History

Who: Paganism has roots in multiple ancient religious traditions, including that of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and pre-Christian Europe, making it impossible to attribute it to one (or even several) founder. Some have called paganism the “ancestral religion of all of humanity.”

What: Paganism is polytheistic, pantheistic, and nature-worshiping. It believes in the divine presence within nature and all things, and seeks to worship and connect to the divine through seasonal festivals, rituals, magic, and mediums. It embraces a range of gods and goddesses and divine manifestations. Neopaganism has been used to describe the modern resurgence of Paganism, particularly in the Western world.

When: Although the ancient religions have endured for millennia, the recent revival particularly of the Celtic, Druidic, and Slavic religions of Europe began in the 20th century, and has continued to expand in popularity.

Where: Pagan religions existed in the ancient world and have endured for millennia in tribal societies. Neopaganism has sprung up in the modern West, beginning in Europe and spreading to the United States. The traditions Neopaganism draws from originate in ancient northern European religions, including those of the Anglo-Saxons, Germanic tribes, Norse, and Celtic peoples, as well as ancient Mediterranean lands such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome.