Neopagans vs. the Recons

Although commonly referred to as 'Pagans,' Reconstructionists object to associations with Wicca and other Neopagan religions.


The word 'pagan' used as an umbrella term to include Wicca, Witchcraft, and other earth-based or goddess-centered traditions--as well as Asatru, Kemetic religions, and other Reconstructionist faiths is a heated point of contention in the Beliefnet community. On this issue we defer to the wisdom of our users, and ultimately agree in spirit with this rhetorical question: "Would B-net really be as entertaining if no one ever argued?"

To join one of the many conversations that have emerged on the topic, click on the name following the member's quote.

"I'm not a hippy"

"'Pagan' is usually associated with Wicca these days. Wicca (current popular Wicca, at least) is further away from my religion that Christianity, to be blunt.... and the perception of Wicca foisted on the general public (by groups of Wiccans) is of an ancient God/Goddess worshipping hippy sect.... I don't worship a god and goddess, I'm not a hippy, I'm not a political subversive, and I'm not part of any counter-cultural movement. I refuse to be associated with such because some people think we're all 'branches of the same tree.' We're not. We're not even the same *kind* of tree. #%@!, we're not even in the same forest, most of the time."

"Well, Eric, I'm not a 'hippy' either, I'm not a political subversive (my co-priestess is a Republican), and I'm not part of a counter-cultural movement, either. Oh, and I'm also a WICCAN. I suggest you stop buying into stereotypes. I mean, if this is how you've decided all Pagans are, then you've decided to despise the term based on a caricature."

Common Stereotypes

"I agree that the word pagan has been misrepresented in the modern world, and I will quickly correct anyone that assumes that I mean Wiccan when I tell them that I am Pagan. Instead I explain to them that Wicca is only one version of Paganism just as a Protestant is Christian. I chose to accept the academic definition of the word 'pagan' as an umbrella term because it is the closest thing out there to defining my faith."

"I sometimes think labels are more to define what you are NOT than what you are. Sensitivity to their use is part of the growing curve in assimilating the various belief systems. Even in a seemingly homogenous group (like, say- Christians) there's a lot of in-fighting over the very definition of 'Christianity'. Get a Catholic and some flavor of Protestant together, ask 'em, and stand back. The fur will eventually fly. Sell tickets. :-)"

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