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In Paganism, is the structure of pagan churches/etc an improvement over how it was for ancient pagans?

i.e. In ancient Europe and North Africa a Priest of Isis, or a Priestess of Jupiter would be a specialist. In modern Paganism, I’ve yet to see a coven/church/ etc that is formated in this way. Some specialize in an entire Pantheon, others in an Eclectic mix of pantheons. Still, Neo-pagan churches are more generalized than their Paleo-Pagan counterparts.

4 Comments

  • I think nowadays, it’s just for practicality’s sake. 🙂 Our overall numbers are few, and we’re generally pretty spread out geographically, with no large concentrations in any one specific path, though there are areas that are beginning to form.

    For instance, including yourself (I just moved back to my hometown), I know of only about 7 other people following a Pagan path of any sort within a 30-mile radius of me. And I don’t know any of these people in real life, just from various online forums. Of those 7 people, only one follows my specific kind of Paganism. I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to whether or not we have a strong interest in the same deities. Most of honor the 12 Olympians and then some other Greek deities, but most of the time, there’s some gods you’re closer to than others.

    Add to that, that I live out in the burbs and not the city proper, and I once again find myself in a very Christo-centric, politically conservative area where I’m wary about who I disclose my religion or political stance to.

    I’d love to see temples done the individual gods like in ancient times (and to give credit, some people are doing such things, as well as creating small shrines), I’d settle for just having a place where I could go to be with other like-minded people, whether they share my exact religion, or worship the same god as I do.

  • I ancient times each city had it’s own god (Athens had Athena). I believe the they would have a specialized priest for their own local benefit, But still followed a pantheon. Paganism today is a mix of new thoughts regarding the gods. I do see specialized worship such as groups that follow Nordic traditions for example.
    )O(

  • This could be contributed to growth and knowledge. We know about a lot more gods and goddesses now because of travel. Why not honour them all? Are they not equally worthy?

    Granted, I’m European and Cernunnos is an old Celtic god, as well as my “main” deity, but that doesn’t stop me respecting and honouring the Asataru and the Greek Pantheon. There have been times when I’ve called upon them as well.

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