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History of Neo-Pagan Druidism, Requirement 5

Compare and contrast your understanding of three various forms of Neopaganism, such as Wicca, Asatru, eclectic Neopaganism, shamanism, and discordianism. (minimum 300 words)

Druidry, Discordianism, Asatru

A simple comparison between various forms of Neo-Paganism often makes for a curious study, especially when you choose to look at such things as Drudry, Discordianism, and Asatru.

Asatru, of course, is the religion of the "true gods", the Nordic deities of Germany, Iceland, and Scandanavia. This is one of the more fortunate Neo-Pagan religions primarily because the texts and mythology of the area were considered so vitally important to the culture that they were retained with very little editing by the Christian scribes who eventually wrote down the tales. Asatrur tend to be very well-informed about their mythology and very scholarly about their approach to their religion, though a certain fluffiness does tend to sneak in. I think that the scholarship has more to do with the available texts than any sort of ability to draw "more scholarly" membership.

Druidry is often compared favourably to Asatru, particularly in the scholarship department. While Asatru has access to many texts and even more fragments, Druidry has almost nothing native to work from. This causes a huge discrepancy in how Druidism is practiced by various branches and has allowed for wide interpretations about who the Druids were and what they did; still, despite the greater amount of fluff that settles at the bottom of the Druidic information pool, the relative dearth of information seems to provide most Druids with a challenge that they can focus on, and some phenomenal scholarship can arise from this group.

The Discordians, in marked contrast to the Druids and the Asatrur, are not compared favourably to anybody. Most people want to forget that they ever existed. Discordianism is alternatively described as a joke that is masquerading as a religion and as a religion masquerading as a joke. Both are widely considered to be correct interpretations. The Discordians retain a couple of holy texts, including the Principia Discordia, the Illuminatus! Trilogy, the Apocrypha Discordia, and anything that any Discordian might write, draw, or use as toilet tissue, though these texts are subject to any Discordian deciding that they are null and void at any point. Many Discordians know what they're talking about, but choose to make things up anyway.

Each of these is an authentic religious tradition, drawn into modern times and revalorized to fit the needs of those who practice the religion. They are all Neo-Pagan belief systems, and rarely (though sometimes) claim a lineage that stretches back beyond traceable records.


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