8 Common Belief Systems in the Modern Pagan Community

Not all Pagans are Wiccans, and not all Pagan paths are the same. From Asatru to Druidry to Celtic Reconstructionism, there are plenty of Pagan groups out there to choose from. Read on and learn about the differences and the similarities. Keep in mind that this list is not meant to be all-encompassing, and we don't claim that it covers every single Pagan path that's out there. Plenty more exist, and if you do a bit of digging you'll find them - but these are some of the best-known belief systems in the modern Pagan community.

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Norse Gods
Detail from the Skogchurch Tapestry depicting the Norse gods Odin, Thor and Freyr. Sweden, 12th century. Image by De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

The Asatru tradition is a reconstructionist path that focuses on pre-Christian Norse spirituality. The movement began in the 1970s as part of a revival of Germanic paganism, and numerous Asatru groups exist in the United States and other countries. Many Asatruar prefer the word "heathen" to "neopagan," and rightfully so. As a reconstructionist path, many Asatruar say their religion is very similar in its modern form to the religion that existed hundreds of years ago before the Christianization of the Norse cultures.

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Druid Priestess
Have you ever considered finding a local Pagan group?. Ian Forsyth/Getty Images News

When most people hear the word Druid, they think of old men with long beards, wearing robes and frolicking around Stonehenge. However, the modern Druid movement is a bit different from that. Although there has been a significant revival in interest in things Celtic within the Pagan community, it’s important to remember that Druidism is not Wicca.

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Egyptian Paganism/Kemetic Reconstructionism

Book of the Dead
Anubis is portrayed weighing a soul in the Book of the Dead. M. SEEMULLER/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

There are some traditions of modern Paganism that follow the structure of the ancient Egyptian religion. Typically these traditions, sometimes referred to as Kemetic Paganism or Kemetic reconstruction, follow basic principles of Egyptian spirituality such as honoring the Neteru, or deities, and finding a balance between man's needs and the natural world. For most Kemetic groups, information is gained by studying scholarly sources of information on ancient Egypt.

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Hellenic Polytheism

Hestia's perpetual fire burned in every Greek village. Christian Baitg/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Rooted in the traditions and philosophies of the ancient Greeks, one neopagan path that has begun a resurgence is Hellenic Polytheism. Following the Greek pantheon, and often adopting the religious practices of their ancestors, Hellenes are part of the reconstructive neopagan movement.

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Kitchen Witchery

Kitchen prep
Make some magic in your kitchen just by changing the way you look at food and its preparation and consumption. Rekha Garton/Moment Open/Getty Images

The phrase "kitchen witchery" is becoming more and more popular among Pagans and Wiccans. Find out what exactly kitchen witchery, or kitchen witchcraft, means and learn how you can incorporate kitchen witch practices into your daily life.

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Pagan Reconstructionist Groups

Druid Group
Not every Pagan or Wiccan group will be the right one for you. Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images

Most people in the Pagan and Wiccan community have heard the term "recon" or "reconstructionism." A reconstructionist, or recon, tradition is one based upon actual historical writings and attempts to literally reconstruct the practice of a specific ancient group. Let's look at some different recon groups out there in the community.

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Religio Romana

Group of Pagan women
Giorgio Cosulich/Getty News Images

Religio Romana is a modern Pagan reconstructionist religion based upon the ancient faith of pre-Christian Rome. It's definitely not a Wiccan path, and because of the structure within the spirituality, it's not even something where you can swap out gods of other pantheons and insert the Roman deities. It is, in fact, unique among Pagan paths. Learn about this unique spiritual path than honors the old gods in they ways they were honored thousands of years ago.

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Woman standing in snowstorm
Helmuth Rier/LOOK-foto/Getty Images

Stregheria is a branch of modern Paganism that celebrates early Italian witchcraft. Its adherents say that their tradition has pre-Christian roots, and refer to it as La Vecchia Religione, the Old Religion. There are a number of different traditions of Stregheria, each with its own history and set of guidelines. Much of it is based upon the writings of Charles Leland, who published Aradia: Gospel of the Witches. Although there's some question about the validity of Leland's scholarship, the work purports to be a scripture of an ancient pre-Christian witch cult.

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Wigington, Patti. "8 Common Belief Systems in the Modern Pagan Community." Learn Religions, Sep. 20, 2021, learnreligions.com/best-known-pagan-paths-2562554. Wigington, Patti. (2021, September 20). 8 Common Belief Systems in the Modern Pagan Community. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/best-known-pagan-paths-2562554 Wigington, Patti. "8 Common Belief Systems in the Modern Pagan Community." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/best-known-pagan-paths-2562554 (accessed June 10, 2023).