What’s a NeoPagan? Or, What do you Believe?

These are my results from the Belief-O-Matic quiz at Beliefnet, hat tip to Spirit Blooms.

  1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
  2. Mahayana Buddhism (95%)
  3. Unitarian Universalism (91%)
  4. New Age (90%)
  5. Liberal Quakers (79%)
  6. New Thought (78%)
  7. Scientology (78%)
  8. Taoism (70%)
  9. Reform Judaism (68%)
  10. Hinduism (67%)
  11. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (64%)
  12. Theravada Buddhism (64%)
  13. Jainism (60%)
  14. Secular Humanism (60%)
  15. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (59%)
  16. Bahá’í Faith (57%)
  17. Sikhism (55%)
  18. Orthodox Quaker (47%)
  19. Orthodox Judaism (44%)
  20. Islam (36%)
  21. Nontheist (32%)
  22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (23%)
  23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (18%)
  24. Seventh Day Adventist (14%)
  25. Eastern Orthodox (13%)
  26. Roman Catholic (13%)
  27. Jehovah’s Witness (7%)

I guess I’m a NeoPagan. So I should know what a NeoPagan is, right? Well, logic says so, but I must admit I’m confused. In the results above, Christian beliefs are populated more densely at the end of the list, indicating they’re not likely a synchronous belief match for me.

“What’s a NeoPagan?” There appears to be great diversity of opinion, fact, and even scorn regarding neopaganism. The article Pagan Perplexity explores the word’s etymology, and places its evolutionary meanings in some historical context. The Wikipedia.org entry for “neopaganism” is not to be ignored. There are a lot of different beliefs listed there under this one umbrella term, including monotheism, and it’s clear that many of these beliefs are exclusive of each other. That causes some mental pause when contrasting it with any single major religion of the last millennia or two.

Am I a solitary NeoPagan? Before taking this quiz, I had no idea that was my religious classification. Were the tested-for beliefs acquired as a result of environment? Are there past issues of others’ deliberate interventions of indoctrination? Or were these beliefs inborn?

Since I was sent to multiple private schools when I was young, and they all had chapel or ‘non-denominational’ Christian religious services as mandatory, I tend to think some of my beliefs are, to one degree or another, acquired. These particular schools always taught me, in the end, that the correct way to approach ‘life’ is to ‘cast away’ in permanence. These experiences were in no way lessons of ‘how to be successful’ in life, and by applied practice, in action.

Therefore my beliefs are likely not only acquired, they are academically learned. There are many things in each of our respective lives that we cannot ‘cast away’ from.

If I’m a NeoPagan, like Belief-O-Matic says, I’m definitely a solitary one.

2 thoughts on “What’s a NeoPagan? Or, What do you Believe?

  1. I just stumbled onto your blog via our unfortunate discussion concerning track/ping backs in WP 1.5.1. Anyway, nice to be here. I see you should be a Unitarian Universalist! Great! UUism is my religious tradition of choice. It’s a great community, if you ever feel like going institutional/organized.

  2. Hi, sA! It’s always nice to know that there are options if I ever decide to come out of my cave. :-) Your comment was somewhat serendipitous: before you submitted it, I’d already read Three Approaches to the Real and was reminded about what I wrote above, “That causes some mental pause . . .”

    Regarding the WP issue, I reinstalled 1.5.1 on this blog and have found that track- and pingbacks work great if I eliminate custom permalinks!

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