The Human Truth Foundation

Modern Paganism (Neopaganism)

By Vexen Crabtree 2015

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#Celtic_Paganism #Heathenism #new_religious_movements #paganism

Paganism
Links: Pages on Paganism, Other Religions
God(s)Atheist / Monotheist / Polytheist / Other
AdherentPagan
AdherentsPagans
TextsNone
AfterlifeYes
Founding
HeritageCounterculture
Area of OriginThe West
Founder19th Century romantic revival of interest in Celtic, Greek and pre-Christian spiritualities
Numbers in the UK (Census results)
200130 569201157 000
Numbers in the UK
199620 0001

Paganism encompasses a range of religions, belief systems and practices2,3,4,5: these include Asatrú, Celtic revivalism, Druidism, Goddess Spirituality, Heathenism, Paganism, various magical groups, some of the New Age, a few occult groups, Sacred Ecology and Wicca. It also covers the interest of previously-uninvolved Westerners in Shamanism, Native American and Native Australian spiritualism, and other primitivist belief systems. The Pagan Federation defines a Pagan as "a follower of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion"5. In general, followers and fans are called Pagans with a capital "P" in order to differentiate them from "pagans", a historical religious term to mean anyone not a member of the traditional monotheistic religions. In the USA the term neo-Pagan is used for the same purpose.

General modern Paganism "is not a doctrinaire movement" and it is based "on experience rather than on blind faith"6. The various forms of Paganism tend to share an individualistic approach, are spiritually and magically oriented, reject monotheism7, involve a goddess of some sort ("a religion without goddesses can hardly be classified as Pagan"5), and veer away from commercialism. They claim ancient and timeless "wisdom" and draw upon elements of religions from around the world, especially Western esoterism, romanticised versions of native beliefs and Indian spirituality, and share a creative use of myth and a seasonal cycle of festivals8. Also normal are a positive and moral approach to environmentalism and feminism (or at least gender neutrality) and a generally liberal approach to human (and animal) rights in general. They do not consider the world to be bad nor ourselves to be inherently sinful9.

The resulting kaleidoscope of beliefs and practices are mostly indulged in quite lightly, all described and merged using mystical and airy language which, however kindly it is meant, tends to lack any philosophical cogency and sits, generally speaking, within the realm of the mythical and the irrational. Concerns abound from Christians and other representatives of world religions who are clearly worried about the new competition from this popular and young suite of newcomers to the world stage, however, it must be noted that "most people's prejudices [towards Paganism in general] are based on misrepresentation by the media"8 and some people still confuse Paganism with Satanism10. Critics of Paganism can also be found amongst historians, skeptics, scientists and intellectuals based on the negative effect it can all have on common sense, and, complaints also arise from the natives and other genuine gurus of the traditions from which Paganism has drawn. Despite those problems and the addiitonal one of "Pagan" not referring to any particular belief system, "there is both official and academic recognition that Paganism is a serious religion"8.

Book CoverThe Pagan Federation Statement of the following three principles reflects the basic beliefs of many Pagans:

  • Love for and Kinship with Nature: rather than the more customary attitude of aggression and domination over Nature; reverence for the life force and its ever-renewing cycles of life and death.

  • The Pagan Ethic: 'Do what thou wilt, but harm none'. This is a positive morality, not a list of thou-shalt-nots. Each individual is responsible for discovering his or her own true nature and developing it fully, in harmony with the outer world.

  • The Concept of Goddess and God as expressions of the Divine reality; an active participation in the cosmic dance of Goddess and God, female and male, rather than the suppression of either the female or the male principle.

Those Pagans expressing some dissent from these principles are mainly Heathens [...] and some magicians who are more concerned with self-understanding and less with deities. [...] Many Pagans believe in the 'threefold effect', that whatever they do, whether for good or for bad, will be returned to them threefold.

"Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995)11


1. Brief Introductions

1.1. Wicca

#UK #wicca

Wicca is a Western mystery religion12 invented and founded by Gerald Gardner in the UK in the 1950s, followed shortly by the very similar Alexandrian Wicca in the 1960s, although the two strands are now very closely intertwined13 and Wicca is decentralized. Wiccan practices centre on ritual, nature veneration, natural cycles, and magical and spiritual learning14. Much of it derived from pseudo-folklore. Its festivals are held on the eight yearly Sabbats. Divinity in Wicca is seen as both male and female (typically as the Horned God and Mother Goddess14), as are the general forces of nature which emanate from the male and female principal15,16, and these two sides complement one another13,17. Groups of adherents are called covens and as with other mystery religions entrance to Wicca comes by way of initiation, a process which requires study and the gaining of the trust of the others. Covens aim to have thirteen members, which are then traditionally seen as "full", and growth comes by way of splintering13. Solitary practitioners are called hedgewitches. Compared to other new religious movements in the West, adherence to Wicca takes up a surprising amount of dedication and time13.

"Wicca - The Rise of a Western Mystery Religion Based on Witchcraft" by Vexen Crabtree (2014)

1.2. The New Age

The New Age is a wildly varied collection of practices and beliefs rather than a structured belief system, and as such it is difficult to define18. Popular elements include alchemy, alternative psychotherapy techniques, animism, aromatherapy, astrology, channeling, crystal work, divination, Gnosticism, karma stuff, lightwork and colour healing, magic, mediums, psychic powers of every kind, reincarnation and past life regression, sacred geometry (leylines, pyramid power, magical shapes), Spiritualism, Tarot card readings, Taoism, Yoga and many other splintered movements and zany practices19,20

It derives from folklore, superstition, pre-modern magical beliefs and elements of Hinduism and Buddhism. The peoples of mythical places such as Atlantis and Avalon rub shoulders with the gods, goddesses and other spiritual beings from ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, Celtic, Nordic, Saxon, Teutonic and Native American belief systems21. New Agers themselves emphasize the 'arcane' nature of their 'ancient' and 'secret' wisdom22. Some of it comprises of practices that are commonplace in the East (such as meditation) but which are simply called 'new age' when they happen to be practiced by Westerners. Much of the Indian influence on the New Age derives from diluted practices and ideas brought from India by the Theosophists.

"The New Age" by Vexen Crabtree (2014)

Pagans and New Agers share a large number of cultural interests and there is a significant overlap between the two communities23. Some scholars class neo-Paganism as a whole as part of the New Age as a whole, where some are sure that they are independent developments24. For example, Nevil Drury say Paganism is New Age, but Aiden Kelly differentiates them25. Pagans themselves despise being described as New age as Pagans consider themselves "less consumer oriented and less mainstream than New Age" whilst New Agers tend to focus on "light" and "healing" and other intensely saccharine concepts, all mixed in with a very open form of popularism26,23. Despite those differences, in 1995 the researcher Michael York found that at a Newcastle conference, Paganism in Contemporary Britain, the attendees were not only well educated about the New Age as a whole, but, they expressed opinions that it was worthwhile and good - no-one there said otherwise10.

1.3. Shamanism

#australia #new_age #paganism #religion #russia #shamanism

Shamanism is a timeless and ancient style of religion27, involving beliefs and practices that predate history, although the word itself comes from the Tungus people of Siberia, Russia28. Shamans still operate today in North America in some native Indian communities and amongst some Australian aborigines.29 The oldest evidence of Shamanism comes from European cave paintings, the oldest of which are over 30,000 years old30. It is based on animism - the belief that spirits are everywhere, indwelling not only all animals, but objects too31. Shamans are tribal spiritual leaders who are believed to be skilled in harnessing animal spirits as allies in order to look after the local community32,33 and to be able to act as "mediator between the human world and the world of the spirits"34. They attempt to ascertain the causes of calamities and to improve the luck and enterprise of the tribe. In trances and altered states of consciousness, often brought about through the use of psychoactive drugs, deprivation and mental illness (or episodes are sometimes simply faked), shamans attest to a world full of animal and ancestor spirits.35

In the modern, developed world, new forms of shamanism have arisen as part of the general growth of neo-Paganism. Enthusiasts reconstruct, re-read and re-interpret shamanism, turning it into a general spiritual enterprise divorced from its original context and meaning. It "has spawned numerous related books, workshops and training sessions, some of which incorporate practices and paraphernalia from a variety of native traditions"36, although many are critical of this modern reconstruction and the connection between modern and ancient shamanism can often be described as "tenuous" at best37. Arthur Versluis writes with scorn of "some modern authors who give workshops" but says that "to be a shaman is not merely a weekend of entertainment"38. The pagan scholar Nevil Drury starts his book Shamanism by saying that "it is a fantasy to endeavour to transpose the world of the shaman to our own contemporary setting"39 and despite hundreds of years of shamanic experience, spiritualists nowadays report a completely different spirit world. So someone's making a lot of stuff up. Either way, our knowledge of physiology, delirium, neurology and science is simply too great, and the history of charlatans, cold-readers and other chauvinistic spiritualists is too long, for shamanism to ever seem authentic again.

"Shamanism" by Vexen Crabtree (2015)

2. The Causes of Modern Paganism and other NRMs

#christianity #islam #new_age #wicca

There are a few general causes of the continual growth of unusual, novel, small, untraditional, often magical, seemingly counter-cultural and Earth-centered religious movements. The New Age, the Celtic revival (Druids, et. al.), neo-Paganism and Wicca all seem to share some features and often share actual practices, beliefs and members40, and all are growing in sync. Likewise, there are often similar motivations for people to get involved with these types of movements. Robert Schroëder states that people "in today's societies, finding themselves spiritually and morally lost, seek alternative routes to faith and the meaning of existence"41. But we can do better than that, and identify some of the precise areas of attraction for alternative religious movements:

3. Hot Topics for Pagans

Many of these topics are already discussed in the section above on the causes of Paganism.

3.1. Gender Equality and Feminism

#buddhism #christianity #gender #hinduism #islam #judaism #morals #new_age #politics #religion #satanism #wicca #women

Most religious traditions have subjugated womankind68,69,70. The religious restrictions and taboos on womankind have ranged from the openly oppressive and inhumane, to subtle limitations. Women have been barred from leadership, prevented from religious learning and even from secular education, forbidden to hold power, denied fair inheritance and land ownership, denigrated, physically dominated, and sometimes even forbidden to speak71. All in accordance with holy texts, religious laws and guidelines. The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam have been the worse; but also Hinduism and Buddhism have played roles in the long-term subjugation of women. In Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Woman's Bible" (1898) she bemoans that "all the religions on the face of the earth degrade her, and so long as woman accepts the position that they assign her, her emancipation is impossible"72. The much more neutral scholar of comparative religion, Moojan Momen, normally writes positively on nearly all aspects of religion, but when it comes to women, even he is forced into a multiple-page criticism of the historical role of religion73. Although some of this stems from ancient cultural sources before it happened to be codified in world religions74, organized religion has clung on to patriarchalism long after secular society has liberalized. Feminist groups have frequently been anti-religion simply because it is religion that has presented itself as the most consistent oppressor of womankind. The problems from traditional religions are not just historical: even today, religious organisations and powerful international religious lobbies hold back gender equality across the world75.

There is good news. The most readily accepted cure for both intolerance, religion and superstition is widely shown to be education. The position of women improves as education improves and as traditional religions lose their grip on society. Modern society has come to either ignore their traditional texts (as most Christians do) or to abandon religion (as many Westerners have done). Also many new religious movements and alternative religions such as Paganism, Wicca, the New Age and even Satanism practice full gender equality. As long as traditional religions continue to decline and secular society and new religions both grow, the situation of women continues to improve.

"Religion Versus Womankind" by Vexen Crabtree (2007)

Feminism has always been a significant feature of Paganism and Wicca76. As the decades wore on, feminism and gender equality became an increasingly pronounced stance rather than an implied one77. The presence of feminism in Pagan groups is one of the six reasons that American Pagans gave for having become involved in Paganism, according to a study published in 198655.

3.2. Tolerance for Others' Beliefs

#christianity #new_age #wicca

Most forms of Paganism and the New Age are accepting, tolerant and respectful towards other's beliefs and practices5. There is very little in the way of an impulse towards correcting others, telling them they're wrong and criticizing their beliefs. Even if two believers' theories about important aspects of their crafts are contradictory and impossibly conflicting, there is rarely much in the way of hatred, or even dislike, between them.

Book CoverPagans believe that no one belief system is correct and that each person should have the freedom to come themselves to the path of their choice. [...] For all Pagans there is no place for either dogma or proselytising.

"Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995)78

Academic researchers have been pleased to note that although some of the these new religious movements emerged from within an anti-Christian milieu many groups simply never took up an aggressive stance, or, if they did, they mostly quickly moved on (within a few decades) to a neutral and tolerant stance. Pearson (2002) puts it like this: "Wiccans and Pagans have been, and are at present, involved in the development of interfaith meetings with members of other religions, and [...] no longer requires legitimization through false histories or hatred of the Christian Church"79.

It seems natural and ascendant that modern religions such as the various forms of Paganism and New Age-style belief systems should abandon strict claims about their exclusive access to truth. In a world where fundamentalism seems forever on the rise many new religious movements represent a better side of religion, free from powermongering and free from the urge to enforce its doctrines on people for their own good.

3.3. Growing Acceptance of Paganism in the UK

#iceland #islam #sikhism

Paganism in general, in all of its forms, has been reviled by organized Christianity and the popular press. The Church can no longer get away with orchestrated violence, and, the growth of tolerance and human rights has meant that Paganism, from the 1980s onwards, became increasingly accepted as something that couldn't be beaten into invisibility. There is now "both official and academic recognition that Paganism is a serious religion"8 and the 1990s saw the start of a genuine era of actual tolerance.

In December 1994 Leeds University students chose a Wiccan witch to be their chaplain and in the same month the 1000 or so members of the Milton Keynes Wicca group were given land on which to hold open-air ceremonies. [...] There is a Pagan Prison Chaplain.

"Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995)8

You might expect the establishments surrounding student life to be liberal - but the spread of acceptance has cast itself deep into what have previously been bastions of conservatism:

Much blether about devil-worship, 'political correctness gone mad' and the destructive effects of unchecked individualism greeted the announcement on July 16th [2009] of an official association for pagan policemen, to take its place alongside the existing Muslim Police Association and a recently created equivalent for Sikhs. [...] Despite the difficulties of definition, paganism has slowly been winning recognition from the authorities. [...] Pagan prisoners are now allowed to have religiously-themed possessions (wands, for instance), and in 2006 the Home Office approved a pagan oath for use in the courts 'By all that I hold sacred...'). [...] Britain has a way to go before it catches up with countries more recently Christianised: Asatruarfelagid, Iceland's pagan organisation, for example, was officially recognised in 1973, and is a beneficiary of that country's religious taxes.

The Economist (2009)80

Bias still exists. For example, few administrators thought anything of it when pagan websites were categorized by Internet filtering software as "Satanic/cult" and thusly widely blocked81. But battle by battle, the era of human rights has trumped such accidental (and deliberate) bias.

4. Parenting

#wicca

Wiccans and Pagans parents stick to the idea that children must choose a religion, and that it is morally wrong to bring a child up "as" the parent's religion. Until the child is old enough to research religions and pick one, they are not a member of a religion. "The children of Wiccan parents tend to be encouraged to learn about many different religious traditions, beliefs and practices, and the mythology found in comparative religions and civilizations".82

5. The Mythical and Invented Pasts of Paganism

#christianity #druidism #shamanism #wicca

Wicca, and forms of modern neo-Paganism grew up amongst the belief that they represent old religion, natural wisdom and that their rituals are survivals from a hidden rural past. The Pagan Federation's Introduction to Paganism webpage still states confidently, but wrongly, that "Paganism is the ancestral religion of the whole of humanity"5. This started with a campaign between 1890 and 1914 to promote a romantic version of the ideal English countryside, complete with ancient May Day celebrations83. Soon, it looked to all that such things were remnants from our pagan past. Wicca in particular, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, promoted the idea that there was once a historical, European-wide mystery religion comprised of witches organized into secret covens, that met at night and in the woods84,85,86. Archaeological evidence began to look like it supported the idea of a universal, ancient mother-goddess religion. Academia was giving serious consideration to the idea that that Witch Hunts of the Inquisition of the Catholic Church was genuinely trying to stamp out the remains of an underground pagan religion87. The witches involved passed on secret, ancient wisdom, that was normally to do with healing, botany, magic and other esoteric and occult knowledge. Modern Wicca, they held, is a modern revitalizing of this ancient religion (complete with occasional pseudo-archaic English usage), and this historical story was once widely adopted amongst neo-Pagans of most kinds, not just by early Wiccans88 and it still is believed by some pagans today89.

But extensive and careful research has now found these ideas to be false90 and based on the evidence, historians are now sure that our modern rituals and pagan religions are modern inventions87,91. The Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor explains that the archaeological evidence for a universal mother-goddess had proven to be inadequate - most sites have no sign of religion, or of motherly figurines, and most decorative and non-functional artefacts are concerned with sex - with the sex act itself, especially phallic symbols and depictions of human sex92. "Historical European witchcraft is quite simply a fiction", writes the religious historian R. Briggs (1996)93 and "any links between Wicca and the Great Witch Hunt of early modern Europe, for example, are now seen in terms of self-identification rather than as historical facts" according to Joanne Pearson (2002)94. The earliest comprehensive historical investigations have been conducted by the academic Ronald Hutton, an expert in the relevant prime sources. In 1995, he found that even though Druidry is well-documented from the 18th century onwards, the modern forms of it were still recreated as a new, pagan, "revival" - even though for the previous hundreds of years, it was all but a simplified version of Christianity2. He wrote that modern pagan Shamanism is "self-consciously a creation of the past two decades, drawing upon tribal models, often from native America, fused with ancient European imagery"2. Hutton's full findings were published as "The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft" (1999). Talking of Paganism rather than just Wicca, he adds a note of humour in one of his conclusions: "The Paganism of today has very little in common with that of the past except the name, which is itself of Christian coinage".

Wicca was at risk of falling into fundamentalism: Would Wiccans accept these historical facts, or would they disregard the evidence and descend into dogma and ignorance? Thankfully, influential historians such as Prof. Ronald Hutton became well respected, honoured and trusted within Pagan and Wiccan communities, for his honest and clear presentation of the historical facts. Wiccans, (followed by Druids and Pagans) in general gracefully and commendably changed their beliefs95, 96, and have ever since remained on the liberal, peaceful and good-natured path, a fact documented by Ronald Hutton in the book mentioned above.

Current edition: 2015 Apr 18
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References: (What's this?)

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Armstrong, Karen
(1986) The Gospel According to Woman: Christianity's Creation of the Sex War in the West. Hardback book. Subtitled: "Christianity's Creation of the Sex War in the West". Published by Elm Tree Books/Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London, UK.

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(1991, Ed.) The New Age: An Anthology of Essential Writings. Published by Rider, London, UK.

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(2002) Contemporary Celtic Spirituality. This essay is chapter 2 of "Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age" by Joanne Pearson (2002) (pages p55-102).

Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer
(1997) Religions of the World. Hardback book. Subtitled: "The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals". Published by Lionheart Books. By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien & Martin Palmer. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books.

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(1996) Witches and Neighbours: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft. Published by HarperCollins, London, UK. In "Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age" by Joanne Pearson (2002).

Bunt, Gary R.. Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, UK
(2011) Religion and the Internet. This essay is chapter 39 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages p705-720.).

Clarke, Peter B.. Peter B. Clarke: Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, King's College, University of London, and currently Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK.
(2011) The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Originally published 2009. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Crowley, Vivianne
(1995) Wicca as Modern-Day Mystery Religion. This essay is in "Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995) (pages 81-93).

Drury, Nevill
(1996) Shamanism. Paperback book. Published by Element Books.

Eliade, Mircea
(1987, Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Religion. Hardback book. Published by Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, USA. 16 huge volumes. Eliade is editor-in-chief. Entries are alphabetical, so, no page numbers are given in references, just article titles.

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(2009) Key Thinkers in the Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Published by Continuum International Publishing Group, London, UK. A look at what 11 sociologists of religion think of "the sacred". Be warned that Fenn's book contains one chapter on each sociologist of religion but that his own mystical and specific take on 'the sacred' is heavily intermingled with his commentary - see the book review for a proper description. Book Review.

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(2000) The C of E: The State It's In. Paperback book. paperback first edition, 2000. Originally published in UK in 2000 by Stoughton.

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Harvey, Graham & Hardman, Charlotte
(1995) Pagan Pathways. Paperback book. 2000 edition. Originally published 1995. Current version published by Thorsons.

Hawthorne, Sîan. Hawthorn is Lecturer in Critical Theory and the Study of Religions and Chair of the Centre of Gender and Religions Research at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.
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(1996) The New Age Movement: Religion, Culture and Society in the Age of Postmodernity. Paperback book. Published by Blackwell Publishers Ltd, London, UK.

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(1995) The Roots of Modern Paganism. This essay is in "Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995) (pages p3-15).
(1996) The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Paperback book. 2001 re-issue. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
(1999) The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Paperback book. 2001 edition. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Jakobsen, M.D.
(1999) Shamanism: Traditional and Modern Approaches to the Mastery of Spirits and Healing. Published by Berghahn Books, New York, USA. In Bowman (2002) p77.

Jones, Prudence
(1995) Pagan Theologies. This essay is in "Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995) (pages 32-46).

MacGregor, Neil. Director of the British Museum.
(2010) A History of the World in 100 Objects. Published by the BBC and the British Museum. Aired on BBC Radio 4.

Main, Roderick
(2002) Religion, Science and the New Age. This essay is chapter 5 of "Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age" by Joanne Pearson (2002) (pages p173-224).

Momen, Moojan
(1999) The Phenomenon Of Religion: A Thematic Approach. Paperback book. Published by Oneworld Publications, Oxford, UK. Book Review.

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What it meant and what is means: feminism, religion and interpretation (2001), chapter 3 of "Religion and Social Transformations" by D. Herbert (2001).
(2002) Aspirational Indians: North American indigenous religions and the New Age. Paperback book. This essay is chapter 3 of "Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age" by Joanne Pearson (2002).

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Newsline. Weekly news letter. See: "Secularism" by Vexen Crabtree (2011).

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(2008) Witchcraft Information Pack. Originally published 1992. Accessed online at www.paganfed.org/dl/Witchcraft_Info_Pack.pdf on 2014 Apr 20.

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(2008) Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition. Published by Princeton University Press, New Jersey, USA.

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(2004, Ed.) Encyclopedia of New Religions. Hardback book. Published by Lion Publishing, Oxford, UK.

Pearson, Joanne
(2002, Ed.) Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age. Paperback book. Published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, UK, in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

Rees, Kenneth
(1995) The Tangled Skein: the Role of Myth in Paganism. This essay is in "Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995) (pages 16-31).

Russell, J.B.
(1991) A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans. Published by Thames & Hudson, London, UK. Originally published in 1980. Cited in Pearson (2002) Introduction p17.

Ruthven, Malise
(2007) Fundamentalism. Originally published 2005. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. New edition now published as part of the “Very Short Introduction” series.

Schroëder, Robert
(2007) Cults: Secret Sects and Radical Religions. Hardback book. Published by Carlton Books.

Stanton, Elizabeth C.. (1815-1902)
(1898) The Woman's Bible. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition produced by Carrie Lorenz and John B. Hare.

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(1993) Native American Traditions. 1997 edition. Published by Element Books Limited, UK.

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(2002, Ed.) Global Religious Movements in Regional Context. Published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, UK, in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. This was a religious studies textbook in the AD317 OU course.

York, Michael. Principal Lecturer in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology and Director of the Sophia Centre at Bath Spa University College, UK. Previously a post-doctoral reasearcher at the Academy for Cultural and Educational Studies in London.
(1995a) The Emerging Network: A Sociology of the New Age and Neo-Pagan Movement. Published by Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, USA.
(1995b) New Age and Paganism. This essay is in "Pagan Pathways" by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995) (pages p157-165).

Footnotes

  1. Pearson (2002) chapter 1 p36 "The estimated number of Pagans in the UK was between 110,000 and 120,000, of whom approximately 20,000 were initiated or formally inducted members of organized and distinctive Pagan traditions. Of this 20,000, 10,000 were initiated Wiccans and 6,000 were Pagan Druids, with smaller traditions making up the remaining 4,000".^
  2. Hutton (1995) p3.^^
  3. "Encyclopedia of New Religions" by Christopher Partridge (2004) says that although there are many types of Paganism, it is primarily comprised of Wicca, Druidry and Heathenism (Asatrú) (p270).^
  4. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction pX-XI.^
  5. Pagan Federation webpage "Introduction to Paganism". The year of writing isn't stated, but it says it was last updated on 2013 Oct 28. The article states "kind thanks to Prudence Jones for the wording of this page".^^^^
  6. "Pagan Theologies" by Prudence Jones (1995) p37, now repeated in the Pagan Federation's Introduction to Paganism which was also worded by Prudence Jones - the second and third sentences of that document says "Paganism is not dogmatic. Pagans pursue their own vision of the Divine as a direct and personal experience".^
  7. Pearson (2002) Introduction p2.^
  8. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.IX.^^
  9. Pearson (2002) Introduction p9.^
  10. York (1995b) p157.^^
  11. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.XI.^
  12. Crowley (1995) .^
  13. Pearson (2002) Chapter 1, p32-37, 43.^
  14. Pagan Federation (2008) p3.^
  15. Hutton (1999) p338-339 examines the history of Farrar & Farrar's compendium of notes and original texts from the earliest versions of the Book of Shadows, published as Eight Sabbaths, and The Witche's Way in the 1980s, and written in collaboration with Doreen Valiente. Hutton writes: "The exercise reasserted the identity of Wicca as a distinctive pagan religion, bound up closely with the seasonal rhythmns of the natural world and the human life-cycle, honouring a goddess and god and with a claim to immemorial transmission from the past".^
  16. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.XII states "Wicca has always stressed bitheism, the wonder of all things as being manifest in the God and Goddess.".^
  17. Partridge (2004) p295.^^
  18. Pearson (2002) p2.^
  19. York (1995a) p34 states that the New Age is "a blend of Pagan religions, Eastern philosophies, and occult-psychic phenomena". Heelas (1996) lists "Yoga, Taoism, Gnosticism, divination, magic, alchemy, and much else" (p27). York (1995a) and Heelas (1996) are both referenced from Main (2002) p188-189. Bruce (1996) notes adverts in New Age publications for Tarot card readings, crystals, oils, lava lamps, jewellery and incense and covers a large number of other aspects.^
  20. Park (2008) chapter 7 "The New Age: In Which Anything Goes" .^
  21. Pearson (2002) chapter "Introduction" p7-8.^
  22. Heelas (1996) p27 . In Main (2002) p188-189.^
  23. York (1995b) p164.^
  24. Pearson (2002) Introduction p2. Paganism is sometimes considered part of the New Age, sometimes not.^
  25. Heelas (1996) chapter 2 footnote 10. Drury's opinion is referenced as deriving from his Elements of Human Potential (1989), and Aiden Kelly from a publication in 1992.^
  26. Pearson (2002) Introduction p7.^
  27. Murray et al. (2009) p.v . Shamanism is listed as a religion in Part 1 - Religions of the Ancient World.^
  28. Bowman (2002) p77 . And Drury (1996) p18.^
  29. Drury (1996) p24-25 . And chapter 2.^
  30. Dr Elizabeth Puttick, PhD in the sociology of religion at King's College, London, UK. "Encyclopedia of New Religions" by Christopher Partridge (2004) p293.^
  31. Drury (1996) p10.^
  32. Versluis (1993) p8-9,52.^
  33. Drury (1996) p6,11.^
  34. Jakobsen (1999) p1. Also see Drury (1996) p11.^
  35. Murray et al. (2009) chapter "Shamanism: The One Who Knows" p6-7.^
  36. Bowman (2002) p77.^
  37. Partridge (2004) p268.^
  38. Versluis (1993) p52.^
  39. Drury (1996) chapter 7 "Can We Be Shamans in the West?" .^
  40. Pearson (2002) p3.^
  41. Schroëder (2007) p6.^
  42. Multiple sources:
    • Bowman (2002) p60.
    • Main (2002) p177.
    • Pearson (2002) p21.
    • York (1995a) p14. In Main (2002)97.
    ^
  43. Gardner (1957) .^
  44. Pearson (2002) Introduction p8-9.^
  45. Multiple sources:
    • Bowman (2002) p60.
    • Heelas (1996) p106,135-136.
    • Mumm (2002) p114.
    • Pearson (2002) chapter "Introduction" p7.
    • York (1995a) p14. In Main (2002) p187.
    ^
  46. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.x.^
  47. H. Cox "Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-first Century" (1996) p120-1. Published by Cassell, London, UK. In "Global Religious Movements in Regional Context" by John Wolffe (2002) p97.^
  48. (1) Bowman (2002) p87. And (2), Deinsen, R. (2000-2) via personal correspondence. Deinsen has organised animal-welfare groups with the ECUSA (Anglican Communion, in the USA) and is an ordained female priest. She reports general mass support for female equality and animal rights within the ECUSA.^
  49. Hutton (1996) chapter 28 .^
  50. Pearson (2002) chapter "Introduction" p16-17 citing Hutton (1996) p9.^
  51. Russell, J.B. (1991) p171.^
  52. Pearson (2002) chapter "Introduction" p8-9.^
  53. Multiple sources:
    1. Adler (1986) p22-23.
    2. Bowman (2002) p75.
    3. Mumm (2002) p118.
    ^
  54. Jones (1995) p37.^
  55. Adler (1986) p22-23.^^
  56. Main (2002) p188 . Cites Bloom (1991) and York (1995 - The Emerging Network) p89.^
  57. Rees (1995) p20.^
  58. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.XIV.^
  59. Pearson (2002) p21-22,36-38.^
  60. Adler (1986) p22-23 . Adler notes the common reasons that American pagans give for their interest in Paganism.^
  61. Multiple sources:
    • Bowman (2002) p62,75.
    • Lovejoy, A.O. and Boas, G. (1965) Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity p7 published by Octagon Books, NY, USA. In Bowman (2002) p61.
    • Piggott, S. (1993). The Druids p92. Published by Thames & Hudson, London, UK (first published 1968). In Bowman (2002) p61.
    • Rees (1995) p26-27. Romance and reconstruction "play a role in the founding of Paganism and in its attraction".
    ^
  62. Mumm (2002) p119-120.^
  63. Bowman (2002) .^
  64. Mumm (2002) p114,120.^
  65. Furlong (2000) p48.^
  66. Martin, David "On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory" p130. Published by Ashgate, Aldershot, UK. In "Key Thinkers in the Sociology of Religion" by Richard K. Fenn (2009) [Book Review] chapter "David Martin" p115.^
  67. Momen (1999) p296.^
  68. Hawthorne (2011) Author states that this is the opinion of scholars in general, regarding a variety of religions, and that the 'invisibility of women within religious traditions' is a real concern.^
  69. Armstrong (1986) p. X. She wrote that "Most religions have been male affairs and have kept women in a subordinate position".^
  70. Eliade (1987) Volume 15 entry "Women's Studies".^
  71. Ruthven (2007) Chapter 4 "Controlling Women" p71.^
  72. Stanton (1898) p15.^
  73. Momen (1999) p439-440.^
  74. Mumm (2001) p120-121.^
  75. National Secular Society, Newsline (2015 Mar 08) article "Religious lobbying threatens European Parliament vote on gender equality".^
  76. Hutton (1999) chapter "Uncle Sam and the Goddess" .^
  77. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.XII.^
  78. Harvey & Hardman (1995) p11.^
  79. Pearson (2002) chapter 1 p19 .^
  80. The Economist (2009 Jul 25) article "The rise of Paganism: Of Green Men and policement" p31 .^
  81. Bunt (2011) p711.^
  82. Pearson (2002) chapter 4 p141 .^
  83. Hutton (1996) Ch 28. These ideas were given huge boosts "at the end of the nineteenth century by the work of Sir Edward Tylor, Sir George Laurence Geomme, and Sir James Frazer".^
  84. Pearson (2002) chapter 1, p32-37, 43.^
  85. Hutton (1999) p338-339 examines the history of Farrar & Farrar's compendium of notes and original texts from the earliest versions of the Book of Shadows, published as Eight Sabbaths, and The Witche's Way in the 1980s, and written in collaboration with Doreen Valiente. Hutton writes: "The exercise reasserted the identity of Wicca as a distinctive pagan religion, bound up closely with the seasonal rhythmns of the natural world and the human life-cycle, honouring a goddess and god and with a claim to immemorial transmission from the past".^
  86. Hutton (1999) p325.^
  87. Hutton (1995) p3-4.^
  88. Armstrong (1986) chapter "The Final Solution for Men: The Witch" p90.^
  89. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.XVII. It states: "The extent to which present-day Paganism can be linked to a tradition in the past remains a controversial issue. Though the arguments against Margaret Murray's theory by Thomas and Cohn and other historians working on local studies have demonstrated that the witches of the Great Witch Hunt were not practitioners of an Old Religion, many Pagans continue to see neo-Paganism as a revival of the Old Religion.". As that was written in 1995 and by 1999 Hutton reported that most have given up the belief, it seems likely that the numbers of believers in the surviving-religion idea is diminishing.^
  90. Armstrong (1986) chapter "The Final Solution for Men: The Witch" p90 .^
  91. Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer (1997) p21. "In some places, deliberate attempts have been made to re-create older traditions, even if what emerges is largely a new religion. This is the case with the creation of Neo-paganism, or Wicca, in Europe and North America.... in effect had to invent their own systems of religious beliefs, and then develop appropriate rituals to represent them".^
  92. MacGregor (2010) Week 2, episode 2 entitled "Ain Sakri Lovers Figurine". See: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00q2p68 .^
  93. Briggs (1996) p6.^
  94. Pearson (2002) p19.^
  95. Hutton (1999) p377. 'Wiccans had broken out of the trap of fundamentalism which has often seemed to be the natural course of minority religions whose basic assumptions are questioned by the wider society'.^
  96. Pagan Federation (2008) includes Ronal Hutton's Triumph of the Moon in its reading list.^
  97. Main (2002) p187.^

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