NEO-PAGAN description for SELECTSMART.com's SPIRITUAL BELIEF SYSTEMS SELECTOR - a comparative WORLD RELIGIONS quiz to explore your spiritual path.
This description is generally aligned with the topics addressed in SelectSmart.com's entertaining yet educational Spiritual Belief Systems selector quiz, comparing more than two dozen world religions/belief systems.
by SelectSmart Staff
A community of faiths bringing ancient pagan and magickal
traditions to the modern age -- including mostly Wicca but also Druidism,
Asatru, Shamanism, neo-Native American, etc. Neo-Pagan is an umbrella
term for various and diverse beliefs with many elements in common. (See Pagan Path Selector below) Some
Neo-Pagans find no incongruence practicing Neo-Paganism along with
adherence to another faith, such as Christianity or Judaism.
Belief in Deity: Some believe in a Supreme Being. Many believe in God and Goddess - a duality. Many believe there are countless spirit beings, gods and goddesses, in the cosmos and within all of nature - God is all and within all; all are one God. The Great Mother Earth, or Mother Nature, is highly worshipped. Divinity is immanent and may become manifest within anyone at any time through various methods.
Incarnations: No human incarnations are worshipped in particular, as all of nature and the universe are considered embodiments of God and Goddess, or of gods and goddesses, worthy of respect, reverence or worship.
Origin of universe/life: Generally there is no conflict between observations revealed through science and Neo-Pagan beliefs on origins of the physical universe and of man. Many believe in a supreme intelligence that created a duality of God/Goddess who then created a spirit world of gods and goddesses as well as all of the universe and nature.
After death: Many believe in reincarnation, after some rest and recovery in the “Otherworld.” There is generally no concept of hell as a place of punishment, but some believe wrongdoing can trap the soul in state of suffering after death. Some (Wicca) believe the soul joins their dead ancestors who watch over and protect their family. Some believe that life energy continues in some, if unknown, form. Some believe in various spiritual resting places. Many say we don’t or can’t know what happens after death.
Why evil? “Evil” is imbalance. Most believe there is no evil but rather that people sometimes make mistakes. Wrongdoing results when we forget we are one with the universal spirit.
Salvation: The concept of “salvation” is essentially irrelevant; rather the belief that people can attain spiritual balance and harmony with each other and Nature. The path includes group ceremonies, dances, songs/chants, prayers, meditation, trance, altered states of consciousness, the metaphysical, magic, invoking or evoking deities or spirits, Tantric practices. Intercessors are commonly used: psychics, seers, shamans, tarot, Oui-Ja Board. Ethical choices are influenced by belief in rebirth and karma - that one is rewarded or punished within this or after this lifetime for one’s choices, and an ethical code to do no harm.
Undeserved suffering: Most do not believe in Satan or any spirit Being as the cause of suffering. Some believe in karma, that choosing to live a life of wrongdoing and pain will naturally result in suffering in this or later lifetimes. Many view suffering as a result of spiritual imbalance in one’s life or on the planet or in the universe. The focus is generally on healing suffering rather than answering definitively why it exists.
Issues: Abortion choice is supported by many, but beliefs about abortion range from “pro-life” to “pro-choice.”
Views on divorce, homosexuality, and gender equality are generally very
supportive of human differences, equality, and personal choice. Many
believe that involvement in community action, especially regarding
environmental concerns, is integral to the belief in human
interdependence and worship of the Earth Mother. Many promote strict nonviolence to humans and animals.
You might also enjoy taking these SelectSmart.com selector quizzes:
Pagan Path Selector
Wiccan Tradition Selector
Books on Religion & Spirituality from Amazon.com
Recommended Website: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Recommended Website: neopagan.net -- Isaac Bonewits' Homepage
Recommended Website: LunaSea's Neo-Pagan Pages