Originally posted at writing_religion
almost ten years ago. (Link
.) I keep going looking for it in my blog and realizing it's not here.
I've been annoyed at the lack of information about Paganism for people who aren't planning on joining a Pagan religion. Almost all of the Pagan information websites are aimed at either new members of Pagan religions (most commonly Wicca), or are apologetics trying to explain why Paganism isn't evil and shouldn’t be discriminated against. Neither of those approaches is much use for someone wanting to know about
one or more types of Paganism. They're especially not useful for authors who may want to write good Pagan characters or situations, but haven't any idea where to start looking for accurate information. (This doesn't go into that, but it does try to indicate which topics would need what kind of research, depending on the writing goals.)
Disclaimer: I'm only one person, and this is only one list. (Set of lists. Whatever.) This is no doubt biased by my experiences and beliefs, and is necessarily incomplete, because "complete" involves a monograph on each term, plus probably a couple of videos and maybe a stack of original source texts. Please take this as a starting point for research, rather than a definitive source. I've deliberately been vague in spots to encourage that. I've also left out a number of terms that are mostly used by only one tradition/sect/type of Pagans, except for some Wiccan terms that are so commonly-used they needed a mention.
Every one of these terms has been the subject of debate and controversy; with a bit of time, I could probably scrounge up a link to an online screaming match about the exact meaning of every one of these terms. (So when I say a term is "controversial?" That means the average never-heard-it-before person could Google for those controversies. Nonpagans are not likely to be able to find the debates on the differences between a "stang" and a "staff.")( PEOPLE )( CONCEPTS )( ACTIVITIES )( OBJECTS )( DEITIES )( WRITING DETAILS )( LISTS )