Eclectic Paganism

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Eclectic Paganism, also occasionally termed Universalist or Non-denominational Paganism,[1][2] is a form of modern Paganism where practitioners blend paganism with aspects of other religions or philosophies.[3][4] In the book Handbook of New Age, Melissa Harrington states that "Eclectic Pagans do not follow any particular Paganism, but follow a Pagan religious path, that includes the overall Pagan ethos of reverence for the ancient Gods, participation in a magical world view, stewardship and caring for the Earth, and 'nature religion.'"[1] The practice of Eclectic Paganism is particularly popular with Pagans in North America and the British Isles.[5][2]

Eclectic Paganism contrasts with Reconstructionist Paganism: whereas reconstructionists strive for authenticity to historical religious traditions of specific groups or time periods, the eclectic approach borrows from several different cultures, philosophies, and time periods.[6][7]

Some see benefits and drawbacks to the eclectic pagan label. It is broad and allows for various practices and beliefs and without concrete rules, practitioners can explore various religions, philosophies, practices, and cultures while remaining within the bounds of the label. Some also create their own beliefs, philosophies, and rules. This label may also be confusing, and some do not approve of blurring the lines between cultures, leading to accusations of cultural misappropriation.

Use of Social Media[]

The use of social media within eclectic paganism is very common. Within cultures where pagan or occult beliefs and practices are a minority, social media can provide a safe haven for learning and discussion; and social media allows for the creation of pagan communities. With the advent of social media, information can be reached by anyone, rather than being passed down through oral traditions and within families or covens, as was traditionally common.[8] These communities are vast and can incorporate multiple religions, traditions, and cultures; though some have been accused of misappropriating other cultures.

Within this community, "witchy aesthetic" has been portrayed by some as the norm, or even as correct. Some criticize this as undermining the beliefs of individuals and believe that it shows an inaccurate description of the concept to outside people.[9]

See also[]


  1. ^ a b Kemp, Daren; Lewis, James R. (2007). Handbook of New Age. Brill Publishers. pp. 435–436. ISBN 978-9004153554. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Lesiv, Mariya (2013). The Return of Ancestral Gods. Mcgill-Queens University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0773542624. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  3. ^ Davy, Barbara Jane (2006). Introduction to Pagan Studies. Rowman Altamira. pp. 5, 194. ISBN 978-0-7591-0818-9. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  4. ^ Jennings, Peter (2002). Pagan Paths. Random House UK. pp. 113–116. ISBN 9780712611060. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  5. ^ Kermani, S. Zohreh (2013). Pagan Family Values. NYU Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-1479894604. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  6. ^ Strmiska, Michael; Strmiska, Michael F. (2005). Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. pp. 18–22, 41, 47. ISBN 9781851096084. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  7. ^ Rountree, Kathryn (2015). Contemporary Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Europe. Berghahn Books. p. 12. ISBN 9781782386476. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  8. ^ Morrison, Mora (2018-10-17). "Witches of Instagram: how social media's Wiccans formed a 'community not a coven'". Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  9. ^ Gorham, Bradley W. (2019-02-26), "Media Effects", Race/Gender/Class/Media, Routledge, pp. 13–18, doi:10.4324/9781351630276-3, ISBN 9781351630276

External links[]

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