The Modern Pagan Warrior

The Modern Pagan Warrior

What Do Those Words Mean?

Last week we established that there actually is such a thing as a pagan warrior, or at least there was. The next question is how the concept of the pagan warrior can still be relevant, for those who feel drawn to the warrior's path.


The most obvious application of the pagan warrior concept is to pagans serving in the military. While this does seem to make some people uncomfortable, there is no obvious or inevitable connection between paganism and pacifism, or between pagan religion and left-wing politics. There are conservative pagans, pagans in the military, and military pagans who are politically conservative. It should be fairly obvious why a pagan soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan might identify with the warrior path. But is there any other application of the term?

Some militant environmentalists refer to themselves as “Earth warriors” or “Earth guardians,” and some self-described Earth warriors are also pagans. Other pagan left-wing activists engaged in nonviolent resistance have also described themselves as warriors, although this raises the serious question of whether the term is being watered down to the point of meaninglessness. Can you really be a warrior if you never fight?


I would propose that one definition of a warrior could be “one who puts himself at risk to protect others from harm.” So, perhaps non-violent resistance could be included in the definition- but only if it involves clear and serious physical danger. “Warrior” is a heavy word- it should never be just a metaphor.