It seems that lately more and more people are turning to a more reconstructionist or revivalist form of pagan worship. I’m sure there are many reasons for this, but I suspect that at bottom (at least in some cases) it’s simply a matter of people either turning to their own cultural (as in my case) or ethnic heritage, or being called by a particular deity or deities or a particular culture, who otherwise have little in common with the broader neopagan culture as it has evolved.
I started thinking about this recently when I stumbled across the blog of a self-described Aztec recon. Hellenic, Roman, Heathen and Celtic reconstructionists are becoming a part of the general pagan landscape these days, and even Kemetics are no longer uncommon, which I think is wonderful (not to mention Greco-Egyptian syncretists!) – but what I’m finding even more intriguing at the moment is the breadth of other ancient polytheistic traditions that are apparently being explored. I increasingly feel that this is a genuine sign of the deep revival of mankind’s original religious orientation.
The following is a short list of the more “unusual” revivals that I’ve come across:
- Aztec (Nahua) – Aztec Gateway
- Babylonian/Sumerian – I don’t know of any groups at this time, but Google searches have turned up at least a few people who are trying to walk that road (there are a couple of links here)
- Canaanite/Levantine – Natib Qadish and Qadash Kinahnu
- Lithuanian – Romuva (Note that as far as I can tell, this is almost entirely an indigenous revival within Lithuania. This seems to hold true for other Baltic and Slavic revivals as well, from what I can see.)
If you know of other revivals, or are part of one of these less-well-known revivals yourself, I’d love to hear about it!
On a side note, as I was researching this post I came across a fascinating article from the New York Times, dated September 22, 1912 – PAGANISM OLD AND NEW; The Attempted Revival of the Pagan Spirit, with Its Tremendous Power of a Past, Though a Dead Past. (A free site membership is required to read the whole article.) The article is a polemic against the Romantic “pagan” literary revival, but I found it interesting and instructive to note how similar the tone is to some of the arguments still leveled against neo-paganism (now clearly religious in the ways that the author asserts to be impossible :) ) almost a hundred years later.