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Neopaganism

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Neopagan & Pagan religious traditions

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Available in Finnish at: www.iki.fi/moira/neopagan.html

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CURRENT MOON

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Quotation:

"Our Pagan community is growing and showing much bright promise. The Craft is a tough weed that will grow many strange flowers and bear strange fruits, so we must try and tolerate different ways of practicing it. Learn from what we see and if we cannot use it, let the others try, even if they eat bad fruit and go balls up!" 1

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What is "Neopaganism"?

Just as the term "Eastern religions" refers to Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc., and the term "Abrahamic religions" refers to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and perhaps the Baha'i faith, the terms "Neo-Pagan"  "Neopagan," and "Pagan" refer to a group of separate religions.

Neopagan religions are reconstructions of ancient abandoned Pagan belief systems, including Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Roman, and other traditions.

Unfortunately, references to Pagans and Paganism in the Christian Bible are universally negative, and often contain references to human sacrifice and Satan worship. These passages were partly responsible for the "burning times. These were the witchhunts and subsequent extermination of non-Christians during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.

Some of the disinformation spread at that time has survived until today. Many Christians still believe that a link exists between Paganism and Satan worship. That link has included modern-day Neopagans. But the reality is that:

Pagan's don't worship Satan

Neopagans do not worship Satan. They do not even acknowledge his existence. Their belief system often contains a pantheon of gods and goddesses. However, none of them is an all-evil deity even remotely like the Satan found in Christianity and Islam.

Over the last few decades, many Wiccans and other Neopagans have come out of the [broom] closet; some have even held public rituals. The result is that the misinformation and fear of Neopagans has largely evaporated. They are being accepted as simply another spiritual path within the diversity of North American beliefs.

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Neopagan topics covered in this section:

bulletAbout Neopaganism:
bulletOverview of Neopaganism
bulletMeanings of the word "Paganism"
bulletDescriptions of Neopagan traditions
 
bulletVarious Neopagan traditions:
bulletAsatru (Norse Paganism) *
bulletDruidism
bulletGoddess Worship
bulletWicca and Witchcraft
 
bulletOther topics:
bulletContacting other Neopagans; references
bulletAn essay for school teachers
bullet Are all Witches equal? The Harry Potter books, and public confusion about "witches" & "witchcraft"
bulletA pledge to Pagan spirituality
bulletCan a person be a both a Wiccan and a Christian?
bullet Celtic/Neopagan handfasting (marriage ritual)
bullet Resources: essay, general info., covens, links, supplies, services, etc.

* Many followers of Asatru regard themselves as "Heathens" rather than "Neopagans." They view their religion as "not just a branch of the Neopagan tree" but as a different tree entirely.

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A search of the Amazon.com data base shows the following books on Neopaganism:

If you only see a generic Amazon ad here, please click on your browser's refresh button.

A highly recommended book with over 50 personal stories by Pagans:

Laura Wildman, Ed., "Celebrating the Pagan soul," Citadel. (2005). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

Caroline Tully, one of the contributors to the book, writes:

"Gardnerian High Priestess and Cherry Hill Seminary instructor, Laura Wildman, has collected amazing stories from a diverse set of practitioners, each with their own individual perspective on what it means to be Pagan in the modern world. With over fifty contributors - including famous names like Starhawk, Macha NightMare and Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, as well as a plethora of less well-known but just as gifted writers - this book has something that will appeal to everyone. The book is divided into five sections; Earth: Community - the roots that nourish, the families we create, the coming home; Air: The learning process - teachers, mentors, students and inner guides; Fire: magical transformation - from Wow! To Oops!; Water: the seasons and the cycles of life; and Spirit: The God and Goddess in our lives. The reader can dip into the book anywhere - you need not start at the beginning - and find honest, creative, thought-provoking stories about joy, awe, triumph, failure, consternation, love, loss and sorrow, that stand out as being written by deeper-than-average thinkers. A ripe collection of wisdom-fruit from people who really live their Paganism. Highly recommended."

Reference used:

  1. An excerpt from a note by Victor Anderson in Green Egg, Volume 26, #100, 1993-Spring. See: http://www.lilithslantern.com/

Copyright © 1997 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last update: 2011-OCT-25
Written by B.A. Robinson
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