How do we define "Paganism"? "Neo-Paganism?"
Pagan, or "Neo-Pagan" are umbrella terms for those individuals and groups who follow an Earth based religious tradition. These include (but are not exclusive to)"Earth Religionists," "Witches," "Wiccans," "Heathens," "Shamans," "Ceremonial Magicians,""Druids,""Celtic Reconstructionists," polytheists, polyenthiests, animists, and panthiests. Neo-Pagan has been around since about the 1940's when it was invented by an Englishman, Sir "Something or other (well, I know absolutely for sure that it wasn't invented by an American in the early 1970's, as some would like to claim (and you know who you are)) to define the return to the "Old Religion" (or pre-Christian religion) then beginning in Europe. I am using the terms Pagan/Neo-Pagan interchangably. Oh and yes, "The Old Religion" is yet another reference to what we are defining here.
It is said that if you have five Pagans together in one room, you will get seven opinions. It is also said that leading Pagans is like "herding" cats. In other words, defining what a Pagan is nearly impossible. I therefore am going to let others do it for me. Here are three links (with cross-links) to documents found on the web that attempt to define us. Have fun and good luck!
Questions and Answers About The Old Religion
The Alt.Pagan FAQ
What Is Pagan?
RETURN to Southern Oregon Pagan Network