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What is the difference between Paganism and Neopaganism

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  • What is the difference between Paganism and Neopaganism

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  • #2
    Perhaps not the answer your looking for but something to consider.

    Paleo-Pagan, Meso-Pagan, Neo-Pagan

    It's been a while since I've seen these used in the Pagan community. Today it seems that everyone just wants to be "Pagan" but forget that one time Isaac Boniwitz (sp.) had coined the terms Pale-Pagan, Meso-Pagan and Neo-Pagan to aid in identifying and speaking on the various facets one encounters.

    Paleo-Pagan applied mostly to aboriginal type practices that had remained nearly unchanged and un-influenced by more Western doctrine. Examples being the Aboriginal practices of Australia, the Native American practices of the America's, etc. Even those practices to be found in the smaller south Pacific islands or other remote regions of the world.

    Meso-Pagan applied to the African Diaspora type religions that where founded in the new would especially, Santeria, hoodoo, Voudon, etc. Those that were changed to incorporate the western monotheism influences while keeping much of their Old World influence. Meso-Pagan also applied to the South American and Central American practices that incorporated the newly arrived Christian influences of their Saints and such but again kept the core of their elder practices.

    Neo-Pagan being the reclaimed or reconstructed practices that is so rampant today. Mostly derived from the attempts to reclaim the elder, though mostly European and Middle Eastern practices. Though again many are "reconstructed" in the sense that its pick and choose of what facets one takes. Not "Reconstructed" in the sense of trying to recreate what was though that to falls beneath the Neo-Pagan umbrella term.

    Of course Pagan itself still referring to the ancient practices and traditions that existed in antiquity that serve as the inspiration for today’s Neo-Pagan practices. Though realizing that true Pagan practices did not survive into the current time frame though fragments and lone practices may have been incorporated into the dominate Christian theology that replaced them.

    At one time almost all discussions included the various Paleo, Meso and Neo titles to distinguish the various influences and practices. That and to recognize the elder usage of the term Pagan in its broader application of non-Abrahamic based faiths and practices.

    Granted it did have its limitations in that it did not fully hold a place for identification of the more eastern inspired traditions such as Buddhist, Shinto, etc. Though most at the time referred to them from what I recall as Eastern practices or something similar.

    So what do you think? Today on another forum was the first time in years I have heard or seen the terms used in many years. Yet the very notion of their usage was to provide clarity of recognition of the various groups and not blindly make everything "Pagan".

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
      Perhaps not the answer your looking for but something to consider.

      Paleo-Pagan, Meso-Pagan, Neo-Pagan

      It's been a while since I've seen these used in the Pagan community. Today it seems that everyone just wants to be "Pagan" but forget that one time Isaac Boniwitz (sp.) had coined the terms Pale-Pagan, Meso-Pagan and Neo-Pagan to aid in identifying and speaking on the various facets one encounters.

      Paleo-Pagan applied mostly to aboriginal type practices that had remained nearly unchanged and un-influenced by more Western doctrine. Examples being the Aboriginal practices of Australia, the Native American practices of the America's, etc. Even those practices to be found in the smaller south Pacific islands or other remote regions of the world.

      Meso-Pagan applied to the African Diaspora type religions that where founded in the new would especially, Santeria, hoodoo, Voudon, etc. Those that were changed to incorporate the western monotheism influences while keeping much of their Old World influence. Meso-Pagan also applied to the South American and Central American practices that incorporated the newly arrived Christian influences of their Saints and such but again kept the core of their elder practices.

      Neo-Pagan being the reclaimed or reconstructed practices that is so rampant today. Mostly derived from the attempts to reclaim the elder, though mostly European and Middle Eastern practices. Though again many are "reconstructed" in the sense that its pick and choose of what facets one takes. Not "Reconstructed" in the sense of trying to recreate what was though that to falls beneath the Neo-Pagan umbrella term.

      Of course Pagan itself still referring to the ancient practices and traditions that existed in antiquity that serve as the inspiration for today’s Neo-Pagan practices. Though realizing that true Pagan practices did not survive into the current time frame though fragments and lone practices may have been incorporated into the dominate Christian theology that replaced them.

      At one time almost all discussions included the various Paleo, Meso and Neo titles to distinguish the various influences and practices. That and to recognize the elder usage of the term Pagan in its broader application of non-Abrahamic based faiths and practices.

      Granted it did have its limitations in that it did not fully hold a place for identification of the more eastern inspired traditions such as Buddhist, Shinto, etc. Though most at the time referred to them from what I recall as Eastern practices or something similar.

      So what do you think? Today on another forum was the first time in years I have heard or seen the terms used in many years. Yet the very notion of their usage was to provide clarity of recognition of the various groups and not blindly make everything "Pagan".
      I dunno I always thought the term Pagan meant one who honours the Divine in all its aspects, whether male or female, as parts of the sacred whole.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by brandonc1981 View Post
        I dunno I always thought the term Pagan meant one who honours the Divine in all its aspects, whether male or female, as parts of the sacred whole.
        Nope. It's a word that has changed and evolved as the years role by. Many groups falling beneath it that make no observance or acceptance of a divinity at all.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brandonc1981 View Post
          I dunno I always thought the term Pagan meant one who honours the Divine in all its aspects, whether male or female, as parts of the sacred whole.
          Erm, nope. Pagan is an umbrella term that means "one who doesn't follow an Abrahamic faith." Pagan is a very non-specific term that doesn't really mean much.
          Check out my shop for a variety of jewelry, salves, crafts, and more: www.divineessencecreations.com

          Find me on Facebook for updates, coupons, and discussions on products that you want to see: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Divine...85628011493663

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RoseKitten View Post
            Erm, nope. Pagan is an umbrella term that means "one who doesn't follow an Abrahamic faith." Pagan is a very non-specific term that doesn't really mean much.
            So what would you call someone who reveres nature and sees the divine in all of nature and in everything and who also celebrates the cycles and the seasons or whatever?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brandonc1981 View Post
              So what would you call someone who reveres nature and sees the divine in all of nature and in everything and who also celebrates the cycles and the seasons or whatever?
              They can call themselves whatever they want. They can go with the general "pagan" term, or may find a more specific way in which to define themselves over the years.
              Check out my shop for a variety of jewelry, salves, crafts, and more: www.divineessencecreations.com

              Find me on Facebook for updates, coupons, and discussions on products that you want to see: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Divine...85628011493663

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RoseKitten View Post
                They can call themselves whatever they want. They can go with the general "pagan" term, or may find a more specific way in which to define themselves over the years.
                Cool. Thank you

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                • #9
                  personally sounds more like a hedge witch, you can get a book about it's by Rae Beth and its really good i'll drop the link bellow

                  https://www.amazon.com/Hedge-Witch-G.../dp/0709048513

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by brandonc1981 View Post
                    ?
                    Pagan, when capitalised like so, usually refers to the Modern Pagan or Contemporary Pagan movement as a whole.
                    Neopagan can be a synonym, with "Paleopagan" as the antonym referring to ancient "Pagan" religions and cultures.
                    But it can also (and these days, tends more to) refer to a subset of Modern Paganism that tends more towards eclecticism, mysticism, and a decidedly novel and modern approach to the Pagan identity. Usually as a contrast to Reconstructionism, which tends more towards tradition, cultural specificity, and revival of distinct historical patterns of religion.

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