Category:Working Within the Pagan and Neo-Pagan Tradition
From Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers
Neo-Paganism or Neopaganism, sometimes known as Contemporary Paganism or simply Paganism, is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various Pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe. Although they do share commonalities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are extremely diverse, and there is no set of beliefs, practices, or religious texts shared by all of them.
Contemporary Paganism has been characterized as "a synthesis of historical inspiration and present-day creativity," drawing influences from pre-Christian, folkloric, and ethnographic sources in order to fashion new religious movements. The extent to which contemporary Neo-Pagans use these sources differs; many follow a spirituality which they accept is entirely modern, whilst others attempt to reconstruct or revive indigenous or ethnic religions found in historical and folkloric sources.
Neo-Pagan movements emerged in Europe from the late 19th to the mid 20th centuries, influenced by the wider occult movement; among them were Thelema, Druidry, Gardnerian Wicca, and Adonism. With the rise of the counterculture during the 1960s, Neo-Paganism spread rapidly throughout the United States and Europe, giving rise to groups and traditions such as Neo-Shamanism, Eclectic Witchcraft, Traditional Witchcraft, the Goddess Movement, Dianic Wicca, Reclaiming, Jewish Wicca, Feri, Trolldom, Radical Faeries, Heathenry, Stregheria, Slavic Neopaganism, Canaaniste Neopaganism, Semitic Neopaganism, Feraferia, Church of All Worlds, Asatru, the 1734 Tradition, Odinism, Hedge Witchcraft, Sabbatic Craft, Neo-Gnosticism, Kitchen Witchery, and more.
As with the modern African and African-Diasporic Tradition, some sectors of Paganism and Neo-Paganism are emerging from or actively discarding the blurred and blended multi-cultural influences that they incorporated during centuries of Christian hegemony, while other sectors of Paganism and Neo-Paganism willingly accept the intermixture of Christian traditions within their practices.
Although the Neo-Pagan movement is extremely disparate in its beliefs and practices, a number of commonalities are shared within many, if not all, of them. For instance, most modern Pagan groups hold to a theology that embraces such beliefs as polytheism, animism, and pantheism, although there are groups who have instead advocated forms of Goddess-centred monotheism, the co-deism of a Horned God and a Triple Goddess, Agnosticism, or Atheism. Similarly, beliefs about an afterlife vary widely, as do conceptions on ethics and morality.
Ritual plays a prominent part in Neo-Pagan religious movements, where it is typically employed to induce an altered state of consciousness in the participants. The choice of which festivals and days of special commemoration to celebrate differs widely among Pagans, although a majority of those who are working within what is known of ancient Pagan Celtic, Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, or Germanic religious practices adhere to a set of eight seasonally-based festivals, which are collectively referred to as The Wheel of the Year.
Rootworkers who practice within the Pagan and Neo-Pagan Tradition may be initiates or adherents to a single Pagan-derived religion or may practice in two or more of the Pagan religions, with or without multi-cultural influences from Christianity or other religions. Some adherents petition their own tutelary deity or spirit on behalf of all of their clients, while others work with a variety of Pagan deities, powers, ancestors and spirits on behalf of their clients, directing their petitions and prayers to the deity or spirit who pertains most directly to the individual client's situation, condition, or needs.
Seasonal Festivals: The Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year is a system of marking eight calendar-points, derived from the Solar calendar, for special festivals and commemorative rituals within the Pagan and Neo-Pagan Tradition (Read More ...)
Germanic and Nordic Deities
Druid, Wicca, and Feri Deities
The netjeru, or pantheon of Kemetic deities, are those honored in the North African religion of ancient Egypt and in 20th century forms of Kemetic Neo-Paganism, including reconstructionist and orthodox denominations. Consisting of sixty or more entities -- many of whom began as local gods -- the religion grew from being primarily animistic and nature-centered in pre-dynastic times to becoming a theocracy at the center of which stood pharaohs, or kings - rulers who embodied an earthly manifestation of divine power.(Read More ...)
- Religious Traditions
- Magical Traditions
- Divination, Fortune Telling, and Oracles
- Hoodoo, Conjure, Witchcraft, and Rootwork
- Working with Spirits