segunda-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2009


On the 22nd November 2008


Good afternoon to all presents. Today I am going to talk about Paganism as a natural religion and also its’ founding principles and convictions that distinguish and define it as a religion with a set of precepts and principles, as it always has been, even in such troubled and tragic periods as the persecution times that culminated with the Inquisition’s institution. Without those precepts and principles, that is, strong rules and convictions (in a word, beliefs) we could not have survived the burning fires of the Saint Office. But we did survive and in this New Age, in which religious freedom exists, I respectfully remember those who fought for that freedom or gave their lives for it, because not once have they never denied their beliefs under torture.
In fact, it was their solid conviction regarding the right to express freely but responsibly their beliefs that allows me to stand here today to express the founding and contemporary principles of the Old Religion – Paganism.

As Pagans and followers of the Old Religion, we see ourselves as Pantheists and Polytheists. We recognize in the Divine the superior cause of which the Creation is a consequence and to which we «re-connect[1]» through ethical and ritualistic precepts.

As Pantheists we believe that Nature is sacred and we think of it as a Manifestation of the Divine, so for us the Matter is as sacred as Spirit, because only through Matter can we be aware of a spiritual existence. That explains why consider the Matter sacred and we honour it in our rituals, being itself often the place chosen for conducting our cult and veneration ceremonies.

As Polytheists we feel that the Divine, despite being one in itself as Nature is, similarly to Nature, diverse in its manifestation. That belief allows us to admit the existence of several Gods and Goddesses that inspire our knowledge and favour a better understanding of Creation. We also believe that Creation has had its origins, as the mythologies suggest, in different but complementary «Creative Powers/Forces» emerging from a void of indistinctness known as the «Primordial Ocean» or the «Static Abyss» that contains all regardless of distinction.

Those «Creative Powers/Forces» are humanly felt and assimilated metaphorically as a manifestation of the God of the Sky and of the Goddess Mother of the Earth, or plainly as the Goddess and the God.
That is why we believe women and men have equal rights.

As a Natural Religion we stand for a deeper Harmony between Man and Nature and its’ cycles so that we can better understand its greatness, its founding reason to exist and what sustains it, as well as the role played by Mankind and by each and everyone of us, as a spiritual and physical being, in that evolutive process – Creation. This perception of an evolutionary Creation is sustained by the mythologies. That is the main reason for us to see the Old Religion as a dynamic, non-deterministic religion that assists Mankind since the beginning of a spiritual awareness as the primary cause where everything that is returns once its cycle is completed and through which Man «re-connected» by making use of magickal-religious rituals.

Besides Nature as a source of inspiration we also have myths and texts that sustain our doctrines and beliefs. Such texts and myths are a result of thousands of years of existence and they inspire our thoughts and meditation practices.
These texts are generally known as: Sumerian or Mesopotamic, Egyptian, Indo-european, Celtic, Northern, Slavic, Greek or Roman Mythologies, besides others that due to geographic boundaries are somewhat less visible in our European idiosyncrasies: Chinese, Japanese, Mayan, among others. For us, such myths represent an ancestral legacy and they provide us some insights as to how the ancestors saw and understood the spiritual world and connected themselves with the Divine, throughout the Ages in which Paganism flourished. The Pagan times also saw the rise of great civilisations present in Sumer, Egypt, Greece and Rome (the most known by the regular European citizen and that more strongly influenced our western culture which we are a part of, despite our particular traits). Such influences are still vivid today, as we may see regarding the birth of Democracy in Athens, city that gave birth to legislators such as Solon, whose principles are still a reference for today’s Paganism.

We invite you to revise some of those principles that somehow managed to be very useful today to the individual’s harmonious development, and by extension, to the community he/she happens to be a part of:

Solon’s Laws/ Principles/ Commandments[2]

1. Trust good character more than promises.
2. Do not speak falsely.
3. Do good things.
4. Do not be hasty in making friends, but do not abandon them once made.
5. Learn to obey before you command.
6. When giving advice, do not recommend what is most pleasing, but what is most useful.
7. Make reason your supreme commander.
8. Do not associate with people who do bad things.
9. Honour the Gods.
10. Have regard for your parents.

Others than Solon deserve our reverence by their thoughts and principles, namely the philosophers Socrates, Plato and his concepts regarding the Gods and the supra-sensitive world; Aristotle that postulates in his work about the Metaphysics the sacredness of Nature, stating that spirit is an integral part of matter (Pantheism).

The mythologies are the foundation of our doctrines and convictions and constitute by themselves a reference for the ritualistic precepts and magickal-religious ceremonies that we use to «re-connect» to the Divine. Even though these canon-law exist, there is not a ritualistic dogma, but only ritualistic patterns that define some expressive Traditions such as: Wicca, Druidism, Asatru (Northern Tradition), Classical, Celtic or Iberian Tradition. Those Traditions are reunited in small groups, respectively Covens, Groves, Heathen, Circles and Cuevas. There are also, paired with these more traditionalist groups, some others of a more eclectic and popular nature, turning Paganism in one religion united by its convictions but diverse in the manifestation of the same beliefs through individual or communitarian manifestations, from rituals that pervade the cults honouring local or regional Deities to the spiritual expressions of New Age movements. These differences are thought of in Paganism as a natural reflex of the diversity of Mankind that in turn reflects the multiplicity of Nature from which we are born and of which we consider ourselves as «sons/daughters», metaphorically speaking. This attitude regarding difference causes us pagans to be more tolerant and understanding towards different ethnicity, religion(s), sexuality or others, if we are respected in our beliefs and not by making of them an «expiatory goat» and a motive for persecutions, torture and burning that submitted us unto a secret religion for centuries.

Having regard for others is implicitly contained in the golden rule of Gerald Gardner, one of the references more recent of the Old Religion, as well as Doreen Valiente. Both of them were precursors of the Wiccan/Pagan movement and stood for religious freedom in the middle of the 20th century in Great Britain and consequently contributed for the recognition of Paganism as a religion.

This principle states that our individual freedom has boundaries and that those boundaries are the others. We have the responsibility for our own actions and we have to make sure that those actions are of harm none deliberately, because if they do we will have to face their consequences.

Gardner and this principle convey an old spiritual knowledge that should be consciously present in all of us and that we can synthesize in the following statement:

«All in us is recorded, as insignificant as it may seem, molding our character and originating the impulse for the next action and thus contributing for the “Being” that we are».

We should then think about the message Gardner left us:

«An it harm none, do as Thou wilt. »

With this principle of «Freedom with responsibility» I finish my lecture where I tried to present objectively the contemporary foundations and convictions of Paganism as a religion. I hope my explanation was clear to all presents and I thank your attendance and attention.

Thorg da Lusitânia

Translated in Dec 08-Jan 09 by Sara Timóteo

[1] T.N. - «Religamos» in the original. The word religion has roots in the Latin verb «religare» meaning «to re-connect» (to the Universe).
[2] T.N. - In Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 1.60. You can get an online version at:

domingo, 26 de outubro de 2008

XI Annual Conference

Saturday 22th of November 2008 at 3 p.m. on Casa de Goa Restaurant in Lisbon

After the last Conference in Alentejo, we are back in Lisbon.

Speakers include

Dr. ª Natália Nunes da Graça (UNL-Universidade Nova de Lisboa) - «The wise woman/witch on the popular imaginary: reminiscences of pagan cults»

Dr. Pedro Basto de Almeida (GIFI - Associação Portuguesa para a Investigação) - «A pagan ritual in Foz Côa; the investigators' perspective»

HP Thorg da Lusitânia - «Paganism: a natural religion»

HPs Isobel Andrade - «Iberic paganism: from the past to the present»

Presentation of speakers by Ana Lúcia Fonseca

Tickets - €9 on the door

On the Conference day, the national broadcast public service (RTP2) will show, at 11.30 a. m, the program «Recantos», a documentary that concerns the Politheist Pilgrimage to Endovellico that took place last July in Alandroal, Alentejo.


For further information please contact us: