The Invisible Web

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Neopaganism growing quickly

Posted by invizweb on July 1, 2008

Electa Draper reported for the Denver Post:

Give them that old-time religion — ancient religion — and then watch an exploding population of modern pagans give it contemporary twists.

Their numbers roughly double about every 18 months in the United States, Canada and Europe, according to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.

Neopaganism, whether a careful reconstruction of ancient practice or a completely modern interpretation of ancient lore, is now among the country’s fastest-growing religions.

People, especially teens, are rejecting what they see as the “autocracy, paternalism, sexism, homophobia and insensitivity to the environment” of some more traditional religions, the Canadian group concludes.

Denverite Jesse Walter describes himself as a recovering Irish Catholic, conservative Republican and Army reservist. He is also a druid who follows one of the most difficult traditions of his religion — taking his livelihood for at least a year and a day from a grove of trees.Walter, 33, who became a druid at age 18, first took a literal approach and bought land near the Wyoming state line where he could hunt. Then he and his wife, Kantis, who calls herself a generic pagan, were inspired to open a community center/coffee shop, Witches Brew, across the street from Berkeley Lake Park in north Denver.

Walter picks up litter and watches over the park. In a part of the grove sacred to him, he leaves spiritual offerings, sometimes a bottle of whiskey, to ward off wee-folk mischief.

Read more.

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