What are different types of paganism?

Paleo-paganism: the standard of paganism, a pagan culture which has not been disrupted by "civilization" by another culture -- Australian Bushmen modern (who are probably becoming meso-pagans), ancient Celtic religion (Druidism), the religions of the pre-patriarchal cultures of Old Europe, Norse religion, pre-Columbian Native American religions, etc.

Civilo-paganism: the religions of "civilized" communities which evolved in paleo-pagan cultures -- Classical Greco-Roman religion, Egyptian religion, Middle-Eastern paganism, Aztec religion, etc.

Meso-paganism: a group, which may or may not still constitute a separate culture, which has been influenced by a conquering culture, but has been able to maintain an independence of religious practice -- many Native American nations, etc.

Syncreto-paganism: similar to meso-pagan, but having had to submerge itself into the dominant culture, and adopt the external practices and symbols of the other religion -- the various Afro-diasporic traditions (Voudoun, Santeria, etc.), Culdee Christianity, etc.

Neopaganism: attempts of modern people to reconnect with nature, using imagery and forms from other types of pagans, but adjusting them to the needs of modern people. Since this category is the focus of alt.pagan, the listing here is more comprehensive (though no listing could be completely comprehensive):


Return to the FAQ index Return to the SP&M Home Page