Difference Between Pagan and Pilgrim

Over the centuries, many people have developed their own beliefs and religions. Pagans and pilgrims are two such groups of people. Both of these groups have different beliefs and worship different gods with different traditions and rituals. 

Pagan vs Pilgrim 

The main difference between a pagan and a pilgrim is that a pagan believes and worships the old gods and goddesses, earth and nature, and has no travels associated with it, whereas a pilgrim is a person who believes in gods related to a specific religion and they go on pilgrimages. 

Pagan vs Pilgrim

A pagan is a person who worships nature, the ground, and ancient gods. Christians and Jews use the term to refer to people who don’t believe in their religion. It’s also sometimes used as a pejorative phrase. Pagan ceremonies center on natural cycles like seasonal changes along with rites of passage like birth, death, etc. 

A pilgrim is someone who embarks on a long journey, usually for religious or moral reasons, and particularly to a faraway location. They were English colonists who arrived in America in 1620 and formed the Plymouth Colony. A pilgrim is a person who undertakes a journey for religious reasons. Because they were being treated badly for what they believed, the Pilgrims left England. 

Comparison Table Between Pagan and Pilgrim 

Parameters of Comparison Pagan Pilgrim 
Beliefs Believes and worships the old gods, earth, and nature. Believes in religion-specific gods. 
Travels They have no travel. They go on pilgrimages. 
Different Categories Pantheism, Polytheism, and Shamanism Cultural pilgrimage and religious pilgrimage. 
Religion Meaning It refers to a person who doesn’t believe in religion. It refers to a person who is extremely devoted to religion. 
Religion It is usually used by Christians and jews while referring to people outside of their own religions. It can be used in all religions. 

What is Pagan? 

A pagan is a term used to describe someone who worships nature, the ground, and ancient gods. Many people believe Wiccans and certain aboriginal tribesmen to be pagans. 

Pagan is a phrase used by Christians and Jews to describe someone who does not believe in their religion’s traditions or Gods. As a result, terminology like pantheism, polytheism, and shamanism have evolved over time to describe various sorts of pagans and their beliefs. 

Nature is sacred to Pagans, and the natural cycles of birth, growth, and death that we see in the world around us have immense spiritual importance. Humans, like other creatures, trees, rocks, plants, and everything else in the world, are considered natural. 

The term “pagan” is derived from the Late Latin word “pagus,” which was used at the end of the Roman Empire to denote people who did not practice Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, according to Merriam-Webster. Polytheists were a term used by early Christians to describe non-Christians who worshipped multiple gods. 

Paganism refers to a set of ideas and practices centered on a love of nature and the revival of historic polytheistic and animistic religious traditions. Pagan traditions are centered on rituals. 

Although some modern forms of Paganism have roots in nineteenth-century European nationalism, most contemporary Pagan groups have their immediate organizational roots in the 1960s and place a strong emphasis on archetypal psychology and spiritual interest in nature. 

What is Pilgrim? 

A pilgrim is someone who firmly believes in a specific religion and travels for spiritual reasons. Pilgrimage is a term used to describe a spiritual journey to a location considered sacred by a particular faith. 

A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler on a pilgrimage to a holy site who has traveled from afar. This is usually a physical journey (typically on foot) to a place of special significance to a religious belief system’s adherent. 

The Pilgrims were the founders of Plymouth Colony in 1620, according to American history. After Jamestown, Plymouth was the second English colony in North America. They were afterward referred to as the Old Comers or the Forefathers by colonists. Until the 1800s, they were known as the Pilgrims. 

They left England because they were treated badly for what they believed in and their traditions. So, after leaving, they moved to America. 

The pilgrims had a difficult time in their first year, and more than half of them died. The Pilgrims were supported by the Native Americans who already lived in the area, and in the fall of 1621, they celebrated their first good harvest. Thanksgiving is an American holiday that commemorates the first harvest. 

Main Differences Between Pagan and Pilgrim 

  1. Pagan is used to refer to people who believe in and worship ancient gods and goddesses, earth, and nature. On the other hand, the term Pilgrim is used to refer to people who believe in gods associated with specific religions. 
  2. Pagans have no associated travels whatsoever, whereas pilgrims tend to go on certain travels known as pilgrimages. 
  3. The different categories of Paganism are Pantheism, Polytheism, and Shamanism, etc. The different categories of Pilgrims and pilgrimages are cultural pilgrimage, religious pilgrimage, etc. 
  4. According to the meaning associated with religion, pagan is used to referring to a person who doesn’t believe in that religion. On the other hand, the pilgrim is used to refer to a person who is extremely devoted to the religion. 
  5. Christians and Jews use the term Pagan to refer to people with different religions than their own particular religions, whereas the pilgrim can be used by all of the religions. 

Conclusion 

Pagan can be used to refer to people who believe in older gods, nature, and the earth, whereas pilgrim is used to referring to people who believe in gods with specific religions. 

Pagan is a phrase used by Christians and Jews to describe someone who does not believe in their religion’s traditions or Gods. 

Pilgrim is also a term used to refer to English settlers who established the Plymouth Colony and traveled to America on a ship known as Mayflower.

References 

  1. https://academic.oup.com/socrel/article-abstract/63/4/475/1662633 
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1749-8171.2011.00282.x 
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