Historical Misconceptions in Paganism

#paganism #pagan #paganhistory

The Top 5 Biggest Misconceptions in Paganism, providing a critical, academic perspective based on peer-reviewed sources. This video is a must-watch for anyone interested in Pagan studies, religious studies, or seeking to understand the true nature of modern Pagan practices and beliefs.

1 – The Ancient Religion Hypothesis

2 – The Great Witch Hunt and Pagan Martyrdom

3 – Christian Holidays and Pagan Origins

4 – The Universal Triple Goddess

5 – The Primordial Mother Goddess Archetype

00:00 Support Angela’s Symposium

00:24 Introduction: Historical Misconceptions of Paganism

01:45 The Historicity of Paganism

03:17 Margaret Murray – the pagans’ survival myth

05:01 The Great Witchhunt

06:01 Feminist Pagan Theology

09:41 The myth that Christians coopted Pagan Festivals for their Holidays

10:25 The History of Samhain

14:02 Complex syncretism between Pagan and Christian religions

15:37 The origins of Christmas and Pagan misconceptions about it

17:41 The origins of the name of Easter from Eostre and Pagan misconceptions

20:53 The concept of the Triple Goddess

23:22 The idea of the Primordial Goddess

25:20 The idea of a Mother Goddess may be patriarchal

28:20 Myth and History in Individual Practice

30:52 The concept of Perennialism

34:47 The importance of differentiating history and mythology in Paganism


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The Ancient Religion Hypothesis

Hutton, Ronald. “The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft.” Oxford University Press, 1999. This work challenges the notion that modern Paganism is a direct continuation of ancient religions by providing an extensive historical study of the origins of contemporary Pagan practices.

Magliocco, Sabina. “Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America.” University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. Magliocco discusses the creation and evolution of neo-Pagan traditions and how they differ from ancient practices.

The Great Witch Hunt and Pagan Martyrdom

Levack, Brian P. “The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe.” Routledge, 2016.

Levack provides a comprehensive overview of the witch trials, debunking myths about the number of executions and their supposed link to Pagan martyrdom.

Ehrenreich, Barbara, and Deirdre English. “Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers.” Feminist Press at CUNY, 1973.

This book explores the feminist perspective on witch hunts, though it has been critiqued for its historical accuracy.

Christian Holidays and Pagan Origins

Hijmans, Steven. “Sol Invictus, the Winter Solstice, and the Origins of Christmas.” Mouseion Series III, Vol. 3, 2003. Hijmans argues against the direct pagan origins of Christmas, suggesting a theological basis for the date.

Hutton, Ronald. “Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain.” Oxford University Press, 1996. Hutton examines the complexities of Easter’s origins and the speculative connection to Eostre.

The Universal Triple Goddess

Graves, Robert. “The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth.” Faber & Faber, 1948. Graves’ book is the source of the Universal Triple Goddess concept, which subsequent scholars have critically examined.

Wood, Juliette. “The Concept of the Goddess.” Routledge, 1996. Wood critiques the Triple Goddess concept, discussing its modern construction rather than ancient universality.

The Primordial Mother Goddess Archetype

Gimbutas, Marija. “The Language of the Goddess.” Harper & Row, 1989. Gimbutas’ work on the Goddess hypothesis is seminal but has been challenged by later scholars.

Hawkes, Jacqueline. “Dawn of the Gods.” Chatto & Windus, 1968. Hawkes is critical of projecting modern concepts, such as the Mother Goddess, onto ancient societies.


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Published on November 19, 2023