ABSTRACT

Paganism is part of our cultural heritage. Although some might see current Neo-Pagan expressions as a resurgence of “ancient” belief systems, and therefore separated by centuries from their origins, what we know as Paganism has had a sustained existence, although often hidden from mainstream view through its vilication and subjugation by the Christian Church. e current resurgence of Pagan worldviews is sometimes attributed to the 1960s counter-culture, which witnessed a resurgence of interest in Celtic and Norse Pagan religions – the precursor, perhaps, to later revivals of Asatru, an ancient Nordic religion, and Druidism. e counter-cultural revolution itself, with its worldviews encompassing the celebration of life, communing with nature, and exploring alternative consciousnesses and spiritualities, has clear parallels with Pagan worldviews. Christopher Partridge argues that this movement “needs to be understood in the context of a prominent stream of Western Romantic Idealism which has, for over two centuries, expounded an optimistic, evolutionary, detraditionalized, mystical immanentism” (Partridge 2004: 96). From this period onwards, Partridge notes that it would be hard to nd someone who was not familiar with at least some of the cultural symbols of alternative spiritualities, contributing to a “spiritual bricolage in which a range of beliefs and practices are reinterpreted in terms of the experience and well-being of the seeking self ” (ibid.: 104).