Prevalence and Importance of Contemporary Pagan Practices
Keywords:Neo-Paganism, Contemporary Paganism, Pagans, Witches, Heathens, Religious Practices, Survey, Quantitative Studies, Magic, Magick, Ritual, Divination, Shamanism
AbstractUsing quantitative methods to analyze a national survey conducted by the author, this study investigates the prevalence and relative importance of categories of religious practice to a large sample (N=3318), of American contemporary Pagans. Results indicate that almost all Pagans identify as following multiple religious paths. A core constellation of ubiquitous religious practices was identified (individual ritual; seasonal rituals; meditation; making offerings; worshiping deity/ies; environmental or green practices as a part of religious practice; performing magick or spells on behalf of the self; healing work; divination; prayer; herbalism; and performing magick or spells on behalf of the greater good). Also identified was a subset of practices that are not as common but have high levels of significance for those who do them, suggesting possible specialization. There was minimal significant variation of prevalence and importance of practices by Pagan tradition, but there was some variation based on group membership and leadership status. The results indicate a high level of importance placed on personal practice, whether or not an individual belongs to a group or is solitary.
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