This chapter explores the manifold and conflicting histories of contemporary Paganism and how these varied understandings both reflect and influence Pagans' understandings of their religion, along with the differing ways of approaching and understanding Pagan religion, parenting, childhood, and daily life. Three primary groups of Pagan families are central to this narrative: the families of Silverling Circle in New Hampshire, the families of Dragon Moon/Spiral Winds Coven in Texas, and the First Church of Wicca in Massachusetts. The chapter also presents four perspectives on the issue of Pagan identity in the United States: Paganism as a prehistoric indigenous religion, as an earth-based nature religion, as the heir to the esoteric and Mind Cure movements of the nineteenth century, and as an eclectic integration of beliefs and practices from globally non-Christian traditions.
Keywords: contemporary Paganism, Pagan families, Silverling Circle, Dragon Moon/Spiral Winds Coven, First Church of Wicca, indigenous religion, nature religion, Mind Cure movements, non-Christian traditions
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