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Neo-Paganism

Updated on September 9, 2014

Blessed Be!

Neo-Paganism is a term that encompasses a vast variety of modern, Earth and Goddess-oriented spiritual practices, including Wiccans, Druids, Alchemists, Witches and even some New Ages groups.  Neo-Pagans generally follow a series of eight major holidays, occurring about once every six weeks and each is geared towards a season of the year and part of the overall cycle of life. 

What is Neo-Paganism? - Suggestions for more info on neopaganism.

If you choose a Pagan or Neo-Pagan faith as your religion, you often find there are several common reactions when people find out that's how you identify.

The first is that some people think it means you don't have any religious beliefs or spirituality at all. This is due to arcane language usage, whereby some Christian faiths consider anything that isn't them to not be a religion. Many dictionaries still list this usage prominently, hence the misunderstanding.

Another reaction is that people think you worship the Devil. The character of Satan doesn't exist in Paganism, so again, you may find yourself up against that preconceived notion which is also Christian in origin.

Most often, people say "Oh, what's that?" This can be a tricky question as Paganism applies to a variety of beliefs and there are many different types of Pagans and Neo-Pagans in the world. It often helps to say that you can only speak for you own beliefs and that what you believe is not standardized across all persons who identify as Pagans.

The Wheel of the Year - The Eight Neo-Pagan Holidays

Although many Neo-Pagans believe the Eight-spoked Wheel of the Year to be hundreds of years old, in fact, this calendar of holidays was codified in the 1950s. However, it serves the extended Neo-Pagan community admirably, making a balance of observed holidays throughout the year.

  • Samhain - October 31

    This is the night the Wheel turns over, ending one year and starting the next.

  • Yule - December 21 - Winter Solstice

    In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the shortest day and longest night of the year

  • Imbolc - February 2

    Although many think of this as winter, this is the very beginning of the spring season.

  • Ostara - March 21 - Spring Equinox

    This day with equal day and night is one of the cross-quarter days.

  • Beltane - May 1

    This holiday marks the full flowering of spring

  • Litha - June 21 - Summer Solstice

    This is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the start of summer.

  • Lughnasadh - July 31

    This holiday signals the start of the harvest.

  • Mabon - September 21 - Fall Equinox

    Balanced like the spring equinox, the holiday is the peak of the harvest season.

Neo-Pagan Legal Issues

There are many places in the world where Pagans and Neo-Pagans are openly attacked for their spiritual beliefs. Even in the United States, a country that prides itself on religious freedom, many Pagans still lose their jobs, lose custody of their children and are persectured for their beliefs.

One of the biggest gains that just happened in the last few yeras is that the US Government and military will finally allow Pagans and Wiccans to be buried in military graves with a symbol of their faith on the headstone.

What say you as you pass by this part of the virtual roadway?

Blessed Be!

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    • FionaWalters profile image

      FionaWalters 4 years ago

      I once saw a lens about Squidooism!

    • WoodlandBard profile image

      WoodlandBard 5 years ago

      very nice introduction portal to a very vast subject

    • seeker2011 lm profile image

      seeker2011 lm 5 years ago

      Interesting how religion of any sort influences our behaviour. There is room for all. Nice lense.