Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » World Religions » Pagan Religions » Neopagan

Also known as Modern or Contemporary Pagan, or hyphenated as Neo-Pagan, a Neopagan is a term for a variety of new religious movements influenced by what is known or believed about the historical Pagan beliefs of pre-Christian Europe, North Africa, and the Near East.

As a religious movement, Neopaganism might also be referred to as Modern Paganism, Contemporary Paganism, or Neo-Paganism.

Neopagan traditions are diverse, and without a centralized religious body or standard dogma. There are common areas, however.

Most Neopagans believe that every part of the universe is interconnected, and this shapes the way in which they view the nature of the Divine and with the place of human beings in the universe. Generally, Neopagans believe that every part of the universe is blessed, including humanity. Unlike Christianity, Neopagans hold that human beings are unflawed in their nature, that they are not damned, and that they are in no need of a Savior.

Like other religions, Neopagans gather together in churches, in homes, or outdoors, meeting in groups that, depending on the tradition, may be called circles, covens, churches, groves, or by other names.

Most Neopagan groups have clergy who perform certain religious functions, such as marriages and funerals, and who may officiate at other ceremonies or rituals.

Most Neopagan groups are earth-centered, and Pagan holidays usually fall on dates marking changes in seasons.

Common holidays recognized by Neopagans include Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall and Equinox. Others might include Imbolg (Candlemas), Beltane (May Day), Lammas (Loafmas), and Samhain (Summer's End).

Rites of passage include pregnancy, birth, baby welcoming, coming of age, handfasting, marriage, handparting, croning for women, saging for men, death, dedication to a path or course of study, and ordination. Some Neopagan traditions have specific rituals for these, while others do not.

Although Neopaganism traditions frequently borrow concepts and practices from other spiritual paths, Neopaganism is a new religion. Neopagan movements are characterized by a pronounced religious individualism, an emphasis on experience rather than doctrine or belief, a practical perspective on authority and practice, tolerance for other religions, a holistic worldview, and a flexible organizational structure.

Although individual Neopagan traditions may adopt an internal governing structure and specific beliefs, Neopaganism as a whole has no central hierarchy or dogma. Some Neopagan groups, such as the Asatru, African, and Celtic Traditionalists, have a specific ethnic focus, others blend elements of several Pagan traditions with those from other belief systems, forming the Eclectic and Blended paths.

Since "pagan" was initially a derogatory term applied to non-Christian religions as a whole, some Neopagan groups prefer not to use the term and use others to define their paths, such as African Traditional Religion, Native Spirituality, Celtic Spirituality, Heathenry, Earth-Centered Spirituality, European Traditional Spirituality, Elder Faith, and the Old Religion.

Many Neopagan groups prefer to refer to themselves as Pagans

In a broad sense, Neopaganism is an umbrella term that describes a large number of diverse spiritual traditions, the largest of which is Wicca. Others include Asatru, Celtic Traditionalism, Ceremonial Magick, Druidism, Eclectic, Family Traditions, Mystery Traditions, Santeria, Shamanism, Strega, and Voudon, as well as several blended paths, such as Buddhistpaganism, Christopaganism, Judeopaganism, and others. Approximately half of Neopagans are not part of any named group.

Generally, these traditions are indigenous, earth-centered, contain magical elements, recognize both male and female deities, or emphasize a connection with the natural world. There is also often a shared feeling of having been suppressed or eradicated by another religion, largely Christianity or Islam.

Several of the named groups are subdivided into sects, which may or may not be in communication with one another.

Statistics are subject to change, but at the turn of the 21st century, nearly half of all Neopagans had identified themselves as such for less than five years, and the number who practice by themselves and those who practice in groups were equally split.

The focus of this category is on Neopagan religions, Neo-Pagan religions, Neopaganism, Modern Paganism, Contemporary Paganism, or whatever term might be used, including the traditions named here and others that may not have been specifically named. Informational sites are also appropriate, whether complementary or oppositional.

Categories

@Pantheism

Gaia

Palo

Santeria

Voodoo

Wicca

 

 

Recommended Resources


Search for Neopagan on Google, Bing, or Yahoo!