A few things that most Pagan and/or feminist religions have in common:

  • An emphasis on gender equality and/or the importance of women priestesses and Goddesses;
  • Great reverence for the Earth;
  • A sensitivity to the energies around them and the ability to move with them, direct them, and be directed by them;
  • And a belief that little or nothing in life is exclusively good or evil.

    Not all religions on this page are always labeled "Pagan" *or* "feminist" or any of that other stuff; they are all here because they are lumped into that group and demonized by the Western, English-speaking mainstream media on which we currently focus, and therefore fall under our protection. If you have suggestions for additions to this list, email us.

    alt.culture on spirituality A descriptive time line of religious developments today. "With the third millennium looming on the horizon, alternative spiritual currents spread through an increasingly fragmented cultural arena. Traditional religions enjoyed a surge of popularity among the younger generation, as did other multicultural affirmations of time-honored ethnic identities. At the same time, fringe pop styles began invoking religious imagery to blur the distinction between cult and culture, whether in the name of Goth, Gaia, or Elvis worship."

    Asatru means "faith" or "belief in the gods" in Old Norse. K. Day's Asatru FAQ says, "Indeed, so long as there are men and women of European descent, it cannot really die because it springs from the soul of our people. Asatru isn't just what we BELIEVE, it's what we ARE.... We believe in an underlying, all-pervading divine energy or essence which is generally hidden from us, and which is beyond our immediate understanding. We further believe that this spiritual reality is interdependent with us - that we affect it, and it affects us. We believe that this underlying divinity expresses itself to us in the forms of the Gods and Goddesses. Stories about these deities arelike a sort of code, the mysterious "language" through which the divine reality speaks to us. We believe in standards of behavior which are consistent with these spiritual truths and harmonious with our deepest being."

    Atheism "1.It's Free! Never pay a dime for your disbelief!
    2.There's no governing body! No one to tell you how to be an atheist!
    3.There's no leader! Just like the real world, which has no god!
    4.It's fun! Being an atheist is fun! Identifying yourself as an atheist is even funner!
    5.It identifies yourself for what you are, an atheist, and proud of it, damn it!"

    Baha'i "Bahá'u'lláh's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá'u'lláh said, has set in motion historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal civilization. The principal challenge facing the peoples of the earth is to accept the fact of their oneness and to assist the processes of unification."

    Buddhism "is a path of teaching and practice. Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow the path of spiritual development. Ultimately, the Buddhist path culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood."

    Caodaism "Dao Cao Dai (Caodaism in English) is the third largest religion in Viet Nam (after Buddhism and Roman Catholicism). "Cao" means "high"; "Dai" means "palace". Caodai refers to the supreme palace where God reigns. The word is also used as God's symbolic name. Caodaism is a syncretistic religion which combines elements from many of the world's main religions, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism,as well as Geniism, an indigenous religion of Viet Nam... Followers of Caodaism believe that God was concerned that the multiplicity of religions prevented people from living together in harmony. God decided to initiate a third revelation, in which he communicated Caodaism by spiritist means." (From the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, who have tons more info on these religions.)

    The Covenant of the Goddess "was founded in 1975 to increase cooperation among Witches and to secure for Witches and covens the legal protection enjoyed by members of other religions." It is a Wiccan church stretching across North America, Europe, and Australia.

    Discordianism "Discordianism, also known as Erisianism, is an ancient irreligion, dating back to the Cthulhuvian epoch and High Atlantis, and concealing among its tenets the secrets of the cosmos and the guiding principles of all creation. Modern-day Discordianism arose following a supernatural visitation in a bowling alley in California. Among other things, Discordianism has its own calendar, holydays and saints. For more information, consult your pineal gland, and then consult the Principia Discordia. Or not."

    Druidism "The Druids taught reincarnation, and the omnipresence of a spiritual Otherworld, that issometimes accessible to us, and particularly close at certain times of the year, like at Samhain.... Druidic philosophy points to knowledge as the key to self awareness, else certain mythological holy-places of greatest import would not be associated with wisdom, ex. the Well of Wisdom (auspiciously located at the center of the world), the Spiral of Annwyn, the Cauldron of Cerridwen, and the 4 Wise Men of the 4 Cities in the North....The Druidic pursuit of knowledge would seem to suggest that ethical action is action that brings you closer to Wisdom. I would not seek to define wisdom at this point in the manner that the Celts may have known it, yet here the correlation between druidic wisdom and Eastern mysticism is striking; one considers the Buddhist Eightfold Path as a perscription of right actions designedto bring one closer to Nirvana. Wisdom becomes a kind of knowledge above ordinary knowledge (like facts), a form of total-awareness, or even a state of mind." Also check out this wonderful Druidic site for kids.

    Feminist Judaism "The name of the Hebrew's Goddess, the feminine god of the Jews, is Shekhinah, the feminine spirit of creation
    She is in our wombs, in our hearts, on our lips when kiss our children, our lovers, our animals and plants.
    Her love is perfect and neverending, enobling the heart
    Her love is perfect and neverending, making for understand between us
    Her love is perfect and neverending, believing in the goodness of life
    Her love is perfect and neverending, encouraging theoppressed
    Her love is perfect and neverending, bringing love to the loveless
    Her love is perfect and neverending, bringing Creation and feeling."

    Hinduism "Unlike the other religions of the world, Hinduism did not originate with any single prophet or at a particular period of human history. Its uniqueness lies in its being based on the super conscious experiences and spiritual realizations of a galaxy of saints, sages and seers, each of whom could claim prophethood. Built on such a firm foundation of spiritual experiences which are verifiable, the Hindu religious tradition has been flowing continuously like the river Ganga for several millennia. That is why it has been designated as Sanatana dharma." Branches of Hinduism include:

    Jainism "is an ancient religion with roots in India dating back several thousand years. Lord Mahavira is revered as the 24th Tirthankara of the current era who expounded the Principles and Practices of the Jain philosophy and religion over 2500 years ago. Among the major tenets of Jain religion are its emphasis on Ahimsa, or Nonviolence; Satya, or Truth; Anekantvad, or multiple points of view."

    Kemetic Orthodoxy "is a term created by House of Netjer founder and Chief Priest Rev. Tamara Siuda (aus) to describe the actual, not reinvented, theology of Kemet, or ancient Egypt, as practiced by the House of Netjer. It is derived from the word for ancient Egypt in its own language ('Kemet'), adding the English suffix '-ic' for 'of' or 'pertaining to,' and the word 'orthodox,' meaning 'conforming to established doctrine; conventional; conservative.' (Definitions courtesy Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary).... Kemetic Orthodoxy is monolatrous. As in Hinduism, another monolatrous system, we believe in one Deity, ('Netjer' in the ancient language), expressed in our reality in a myriad of Names or forms. Each is worshipped singly, and one set of rites is used for all Names of Netjer, considered to be the Self-Created One when worshipped.... Ma'at [world order... associated with truth, justice, and 'what is right'] is not self-dependent; it must be maintained through acts of ritual and right living. This 'personal piety' is a characteristic of other faiths, most of which are Eastern in origin, and further distinguishes Kemetic Orthodoxy from revealed faiths, in that the responsibility for communion with Deity is on the shoulders of humans, who must approach Deity, rather than the other way around. An offshoot of this philosophy is that there is no discernible difference between 'sacred' and 'secular' reality as there is within some other religious philosophies, as everything is done according to Ma'at and in the presence of Netjer.

    Neo-Pagans "hold a reverence for the Earth and all its creatures, generally see all life as interconnected, and tend to strive to attune one's self to the manifestation of this belief as seen in the cycles of nature. Pagans are polytheistic (believing in more than one god) and they usually believe in immanance, or the concept of divinity resting in all things."

    OrishaNet is a site for La Regla Lucumí, also known as Santería, a religionoriginating with the Yoruba and incorporating elements of Catholicism. Their site explains, "The traditions of Santería are fiercely preserved and full knowledge of the rites, songs, and language are prerequisites to any deep involvement in the religion. Initiates must follow a strict regimen and are answerable to Olorun and the orishas for their actions. As a person passes through each initiation in the tradition, this knowledge deepens and their abilities and responsibilities grow accordingly....La Santería is famous for its 'magic'. This magic is based on a knowledge of the mysteries or orishas and how to interact with them to better our lives and the lives of those who come to us for the aid of the orishas. We live under the premise that this world is a magical one. This knowledge seems 'supernatural' only to those who don't understand it, but it really is quite natural." (In English and Spanish.)

    Radical Faeries "join together in love and mutual aid for play, work, self discovery and nurturing. To be a faerie is an act of self definition. While we have no structured dogma, we share and celebrate common visions that bring us together. Some of these are: a belief in the sacredness of nature and the earth; A respect of the interconnectedness of spirit, sex, politic,and culture: A commitment to the process of group consensus; An understanding that each of us has our own path or paths which leads us to the garden of who we are, and by uniting in Circles, Gatherings and sanctuaries, we can increase the joy of tending our 'gardens' together." (The Radical Faeries are so fabulous that they don't have a FAQ - they have a list of Frequently Questioned Answers.)

    Religious Society of Friends (aka "Quakers") believe that "there exists element of God's spirit in every human soul. Thus all persons have inherent worth, independent of their gender, race, age, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation. Their opposition to sexism, racism, religious intolerance, warfare and the death penalty comes from this belief. Simplicity, pacifism, and inner revelation are long standing Quaker beliefs. Their religion does not consist of accepting specific beliefs or of engaging in certain practices; it involves each person's direct experience of God."

    Romuva, the Baltic Pagan tradition, "is made of knowledge, faith and a way of life. This cannot be attained by some form of membership or christening. Only a patient and consecutive awakening of the inherited religion, cleaning up of the heart from temporary stains, will and can bring a person to Romuva - the heart’s mansion, created by our ancestors."

    Satanism "There is no one set of beliefs that comprise Satanism....There are several European groups, most of them consisting of small "covens" of several people, that are or could be considered Satanists. Two of the larger of these groups are The Fraternity of Baelder and the Order of Nine Angles (ONA). These groups allegedly have longer traditions, and "more authentic" origins (whatever that might mean). ONA is especially fond of calling itself the "traditional Satanists."... 2. Churches of Satan: are patterned after the teachings of Anton LaVey. These groups believe in individualism, gratification of the ego, self-reliance and the ideal of the Nietzchean Superman. These groups use Magick as a tool for earthly power. They see Satan as the driving force behind achievment in mankind. ...Gnostics: can be divided into two major categories: 3a. Promethian Gnostics: Believe in a literal "Satan", but believe that the creator of the world (Jehovah) is the evil deity. Satan is seen as the "bringer of light"; a beneficient god. This is an old "heresy" seen in groups such as the Yezidis or the Ophites. 3b. Dark Gnostics: Worship the dark force in nature. These groupsfollow the whims of a capricious god, which most westerners wouldsee as being "evil." There are a few historical christian heresieswhich would fall into this category. Kali worshippers could also be categorized here."

    The Temple of Set "is probably best described as an initiatory magical order of the Left Hand Path, a description which probably doesn't mean much to those without occult backgrounds. 'Initiatory' means the ToS advocates self-advancement through a series of levels of self-knowledge and similar attributes. 'Magical' means that the ToS openly works with magic (non-scientific cause and effect), not stage magic. 'Left Hand Path' indicates that the path followed by Setians is one of concentration and refinement of the self, leading toward more and more individuality and more and more individualism, as opposed to the Right Hand Path goals of growing toward some outwardly determined standard. Setian Philosophy centers around the Egyptian concept of Xeper (often spelled Khepher), personified by the Egyptian Neter (god?) Xepera (Khephra), a concept that can be translated to 'self improvement,' or perhaps 'Be all you can be.'"

    Universal Eclectic Wicca "encompasses both the beliefs of UNIVERSALISM and WICCA, and its followers draw their beliefs from varied and ECLECTIC sources. Eclectism is the practice of taking from many places. In UEW, we have a habit of saying 'Whatever Works!' What we encourage is experimentation and exploration towards those things in your religious life that work and letting go of those things that don't. UEW defines Wicca as any religion that calls itself Wicca, AND believes in a god/force/power/whatever that is either genderless, both genders or manifests as a male/female polarity that we agree to call 'the Lord and Lady,' AND upholds the Five Points of Wiccan Belief."

    Voudoun is related to La Regla Lucumí through their common root in Yoruban religions. It has more than 50,000,000 followers worldwide. The La Garra Negra page says that "one of the most important concepts in Voodoo and other African based traditions is the reverence for ancestor spirits. To many Westerners this is an alien concept. Voodoo practitioners, however, believe that all of those who have come before you are important spirits and are worthy of tribute."

    Wicca/Witchcraft "is an ancient, Pagan pre-Christian religion, centering around the worship of a Goddess and a God. It is primarily an earth religion, and Witches are very concerned with the environment. We believe that every living thing is an aspect of our Earth Goddess, and is to be treated with respect. We believe in reincarnation, in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We have no concepts of "sin," "Heaven" or "hell." We believe that each Witch carries the responsibility to make his or her life fruitful and happy, and to give that happiness back to the world by doing good wherever possible. Witchcraft is a legal religion, protected under the First and Fifth Amendments, and our Priests and Priestesses may conduct legal marriages, funerals and prison and hospital visits."

    Zippies are "'Zen-inspired professional pagans.' Under the umbrella of its 'pronoiac' philosophy (the nagging suspicion that someone is conspiring to help you), the Zippies brought together a unique and unlikely mélange of New Age travellers, cyberpunks, crusties, smart drug takers, pagan spiritual, hippies, and free-floating entrepreneurs." HotWired tells us that "The pagan roots revival that the travellers brought to the zippie movement is fundamentally at odds with the government's insistence on Judeo-Christian pub culture and 11 p.m. bedtimes, no matter how hard the police crack down. Interest in the New Age is more than passive; it's rooted in a darker, indigenous Celtic/Nordic shamanism revival that has become increasingly politicized.... Zippies are not a cult and have no uniform by which one can recognize them. In the clubs, on the street, or at the festival, anything goes as long as it's you - and what's that?"

    In Zoroastrianism "The Zorastrian holy book is called the Avesta. This includes the original words of their founder Zarathushtra, preserved in a series of five hymns, called the Gathas. The latter represent the core text of the religion. The Gath