In Roman times the urbani were the urban folk, they lived in the cities. The pagani on the other hand were rural and village people. The urbani enjoyed the luxuries of Rome, the Roman night life, the spectacles at the Coliseum and the Roman bathhouses. The pagani enjoyed night life as well, the movement of the star through the heavens, the cycles of nature, and getting their hands dirty.
Very few of us today live on farms or even in rural communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 80.7 percent of the American population lived in urban areas in 2010. That means that a majority of us are urbani, if you base the classification based on where we live. However, I don’t think that definition is appropriate today.
One of the other factors that differentiated the urbani from the pagani in Roman times was the adoption of the new book religion. You remember, Christianity (or maybe more appropriately Paulianity). In fact the word “pagan” is now used most frequently to describe those who are outside or, who don’t ascribe to, a book religion. Thus, even if you live in an urban area, if your spiritual path takes you towards nature you are probably a pagani.
The pagani lived and worked in nature. They practiced nature-based, polytheistic religions, and celebrated the cycles of the year. While spiritual practices today are probably the best witness of whether we are urbani or pagani it is still true that they lived close to nature. Here is a little quiz to see how close you are to nature and if that closeness might be why you describe yourself as a pagani.
So, how close to the natural world are you . . .
Here are a few resources that you might enjoy:
Moon phase calendar
Sky chart (Free and printable)
Here are a few more pagani things to look forward to in August (I’ll try to remember to post September at the end of the month, remind me if I forget):
So, are you pagani or urbani? I suppose that it depends of your definition of the words. I’m an urban pagani by both spiritual path and nature practices. I happily follow the pagani path in a metropolitan area of about 250,000 people and I can’t imagine living any other way. I go for a forest walk every day, I watch the stars and night and I get up before dawn so that I can greet Father Sky (Intitayta) and Mother Earth (pachamama) every day at sunrise, and I worship in a grove of trees on Friday nights. But I also enjoy the symphony and opera.
May the goddess and god smile upon you on your path.
PS: I decided that I would probably forget to post September so here is the rest of the year:
I'm Dr. Dave, a modern druid. I lived and worked in Bolivia and Peru for over six years, where I and was trained by Andean Shamans, and today practice modern druidism and contemporary shamanism.