What is the definition of Pagan?
Pagan here is used in its widest sense and includes groups and magical orders such as: the Golden Dawn, BOTA and American OTO; NROOGD and CAW; cultural-religious and Reconstructionist groups as ADF, Asatru/Heathenry,CR (Celtic Reconstruction), Hellenic , Hexen , etc.; Wiccan groups (descending from British lines of Gardnerian and Alexandrian); as well as Traditional Witches and Witchcraft groups (non-Gardnerian currents such as British or Celtic Traditional Witchcraft, 1734, etc.) ; Dianic and Goddess spirituality, LGBT groups; as well as, cunning craft, Theosophy, Afro-Diaspora groups, fraternal orders and others as they interrelated, pollinated and crossed over with the Pagan Movement.
What is the time frame of documentation?
The time frame and context for collection commences with the origins of the American Pagan Movement from its inception up to the mid-1990’s in Phase One. Post-internet era collection will be Phase Two. Many early 20th century groups and individuals have not been well documented previously and their contributions are deserving further study. These include, the Ancient Order of Druids in America;the Temple of Aphrodite; and Ella Young’s Fellowship of Shasta,among others.
The dawn of the Internet era in the mid-1990s changed the dynamic of the American Pagan Movement. While some practices,practitioners and communities become easier to document,others went “underground” and documenting these less well-known members of the Movement is crucial.
What is the purpose of this website?
The project to collect, preserve and share our histories is intended to increase the knowledge of and between our diverse Paganisms (magico-religious groups) and is a resource for scholars and community members alike. We will collect oral histories using video, audio and digital recording technologies–including pre-existing historic material. We use narrative techniques of history; take oral histories using an anthropological model and ethnohistorical methods. We will record verifiable history as well as mythic history (so called “grandmother stories”) because both inform who we are as Pagans. Religions have “origin stories” which give important information about their nature and purpose.