Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 2nd. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Has Neo Paganism Gone Too Far?
Article ID: 12839
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,667
Times Read: 3,931
RSS Views: 87,320
Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 8th. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,931
Has Neo Paganism gone too far? Have members of the organized religions diluted the real meaning of paganism to serve their own needs? Do the organized religions inadvertently use neo paganism to rid themselves of their mal-contents?
Prior to the advent of neo paganism in the mid 1950’s, paganism for the most part referred to those folks who believed in and maintained a genuine connection with Mother Nature and all she represents. Generally this referred to those folks who practiced a form of witchcraft, shamanism or druidism.
Neo paganism has taken what used to be and in some cases still is and has re-created it into something beyond recognition by those who practice the Old Ways.
Since many who now call themselves pagans were once and in many ways by way of behavior and thought still are, members of one of the organized religions, paganism is now a role p laying venture for many neo pagans.
Anyone who wants to rebel against his or her primary religious beliefs can now simply call himself or herself pagan. Since there is no litmus test so to speak, every borderline sociopath can pretend to be pagan.
The fact is that the gentleman who started Wicca and thus opened the door to neo paganism, claimed to have doctorate degrees from two different universities. These claims were later proven to be patently false. And so one cannot help but wonder if such dubious beginnings to neo paganism set the stage for the bewildering morass that we have today.
I personally have never had the experience of going from one set of religious/spiritual beliefs to another, having lived my entire life as a witch brought up in an Irish family. And yet the more that I see and experience in the environment called neo paganism makes me even more inclined to shun such a label.
For instance the concept of open acceptance and diversity are nothing more then rehashed ideals from the hippie era of the 1960s. Realistically these concepts were never tenets of paganism during the 10, 000 year or so, tenure of paganism prior to the neo pagan beginnings in the mid 1950s. Pagan gatherings from one area did not necessarily get along with pagan gatherings from another area. Even with folks from the same pagan ethnicity, there were different aspects and/or Deity that was recognized dependent on the geographic area in question.
And while such grand ideas sound appealing, they are far too altruistic to have any meaningful role in any group or community. We have to remember that we are dealing with human beings here. One has to only look at the multitude of pseudo masters, the massive egos and the many elitist groups that have sprung up under the banner of neo paganism to see what effect this has had on what was once and for some still is, a belief system based upon the realities of a mystical life. For those who shun the hype and glamour of “Hollywood” neo paganism, and practice paganism for what it really is, such realities extend far beyond just this realm.
Also, I personally don’t believe that such groups as vampires, werewolves, were-kin and what have you were ever intended to be recognized under the description of paganism. Prior to the advent of neo paganism, such entities were feared and shunned by pagans. Pagan history is full of tales and mentions many charms and talismans to protect against such entities. Do neo pagans pretend to know something that old line pagans don’t know?
It is not my place to say that these groups should not exist within their own particular belief systems, but I do believe that it is an oxymoron to include them under the pagan banner. Though, such a contradiction seems acceptable under the neo pagan banner.
And perhaps this is why there is so much uncertainty, disorganization, in-fighting (witch wars) and controversy within the neo pagan community. Even the title “community” is euphuism for a concept, which has yet to take on any valid substance.
Neo paganism is trying to take concepts, which have been in place for thousands of years and are trying to re-invent them to serve the self-serving society that is in place today. Such an attempt is bound to end in failure as so many other fads before it has done.
This is not to say that there are not those who quietly practice paganism for what it really is. Such folks know the real value of study, discipline, and an unending curiosity. For such folks the spiritual rewards are unending. For the discovery of one life mystery leads to the desire to continue such a trek through life. There is no overwhelming need to be accepted by a hostile society that has been inundated with antipathy over the concepts of religion/spirituality.
We are who we are and that is enough. There is no need to proclaim to the world that we are masters of the arts, for we know in our hearts that we are simply students of something much greater then ourselves. There is no need to accept everything and to be diverse in all things, for such concepts are unrealistic and have been unattainable over the entire course of human history.
Life is not all light and love, for such concepts belie the true nature of polarity. Pagans accept the dark along with the light, as these are the ingredients of life. Why subscribe to a fallacy that is unattainable in reality? Realism is the mark of a pagan as it pertains to real life.
Neo paganism is beginning to look like a stage for role players rather then a continuation of any valid belief system.
I say this because this because society today is rapidly becoming more and more insular. Moving further and further away from the ideals and experiences that Mother Earth once provided and to some, still does provide. And it was these very real experiences that paved the way for paganism. What used to be real life is now an artificial creation brought on by the hand of man.
And yet neo paganism seems to be following the same trend in regards to paganism as society is in regards to life. Simply creating a façade of what used to be to satisfy the desires of a spiritually lackadaisical people.
It takes a real effort to engage in the mystical arts, but such effort is hard to find in modern times. And so at the end of the day perhaps neo paganism does in fact have a “role” to play…
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
Author's Profile: To learn more about Crick - Click HERE
Other Articles: Crick has posted 74 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Crick... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).