Stanislav Panin holds a PhD in Philosophy from Moscow State University and is a Doctoral Student of the Department of Religion at Rice University
The coronavirus pandemic has changed lives worldwide and influenced all religious communities, both large and small, but those who had important festivals during the spring were especially affected by state-regulated lockdowns. Among them were Pagan groups that celebrate a festival on May 1 often referred to as Beltane.
What is Paganism?
Scholars and believers alike do not have a universally accepted definition of Paganism. The Pagan Federation International, an ecumenical Pagan organization, defines Paganism inclusively as “a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.” The worship of nature and “this-worldly spirituality” prevail in scholarly definitions of Paganism as well. Other possible characteristics include magical practices and belief in intimate connection and interdependency between divine beings and humankind.