folkish

Folkish paganism is a term used to describe a subset of contemporary pagan movements that place emphasis on ancestral heritage and ethnic identity in their spiritual practices. Unlike universalist forms of paganism that are open to people of all backgrounds, folkish pagans believe that pagan traditions and worship should be restricted to individuals with a specific genetic or cultural lineage. This approach is often based on the idea of “folk soul,” which suggests that certain spiritual traditions are inherently tied to particular ethnic groups or cultures. Folkish paganism has been a subject of controversy, as it has been criticized for promoting exclusionary and discriminatory practices. Universalist pagans argue that spirituality should be inclusive and open to all, regardless of ethnic background, and that cultural exchange and collaboration among different traditions enriches the pagan community. Folkish paganism has its roots in various nationalistic and revivalist movements that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. These movements sought to revive and reclaim pre-Christian spiritual traditions and cultural heritage as a response to modernization and globalization. Today, folkish paganism exists in different forms and under various names in different parts of the world. Some folkish pagan groups focus on specific ethnic traditions, such as Germanic paganism or Celtic paganism, while others center their practices on broader cultural identities. The study of folkish paganism raises important questions about the relationship between spirituality, identity, and cultural heritage. It highlights the complexity of contemporary pagan movements and the ongoing dialogue within the pagan community about inclusivity, authenticity, and the boundaries of cultural appropriation.