Paganism: British Isles Influences Archives Paganism-Celtic Archives

What is Paganism?

Neopaganism, also known as Witchcraft, is rooted in the collective writings of Gerald Gardner, Margaret Murray, and Robert Graves. Each contributed to the concept of a secretive nature religion, demonized by medieval christians, and remembered as covens of witches. Murray brought forth the anthropological theory of a vestigial Diana cult, Graves described a universal Goddess Muse, and Gardner claimed to have been initiated by a Goddess-worshipping witch cult.

Though the work of each of the three people mentioned above have been partially discredited, it has not reduced their collective impact. Instead, sects and perspectives continue to expand and proliferate. Wicca is probably the largest alternative religion in English-speaking countries, as well as the former Soviet Union.

Wicca's popularity can be, in part, ascribed to the apparent hypocrisy and cruelty of JudeoChristian religions. Alienation from birth religions, and the comparitive freedom, self-definition and acceptance in Wicca is a potent combination. On a social level, the Neopagan counterculture is a spiritualized successor to various 60's radical movements.

Important elements of Wicca include the worship of a divine marriage- a universal God and Goddess, based largely on the imagery of the Celtic Cernunnos and the Greek Diana. Also important is the value of earth/nature reverence, feminism, and the usage of magick as an aspect of religion. Some adherents use the term Wicca to describe themselves, while some choose to use Neopagan and/or Witch.

Though Wicca's link to the British Isles' imagery has faded somewhat in recent years, it remains somewhat distinctive from Nordic Neopaganism, such as Asatru- which is dealt with on a seperate page here.

Introductory Documents

Organizational Documents

Devotional Witchcraft

Practical Witchcraft

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