The words Paganism and Pagan derive from the Latin Paganus/Pagini, meaning “hearth” or “home dweller” or meaning country dweller/of the country. You can also say Paganism is a collection or umbrella term for all religions that are either earth based or have a reverence for nature. Within the umbrella term of paganism you can also divide it by religion type like Polytheism, Animism and Pantheism. Monotheism is rare to find in paganism, but within modern Neo-paganism you will find a few path’s that are Monotheistic.
The different forms of paganism by isaac bonewits
Paleo-paganism (source; Witchipedia): is a subdivision of Paganism put forth by the modern Druid scholar Isaac Bonewits. According to Bonewits, PaleoPaganism describes any native cultural polytheistic or animist traditions including those were, or still are practiced by native Africans, Americans, Australians and Asians. According to this definition, Hinduism, Taoism and Shinto are all PaleoPagan religions because they are rooted in ancient native tradition and remain relatively unpolluted by foreign influence.
Meso-paganism(source; Witchipedia): The term MesoPagan was first put forth by Isaac-Bonewits in an attempt to categorize modern Paganism. According to Bonewits, MesoPagan religions are those that developed from PaleoPagan or native Pagan religions that were influenced by Monotheistic, dualist or Nontheistic philosophies. These include all synchretic religions including Christo-Paganism, many Afro-Diasporic faiths, such as Voudun, Santeria, hoodoo and Candomble, and Sikhism as well as many occult traditions including Thelema, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and Spiritualism and many modern Witchcraft traditions, including many Wiccan denominations. Also, some Satanic traditions could fall into this category.
The definition of MesoPaganism is nearly identical with that of syncretism, a word that enjoys common use in academic circles, when it is applied to any Pagan religion.
Neopaganism(source; Witchipedia): “Neopaganism” or “Neo-Paganism” is a general term for a variety of movements both organized and (usually) nonorganized, started since 1960 c.e. or so (though they had literary roots going back to the mid-1800’s), as attempts to recreate, revive or continue what their founders thought were the best aspects of the Paleopagan ways of their ancestors (or predecessors), blended with modern humanistic, pluralist and inclusionary ideals, while consciously striving to eliminate as much as possible of the traditional Western monotheism, dualism, and puritanism. The core Neopagan beliefs include a multiplicity of deities of all genders, a perception of those deities as both immanent and transcendent, a commitment to environmental awareness, and a willingness to perform magical as well as spiritual rituals to help both ourselves and others. Examples of Neopaganism would include the Church of All Worlds, most heterodox Wiccan traditions, Druidism as practiced by Ár nDraíocht Féin and the Henge of Keltria, some Norse Paganism, and some modern forms of Buddhism whose members refer to themselves as “Buddheo-Pagans.” Neopagan belief systems are not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. There are hundreds of thousands of Neopagans living and worshiping their deities today. As “Neo-Paganism,” this term was popularized in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Oberon Zell, a founder of the Church of All Worlds.
(I’ve tried to make the list as complete as possible, based on all that I could find, however it is possible that there are still many missing from the list, but it will give you an idea of the many paths. Also for further explanation on the sub category I suggest the internet.)
All are Syncretic; Syncretism(Wikipedia) is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.
So within Neopaganism you can sub-categorize each religion, path or way of life into the following different Syncretic traditions:
Church of All Worlds (CAW)
The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
The EarthSpirit Community
Baltic Neopaganism/ Dievturība/Romuvas/Druwi
Uralic Neopaganism: Estonian Neopaganism/ Taaraism/ Maausk, Finnish Neopaganism/ Ukonusko, Association of Finnish Native Religion, Taivaannaula ry, Karhun kansa. Mari Neopaganism/ Marla. Mordvin-Erzyan Neopaganism.
Slavic Neopaganism/ Rodnovery
Chuvas paganism/ Tengrism/ Vattisen Yaly
Semitic neopaganism: Beit Asherah/ Am Ha Aretz/ Ohavei Falcha
Spanish neopaganism/ Iberica
Stregheria (Italian) Neopaganism
Egyptian/Isian/ Kemetism/ Neterism Reconstructionism. Known tradition Church of the Eternal Source
Greco-Roman Neopaganism, Thessalonian Neopaganism, Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism. Known traditions Greco-Roman Mystery Tradition, the Julian Society.
Hellenism/ Hellenismos, Hellenic Polytheism, Dodekatheism or Olympianism, Hellenic Reconstructionism. Know Hellenic inspired traditions FeraFeria, Minoan Brotherhood, Minoan Sisterhood Tradition, Church of Aphrodite
Discordianism/Erisian (a parody religion/greek)
Celtic Neopaganism/ Contemporary Paganism contains the following;
Celtic Traditionalism/ Celtic polytheistic reconstructionism Celtic Neoshamanism, Celtic Wicca, Faerie faith, Neo-Druidism Known Celtic traditions Ancient Celtic Church/Roebuck, Gwyddon Cymry, Gwyddonic Order, the Prytani Tradition, The Ancient Keltic Church, Trefn Gwyddoniad Welsh Rite Gwyddonaid, Y Tylwyth Tylluan, Celtic Traditionalist – Foxwood, Y Tylwuth Teg Tradition British Mystery Tradition
Following traditions/ Neopaganism are reconstructions based upon localized believes within the United Kingdoms or ancient believes and practices from the UK.
Cunning Folk Neopaganism, Brittanic/ Brythonic/ British Neopaganism, Calendonii Neopaganism, Arthurian Neopaganism, Avalonian Neopaganism, Brezonek Neopaganism, Creabh Ruadh Neopaganism, Cymri Neopaganism, Deborean Neopaganism, Eireannach Neopaganism, Fennian Neopaganism, Gaelic Neopaganism, Hebridean Neopaganism, Hecatine (Scottish) Neopaganism, Irish Neopaganism, Kingstone Neopaganism, MaidenHill Neopaganism, Majestic Neopaganism, Manx Neopaganism, North Country Neopaganism, Northern Isles Neopaganism, Scotia Neopaganism, Scottish Neopaganism, Welsh Neopaganism, West Country Neopaganism
The Tuath Dé Danann traditions/religions (Faery Wicca)
Witan/ Wittan Tradition
Neo-Druidism; traditions and orders: The Ancient Order of Druids, The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Ancient Order of Druids in America, the Reformed Druids of North America, Druidiactos, Dryad Tradition, Ueleda Tradition, Traditional British Druidry, British Druid Order, Ar nDraiocht Fein – A Druid Fellowship, Draig-Talamh Protogrove, The Druidic Craft of the Wise. Other Druidic Traditions, like eclectic forms fall beneath Neo-druidism, as well as any missing Orders.
Armenian, Hetanism. Teutonic (Germanic) Traditions, Irminism. Scandinavian neopaganism, Ásatrú, Vanatrú, or Forn Sed. Anglo-Saxon Neopaganism, Fyrnsidu or Theodism. Norse neopaganism, Odinism, Wotanism, Wodenism, Odalism, Lokean. Known traditions Raven Kindred of the Asatru Alliance, La Corte Arcana – Nordic Tradition.
Ceremonial Magic: New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Ordo Anno Mundi- Ophidian, Ordo Templi Orientis. Thelema/ high magick/ Enochian practitioners, known tradition Servants of the Light
neo-Native American practices
Neo-Shamanism: known traditions Celtic Shamanism, Celtic Witan Church, Elemental Spirit Tradition
Kitchen/ Cottage Witchcraft
Strega Witchcraft/ Aradian witchcraft
Pennsylvania Dutch hexcraft/ Pow-Wow (Germanic Witchcraft)
Draconic/ Draconian witchcraft
Hereditary/ Family Tradition Witchcraft
Elemental Witchcraft: Sea Witch/water witch, air witch, etc
Athiest/Laveyan Satanic witchcraft
Christian witchcraft/ Trinitarian witchcraft a.k.a. Christo-Wicca(Little bit of a contradiction there, but it works for some)
Pecti-Wita/Scottish WitchCraft/ Caledonii, Pictish witchcraft, witta
Then you still have the following, they are more witchcraft/shamanistic orientated:
African witchcraft those with the gift are called mangu, Azande witchcraft, Buda, Kindoki, Mingi, Nganga, obayifo, tagati/ umthakathi, Inyanga and Isangoma, many regions have there own versions of witchcraft
Appalachian folk magic
Navajo witchcraft is known as Witchery Way
Asian witchcraft/shamanism, think Chinese Wu-ism or Ku-ism, South east asia GONG TAU In Hokkien/Teochew/Cantonese) or JIANG TOU In Mandarin.
The Philippines, Mangkukulam or Mamalarang
Papua New Guinea its Sanguma
New Zealand Maori is Makutu
The Aboriginal people have there own witchcraft (dreamtime/songlines)
Japanese is Shinto
Hinduism has Witches/demons called Daayan and The “Atharvaveda”, the fourth of the sacred “Vedas” of Hinduism, is a collection of charms and spells classically associated with witchcraft.
Peruvian are Curanderos
Chile it’s the Machi or Kalku
Kahuna/Huna In Hawaii
West indies its Obeah
Napalese its Boksi
(Santeria, voodoo, hoodoo, Macumba, Candomble, Umbanda often confused for witchcraft are actually there own form of religion and have there own form of magickal practise)
Nations that are still tribal throughout the world or even localized traditions in larger countries will have there own form of witchcraft/shamanism not mentioned here or even just different names for them, above are just the most known. In other words witchcraft/shamanism is known in all countries.
Further subgroups within witchcraft based on traditions/orders/coven/churches:
The 1734 Tradition, The Arician Tradition, Appalachian Granny Magic, Ashe De Orisha – Santeria, Black Forest Tradition , Black Ring Witchcraft Tradition, Cabot Tradition of the Science of Witchcraft, Ceili Sidhe Tradition, Children of the Light, Circle of Ara, Circle of Arianhod, Cthulhu Rising – Left Hand Path, Dynion Mwyn, Earthwise coven, Fellowship of Isis, Ganymede Branch, The New England Covens of Traditionalist Witches, Reclaiming Roebuck Tradition, Ophidian Traditional Witchcraft, Mahlorian Green Craft, Protean Tradition, Starkindler Tradition, Temple of the Pagan Way, The Circle of the Celtic Dogs- Eclectic Witchcraft Oder, Cochranianism/ The Clan of Tubal Cain, Gwyddon Cymry, The Temple of American Witch Craft
Then there is Wicca The traditional religion:
American Celtic Wicca
British Traditional Wicca
Dianic wicca: McFarland/mur-ray’s Dianic wicca or Feministic Dianic Witchcraft or even henotheistic Neopagan Witches
Further traditions that have there base religion in wicca, are a denomination of or are coven/church based traditions:
Cyber Wicca, Correllian Tradition, Aquarian Tabernacle Church, Algard Wicca, Frosts’ Wicca, Nova Wicca, Georgian Wicca, Amythystian Wicca, Blue Star Wicca, Circle Wicca, Deboran Witchdom, Covenant of the Goddess, Sacred Wheel Tradition, Coven of the Forest, Far and Forever. Aglaian Triad of Wicca, Amaurot Tradition, American Tradition of the Goddess, Assembly of Wiccan, Central Valley Wicca, Church and School of Wicca, Church of Wicca, Church of the Wiccan Way, Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca, Daoine Coire, Du Bandia Grasail, Elijan Wicca, Evergreen Tradition Ganymede Branch, Chthonioi Alexandrian Wicca, Odyssean Wicca, Keepers of the Ancient Mysteries, Kingstone Tradition, Mohsian Tradition, New York Welsh Traditionalist Wicca NFG Branch, Odyssian Reformed Tradition, Oldenwilde Tradition, Our Lady of the Woods Coven, Serpentstone Tradition, Sisterhood and Brotherhood of Wicca, Temple of Ara, The Janic Tradition – Solitary Wicca, Welsh Cymri Wicca, West Yorkshire Wiccan Youth Initiative.
As you can see these are just a few of the many covens, orders and churches out there. Some fall in time, while others rise. It is also why it is difficult to list them all, since each person within paganism can create his/her own views and traditions based on there believes, each beeing unique, but still part of Paganism.
Categories: Paganism and Witchcraft
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