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Author Topic: Different Pagan Religions?  (Read 7661 times)
Darkhawk
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« Reply #5: February 18, 2008, 04:17:36 pm »

Good point. Gee and that is what I do when looking for a book on Paganism, yet I don't think about that for this. Cheesy Anyways. It also makes it a lot easier to take in the material, because they are focusing on JUST THAT, rather than trying to do a whole bunch at once. So they get to cover more on it. How about a site that just *lists* a bunch of them so I can see what all there is to look at? Because I have no idea what to look for, besides like Recon, Hellenic, and Wicca. I just don't know where to start looking, what there is to look into, and whatnot.

I tend to feel that there are three broad categories of modern paganism, and a lot of fiddly loose ends.  Note that some religions straddle the boundaries of these categories.

1) The religious witchcraft traditions.

Wicca and its derivatives and descendents are, of course, the best known of these.  Reclaiming probably next, and Feri is getting more airplay these days.  Then there are the miscellaneous small things, small traditions which are probably influenced by Wicca but not derived therefrom, some folk traditions that got organised by someone else, etc.  There are probably religious witchcraft traditions that I'm not familiar with.

2)  The reconstructions.

Hellenism falls here.  As a rule of thumb, figure there's probably a reconstruction for most cultures that had religions that were replaced with Christianity.  The best known reconstruction is Asatru.  I'm an Egyptian recon (Kemetic).  I also know of:  Celtic recon, Slavic recon, Aztec recon, Canaanite recon, Baltic recon (which has a name that I've lost.  Romuva?).  There are probably others I've encountered and forgotten about.  Oh, duh, Religio Romana.

Also in this category are things like Neos Alexandria, an organisation focused on the Greco-Egyptian period and thus the gods of each culture, the syncretisms, and other gods collected by the people at that time and place.

3)  The ceremonially derived religions.

There were a lot of secret societies and organisations devoted to magical and spiritual theory once.  Some of these had offshoots that developed into religious structures.  The big one of these is Thelema.

4)  The loose ends.

Discordianism is considered a pagan religion by some.  The pagan Satanists.  Etc.


5)  The complicated bit.

Many pagans are also interested in various tribal religions of indigenous peoples, or the African Diaspora religions, or other such things, in which many practitioners really dislike being called 'pagan'.  In any case, these religions are not numbered among modern paganisms.

Many of the well-known versions of, say, Native American spirituality are horribly bastardised by modern pagans, and may be offensive to actual members of the relevant tribes.  The Maori are very particular about what they are willing to teach to pakeha.  Etc.

If looking into these religions, keep in mind that for many of these people "religion" is still not a thing distinct from "the way we live", and trying to pull out the bits that a Westerner believes to be spiritual and just do that is likely to produce a lobotomised system.  Many reputable teachers will not give a second look to people who don't recognise this; one can get useful information from anthropology and the like, but that's going to miss critical things about living the religion.
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