Reform Paganism is an anti-orthodoxic branch of the Great Tree of Paganism on which blossom many distinct traditions, each with their own evolving formulations of belief aspiring to ineffable Truth.
Whatever our specific beliefs at any particular step on our paths of individual and collective spiritual development, however, at the present moment in the Pagan Reformation, we generally find a common point of reference—a starting point for conversation—in our Fifteen Theses, symbolized by the fifteen rays of our Shining Pentagram:
- “Naturalism”: Reform Paganism grows from deep and inseverable roots in Nature, which is, however proximately or distantly, the progenitor of all expressions of human spirituality.
- “Eudaemonism”: Reform Paganism promotes human flourishing (eudaemonia) within Nature, for such is human spirituality’s ultimate purpose.
- “Eternalism”: Reform Paganism regards not only the human past but also the human, transhuman, and post-human future, rejoicing at the accelerating advancement of science and technology.
- “Realism”: Reform Paganism pursues truth in all its aspects, embracing wonder at that which exceeds our present understanding, openness to new ideas, methodological skepticism, and active investigation of the world around us and within us.
- “Transcendentalism”: Reform Paganism proposes that reality transcends experience, that experience transcends reason, and that the essence and fullness of spiritual Truth is irreducible to categories and formulas—a human person must ultimately supplement the teachings of any supposed authority with direct, unfiltered personal experience and with inspired intuition.
- “Exotericism”: Reform Paganism reveals spiritual truth radically to all, neither hiding nor reserving anything from any earnest seeker but rending false veils.
- “Syncretism”: Reform Paganism gathers the scattered seeds of human wisdom from all spiritual traditions and secular fields of learning, not merely to compile a collection (Eclecticism) but rather to make from them something new and whole.
- “Nonsectarianism”: Reform Paganism aligns itself with no divisive sect or cause but opens and offers—even recommends—itself to all.
- “Egalitarianism”: Reform Paganism demands no initiation, ordination, or elevation of any person but regards all of us as equal and equally qualified in matters of spirit.
- “Integrationism”: Reform Paganism unites all of Nature’s children and encourages us actively to integrate ourselves into the world, rather than to separate ourselves from it.
- “Ritualism”: Reform Paganism celebrates events, however momentous or commonplace, in our life in Nature, using rituals on these special and periodic occasions to catalyze transformation.
- “Mysticism”: Reform Paganism embraces altered states of consciousness, particularly those attained through meditative practices, and explores all the depths and heights of the human psyche, considering mystical experience essential to a complete spiritual life.
- “Holism”: Reform Paganism informs, guides, and enlivens the entire person, soma and psyche, as spirituality is at once a worldview and a lifeway.
- “Dynamism”: Reform Paganism is dynamic, not static—it lives and must grow and adapt as much as individual human persons live and must grow and adapt, never ceasing in reform and renewal.
- “Missionalism”: Reform Paganism purposefully undertakes to manifest the vision of a Pagan Restoration for the highest good of all humankind and all of Nature, for we regard Paganism as a unique fulfillment of human spirituality.
The above noun headings that represent the Fifteen Theses are enclosed in quotation marks because we use them as convenient and poetic shorthand for the ideas that these nouns represent for us, with our usage differing in some cases from primary usage in common parlance.
Suggestions for learning more, right here on PaganRenewal.org: