What is it about?

This book chapter is about people who self-identify as Pagans in modern Ireland, including Druids and Witches. It looks at the question of indigeneity--lineage and belonging--in relation to this religious community. It examines how, for many Pagans in Ireland, the Celtic past is highly significant to their beliefs about themselves and the world around them, as well as more specifically their connection to place. The Irish landscape is important for this community in terms of their spiritual connection to place and it documents some of the "sacred sites" and why they are so important.

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Why is it important?

This chapter is important in helping us understand the significance of Celtic spirituality, why people want to make these connections to the land, to the past, and what it means to them as well as what it means in a broader sense of cultural change. It looks at why it is important for some people to claim that they are practicing or following an indigenous or well established religious and cultural tradition. It asks why this matters in today's Ireland and what the dynamics are: what this group of people believe about the Celtic past, and how they draw on that past (or their own beliefs about what it was like in ancient times) in their own spiritual lives.


As an academically trained folklorist and scholar of religion, I am interested in how new religious movements connect up with the past, especially in how modern people relate to history and ancient cultures in their own spiritual lives.

Dr Jenny Butler
University College Cork

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Entering the Magic Mists: Irish Contemporary Paganism, Celticity and Indigeneity, International Journal for the Study of New Religions, November 2018, Equinox Publishing,
DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.37627.
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