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Pagan "churches" do exist and often have the same rights and protections under the law as other houses of worship. To a pagan who holds nature at the center of their spirituality, this question might sound glib.

Pagan Synonyms, Pagan Antonyms |

Try another route and ask them to describe their beliefs about the sacredness of the earth. Crazy as this might sound, it's a common trope of pagan narratives. Anyone who saw the recent horror flick "The Witch" got a gruesome reminder of that. Webster explained that this stereotype is indicative of deep seated fear and distrust people feel toward pagans. Another common stereotype is that all pagans are lusty and promiscuous. Yes, some pagans incorporate sexuality into their rituals, and some pagans are polyamorous. But many are not.

As Webster put it: "Although some traditions hold private worship sky clad naked , most wear robes and a lot of our worship is standing around in a circle and singing. If you don't know anything about paganism, then ask!

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It'll show that you're truly interested and give you an opportunity to learn about an often-misunderstood faith. This will help them feel safe to talk about their spiritual path. And their reasons might highlight what they find most meaningful about the faith. Now that we've got orgies and baby sacrifice off the table, get to know what rituals, holidays and traditions pagans actually practice.

Many but not all pagans are polytheist, meaning they honor a variety of different deities from religious traditions around the world. This question will show that you've done a bit of your homework and encourage them to share about their personal practice. Many pagans are deeply committed to civic engagement and work hard to promote religious freedom, environmental reform, women's rights and more. On top of that, answers to this question might give you insight into your local pagan community -- a perfect chance to stop by a public ritual and see for yourself what it's all about! Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.

When someone first tells you they're pagan, don't make it awkward. Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

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Do you worship the devil? Or alternately: Are you a Satanist? Are you going to turn me into a toad? Digital Zoo via Getty Images. No, but you might seem like one if you ask them this silly question. Cristian Baitg via Getty Images. Can you tell me a little about paganism?

Matt Cardy via Getty Images. How do you practice paganism? Are you a polytheist? Which goddesses or gods do you work with?

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