- "For one thing, the lack of common words for chemical concepts and processes, as well as the need for secrecy, led alchemists to borrow the terms and symbols of biblical and pagan mythology, astrology, kabbalah, and other mystic and esoteric fields; so that the even the plainest chemical recipe ended up reading like an abstruse magic incantation."
- —Libatius Borage, Advanced Potion-Making[src]
Paganism is a blanket term used in various different contexts to refer to groups who are defined by either their religious beliefs, or in some cases lack thereof. In keeping with this, there is no one universally accepted definition of "paganism", with it being used alternatively to refer to a wide variety of different groups.
In English of the 20th century onwards, it generally indicates non- and pre-Christian groups of worshippers, often with some connotation of a lack of culture or sophistication.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (First mentioned)