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Sign up for free. It draws inspirations from historical Druids , the priest caste of the ancient pagan Celts. Neo-Druidry dates to the earliest forms of modern paganism: the Ancient Order of Druids founded in had many aspects of freemasonry , and has practiced rituals at Stonehenge since Since the s and '70s, paganism and the then emergent counterculture , New Age , and hippie movements experienced a degree of cross-pollination.
Most pagans are not committed to a single defined tradition, but understand paganism as encompassing a wide range of non-institutionalized spirituality, as promoted by the Church of All Worlds , the Feri Tradition and other movements.
Notably, Wicca in the United States since the s has largely moved away from its Gardnerian roots and diversified into eclectic variants.
Paganism generally emphasizes the sanctity of the Earth and Nature. Pagans often feel a duty to protect the Earth through activism , and support causes such as rain forest protection, organic farming , permaculture , and animal rights.
Some pagans are influenced by Animist traditions of the indigenous Native Americans and Africans and other indigenous or shamanic traditions.
Eco-paganism and Eco-magic, which are offshoots of direct action environmental groups, strongly emphasize fairy imagery and a belief in the possibility of intercession by the fae fairies, pixies , gnomes , elves , and other spirits of nature and the Otherworlds.
Some Unitarian Universalists are eclectic pagans. Unitarian Universalists look for spiritual inspiration in a wide variety of religious beliefs.
The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans , or CUUPs, encourages its chapters to "use practices familiar to members who attend for worship services but not to follow only one tradition of paganism".
In , the Czech esotericist Franz Sättler founded the pagan religion Adonism , devoted to the ancient Greek god Adonis , whom Sättler equated with the Christian Satan, and which purported that the end of the world would come in Adonism largely died out in the s, but remained an influence on the German occult scene.
Pagan-specializing religious scholar Christine Hoff Kraemer wrote, "Pagans tend to be relatively accepting of same-sex relationships , BDSM , polyamory , transgender , and other expressions of gender and sexuality that are marginalized by mainstream society.
And a way to connect with all kinds of people—gay, bi, straight, celibate, transgender—in a way that is hard to do in the greater society.
Transgender existence and acceptability is especially controversial in many neopagan sects. One of the most notable of these is Dianic Wicca.
This female-only , radical feminist variant of Wicca allows cisgender lesbians but not transgender women. This is due to Dianic belief in gender essentialism ; according to founder Zsuzsanna Budapest , "you have to have sometimes [sic] in your life a womb, and ovaries and [mensturate] and not die".
This belief and the way it is expressed is often denounced as transphobia and trans-exclusionary radical feminism.
Trans exclusion can also be found in Alexandrian Wicca , whose founder views trans individuals as melancholy people who should seek other beliefs due to the Alexandrian focus on heterosexual reproduction and duality.
In contrast to the eclectic traditions, Polytheistic Reconstructionists practice culturally specific ethnic traditions based on folklore, songs and prayers, as well as reconstructions from the historical record.
Wicca is the largest form of modern Paganism,  as well as the best-known  and most extensively studied.
Religious studies scholar Graham Harvey noted that the poem " Charge of the Goddess " remains central to the liturgy of most Wiccan groups.
Originally written by Wiccan High Priestess Doreen Valiente in the mids, the poem allows Wiccans to gain wisdom and experience deity in "the ordinary things in life".
Historian Ronald Hutton identified a wide variety of different sources that influenced Wicca's development, including ceremonial magic , folk magic , Romanticist literature, Freemasonry , and the historical theories of English archaeologist Margaret Murray.
He claimed to have been initiated by the New Forest coven in , and that the religion that he discovered was a modern remnant of the old Witch-Cult described in Murray's works, which originated in the pre-Christian paganism of Europe.
Other forms loosely based on Gardner's teachings are Faery Wicca , Kemetic Wicca , Judeo-Paganism or jewitchery, and Dianic Wicca or feminist Wicca, which emphasizes the divine feminine, often creating women-only or lesbian-only groups.
In the s, Wiccan beliefs and practices were used as a partial basis for a number of U. Vattisen Yaly could be categorised as a peculiar form of Tengrism , a related revivalist movement of Central Asian traditional religion, however it differs significantly from it: the Chuvash being a heavily Fennicised and Slavified ethnicity they were also never fully Islamised , contrarywise to most of other Turks , and having had exchanges also with other Indo-European ethnicities,  their religion shows many similarities with Finnic and Slavic Paganisms; moreover, the revival of "Vattisen Yaly" in recent decades has occurred following Neopagan patterns.
Today the followers of the Chuvash Traditional Religion are called "the true Chuvash". Establishing precise figures on Paganism is difficult.
Due to the secrecy and fear of persecution still prevalent among Pagans, limited numbers are willing to openly be counted. The decentralised nature of Paganism and sheer number of solitary practitioners further complicates matters.
Neopagan and other folk religion movements have gained a significant [ citation needed ] following on the eastern fringes of Europe, especially in the Caucasus and the Volga region.
The Mari native religion in fact has a continuous existence, but has co-existed with Orthodox Christianity for centuries, and experienced a renewal after the fall of the Soviet Union.
A sociological survey conducted in found that about 15 percent of the population of Mari El consider themselves adherents of the Mari native religion.
Since Mari make up just 45 percent of the republic's population of ,, this figure means that probably more than a third claim to follow the old religion.
Mari fled here from forced Christianization in the 17th to 19th centuries. 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.
This estimate accounted for multiple membership overlaps as well as the number of adherents represented by each attendee of a pagan gathering.
Hutton estimated that there are , neopagan adherents in the United Kingdom , roughly equivalent to the national Hindu community. A smaller number is suggested by the results of the Census , in which a question about religious affiliation was asked for the first time.
Respondents were able to write in an affiliation not covered by the checklist of common religions, and a total of 42, people from England, Scotland and Wales declared themselves to be Pagans by this method.
These figures were not released as a matter of course by the Office for National Statistics , but were released after an application by the Pagan Federation of Scotland.
It is also fewer than the adherents of Jediism , whose campaign made them the fourth largest religion after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
The UK Census figures did not allow an accurate breakdown of traditions within the Pagan heading, as a campaign by the Pagan Federation before the census encouraged Wiccans, Heathens, Druids and others all to use the same write-in term 'Pagan' in order to maximise the numbers reported.
The census however made it possible to describe oneself as Pagan-Wiccan, Pagan-Druid and so on. The figures for England and Wales showed 80, describing themselves as Pagan or some subgroup thereof.
The largest subgroup was Wicca, with 11, adherents. In about seven people per 10, UK respondents were pagan; in the number based on the England and Wales population was Census figures in Ireland do not provide a breakdown of religions outside of the major Christian denominations and other major world religions.
A total of 22, people stated Other Religion in the census; and a rough estimate is that there were 2,—3, practicing pagans in Ireland in Numerous pagan groups — primarily Wiccan and Druidic — exist in Ireland though none is officially recognised by the Government.
Irish Paganism is often strongly concerned with issues of place and language. Canada does not provide extremely detailed records of religious adherence.
Its statistics service only collects limited religious information each decade. At the census , there were a recorded 21 Pagans in Canada.
The United States government does not directly collect religious information. As a result such information is provided by religious institutions and other third-party statistical organisations.
According to Helen A. In the Australian census , 32 respondents identified as Pagan. The Australian Bureau of Statistics classifies Paganism as an affiliation under which several sub-classifications may optionally be specified.
This includes animism , nature religion , Druidism , pantheism , and Witchcraft. As a result, fairly detailed breakdowns of Pagan respondents are available.
In , there were at least 6 1. Based upon her study of the pagan community in the United States, the sociologist Margot Adler noted that it is rare for Pagan groups to proselytize in order to gain new converts to their faiths.
Instead, she argued that "in most cases", converts first become interested in the movement through "word of mouth, a discussion between friends, a lecture, a book, an article or a Web site".
She went on to put forward the idea that this typically confirmed "some original, private experience, so that the most common experience of those who have named themselves pagan is something like 'I finally found a group that has the same religious perceptions I always had ' ".
When she eventually came across the Wiccan religion many years later, she then found that it confirmed her earlier childhood experiences, and that "I never converted in the accepted sense.
I simply accepted, reaffirmed, and extended a very old experience. Folklorist Sabina Magliocco supported this idea, noting that a great many of those Californian Pagans whom she interviewed claimed that they had been greatly interested in mythology and folklore as children, imagining a world of "enchanted nature and magical transformations, filled with lords and ladies, witches and wizards, and humble but often wise peasants".
Magliocco noted that it was this world that pagans "strive to re-create in some measure". Many pagans in North America encounter the movement through their involvement in other hobbies; particularly popular with U.
Other manners in which many North American pagans have got involved with the movement are through political or ecological activism, such as "vegetarian groups, health food stores" or feminist university courses.
Adler went on to note that from those she interviewed and surveyed in the U. Based upon her work in the United States, Adler found that the pagan movement was "very diverse" in its class and ethnic background.
The sociologist Regina Oboler examined the role of gender in the U. Pagan community, arguing that although the movement had been constant in its support for the equality of men and women ever since its foundation, there was still an essentialist view of gender engrained within it, with female deities being accorded traditional western feminine traits and male deities being similarly accorded what western society saw as masculine traits.
An issue of academic debate has been regarding the connection between the New Age movement and contemporary Paganism, or Neo-Paganism. Religious studies scholar Sarah Pike asserted that there was a "significant overlap" between the two religious movements,  while Aidan A.
Kelly stated that Paganism "parallels the New Age movement in some ways, differs sharply from it in others, and overlaps it in some minor ways".
Many Pagans have sought to distance themselves from the New Age movement, even using "New Age" as an insult within their community, while conversely many involved in the New Age have expressed criticism of Paganism for emphasizing the material world over the spiritual.
Because of their common links to the Proto-Indo-European culture, many adherents of modern Paganism have come to regard Hinduism as a spiritual relative.
Some modern Pagan literature prominently features comparative religion involving European and Indian traditions.
The European Congress of Ethnic Religions has made efforts to establish mutual support with Hindu groups, as has the Lithuanian Romuva movement.
In India, a prominent figure who made similar efforts was the Hindu revivalist Ram Swarup , who pointed out parallels between Hinduism and European and Arabic paganism.
Swarup reached out to modern Pagans in the West. He also had an influence on Western converts to Hinduism, notably David Frawley and Koenraad Elst , who both have described Hinduism as a form of paganism.
In the Islamic World , Pagans are not considered people of the book , so they are not protected under islamic religious law.
Strmiska writes that "in Pagan magazines, websites, and Internet discussion venues, Christianity is frequently denounced as an antinatural, antifemale, sexually and culturally repressive, guilt-ridden, and authoritarian religion that has fostered intolerance, hypocrisy, and persecution throughout the world.
Some Christian authors have published books criticizing modern Paganism,  while other Christian critics have equated Paganism with Satanism , which is often portrayed as such in mainstream entertainment industry.
In areas such as the U. Bible Belt , where conservative Christian dominance is strong, Pagans have faced continued religious persecution.
The earliest academic studies of contemporary Paganism were published in the late s and s by scholars like Margot Adler , Marcello Truzzi and Tanya Luhrmann , although it would not be until the s that the actual multidisciplinary academic field of Pagan studies properly developed, pioneered by academics such as Graham Harvey and Chas S.
Increasing academic interest in Paganism has been attributed to the new religious movement's increasing public visibility, as it began interacting with the interfaith movement and holding large public celebrations at sites like Stonehenge.
The first international academic conference on the subject of Pagan studies was held at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne , North-East England in The relationship between Pagan studies scholars and some practising Pagans has at times been strained.
The Australian academic and practising Pagan Caroline Jane Tully argues that many Pagans can react negatively to new scholarship regarding historical pre-Christian societies, believing that it is a threat to the structure of their beliefs and to their "sense of identity".
She furthermore argues that some of those dissatisfied Pagans lashed out against academics as a result, particularly on the Internet.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Demographics of Paganism. For other uses, see Neo-Pagan disambiguation. New religious movements influenced by, or derived from, various historical beliefs of pre-modern peoples.
In the first case, there is a deeply felt need to connect with the past as a source of spiritual strength and wisdom; in the second case, there is the idealistic hope that a spirituality of nature can be gleaned from ancient sources and shared with all humanity.
See also: Gaia hypothesis , Naturalistic pantheism , and Secular paganism. Thus, with only a few possible exceptions, today's Pagans cannot claim to be continuing religious traditions handed down in an unbroken line from ancient times to the present.
They are modern people with a great reverence for the spirituality of the past, making a new religion — a modern Paganism — from the remnants of the past, which they interpret, adapt, and modify according to modern ways of thinking.
Main article: Earth religion. See also: List of Neo-Pagan festivals and events. See also: Contemporary Witchcraft.
Great God! To say it another way, modern Paganism is one of the happy stepchildren of modern multiculturalism and social pluralism.
Further information: List of Neopagan movements. Main article: Goddess movement. Main article: Heathenry new religious movement.
Main article: Druidry modern. Main article: Syncretism. Further information: Environmentalism. Further information: Feminist views on transgender topics.
Main article: Polytheistic reconstructionism. Main articles: Modern witchcraft and Wicca. Main article: Semitic neopaganism.
Main article: Vattisen Yaly. Further information: Neopaganism in the United States. See also: Paganism in Australia.
See also: Religious discrimination against Neopagans. Main article: Pagan studies. Alternative Concepts of God. Oxford University Press. Paganism, as I use the term, refers broadly to an emerging spiritual movement comprised of overlapping forms of spirituality referred to by many names e.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 December The Guardian. Women's Writings. Archived from the original on 17 October Retrieved 5 September Retrieved 6 November Archived from the original on 17 June Retrieved 18 June Retrieved 1 May Transcendence Works!
Retrieved 15 June Roz Kaveney". Lady Geek Girl and Friends. Rowman Altamira. Chuvash Culture Portal.
Lviv, Ukraine. This figure compares to 1. Saint Petersburg Times, Christians Go Home! Archived 22 September at Archive-It.
Journal of Contemporary Religion Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. Symonds , Renaissance in Italy , , iv. Gnosis Fall 20— BBC Homepage.
Michael Introduction to new and alternative religions in America. Westport, Conn. Retrieved 18 October Accessed 12 December The Vancouver Sun.
Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved 14 March United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 January Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Retrieved 13 March Australia Facebook Public Event. For example, Pagan Wiccan would be classified as and Pagan Celtic would be Pagan alone would be classified as Retrieved 26 May Adler, Margot .
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