The fact that we are re-creating religion for ourselves after centuries of suppression makes us very
eclectic and very concerned with the "rightness" of a particular thing for the individual. So when you see some
people calling it a religion and others not, when you see it capitalized in some instances and not in others, don't be
confused - we're all still basically talking about the same thing.
Neo-Paganism is any of several spiritual movements that attempt to revive the ancient polytheistic religions of Europe and
the Middle East. These movements have a close relationship to ritual magic and modern witchcraft.
Neo-Paganism differs from them, however, in striving to revive authentic pantheons and rituals of
ancient cultures, though often in deliberately eclectic and reconstructionist ways, and by a particularly
contemplative and celebrative attitude.
Typically people with romantic feelings toward nature and deep
ecological concerns, Neo-Pagans centre their dramatic and colourful rituals around the changes of the
seasons and the personification of nature as full of divine life, as well as the holy days and motifs of the
religions by which their own groups are inspired.
Modern Neo-Paganism has roots in 19th-century Romanticism and activities inspired by it, such as the
British Order of Druids (which, however, claims an older lineage). Sometimes associated with extreme
nationalism, Neo-Pagan groups and sentiments were known in Europe before World War II, but
contemporary Neo-Paganism is for the most part a product of the 1960s. Influenced by the works of the
psychiatrist Carl Jung and the writer Robert Graves, Neo-Paganists are more interested in nature and
archetypal psychology than in nationalism.
Neo-Paganism in the postwar decades has flourished particularly in the United States and the United
Kingdom and in Scandinavia. Some of the major Neo-Pagan groups are the Church of All Worlds, the
largest of all the pagan movements, which centres on worship of the earth-mother goddess; Feraferia,
based on ancient Greek religion and also centred on goddess worship; Pagan Way, a nature religion
centred on goddess worship and the seasons; the Reformed Druids of North America; the Church of the
Eternal Source, which has revived ancient Egyptian religion; and the Viking Brotherhood, which
celebrates Norse rites. Beginning in the late 1970s, some feminists, open to feminine personifications of
the deity, became interested in witchcraft and Neo-Paganism.