Neopaganism in Australia

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An upright pentacle is used by many Pagans, especially Wiccans, as a symbol of faith. The five points of the star inside the sacred circle of life represent the five elements of life: spirit above manifesting as earth, water, air and fire below.
The eight-armed sun cross represents the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Australians celebrate the seasons based on Southern Hemisphere seasonal dates.

Contemporary Paganism, including Wicca, is a growing minority religious group in Australia.

History

Alexandrian Wiccans and Gardnerian Wiccans arrived in Australia from England and the United States around the late 1960s.[1]

Demographics

In June 2003, Nature Religions, including Druidism, Paganism, Pantheism and Wicca, were described by Phillip Hughes and Sharon Bond as “the fastest growing group of religions in Australia” between 1991 and 2001.[2]

In the 1991 census census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4,353 Australians identified their religion as a Pagan religion including, 1,367 Australians identified their religion as Wicca or Witchcraft.[3]

In the 1996 census census, 10,052 Australians identified their religion as a Pagan religion including 1,849 people who identified their religion as Wicca or Witchcraft.[3]

In the 2001 census, 24,156 people described themselves as Pagan, including 8,755 people who identified their religion as Wicca or Witchcraft.[1][3]

The PAGANdash campaign was started to help government and community get a correct representation of the number of Pagans currently in Australia. Originating from the Pagan Community Projects in Queensland in 2005, the Pagan Awareness Network (PAN) also ran a comprehensive PAGANdash program prior to the 2011 census in Australia. All Pagans were asked to fill in their religion as Pagan-(religion), for example a Wiccan would write Pagan-Wiccan as their religion.[4]

In the 2006 census, 29,391 Australians identified their religion as a Pagan religion including 8,207 people who identified their religion as Wicca or Witchcraft.[5]

In the 2011 census, 32,083 Australians identified their religion as a Pagan religion including 8,413 people who identified their religion as Wicca or Witchcraft.[5]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Douglas Ezzy (2009). "Australian Paganisms". In Pizza, Murphy; Lewis, James R (eds.). Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Leiden: BRILL. p. 465. ISBN 9789004163737.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Phillip Hughes and Sharon Bond, "Nature Religions" Pointers, 13.2 (June 2003): 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Phillip Hughes and Sharon Bond, "Nature Religions" Pointers, 13.2 (June 2003): 5
  4. "HISTORY What is the PAGANdash campaign?". pagandash.org.au. Retrieved 18 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "PAGANDASH - STAND UP AND BE COUNTED Results of the 2011 Census". pagandash.org.au. 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Hume, Lynne (1997). Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522847826.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Caroline Tully. ‘The Sabbats.’ In Practising the Witch's Craft. Ed. Douglas Ezzy. 169–188. Crows Nest NSW: Allen and Unwin, 2003.
  • Bodsworth, Roxanne T (2003). Sunwyse: Celebrating the Sacred Wheel of the Year in Australia. Victoria, Australia: Hihorse Publishing. ISBN 9780909223038.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>