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Encyclopedia > Neopaganism

Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions.[1] Often these are Indo-European in origin, but with a growing component inspired by other religions indigenous to Europe, as well as other parts of the world. As the name implies, these religions are Pagan in nature, though their exact relationship to older forms of Paganism is the source of much contention. A new religious movement or NRM is a religious, ethical, or spiritual grouping of fairly recent origin which is not part of an established religion and has not yet become recognised as a standard denomination, church, or religious body. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as the Christ. ... For a discussion of Jews as an ethnicity or ethnic group see the article on Jew. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The existence of similarities among the gods and religious practices of the Indo-European peoples suggests that whatever population they actually formed had some form of polytheistic religion. ... World map showing Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is one of the seven continents of the Earth. ... Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning a country dweller or civilian) is a term which, from a western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions. ...


Neopagan beliefs and practices are extremely diverse, and the term itself is rather amorphous. Some Neopagans practice a syncretic melding of various religious practices, folk customs, shamanism and ritual techniques deriving from an extremely wide array of disparate sources, while Reconstructionists attempt to remain historically authentic to varying degrees. Other Neopagans practice a spirituality that is entirely modern in origin. Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... Folklore is the body of verbal expressive culture, including tales, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs current among a particular population, comprising the oral tradition of that culture, subculture, or group. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... Polytheistic Reconstructionism, often simply called Reconstructionism, is the practice of re-establishing and practicing ancient religions in the modern world. ...

Contents

Etymology

The word Pagan comes from the Latin (paganus, literally country dweller), originally meaning rustic or from the country. As the cities converted to Christianity, the rural folk held onto their old beliefs longer. Always pejorative, pagan was applied to polytheistic religions to indicate they were nothing more than the rural superstitions of the uneducated farmers. Neopaganism may be defined as a "post-Christian" new religious movement, and is pronouncedly a modern phenomenon with its roots in early 19th century Romanticism. Other Neopagans stress a connectedness or lineage with older forms of Paganism in terms of an alleged "underground" continuity or tradition but such claims often display fakelore as opposed to outright reconstruction or cultural continuation. [citation needed] This article is becoming very long. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as the Christ. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a religious, ethical, or spiritual grouping of fairly recent origin which is not part of an established religion and has not yet become recognised as a standard denomination, church, or religious body. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Fakelore is inauthentic, manufactured folklore which is created in the hope that it will be accepted as genuine and/or legitimate. ...


Usage of the term Neopagan

The term Neopagan is used by academics and adherents alike to denote Pagan traditions which are largely modern in origin, or which are conceived as reconstructions of ancient practices. One reason why the word "Pagan" is insufficient in modern usage is that a common definition of the word "pagan" is any "unsaved" (in the Christian sense) or "irreligious" person. This usage of "pagan" would include quite a few atheists. Therefore, to illustrate that modern theist Pagans belong to a separate and distinct theist family of religions, not associated with atheists, we have "Neopagans", "Neopaganism", and the convention of capitalizing "Pagan" when it refers to a theist religion. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Shortcut: WP:CU Marking articles for cleanup This page is undergoing a transition to an easier-to-maintain format. ... This Manual of Style has the simple purpose of making things easy to read by following a consistent format — it is a style guide. ... Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning a country dweller or civilian) is a term which, from a western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions. ...


The term "Neopagan/ism" also provides a means of distinguishing between historical Pagans of ancient times and the modern religious movements. The family of religions known as "Neopaganism" includes Wicca, Non-Wiccan Religious Witchcraft, Neo-druid faiths, and others.


Among "Reconstructionists" - modern groups who strive to practice an ancient Pagan faith in an historically correct manner, such as Hellenic Polytheism - some self-identify as Pagan and others do not. In general, most avoid the term "Neopagan", and some prefer to also avoid "Pagan", preferring terms like "polytheist". Some Reconstructionists do not identify as part of the Neopagan community, even though most agree that, in a technical sense, their traditions are "Neopagan" - as even historically accurate reconstructions are being practiced by modern people in a contemporary context. Some debate revolves around whether or not one uses "Neo" to describe the faith itself as new (as in "Wicca is a new/modern faith based on ancient Pagan Gods") or if one is describing oneself as a new/modern adherent of an ancient Pagan faith (as in Reconstructionism). [citations needed] Polytheistic Reconstructionism, often simply called Reconstructionism, is the practice of re-establishing and practicing ancient religions in the modern world. ... Hellenic polytheism is any polytheistic religion honoring the gods of the ancient Greek pantheon. ...


History

During Christianization, Christianity absorbed some pagan elements, but it was not until the High Middle Ages that scholarly interest in the cultures and religions of Classical Antiquity began to thrive. Thomas Aquinas attempted to fuse concepts of Graeco-Roman philosophy and cosmology with Christianity. With the Renaissance, Graeco-Roman mythology became omnipresent in Europe, but it was still clad in a Christian interpretation. Neopaganism proper begins only with 19th century Romanticism, and the surge of interest in Germanic paganism with the Viking revival in the British Isles and Scandinavia. Neo-Druidism was established in the United Kingdom by Iolo Morganwg from 1792, and is considered by some to be the first Neopagan revival. [citation needed] St Francis Xavier converting the Paravas: a 19th-century image of the docile heathen Ansgar, the 9th century apostle of the North in an 1830 drawing. ... The cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, a significant architectural contribution of the High Middle Ages. ... Scholastic redirects here. ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ... Greco-Roman refers to the culture of Ancient Greece and Classical Rome and reflects the essential unity of the Mediterranean world at the time when those cultures flourished, between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD. Categories: Historical stubs | Ancient Rome | Ancient Greece ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ... Classical mythology usually refers to the religious legends and practices of classical antiquity: Greek mythology; Roman mythology; Greek religion; and Roman religion. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Germanic paganism refers to the religion and mythology of the Germanic nations preceding Christianization, including Norse, Anglo-Saxon mythology, information obtained from archaeological finds and remnants of pre-Christian beliefs in the folklore of medieval and modern Germanic peoples. ... Early modern publications dealing with what we now call Viking culture appeared in the 16th century, e. ... Location of the British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe consisting of Great Britain, Ireland, and a number of smaller surrounding islands and islets. ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe. ... A group of British druids, congregating to celebrate the summer solstice at stonehenge. ... Iolo Morganwg (or Morgannwg in modern spelling; pronounced ) was the bardic name of Edward Williams (Llancarfan, Glamorgan, Wales 1747-1826), an influential antiquarian, poet, collector and literary forger. ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


These trends of pagan revival reached Germany in the late 19th century Völkisch movement, which was to become one of the main roots of 20th century Neopaganism. The late 19th century also saw a renewal of interest in various forms of Western occultism, particularly in England. During this period several occult societies were formed such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis. Several prominent writers and artists were involved in these organizations, including William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne, Arthur Edward Waite, and Aleister Crowley. These groups attempted to syncretize the "exotic" pre-Christian beliefs of the Druids and Egyptians into their belief system, although not necessarily for purely religious purposes. Along with these early occult organizations, there were other social phenomena such as the interest in mediumship, and an interest in magic and other supernatural beliefs which were at an all time high in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The völkisch movement is the German interpretation of the Populist movement, with a romantic focus on folklore and the organic. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... For other uses of this term, see occult (disambiguation). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, in Egyptian costume, performs a ritual of Isis (not a Rite of the Golden Dawn). ... Lamen of Ordo Templi Orientis Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) (Order of the Temple of the East, or the Order of Oriental Templars) is an international fraternal and religious organization. ... W.B. Yeats in Dublin on 24 January 1908. ... Maud Gonne MacBride (21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress, best remembered for her turbulent relationship with William Butler Yeats. ... Arthur Edward Waite in the early 1880s Arthur Edward Waite (October 2, 1857 - May 19, 1942) was an occultist and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. ... Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947; the surname is pronounced // i. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Channelling (mediumistic). ... The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse Magic and sorcery are the influencing of events, objects, people and physical phenomena by mystical or paranormal means. ...


Some evidence suggests that returning colonials and missionaries brought ideas from native traditions home to the United Kingdom. In particular the anthropologist Sir James George Frazer's The Golden Bough (1900) was influential. Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854 - May 7, 1941), a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. ... The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). ...


The word "Neo pagan" first appears in an essay by F. Hugh O'Donnell, Irish MP in the British House of Commons, written in 1904. [citation needed] O'Donnell, writing about the theater of W. B. Yeats and Maud Gonne, criticized their work as an attempt to "marry Madame Blavatsky with Cuchulainn". Yeats and Gonne, he claimed, openly worked to create a reconstructionist Celtic religion which incorporated Gaelic legend with magic. A 1907 engraving of Yeats. ... Maud Gonne MacBride (21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress, best remembered for her turbulent relationship with William Butler Yeats. ... Helena Blavatsky Helena Petrovna Hahn (also Hélène) (July 31, 1831 (O.S.) (August 12, 1831 (N.S.)) - May 8, 1891 London, England), better known as Helena Blavatsky or Madame Blavatsky was the founder of Theosophy. ... Young Cúchulainn, 1912 illustration by Stephen Reid. ...


In the 1920s Margaret Murray theorized that a witchcraft religion existed underground and in secret, and had survived through the witchcraft prosecutions by ecclesiastic and state courts. Most historians reject Murray's theory, as it was partially based on the similarities of the accounts given by those accused of witchcraft and such similarity is thought to actually derive from the standard set of questions laid out in witch-hunting manuals that were used by interrogators (Hutton, 2001). The 1920s was a decade sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... This article or section seems not to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry. ... As a Christian ecclesiastical term, Catholic - from the Greek adjective , meaning general or universal[2] - is described in the Oxford Dictionary as follows: ~Church, (originally) whole body of Christians; ~, belonging to or in accord with (a) this, (b) the church before separation into Greek or Eastern and Latin or Western...


In the 1940s Gerald Gardner claimed to have been initiated into a New Forest coven led by a woman named "Old Dorothy", whom some surmise was actually a woman named Dorothy Clutterbuck - an ex-colonial woman returned from India. Gardner had already written about Malay native customs and wrote books about witchcraft. Gardnerian Wicca is used to refer to the traditions of Neopaganism that adhere closely to Gardner's teachings, differentiating it from similar traditions, such as Alexandrian Wicca. The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ... The cover of Witchcraft Today, in which Gardner made the disputed claim to have encountered religious witchcraft survivals in England. ... For other uses, see New Forest (disambiguation). ... Dorothy Clutterbuck (January 19, 1880–January 12, 1951), also known as Old Dorothy, was a well-to-do woman who lived near Christchurch, England, whom Gerald Gardner claimed had initiated him into witchcraft. ... Witchcraft, in various historical, religious and mythological contexts, is the use of certain kinds of alleged supernatural or magical powers. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Alexandrian Wicca is a tradition of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, founded by Alex Sanders (also known as King of the Witches) who, with his wife Maxine Sanders, established the tradition in the 1960s. ...


The 1960s and 1970s saw a resurgence in Neo-druidism as well as the rise of Germanic Neopaganism and Ásatrú in the USA and in Iceland. The 1980s and 1990s saw, on the one had, an increasing interest in serious academic research and Reconstructionist Pagan traditions, and on the other, the popularization of a sort of mainstream, New Age, dumbed-down and media-friendly "Wicca Lite".[citation needed] In the 2000s, the community is incredibly large, diverse, and (given some of the above differences) sometimes polarized. The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... A group of British druids, congregating to celebrate the summer solstice at stonehenge. ... It has been suggested that Heathenry be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Germanic neopaganism. ... The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Polytheistic Reconstructionism, often simply called Reconstructionism, is the practice of re-establishing and practicing ancient religions in the modern world. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ...


Historical sources

Many Neopagans and Neopagan traditions attempt to incorporate historical religions and mythologies into their beliefs and practices, often emphasizing the hoary age of their sources. Thus, Wicca in particular is sometimes referred to by its proponents as the "Old Religion", a term popularized by Margaret Murray in the 1920s, while Germanic Neopaganism is referred to as Forn Sed or "the Old Way". Such emphasis on the antiquity of religious tradition is not exclusive to Neopaganism, and is found in many other religions. For example the terms Purana, Sanatana Dharma, and the emphasis on the antiquity of the Ancient Egyptian sources of the Hellenistic Mystery religions. Antiquity of source suggests authenticity and authority to many believers, be they Christian, Jewish, or any faith. It has been suggested that Heathenry be merged into this article or section. ... Forn Sed is a revival of Norwegian and Swedish pre-Christian religion. ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... This article is about the Hindu religion; for other meanings of the word, see Hindu (disambiguation). ... Khafres Pyramid (4th dynasty) and Great Sphinx of Giza (c. ... The Hellenistic period of Greek history was the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the Greek peninsula and islands by Rome in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which... This does not cite its references or sources. ...


Some claims of continuity between Neopaganism and older forms of Paganism have been shown to be spurious, or outright false, as in the case of Iolo Morganwg's Druid's Prayer. Wiccan beliefs of an ancient monotheistic Goddess were inspired by Marija Gimbutas's description of Neolithic Europe. The factual historical validity of her theories have been disputed by many scholars, including historian Ronald Hutton. Many Neopagans[name a specific person/group] now cautiously cite their predecessors as local folk healers or small religious groups, and a plurality of ancient "Goddess traditions", among others. The Druids Prayer (Welsh: Gweddir Derwydd) or Gorsedd Prayer (Gweddir Orsedd) is a prayer composed by Iolo Morganwg which is still a staple in the ritual of both gorseddau and Neo-Druidism. ... Statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of the agriculture A goddess is a female deity, in contrast with a male deity known as a god. Many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both the conventional genders and in some cases... Marija Gimbutas by Kerbstone 52, at the back of Newgrange, Co. ... Map showing the Neolithic expansions from the 7th to the 5th millennium BC Europe in ca. ... Ronald Hutton is Professor of History at the University of Bristol and is an occasional commentator on British television and radio on the history of paganism in the British Isles. ...


While Neopagans draw from old religious traditions, they also adapt them. The mythologies of the ancient traditions are not generally considered to be literally factual by Neopagans, in the sense that the Bible and other Abrahamic texts are often thought of by their followers. Many Neopagans[name a specific person/group] are resistant to the concept of scripture. The word Bible refers to the canonical collections of sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity. ... Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ...


The mythological sources of Neopaganism are varied, including Celtic, Norse, Greek, Roman, Sumerian, Egyptian and others. Some groups focus solely on one tradition, while others draw from several. For example, Doreen Valiente's text The Charge of the Goddess used materials from The Gospel of Aradia by Charles Leland (1901), as well as material from Aleister Crowley's writings. // The word mythology (Greek: μυθολογία, from μυθος mythos, a story or legend, and λογος logos, an account or speech) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use supernatural events or characters to explain the nature of the universe and humanity. ... Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, apparently the religion of the Iron Age Celts. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... Chaldean mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian mythologies, although Chaldea did not comprehend the whole territory inhabited by those peoples. ... Doreen Valiente (1922 - 1999) was a co-creator of Wicca, together with Gerald Gardner. ... The Charge of the Goddess is a traditional inspirational text sometimes used in Neopaganism and Wicca. ...


Some Neopagans[name a specific person/group] also draw inspiration from modern traditions, including Christianity, Buddhism and others. Since many Neopagan beliefs do not require exclusivity, some Neopagans practice other faiths in parallel or dual trad. This article is becoming very long. ... Buddhism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, a philosophy, and a life-enhancing system of psychology. ...


Since many Neopagans[name a specific person/group] take a rather undogmatic religious stance, and sometimes see no one as having authority to deem a source "apocryphal", Neopaganism has been notably prone to fakelore, especially in recent years, as information and misinformation alike have been spread on the Internet and in published mediums. Many reconstructionist sects like those who practice Theodism or Gaelic Traditionalism take a dogmatic religious approach, and only recognize certain historical texts and sources as being relevant to their belief system, intentionally eschewing "foreignisms", and having a general disdain for the eclectic mentality. But even with this stated aim, some of these latter groups have also had their share of fakelore and spurious origin myths propagated on the Internet.[citations needed] Fakelore is inauthentic, manufactured folklore which is created in the hope that it will be accepted as genuine and/or legitimate. ... Theodism, or Þéodisc Geléafa (tribal belief) is a North American variant of Germanic Neopaganism which seeks to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of several historic Northern European tribes. ... Gaelic Traditionalism is a culturally specific movement which emphasizes the Folk religion, culture and beliefs of the ethnic Gaels in Ireland and Scotland and especially in the Irish and Scots Gaelic diasporas. ... Fakelore is inauthentic, manufactured folklore which is created in the hope that it will be accepted as genuine and/or legitimate. ...


Ecological and mystical currents

Neopaganism generally emphasizes the sanctity of Earth and Nature. Some Neopagans are influenced by Animist traditions of the indigenous Native Americans and Africans. Neopagans often feel a duty to protect the Earth through activism, and support causes such as rainforest protection, Organic farming, permaculture, animal rights, etc. Many Neopagans refer to themselves as following Nature-based spirituality, and this ethic links neopagan spiritual practitioners with indigenous, shamanic, and traditions that supposedly pre-date agricultural civilizations. Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ... Animism is the belief in personalized, supernatural beings (or souls) that often inhabit ordinary animals and objects, governing their existence. ... Native American mythology includes a number of stories and legends that are mythological. ... It has been suggested that African Traditional Religion be merged into this article or section. ... Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions setting minimum normal annual rainfall between 1750 mm and 2000 mm. ... Organic farming is a way of farming that avoids the use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and usually subscribes to the principles of sustainable agriculture. ... Permaculture Mandala summarising the ethics and principles of permaculture design. ... The logo of the Great Ape Project, which is campaigning for a Declaration on Great Apes. ...


Concepts of the divine

Most Neopagan traditions are polytheistic, but the interpretation of the concept of deity varies widely, including monist, pantheist, dualist, deist, animist, henotheist, psychological and mystical variations and interpretations. Polytheism multiple gods or deities. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Pantheism (Greek: pan = all and Theos = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... It has been suggested that Combative dualism be merged into this article or section. ... Deism is a religious philosophy and movement that became prominent in England, France, and the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries. ... Animism is the belief in personalized, supernatural beings (or souls) that often inhabit ordinary animals and objects, governing their existence. ... Henotheism (Greek heis theos one god) is a term coined by Max Müller, to mean devotion to a single God while accepting the existence of other gods. ... Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Mysticism from the Greek μυστικός (mystikos) an initiate (of the Eleusinian Mysteries, μυστήρια (mysteria) meaning initiation[1]) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is an...


Hutton states that the historical Pagans did not see "All Goddesses as one Goddess; all Gods as one God", but some types of modern Neopagans believe that there is but a single divinity or life force of the universe, which is immanent in the world. The various manifestations and archetypes of this divinity are not viewed as wholly separate, but as different aspects of the divine which are ineffable. Divinity has a number of related uses in the field of religious belief and study. ... Immanence is a religious and philosophical concept. ...


In Wicca, (especially Dianic Wicca) the concept of an Earth or Mother Goddess similar to the Greek Gaia is emphasized. Male counterparts are also evoked, such as the Green Man and the Horned God (who is loosely based on the Celtic Cernunnos.) These duo-theistic philosophies tend to emphasise the God and Goddess' (or Lord and Lady's) genders as being analogous to a concept similar to that of yin and yang in ancient Chinese philosophy; ie, two complementary opposites. Many Oriental philosophies explicitly equate weakness with femininity and strength with masculinity;[citation needed] this is not the prevailing attitude in Neopaganism and Wicca.[citation needed] A common claim in Neopaganism is that "a religion without a Goddess is halfway to atheism"[citation needed] , which can partially explain the attitude which sometimes manifests as the veneration of women. Other Neopagans reject the concept of binary gender roles. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of the agriculture A goddess is a female deity, in contrast with a male deity known as a god. Many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both the conventional genders and in some cases... Gaia (pronounced // or //) (land or earth, from the Greek ; variant spelling Gaea—see also Ge from ) is a Greek goddess personifying the Earth. ... The Green Man is a symbol of uncertain origin and meaning, commonly employed as a decorative architectural device in the British Isles and many parts of continental Europe. ... The Pashupati-like figure on the Gundestrup cauldron The Horned God is a modern syncretic term, invented to link together numerous male nature gods out of such widely-dispersed and historically unconnected mythologies as the Celtic Cernunnos, the Welsh Caerwiden, the English Herne the Hunter, the Hindu Pashupati, the Greek... Depiction of Cernunnos from the Pilier des nautes, Paris Cernunnos in Celtic polytheism is the deified spirit of horned male animals, especially of stags, a nature god associated with produce and fertility. ... The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. ... Taijitu, the traditional symbol representing the forces of Yin and Yang The concepts of Yin and Yang originate in ancient Chinese philosophy and metaphysics, which describes two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe. ... Yin Yang symbol and Ba gua paved in a clearing outside of Nanning City, Guangxi province, China. ... The concept of the Sacred Feminine is rooted in the idea that all life flows through those bodies in nature that are feminine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Historical paganism, particularly in the Mediterranean, tended to regard beliefs as valid as long as they conformed to the traditions and customs, or cultural patrimony of the people. As Christian eschatology became a rising force, pagan thinkers such as Celsus and the Roman Emperor Julian wrote arguments against Christian claims and in defense of the traditional religions which give us insight into their contrasting beliefs. The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... Celsus (Greek: ) was a 2nd century Greek philosopher and opponent of Christianity. ... ...


Worship and ritual

Many Neopagan traditions include occult or "magical" elements in their beliefs and practices. Wicca in particular emphasizes the role of witchcraft and ritual. Other Neopagan traditions may include a belief in the supernatural, but place much less emphasis on the working of magic. For other uses of this term, see occult (disambiguation). ... Witchcraft, in various historical, religious and mythological contexts, is the use of certain kinds of alleged supernatural or magical powers. ...


Most Neopagan religions celebrate the cycles and seasons of nature through a festival calendar that honors these changes. The timing of festivals, and the rites celebrated, may vary from climate to climate, and will also vary (sometimes widely) depending upon which particular Neopagan religion the adherent subscribes to.


Number of adherents

Adherents.com estimates that there are one million Neopagans in the world today. It is necessary to clearly define which groups are included in any estimate, using the term "Neopagan" or "Pagan". There is a distinct difference between Western Paganism and Neopaganism (which are technically or outright New Religious Movements), and the ethnic and indigenous beliefs of peoples across the world. Thus, if one used the Abrahamic definition of "pagan" to describe these peoples who do not subscribe to an Abrahamic belief, the numbers of "Pagans" and "Neopagans" would increase by millions. Adherents. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a religious, ethical, or spiritual grouping of fairly recent origin which is not part of an established religion and has not yet become recognised as a standard denomination, church, or religious body. ...


Most Neopagans do not have distinct temples, usually holding rituals in private homes or sacred groves and other outdoor locations. Many adherents keep their faith secret for fear of repercussions. Many also practice their faith as "Solitaries" (short for "solitary practitioners"), and work within no fixed spiritual community. Temple of Hephaestus, an ancient Greek Doric temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation). ... This article may contain original research or unverified claims. ...


A study by Ronald Hutton compared a number of different sources (including membership lists of major UK organizations, attendance at major events, subscriptions to magazines, etc.) and used standard models for extrapolating likely numbers. This estimate accounted for multiple membership overlaps as well as the number of adherents represented by each attendee of a Neopagan gathering. Hutton estimated that there are 250,000 Neopagan adherents in the United Kingdom, roughly equivalent to the national Hindu community (Hutton, 2001). Ronald Hutton is Professor of History at the University of Bristol and is an occasional commentator on British television and radio on the history of paganism in the British Isles. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


In the United States, the ARIS 2001 study based on a poll conducted by The Graduate Center at The City University of New York found that an estimated 140,000 people self-identified as pagans; 134,000 self-identified as Wiccans; and 33,000 self-identified as Druids. This would bring the total of groups largely accepted under the modern popular western definition of Neopagan to 307,000. Other groups measured in the report, such as Native Americans, New Agers and a significant portion of Unitarian Universalists, could be categorized under this definition, but many of these adherents would not consider themselves pagan nor would the mainstream pagan communities accept them as such.


The Covenant of the Goddess conducted a poll of U.S. and Canadian Neopagans in 1999 that estimated the population in those countries at 768,400. This would seem to support the view that there are at least one million adherents, worldwide. This poll was not scientific and represents a self selected subset of all Neopagans, but it does provide some interesting insights that confirm what many Neopagans have observed anecdotally. Some other statistics from this poll are: 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...

  • 65% of respondents were between 26 and 39 years of age (Neopaganism appears to be particularly popular among young people)
  • 86% were registered to vote, a figure much higher than the national average
  • There were nearly three times as many women as men (71%)
  • 13% have served in the Armed Forces, and Neopagan women served at a higher rate than the general population - 32% of Neopagans who reported having been in the Armed Forces were female

Forms

The main distinction between the branches is between Reconstructionism (the attempt to base a modern approach to Paganism on a particular historical culture) and syncretic or eclectic approaches that may be inspired by various historical influences but synthesize them into a personalized spirituality. There are many forms of Neopaganism, most of which are identified according to the pantheon they worship or named after the founder or cultural foundations of the religion. Polytheistic Reconstructionism, often simply called Reconstructionism, is the practice of re-establishing and practicing ancient religions in the modern world. ... Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... Eclecticism is an approach to thought that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions or conclusions, but instead draws upon multiple theories to gain complementary insights into phenomena, or applies only certain theories in particular cases. ...


Various sects exist amongst the different types of Neopaganism. Among Reconstructionists, there are a number of subsets of the various cultural religions, such as Hellenismos or Religio Romana in Romanic Reconstructionism, Ásatrú or Odinic Rite in Germanic Paganism, and Pàganachd or Senistrognata in Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism. Prominent Wiccan traditions include Gardnerian and Alexandrian "British Traditional" Wicca, and variations such as Dianic Wicca. A sect is generally a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ... Hellenismos ( HellÄ“nismós), corresponding to the English word Hellenism, meant (in ancient Greek) the imitation of the Greeks. ... ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Germanic neopaganism. ... The Odinic Rite (OR) is a Germanic pagan reconstructivist society whose aims are to promote all aspects of Germanic paganism, termed Odinism after the chief god of Norse mythology, Odin. ... Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ... Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Alexandrian Wicca is a tradition of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, founded by Alex Sanders (also known as King of the Witches) who, with his wife Maxine Sanders, established the tradition in the 1960s. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Reconstructionist

Reconstructionist Neopagan groups place emphasis on scholarly historical sources combined with the surviving folklore and folk practices in their culture. They study archeology, folktales, traditional music and art forms, surviving texts and etymology to assist in the process of reconstructing indigenous forms of Paganism. Some cultures have more surviving beliefs and practices than do others, so different Reconstructionist traditions may have a more solid connection to ancient Paganism than do others. Polytheistic Reconstructionism, often simply called Reconstructionism, is the practice of re-establishing and practicing ancient religions in the modern world. ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the study of insects. ...


Baltic

Romuva is a Lithuanian Pagan tradition, while a Neopagan Latvian tradition is called Dievturiba. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Based on ancient Latvian mythology, Dievturība is a modern neopagan religion. ...


Celtic

Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is an attempt to reconstruct the polytheistic traditions of the ancient Celts, while also making them relevant to life in the modern world. CR is inspired by, and based upon participation in, the cultures of the six Celtic Nations and other areas historically inhabited by the Celts. Sources include old manuscripts, folklore and folk practices, and the many surviving tales and songs, all of which help CRs understand the historical religions and cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, Brittany and Gaul. Greek and Roman historical descriptions of the Celtic druids are also sometimes used as sources. While CRs may look to all of the Celtic cultures for inspiration, in practice CR is not pan-Celtic. Rather, different CR groups focus on a particular Celtic culture. Therefore, CR is more of an umbrella term than the name of one particular tradition. Specific CR sub-traditions include Pàganachd and Senistrognata Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ... Celtic polytheism refers to the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Celts. ... A Celtic cross. ... The Six Nations considered the heartland of the modern Celts Celtic nations are areas of Europe inhabited by members of Celtic cultures, specifically speakers of Celtic languages. ... A Celtic cross. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I... Motto: (Welsh for Wales forever) Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau Capital Cardiff Largest city Cardiff Official language(s) Welsh, English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056  Area    - Total 20,779... Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county in South West England on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar. ... Motto: Quocunque Jeceris Stabit  (Latin) Whithersoever you throw it, it will stand Anthem: Isle of Man National Anthem Capital Douglas Largest city Douglas English, Manx Government Crown Dependency (UK)   - Lord of Mann Elizabeth II  - Lieutenant Governor Paul Haddacks  - Chief Minister Donald Gelling  - First Deemster Michael Kerruish  - President of Tynwald Noel... Traditional coat of arms Modern flag (Gwenn-ha-du) Historical province of Brittany région of Bretagne, see Bretagne. ... Map of Gaul circa 58 BC Gaul (Latin: ) was the name given, in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ... Two druids, from an 1845 publication, based on a bas-relief found at Autun, France. ... Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ... Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ...


Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) and Neo-Druidism are separate but sometimes overlapping traditions. Some present-day Pagans on a druidic path attempt to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of the ancient druids. Other neo-druids have created new elements of the religion, without basis in historical reconstruction (see Neo-druidism, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, Ár nDraíocht Féin). CRs and neo-druids tend to use the word "druid" to mean very different things. Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ... A group of British druids, congregating to celebrate the summer solstice at stonehenge. ... A group of British druids, congregating to celebrate the summer solstice at stonehenge. ... The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids or OBOD is a Druidic order based in England. ... Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. ...


In CR, the historical meaning is used: "druid" is a title only earned after many years of rigorous study and vast experience, and must be conferred and confirmed by the community the druid serves. "Neo-druid" traditions use the title much more loosely, often applying it to anyone with an interest in practicing a Celtic or Indo-European religion.


Finnic

// Estonian Mythology is a complex of myths belonging to the folk heritage of Estonians. ... Finnish neopaganism is an attempt to revive old Finnish paganism, a pre-Christian religion of Finland. ... Tharapita or Taarapita or Taara is the god of war in Estonian mythology. ... Ukkos Faith was a religion founded in Finland in the beginning of 20th century. ...

Germanic

Main article: Germanic Neopaganism

Germanic Neopaganism is based on the Germanic paganism of the Norse and Anglo-Saxon cultures. Various forms and subsequent terms exist for different types of Germanic neopaganism, such as Ásatrú, Forn Sed, Heathenry, Theodism and others. It has been suggested that Heathenry be merged into this article or section. ... Germanic paganism refers to the religion and mythology of the Germanic nations preceding Christianization, including Norse, Anglo-Saxon mythology, information obtained from archaeological finds and remnants of pre-Christian beliefs in the folklore of medieval and modern Germanic peoples. ... Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who speak one of the North Germanic languages as their native language. ... The famous parade helmet found at Sutton Hoo, probably belonging to King Raedwald of East Anglia circa 625. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Germanic neopaganism. ... Forn Sed is a revival of Norwegian and Swedish pre-Christian religion. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Germanic neopaganism. ... Theodism, or Þéodisc Geléafa (tribal belief) is a North American variant of Germanic Neopaganism which seeks to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of several historic Northern European tribes. ...


The Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið was established by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson in 1972 as an officially recognized Asatru group in Iceland. The Odinic Rite, which was initiated by Else Christensen (as the Odinist Study Group) from 1969, was founded under its present name in 1980. The Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið Icelandic fellowship of Æsir faith (Ásatrú) is an Icelandic new religious movement with the purpose of reviving the pre-Christianization religion of Scandinavia. ... Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1924–1993), a native of Iceland, was a godhi, or Heathen priest. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Odinic Rite (OR) is a Germanic pagan reconstructivist society whose aims are to promote all aspects of Germanic paganism, termed Odinism after the chief god of Norse mythology, Odin. ... Else Christensen (1913–2005), affectionately referred to as the Folk Mother, was a pioneering figure in the emergence of Asatru and Odinism in the Post WWII Era. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


Greco-Roman

Main article: Hellenic polytheism

While not identical, Hellenic (Greek) religion and Roman religion would have been difficult to fully disentangle from each other, even in late antiquity, owing to the cultural exchanges and diffusion of cults and philosophies during the Roman imperial period. While some of the Hard Roman Reconstructionists, particularly those to be found in the micronation of Nova Roma would seem to view the practice with some disdain, judging from discussions on the ReligioRomana list, finding modern Pagans who combine Greek and Roman observances is not difficult. Hellenic polytheism is any polytheistic religion honoring the gods of the ancient Greek pantheon. ... Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in Ancient Greece in form of cult practices, thus the practical counterpart of Greek mythology. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... This article is becoming very long. ...


In the United States, Hellenic Polytheism (or "Hellenic Reconstructionism") is often called Hellenismos, and Roman Paganism often is known as the Religio Romana. Hellenic polytheism is any polytheistic religion honoring the gods of the ancient Greek pantheon. ... Hellenismos ( Hellēnismós), corresponding to the English word Hellenism, meant (in ancient Greek) the imitation of the Greeks. ...


Ancient Near East

Ancient Near East Paganism is the Reconstructionist approach to the Religions of the Ancient Near East. Traditions include Natib Qadish, Canaanite Paganism, and Kemetic (Egyptian) Paganism. Ancient Near East Paganism, Ancient Near East Neopaganism, Ancient Near East Reconstructionism, or Ancient Near East Reconstructed Traditions refers to polytheistic religions of the Ancient Near East from the Neolithic times through to the Iron Age and sometimes extending into Classical times. ... The Religions of the Ancient Near East were mostly polytheistic, with some early examples of emerging Henotheism (Akhenaton, early Judaism). ... Natib Qadish is also known as Canaanite Paganism, Canaanite Neopaganism, or Canaanite Reconstructionism. ...


Slavic

Most Slavic Neopagans follow customs of old Slavic religion and revere Slavic gods. Many use the Book of Veles as their sacred text. As a group these Slavic religions are known as Slavianstvo. Most Slavianstvo call themselves Heathens rather than Pagans. There is little information available in English about Slavic reconstructionists. While some Slavic Neopagan groups are Reconstructionist in a more western European sense, some [1], especially urban centered groups in Russia and Ukraine, are marked by nationalist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian far right political agitation. The Slavic peoples are the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. ... Slavic mythology and Slavic religion evolved over more than 3,000 years. ... Slavic mythology and Slavic religion evolved over more than 3,000 years. ... The Book of Veles (Veles Book, Vles book, Vlesbook, Isenbecks Planks, Велесова книга, Влес книга, Влескнига, Книга В&#1077... Slavianstvo, refers to the ancient Slavic religion as a whole. ...


Thraco-Dacian

Despite the fact that very little is known about the ancient religion of the Dacians, various attempts of resurrecting the ancient cults have been made in Romania by different groups. One of the most controversial groups is the so-called Gebeleizis Society, strongly nationalist and anti-Semitic, which promotes a mixture of Dacian religion with Asatru. Pavel Corut, a popular Romanian science fiction writer, can also be considered a promoter of Dacian paganism. Dacian kingdom during the reign of Burebista, 82 BC The Dacians (Lat. ... satr , also known as Odinism, describes a number of attempts to reconstruct the indigenous religions of Northern Europe. ... Pavel Coruţ is a Romanian writer. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...


Shamanism

Numerous Shamanism groups flourish in North America that claim to be based on Native American spirituality. Similar groups can be found in other countries such as England, Norway and Germany. The English word shaman comes from the Evenk language, but is often conflated with Native American religious concepts. Many such groups sell lessons or "ceremonies" that are not traditional teachings, and that present an inaccurate view of Native American cultures. For this reason, they have generated ill will from many Native American elders. This ill will sometimes bleeds over into negative attitudes about NeoPaganism as a whole. [2] [3] A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... The shaman is an intellectual and spiritual figure who is regarded as possessing power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, primarily that of a healer ( medicine man). The shaman provides medical care, and serves other community needs during crisis times, via supernatural means (means... The Evenk language (Evenki language) (SIL: EVN, ISO 639-2: tut) is the largest of the northern group of the Manchu-Tungus languages, a group which also includes the Even and Negidal languages. ...


Syncretic and Eclectic

It is important to make a distinction between syncretic traditions such as Santeria, Candomble, Voudou, and the like, which tend to have clearly defined histories, rituals, and hierarchies, and the more casual approach of modern eclectic pagans. Syncretism, in its most basic form, is a religious tradition that melds together two often seemingly incompatible belief systems--such as West African animism and Roman Catholic Christianity--to create a new religious tradition. Syncretic traditions are often a result of colonialism and the oppression of native belief systems. Rather than abandon their cultural heritage, conquered or enslaved people would often put new faces on their existing gods and goddesses. This was a way of ensuring the survival of the traditions while hopefully evading persecution (persecution that could easily result in beatings and/or death). For example, in the case of the Afro-Caribbean tradition of Santeria, the Orishas of the West African Yoruba people lived on behind the masks of Catholic saints. Yemaya, Goddess of the sea, Mother of the gods, was represented by the Virgin Mary. Chango, the God of fire and thunder, was represented by Saint Barbara, to whom Spanish soldiers prayed in times of war. There are other historical syncretisms that happened in a less oppressive way, such as the Scottish traditions that are a product of centuries of combined Norse and Celtic influence.[citations needed] Image File history File links Circle-question-red. ... Lukumí or Regla de Ocha, most widely known as Santeria, is a set of related religious systems that fuse Catholic beliefs with traditional Yorùbá beliefs. ... Iya Nass - Terreiro da Casa Branca Candombl is an Afro-American religion practised chiefly in Brazil but also in adjacent countries. ... The term Voodoo (Vodun in Benin; also Vodou or other phonetically equivalent spellings in Haiti; Vudu in the Dominican Republic) is applied to the branches of a West African ancestor-based religious tradition with primary roots among the Fon-Ewe peoples of West Africa, in the country now known as...  Western Africa (UN subregion)  Maghreb West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. ... Animism is the belief in personalized, supernatural beings (or souls) that often inhabit ordinary animals and objects, governing their existence. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... See colony and colonisation for examples of colonialism which do not refer to Western colonialism. ... The Yoruba (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are a large ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa. ... In Yorùbá mythology, Yemaja is a mother goddess; patron deity of women, especially pregnant women; and the Ogun river (the waters of which are said to cure infertility). ... Chango might refer to one of: Shango / Changó - thunder god in Yoruban mythology The Csángó Hungarian minority in Romania. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I...


Christianity has relied to a greater and lesser extent on syncretism as it spread throughout Europe, the Americas, and the rest of the world. Catholic saints often bore strong resemblances to local deities and folk heroes. The early Celtic church was an excellent example of syncretism at work, and it wasn't until the end of the 8th century A.D. that Rome had managed to get its half-pagan Irish child properly Christianized. In early Medieval times, a sacred flame was tended at the monastery of St. Brigid in the same area (in Kildare or in nearby Dun Ailinne) where Pagan priestesses previously kept vigil tending a flame.[2] Now the Kildare Cathedral stands on those grounds.[3] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Saint Brigid of Ireland (Bridget, Bridgit, Brigit, Bride) (451- 525) was born at Faughart near Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning a country dweller or civilian) is a term which, from a western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions. ... Roman Catholic priests in traditional clerical clothing. ...


Some more orthodox pagans critique eclectic paganism as looking at the surface rather than the deeper meaning of rituals; and of treating another culture's religious traditions without the proper amount of reverence. Members of cultural traditions sometimes refer to eclectic pagans as "fluffy bunnies," suggesting that they are lightweights and not serious about the religion. This is also a derogatory term used for those who dabble in witchcraft or paganism but are not serious about it as a spiritual path. Others see in eclectic paganism the clear desire to find meaning in deep, personal, often mystical experiences, and the desire to create communities of "seekers". Eclectic pagans make up a good portion of the Open Source Spirituality movement. Rather than viewing culture and tradition as static, some eclectic pagans frame their experience in the belief that human culture is constantly evolving, with elements of some cultures merging with others in a process of hybridity[4] Open source religions attempt to employ open source methodologies in the creation of religious belief systems. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Wicca

Main article: Wicca

Wicca is a modern religion found in many different countries, though most commonly in English-speaking areas. Wicca was first publicised in 1954 by a Gerald Gardner. Gardner claimed that the religion was a modern survival of an old witch cult, originating in the pre-Christian Paganism of Europe and existing in secret for centuries. Wicca is not a continuation or reconstruction of any known prior form of paganism, but instead a mixture of various elements of a number of often unrelated, pre-Christian forms of paganism, mixed with turn of the century romanticism and occultism, espousing views of dualism and universalism.[citations needed] The pentagram within a circle, is a symbol of faith used by many Wiccans, who often call it a pentacle. ... The pentagram within a circle, is a symbol of faith used by many Wiccans, who often call it a pentacle. ... The cover of Witchcraft Today, in which Gardner made the disputed claim to have encountered religious witchcraft survivals in England. ... Witchcraft, in various historical, religious and mythological contexts, is the use of certain kinds of alleged supernatural or magical powers. ... It has been suggested that Combative dualism be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Universality (philosophy). ...


Various form of Wicca have since evolved, or been adapted from, the form established by Gardner, which came to be called Gardnerian Wicca. These other traditions of Wicca each have specific beliefs, rituals, and practices. There is also a growing movement of Eclectic or Solitary Wiccans who adhere to the religion but do not believe a traditional initiation is necessary. This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...


The main branches of British Traditional Wicca are Gardnerian Wicca, adhering strictly to principles as laid down by Gardner, and Alexandrian Wicca, a Gardnerian offshoot. Other forms of Wicca have been created ad libidem, for example Faery Wicca, Kemetic Wicca, Judeo-Paganism or "jewitchery" and many others. Dianic Wicca, or "Feminist Wicca", emphasizes the divine feminine, often creating women-only or lesbian-only groups.[5] Alexandrian Wicca is a tradition of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, founded by Alex Sanders (also known as King of the Witches) who, with his wife Maxine Sanders, established the tradition in the 1960s. ... Faery Wicca is any type of Wiccan religion that focuses on the Fae (gnomes, elves, faeries, sprites, etc. ... The Wiccan sect called Kemetic Wicca or Egyptian Wicca is just that - the worship of the set of Egyptian gods and goddesses. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In the USA, Wicca is the largest Neopagan belief, being an extremely diverse and universalistic modern religion. Many Wiccans[name a specific person/group] endorse some precepts including a reverence for nature and active ecology, venerations of a Goddess and/or Horned God, elements of a variety of ancient mythologies, a belief in magick and sometimes the belief in reincarnation. The pentagram within a circle, is a symbol of faith used by many Wiccans, who often call it a pentacle. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Universality (philosophy). ... Statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of the agriculture A goddess is a female deity, in contrast with a male deity known as a god. Many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both the conventional genders and in some cases... The Pashupati-like figure on the Gundestrup cauldron The Horned God is a modern syncretic term, invented to link together numerous male nature gods out of such widely-dispersed and historically unconnected mythologies as the Celtic Cernunnos, the Welsh Caerwiden, the English Herne the Hunter, the Hindu Pashupati, the Greek... // The word mythology (Greek: μυθολογία, from μυθος mythos, a story or legend, and λογος logos, an account or speech) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use supernatural events or characters to explain the nature of the universe and humanity. ... This article refers to the magical system of Aleister Crowley and Thelema. ... Reincarnation, literally to be made flesh again, as a doctrine or mystical belief, holds the notion that some essential part of a living being (or in some variations, only human beings) can survive death in some form, with its integrity partly or wholly retained, to be reborn in a new...


Other

  • Eco-Paganism/Eco-Magic: Growing out of direct-action environmental movements which, in the UK in the 1990s, emerged as a reaction to major road building programmes, eco-paganism is a radical spirituality with a strong emphasis on the Fae imagery and intercession by the fae (fairies, pixies, gnomes, elves, etc). (Letcher, 2001).
  • Techno-Pagans: Rather than looking back to pre-Christian beliefs, Techno-Pagans are inspired by modern technology, especially computers and rave music. (For further details, and references, see Main article: Technopaganism).

Some Unitarian Universalists are Pagan. Unitarian Universalists look for spiritual inspiration in a wide variety of religious beliefs. The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans encourages their member chapters to "use practices familiar to members who attend for worship services but not to follow only one tradition of Paganism". [6] It has been suggested that Trooping fairies be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Trooping fairies be merged into this article or section. ... Pixies are mythical creatures of English folklore, considered to be particularly concentrated in the areas around Devon and Cornwall. ... The GNOME project is an international effort to create an easy-to-use computing platform built entirely from free software. ... A small forest elf (älva) rescuing an egg, from Solägget (1932), by Elsa Beskow An elf is a mythical creature of Germanic mythology/paganism which still survives in northern European folklore. ... Technopaganism is an umbrella term that characterizes several different beliefs and practices in neopaganism in reference to the place of technology in neopagan practice. ... Technopaganism is an umbrella term that characterizes several different beliefs and practices in neopaganism in reference to the place of technology in neopagan practice. ... The flaming chalice is the universally recognized symbol for Unitarian Universalism. ... The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) is an Independent Affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). ...


See also

Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning a country dweller or civilian) is a term which, from a western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions. ... The following is a list of religions. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ...

Complementary and contrasting theological concepts

Animism is the belief in personalized, supernatural beings (or souls) that often inhabit ordinary animals and objects, governing their existence. ... Henotheism (Greek heis theos one god) is a term coined by Max Müller, to mean devotion to a single God while accepting the existence of other gods. ... Monolatrism or monolatry is a form of theology where adherents believe in the existence of multiple deities but worship only one. ... Pantheism (Greek: pan = all and Theos = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Panentheism (Greek words: pan=all, en=in and Theos=God; all-in-God) is the view that God is immanent within all Creation or that God is the animating force behind the universe. ... Polytheism multiple gods or deities. ... Suitheism, a term coined by American occultists David Michael Cunningham and Traeonna A. R. Wagener, is the belief that oneself is a deity, without the denial of the existence of other deities. ... The flaming chalice is the universally recognized symbol for Unitarian Universalism. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Universality (philosophy). ... It has been suggested that Combative dualism be merged into this article or section. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... In theology, monotheism (in Greek μόνος = single and θεός = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... Open source religions attempt to employ open source methodologies in the creation of religious belief systems. ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.neopagan.net/PaganDefs.html Definitions at neopagan.net
  2. ^ http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/stbrigid/Monastery_of_St_brigid.html Monastery of St. Brigid, Celldara.
  3. ^ http://kildare.ie/heritage/historic-sites/kildare-cathedral.asp Modern Kildare Catherdral.
  4. ^ Kwame Anthony Appiah, 2006. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers. New York: W. W. Norton and Co.
  5. ^ Telesco, Patricia (ed). (2005) Which Witch is Which? p. 114. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books. ISBN 1564147541
  6. ^ http://www.cuups.org/content/chapters/chapter.html#how Official Website of CUUPS

Additional Sources

  • Bonewits, Isaac (2003). Rites of Worship: A Neopagan Approach. ISBN 1-59405-501-7.
  • Ronald, Hutton (2001). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. ISBN 0-19-285449-6.
  • Strmiska, Michael F. (2005). Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Seznec, Jean (1953). The Survival of the Pagan Gods: The Mythological Tradition and Its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art. ISBN 0-691-02988-1.

External links

  • CUUPS - Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
  • Thraco-Dacian Paganism
  • The Kith of Yggdrasil - UK-based Heathen website
  • Mything Links - A meta page about myths and mythology around the world
  • Isaac Bonewits' neopagan.net - A neopagan author's thoughts on the development of neopaganism, modern druidry and public perception
  • Neopagan Religious Archive - An online archive of Pagan material
  • Pagan Federation A UK-based organization promoting awareness and acceptance of Paganism in Europe and the world.
  • PaganWiki - "Striving to be the most complete pagan resource" Recently merged WikiPagan from Wikicities into article space
  • PFSA The Pagan Federation of South Africa
  • Romanismo (neopaganesimo)
  • What is Pagan Religion? - General information about modern Paganism
  • Winterscapes - Graeco-Roman and Germanic Neopagan website

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sacred Texts: Wicca and Neo-Paganism (0 words)
Neopaganism covers a wide range of belief systems which have emerged in the past 50 years, primarily in the UK, Europe, and the United States.
Based on folk-lore, traditional spiritual practices, anthropology, and a synthesis of esoteric systems, Neopaganism does not have any sacred texts of the same vintage as other religions, although unverifiable claims have been made in a couple of cases (e.g.
They shouldn't be taken as illustrative of Neopaganism, but as a warning about religious tolerance and the fragile nature of justice.
CESNUR 2001 - New Age and Paganism (Kranenborg) (4116 words)
Neopaganism is an independent current within the field of the new religiosity.
Neopaganism does, however, include movements that are working hard towards a better world, one in which mankind lives in harmony with nature.
Neopagans practice magic within the group as a whole with a view to gaining 'empowerment' and improving the situation of others.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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