In the last meeting of the PSU yesterday (which is also the reason I didn’t post yesterday–got a little busy!), we discussed mostly the history of paganism. Our presenter did some research and came up with a flow chart of which religions feed into others to make the end result of what is today known as Neo-Paganism. The end result is this:
The presenter really did his research, so I trust that most, if not all, of this information is roughly accurate.
Most people don’t discuss very much the history of paganism. I think many people get too caught up in emphasizing how Neo-Paganism is not an ancient religion, but a movement based on ancient principles and practices. Just as they continually focus on emphasizing how Wicca is not an ancient religion but a created religion from the ’50s based on ancient beliefs. Wicca itself is only about 60 years old.
But seeing a flow chart like this one puts this into perspective. We can visually see how the religions of Neo-Paganism are built upon more ancient foundations, just as other religions are also built upon earlier beliefs. Yes, it is good to remember that these current religions are not in and of themselves ancient or hundreds of years old, but it is also good to realize that the principles and inherent beliefs of these religions are ancient ones, some of which are held in commonality among many religions which feed into each other.
[If there’s a problem opening the link to the chart, please someone let me know so I can try to fix it. I’ve never tried putting in a PDF file before.]