankly amazed that Witchvox still publishes them. Easily two thirds of that site consists of various versions of essays defining paganism, including the more juvenile form, “This Is What Paganism Is to Me.”
Really, who doesn’t have an idea of what paganism is by the time they get to the Witches’ Voice? If they don’t, they probably aren’t too interested in what it is, preferring their own misconceptions.
But most annoyingly, these articles are vague. And they have to be, because any definition of Paganism has to be vague. Because Paganism simply isn’t cohesive or unified enough to be covered by a definition that consists of anything other than “a group of people who identify as pagan.” It is nearly impossible to create a definition for paganism based upon religious belief or practice because various pagan groups are so divergent that it is conceivable that they have little in common other than the fact that they aren’t Christian. Paganism then becomes not a religious concept, but a political one: I am part of this group because I refuse to be part of that group.
These attempts to define paganism also tend to define paganism in Christian terms and concepts. Such efforts may be useful for a Christian encountering paganism for the first time, who is looking for ways to frame pagan concepts that he can understand, but they don’t do other pagans much good. Defining paganism in terms of “faith” or even a “path” is problematic, as these concepts describe religious elements that are not necessarily primary to many forms of paganism.
And don’t even get me started on the notion that all pagan religions describe the same deities and principles understood in different cultural contexts. I have little use for that level of religious imperialism, especially if it isn’t acknowledged.
So if you have your own understanding of what it means to be a pagan, that’s great. If you have an understanding of paganism that gives you meaning and helps you order the world, fine. Me too. But those things can’t really solidly define what paganism is, because there is so much crammed under the umbrella of paganism that any definition beyond the vague and obvious (a group of non-Christians that identify as Pagan) has almost too exceptions and too little applicability to be of much use.