The Neo-Paganism Performance Current

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


Some historians credit Gardner with the inauguration of a new and performance-rich current of esoteric spirituality that began to bloom and diversify in the 1960s. This twentieth-century current of esotericism bore many connections to ideas and practices that thrived during the Occult Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but it also moved in new directions and exhibited even more diversity of religious form and content than had the other movements of the Occult Revival. After Wicca appeared, there emerged many new groups of ceremonial magicians and esoteric philosophers, such as witches, Druids, neo-shamans, and goddess-worshippers.1 By the 1970s, many of these new esoteric groups and movements were being categorized under the now-familiar label of “neo-paganism.”


Religious Diversity Spiritual Practice Indigenous Culture Ritual Practice Spiritual Leader 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Joanne E. Pearson, “Neopaganism,” in Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 828.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Ronald Hutton, Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraf (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    Hutton, Triumph of the Moon, 247.; see also John Symonds, The Great Beast: The Life and Magick of Aleister Crowley (1954; reprint, Frogmore, UK: Mayflower, 1973).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    J. L. Bracelin, Gerald Gardner: Witch (London: Octagon Press, 1960), 172; see also Hutton, 247.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Margaret Adler, Drawing Down the Moon, 2nd ed. (Boston, MA: Beacon, 1986), 179; see also Hutton, Triumph of the Moon, 345.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Zsuzsana Budapest, The Grandmother of Time (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1989), 168.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Religion of the Great Goddess (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1979).Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    Elizabeth Puttick, Women in New Religions: In Search of Community, Sexuality, and Spiritual Power (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 20.
    Aidan Kelly, Crafting the Art of Magic (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1991), ix.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Shahrukh Husain, The Goddess: Power, Sexuality, and the Feminine Divine (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2003), 151.Google Scholar
  11. 28.
    Robert S. Ellwood, Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973), 188.Google Scholar
  12. 50.
    Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double (1958; reprint, New York: Grove Press, 1985), 49–50.Google Scholar
  13. 59.
    Antoine Faivre, Access to Western Esotericism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), 13.Google Scholar
  14. 60.
    Allison P. Coudert, “Alchemy IV: 16th–18th Century,” in Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 46.Google Scholar
  15. 74.
    Lance Gharavi, Western Esotericism in Russian Silver Age Drama: Aleksandr Blok’s The Rose and the Cross (Saint Paul, MN: New Grail, 2008), 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Edmund B. Lingan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations