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Imagined… But not Imaginary

By Erebos

“To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another.” – Emily Dickinson

Contemporary Pagans often faces the challenge of justifying the authenticity of their practices and spirituality since there is no true unbroken line between the classic and contemporary paganisms, while at the same time the current contexts are different to that of when classic paganisms were practiced.

Furthermore, as contemporary Paganism is pretty much as new system of practices, its traditions have, for the most, been created, reconstructed or are based on personal experience. Much of contemporary Paganism is pretty much a kind of a fusion of romanticism, ceremonial magic, the ways of the cunning folk and also the initial belief in the myth of Witchcraft as a remnant of a pre-Christian fertility cult.

Certain Pagan and Heathen paths, such as Druidry, Asatrú, and even much of Shamanism, have a “genuine past”. Rather than merely imagining these paths, adherents have had to “reconstruct” their traditions, and their greatest challenge is to establish to what extent historical texts are applicable, useful and meaningful – and to what extent available historical records are sufficient to establish what the original tradition may have been like.

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