Here I will gather the various theories and definitions and things I post regarding theology and the occult....
Here it goes:
ATTENTION! The definitions and theories in this note are NOT necessarily shared by the whole of Pagans, Occultists etc.
What is Paganism?
Paganism is the whole of those religions, spiritual paths and faiths that are a) inspired, b) influenced, c) based on and/or d) revivals/reconstructions of old and ancient religions and systems of belief and worship of the Old World (Europe, Mediterranean lands and Mesopotamia), which are simultaneously NOT parts of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and all their "heresies" and related faiths).
Paganism is divided into: a) Paleo-Paganism, b) Meso-Paganism and c) Neo-Paganism.
Paleo-Paganism includes the ancient religions and systems that resided within the borders of the Old World (e.g. ancient greek religion, anglo-saxon/norse faiths, sumerian religion etc).
Meso-Paganism refers to the various revivals (mostly short-termed and with little numbers in followers) of the ancient religions and faiths during the Middle-Ages, hence the "meso" prefic, meaning "middle". An example of this is Georgius Gemistus Plethon, who lived during the later Byzantine times and advocated a return to the Olympian Gods. He followed a neoplatonic, archaic-esque, eclectic one could say form of the Hellenic religion.
Neo-Paganism is the term referring to the whole of those religions and belief systems baring the characteristics mentioned in the above, first definition of Paganism and which are followed AFTER the 18th century (aka in the modern times).
What is Magic?
Magic is the manipulation, use and utilization of energy (spiritual energy) in conformity with Will in order to produce a desired result/cause change/affect reality. In a manner, any action is performed in conformity with Will is Magic. The most simple of paradigms is this: you have an exam and you haven't studied well or enough. However, you keep telling yourself that you'll do well, you'll make it etc. When the exam begins you find out that as if by magic, you happen to have read exactly what the exam is about even though the possibility for that to happen is miniscule. We often call Magic as "positive/negative thinking", "energy", "mind/brain power" etc. Those that call it Magic are mostly the various Occultists.
What is the Art/Craft (of the Wise, of Witches, of Magic etc - Witchcraft)?
The Craft is the whole of methods, customs and practices that a person employs to achieve a goal through the use of Magic. Examples: divination, cleansing, blessing or cursing, healing, protection etc. The practitioners of these and many more "fields" of the Craft vary. From the grannies that cast the evil eye out of their grandchildren and put lavender under their pillows "for their wishes to come true" to the practitioners of the ceremonial, mystery religion of Wicca, the Craft is practiced amply. Of course there are differences (from slight to huge) in the way the practice is performed but this doesn't bar them from being versions of the Craft.
Personally I accept and acknowledge the existence of almost all Gods of the various religions across the globe. However, I am "limited" to the worship of a select few of them (namely the Hellenic Pantheon). I believe that the Gods are numberless or at least in such numbers that humans are unable to count and that we are familiar with a tiny portion of them. According to my beliefs, deities are energy entities with intelligence, sentience and sapience. Also, I believe they are sort of Nature's "batteries" and caretakers. That means I believe they are the energy sources for the physical and other laws as well as those that make sure everything works as it should. I follow the Hellenic Pantheon though I have also worked with some of the Egyptian Gods (in their hellenized names/forms) in the past. I also used to follow 12 Gods I "discovered" and named using words from Tolkien's
legendarium. As time passed I found out their spheres of effect as well. I don't follow them anymore as my path and worship foci shifted. Finally, my patron Goddess is the Titaness Hekate, whose presence in my
life is quite prominent since She chose me.