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Pagan Traditions

Sharing the Burden

Sharing the Burden

by Hans Gustafson

One of the greatest barriers to meaningful interreligious learning is the oversimplification, or ignorance of the internal diversity, of religious traditions other than our own.

Pagans in an Interfaith/Intrafaith World

Pagans in an Interfaith/Intrafaith World

by Jason Pitzl-Waters

For modern Paganism as a movement to effectively interface with the rest of the world’s religions, we have to be conscious of how we are progressing with Pagan ecumenical and intrafaith initiatives.

Hearing the Interfaith Voices Least Often Heard

Hearing the Interfaith Voices Least Often Heard

by Don Frew

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone in a group say “We even have a Witch” and point to me to emphasize how inclusive they are. So, in terms of diversity, I occupy a place at one extreme end of the interfaith spectrum.

A Pagan's Adventures in Egypt

A Pagan's Adventures in Egypt

by Don Frew

In 2005, I attended the annual meeting of the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative. That year, it was held at a retreat center near Seoul, South Korea. One day, we took a long bus ride to the Buddhist monastery of Haensa, during which I sat with Monica Willard, URI’s representative at the United Nations.

“Kindling Love”

In the Northern Hemisphere right now, the days are shorter, darker, and often colder.

When Nature Talks Back

Several years ago, I attended a North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) “Connect” in Las Vegas. The program was organized in three tracks, including one called “Caring for Creation.” As might be expected, all of the Pagans and indigenous people gravitated towards that track.

The Invisibility and Inevitability of Polytheism

The books you read can often illuminate patterns within the culture and society that you may not have noticed, or re-contextualize thoughts you’ve already had. Such is the case with A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism (2014, Harvard University Press) by Page duBois, a Distinguished Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego. For the well-read Pagan or polytheist, much of what duBois says regarding the worship of multiple gods and powers won’t be all that new, but the cumulative goal to advocate for a course-correction within academia regarding the concept of polytheism underlines just how pervasive monotheism is within Western culture’s assumptions and thinking, even from the scholars who are supposed to be dispassionate observers and analysts.

Saving Pagan Lives

Serving on the global council of the United Religions Initiative (URI) for 15 years has given me a new perspective on my own spiritual family. URI has grown to become the largest grassroots interfaith organization in the world, with more than 650 local groups in over 85 countries. Through URI, I have seen the power that comes with the “indigenous, tribal, polytheistic, Nature-based, Earth-centered, and/or Pagan religions” being understood as a single group. One story makes the point.

Finding Light in the Midst of “Devil-worshippers”

Finding Light in the Midst of “Devil-worshippers”

As we’ve watched horrific reports of the “Islamic State” terrorist organization this year, most Americans have heard about a religious/ethnic group called the Yezidis1 for the first time. However, the stories of Yezidi refugee families being displaced and attacked by ISIS fighters leave out an important fact: across the Near East, Yezidis are known as “Devil-worshippers.” Perhaps editors assumed this would be too difficult to explain to American audiences.

Paganism and Interfaith in the UK and Europe

The Long Journey to Inclusion

A Different Approach to Deity

Neopagan, Indigenous, and Earth-based Spiritual Practice

The Rudiments of My Neopagan Spiritual Practice

Meditation, Magic, and Invocation

The Silence of the Earth

Reconnecting with Home – a Pagan Perspective

Debate Over Mother Earth’s ‘Rights’ Stirs Fears of Pagan Socialism

Religious and political conservatives have long feared the global march of paganism and socialism. In their view, it was bad enough when Earth Day emerged in 1972, promoting a socialist agenda. But now, under the auspices of the United Nations, the notion has evolved into the overtly pagan, and thus doubly dangerous, International Mother Earth Day. 

Wicca, Indigenous Traditions, and the Interfaith Movement

The interfaith movement has an illustrious history of bringing the major religions together to compare similarities, share differences, build relationships, and discover new ways to work together for the betterment of humanity and the world. Collateral benefits that often go unnoticed include a multitude of meetings among smaller groups, communities included in global interfaith organizing efforts, who are now able to come together in their own smaller meetings, creating new networks of friendships where few existed before.