Where would we be without Wicca? (Part 2)

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Without Wicca — and with the influence of esostericism thorough Wicca — Neo-Paganism might outwardly look somewhat different, especially to those of us who came to Neo-Paganism through Wicca or who practice a Wiccanate form of Paganism. But in spite of these differences, there would still be a vibrant and growing Neo-Pagan community, with unique ritual forms and a profound theology — even if Gerald Gardner had never become a witch. [Read more...]

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Where would we be without Wicca? (Part 1)

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While Gerald Gardner’s influence on Neo-Paganism was profound, I think there is good reason to believe that Neo-Paganism would have developed more or less along the same lines without him. In order to reach that conclusion, though, we have to take a look at what other influences led to the Neo-Pagan revival. [Read more...]

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We Are (Not) Special: Anthropocentrism and the Evolving Universe

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One of the insights of deep ecology is that we humans are members of a vast more-than-human community. Deep ecology calls us to a new humility in the face of this fact, challenging us to abandon our anthropocentric perspective. [Read more...]

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Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: The Gaia Theory: Reuniting our bodies and nature

The Gaia Theory calls into question many deeply ingrained scientific and cultural assumptions and challenges us to perceive our world in a new way. The Gaia Theory also illustrates how we are radically interconnected with all other livings beings on the planet, human and other, as well as with the non-living elements of the Earth. We humans carry on our lives seemingly independently of Gaia, but yet we exist within a larger living entity on which we depend for our lives. [Read more...]

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Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Neo-Pagans, “The Dirt Worshippers”

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The history of Neo-Paganism is part of a larger history of nature religion in the West, beginning with the American Transcendentalists, conservationists like John Muir, and early environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, all of whom appreciated a religious dimension to our relationship with the environment. [Read more...]

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American Neopaganism, Part 2: “I think I may be a Wiccan”

In my last post, I wrote that Neopaganism was a distinguishable tradition from Wicca, and one that is in some ways at odds with the esotericism in which Wicca is rooted.  In spite of that fact, through a series of historical accidents, the two are now almost entirely intertwined.  The way this happened is interesting. [Read More...]

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