International Pagan, Heathen and polytheist communities: an overview

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TWH — Both the United Kingdom and United States are well known to have thriving Pagan, Heathen, and polytheists communities in one form or another. A few of the most commonly found Pagan religious practices, such as Druidry and Wicca, can locate their origins in one or both of those two cultures.

Furthermore, for those people living within those two countries, it is often fellow community members and co-religionists who are most commonly given voice in the mainstream press, at local events, and even within the Pagan media sphere.

This reality can make it difficult to see beyond one’s own national borders into other cultures where Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists may thrive.


Over the years, The Wild Hunt has gone in search of such practices beyond the U.K. and the U.S., asking how ritual, belief, and community differ within those other societies.

While that effort continues on, the work to-date has proven informative and inspiring to many, as it demonstrates the expansive nature of the global Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities.

Today we look back on a few of those reports to see where we’ve gone (listed in no specific order):

Witchcraft in India: A Conversation with Ipsita Roy Chakraverti

The Philippines: looking beyond Haiyan

Finding Kindred Spirits in Costa Rica

Emerging Mexico Heathen community launches magazine

Paganism in Israel: where modern meets the ancient

Pagan Federation International helps flood victims in Serbia

Paganism in Poland

Modern Paganism in Thailand

A look at Paganism in South Africa

The twilight of secularism in Turkey?

New Italian Pagan organization begins work for legal recognition

What do the Kremlin’s new religious laws mean for Pagans?

Paganism in France: an emerging culture

A Brazil federal ruling states Candomblé and Umbanda are not religions

Outside of those articles and the many other similar reports, The Wild Hunt includes weekly news stories from our Canadian and U.K.-based journalists.

For example, Dodie Graham McKay recently reported that the Canadian witchcraft law was closer to being stricken from Canadian criminal code. In May, Liz Williams reported on the celebration honoring the life of British occultist Florence Farr.

We also currently have two international columnists, who are part of a newly relaunched “Around the World” monthly column. Lyonel Perabo explores the religious experience found in Norway from his home north of the Arctic Circle. The latest article for his column “Visions from Ice” is titled The Dance of the Arctic Fairy.

From the other side of the globe, Josephine Winter has recently joined the team to share stories from the Pagan experience in Australia. Her first Wild Hunt column explored the growing interest in Druidry within her country.

We have also worked with a number of guest writers to feature international voices. South African Pagan Damon Leff collaborated on an article concerning the practice of Witchcraft in his country. In 2016, Christina Engela gave readers a look into South Africa’s vampire community.

We will continue to build on the international monthly column, welcome guest writers, and find other ways to explore the Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist experience around the globe.

How do people integrate Pagan practice, Heathenry, or polytheism into their lived cultural experience? How do they blend their unique cultural experience with a religious practice that is sometimes feared or misunderstood at best? What can we learn from each other, and how can we grow as a global movement, if one exists? Do these connections across our expansive world make us stronger as a collective community and improve our religious experience as individuals?

It is through the voices we allow to be heard here that we hope to learn answers to these and other questions.