Talk:Neopaganism

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This Paganism related article has been assessed as SIGNIFICANTLY PROBLEMATIC in one or more ways. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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This article requires attention for the following reason(s):
  • The article uses Wikipedia as a reference in multiple places and needs more real sources.

I hereby promise to never turn a single RW editor into a newt, no matter how annoying they are. Researcher 22:29, 19 November 2007 (EST)

What about this?[edit]

I was going to add this, but then thought it might not be "RW-ish". any comments? Totnesmartin 12:29, 21 November 2007 (EST)

Symptoms of Neopaganism[edit]

It is often said within Neopaganism that "you don't become a pagan, you realise you are one". Therefore, in the spirit of public education, here are some warning signs:

  • Your favourite films include Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Wicker Man (but not the crap Nicholas Cage version). And anything about King Arthur.
  • You feel inspired by trees, mountains etc.
  • You feel that there's some spiritual aspect to life, but the main religions have nothing to offer you.
  • You have a dreamcatcher.
  • You are a vegetarian, environmentalist and/or libertarian.
  • You like quite a few of the following: ancient Egypt, being outdoors, black, bonfires, cats (especially black cats), green, herbal remedies, horses, night-time, sex, silver, Stonehenge, storms, Terry Pratchett, goats.

Needs a couple of jokes? Totnesmartin 12:29, 21 November 2007 (EST)

I hate to have to agree, but a lot of those are spot on. (Some of those are things that more "serious" neopagans get annoyed by, but it doesn't mean they're untrue for the mass of neopagans.) Researcher 14:50, 21 November 2007 (EST)
I'll be bold and put it in. Totnesmartin 07:24, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Terry Pratchett reading is a sign of neopaganism? WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 14:36, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
You could have two or three from that list and not be a neopagan. Totnesmartin 14:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
You could have all from the list and not be a neopagan. --Kels 16:46, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
is it possible to be a neopagan at all? (btw, Kels, what happened to your webcomic? I forgot to bookmark it last time I caught up and can't remember what it was called...) WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 07:28, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
"is it possible to be a neopagan at all?" That's a good question. Is it a label, or even a venn diagram, rather than a religion? It's a vague and woolly definition and wil probably never fit the situation on the ground, but I think it's possible for the name to be placed in the centre of a set of beliefs and activities - although for a varying value of "centre." Totnesmartin 08:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Aw, I was just being silly... I think that, if you know how other people are using the words, you should describe yourself with them. After all, language evolves, rather than being handed down from on high. If I described myself as a gubdrat, no one would know what I meant now, but if I did it often and publicly people would associate the label gubdrat with anything that set me apart from others. I... I'm not sure that was worth saying. I've been studying philosophy so long I can't even tell any more. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 09:43, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Fantastic font of nuttiness[edit]

I've just been very quickly looking this on WP. It looks like we've been missing out on a fantastic font of nuttiness.--BobNot Jim 21:01, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

To be honest, I was surprised myself to find that some of the woo-ier beliefs of various Neopagan groups weren't brought to more snarky light in the article; such as tarot cards. The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 21:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Looking at the WP stuff it looks like it's just too big a subject. Too many competing ideas to really get a handle on. But there certainly seems to be a lot of fruitcakery. Wika is my favourite so far: Wiccans believe in magic that can be manipulated through the form of witchcraft or sorcery. Ho ho.--BobNot Jim 21:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
But we have an article about Wicca here already, which seems to have plenty of snark about such things in it. Punky Your mental puke relief 21:33, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
....Or, at least, the Wicca article used to, before that one drive-by editor came along and raised e-mail hell with me a few weeks ago. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 21:35, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Ha well, I'm not around so much these days. If the wiki is to become more magic-friendly so be it. --BobNot Jim 21:40, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Eh, if you want to make fun of any particular neopagan practice, I will certainly step back and go along. (Or perhaps help--I can't take my own religion too seriously.) Researcher 22:16, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
We seem to have an abnormally large number of neopagans here; off the top of my hat, I can think of several active neopagans and no active Christians. It might just be me, though. Word stupid Phantom! 22:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Once upon a time, there were active Christians. Did they all get scared off? I hope not. Researcher 22:32, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we do have active neopagans. We could conceivably have active YEC believers. But that would hardly mean that we should give YEC an easier ride. Frankly, YEC and neopaganism seem equally loopy.--BobNot Jim 07:19, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
There's a pretty big difference between members of a religion and people who espouse a verifiably false history of the earth. There are plenty of neopagans who believe things as silly as YEC (as I've already alluded to in some of the pseudohistory articles), but that shouldn't be used to tar all neopagans. Unless we want to have the overall antireligious stance as a whole, I see no reason to single out neopaganism. Researcher 07:57, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Our overall stance is rationalism and the use of the scientific method. Most religious beliefs - including noepaganism - do not fit in well with that stance. I fully agree that neapaganism should get no more or less criticism than, say, Scientology or Catholicism. But reading the WP articles I see references to: mediumship, magic, supernatural beliefs, witchcraft, covens, Christian Witchcraft, Feri Tradition and Goddess. In fact these ideas are no more weird than talking snakes in the Garden of Eden, believing that Jesus was born of a virgin or that he was resurrected three days later. But they are certainly equally as weird.--BobNot Jim 10:32, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Then criticize those beliefs. Again, unless we are going to be anti-religion entirely (which, if that's what the mob decides this time, I'll stand back and accept), gratuitous slams at the religion in general do no good. Researcher 13:05, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) - Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the tone of the article as it stands now, not the Silver Ravenwolf one. Both seek to distinguish between certain beliefs held by a fringe and the religious groups at large. I don't think they are gratuitous attacks. I'm a "pagan" myself, (albeit not in the neopagan/new age camp) and I don't find it insulting, though it is amusing. I think the article could do with more factual expansion though, which I might be able to help out with if the Mob feels we should have more info on this sort of thing. --TheEgyptian 14:59, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

I have pointed out Before that we should Respect all Religious Views. What is "True" for a Neopagan may be different to what is "True" for a Christian and they may both have different "Truths" to Scientists, but each is Truth is Valid, Useful and "True" in its own context. All Criticism of Religion is always Insulting.--Tolerance 16:16, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Um...no. They're not entitled to their own truths, and something like YEC (or, say, treating cancer with Reiki) is not valid or useful. --Kels 16:27, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
This is RationalWiki, not AntitheismWiki. Just because a belief is incompatible with the now altogether disproven philosophy of strong rationalism, is not grounds to label it irrational and sling mud at it. On the other hand just because a belief is "religious" does not make it rational and worthy of respect here on the Wiki. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:31, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
IT makes it Worthy or Respect everywhere, including Here.--Tolerance 16:35, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) I think Philip had it very nearly right over here. But, of course, he misunderstood. Way I see it, for most of us religion is just fine, but if it makes a verifiable claim about reality (Reiki cures illnesses, the world was created 6000 years ago, etc.), then it better be willing to back that up or face quite justifiable criticism. And no, Tolerance, nothing makes a religion automatically worthy of respect. Respect must be earned. --Kels 16:40, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) The only reason why a belief or argument would require any special respect is that it could not withstand scrutiny. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:43, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

If you want to talk about "respect", I suggest we bare the following quote in mind, it's one of my favourites:

All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do.... When you demand "respect", you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade.
—Johann Hari

Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:08, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, the problem with Neopagan woo is that are so many goddamn traditions of Neopaganism that to paint all forms of Neopaganism as practicing that woo is akin to calling all believers of all of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) YEC believers; its just painting with too broad a brush. Punky Your mental puke relief 23:39, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
An example being the distinction between neopagans and mesopagans; both these groups recognize the distinction to some degree, but few others do. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:47, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree with ListenerX. The point about mesopaganism is very true. The differences are obvious to people within any pagan tradition, but when ignored from the "outside" as it were, it always 1) causes bad blood and 2) undermines any valid points or arguments that person was making. Again though, I think the article in it's current form has mentioned enough that it doesn't apply across the board to escape this... though maybe a mesopagan/reconstructionist article would be good to give "an all round picture" as it were. --TheEgyptian 07:56, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

New Age template[edit]

Does this necessarily qualify as something "New age?" I don't care whether it is or not, but if it does, then it should get the "New age" category as well. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 00:58, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Doesn't the template add the category? And, also, I agree neopaganism =/= new age. Similar, but not the same. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Nope, the template does not add the category. Also, while Neopaganism is often corrupted by all sorts of New Age woo, they are not intrinsically synonymous. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 04:55, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, it should. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:28, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure it should, but everything it's on is in Category:New Age, so it wouldn't harm. Yeah, s'pose this gets the religion navbar - David Gerard (talk) 07:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
These templates should always add their category. And, no, this one isn't a religion. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:12, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
"Not a religion"? What, in the sense that Christianity is not a religion? (Some Christians claim this in all seriousness.[1][2]) Someone who wasn't one would file it there, and the religion nav is on lots of concepts as well as actual religions - David Gerard (talk) 08:40, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
"Not a religion" in the sense that it isn't one. I couldn't follow the rest of your comment. What does Christianity have to do with this? The "religion nav is on lots of concepts..." means nothing, probably that's it's just too broad-based. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:45, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
As in religious concepts, like the omnipotence paradox etc. which you certainly wouldn't call a "religion". In principle these could be replaced with "theology" do define a difference, but I don't think this is necessary at this time. As it stands, religion is the best category we have for neopaganism. Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:55, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Category, sure, fine. Magicrightsidebox? not convinced. ħumanUser talk:Human 10:26, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Dat symptom list[edit]

Guys...I might actually be some variety of neo-pagan. I have literally all but two and a half of those symptoms (I don't have a dreamcatcher, but I want one, so I'm counting that as "a half"). Should I go to a doctor? What should I ask her? Is this condition lifelong, or is there a cure?

(My apologies if this offends anyone; I'm just playing along with the article's humorous tone. But in all seriousness, my basic beliefs aren't actually too far off from neo-pagan beliefs, though I don't subscribe to the "goodwill to one's adversaries" crap; if someone treats you like shit, you need to fight back. Instead, I believe in reciprocal altruism. Though I can't say I subscribe to the nuttier aspects of neo-paganism. Except maybe as stress relief) Sensual Endeavor, the sexy pony ;) (talk) 16:19, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

That's one form of neopaganism, but...[edit]

What about the less fluffy side of neopaganists, like the argued nationalist side of somes as some branches of Asatru, slavic neopaganism, etc?— Unsigned, by: ‎96.23.63.161 / talk / contribs

Well, we have articles about those things: Asatru, Woden's_Folk, and others. But they aren't linked from this page. Feel free to add any information you feel is particularly informative. Ikanreed (talk) 14:50, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Bealtaine agus Samhain[edit]

Bealtaine (Byahlteneh) and Samhain (Sow-en (as in female pig -en)) are still in use as the modern Irish names for May and November respectively. Hollowe'en is Oíche Shamhna (ee-heh how-na), literally November/Samhain's eve, and Lá Samhna (law sow-na) is All Hallows'/Saints' Day. Appropriated by Christianity of course. Might be worth adding, or not. Féinléiriú (talk) 19:22, 17 March 2019 (UTC)