World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Semitic neopaganism


Semitic neopaganism

Semitic Neopaganism refers to a group of religions based on or attempting to reconstruct the old religious traditions of the Semitic peoples, mostly practiced among secular Jews in the United States.


  • Jewish neopaganism in the United States 1
  • In the Levant 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Jewish neopaganism in the United States

In the United States, the notion of historical Israelite or Jewish polytheism has been popularized in the 1960s by Raphael Patai in The Hebrew Goddess, focusing on the cult of female goddesses such as the cult of Asherah in the Solomon's Temple.

During the 1970s growth of Neopaganism in the United States, a number of minor Canaanite or Israelite oriented groups emerged, mostly containing syncretistic elements from Western esotericism.

Forms of Witchcraft religions inspired by the Semitic milieu, such as Jewitchery, may also be enclosed within the Semitic Neopagan movement. These Witchcraft groups are particularly influenced by Jewish feminism, focusing on the goddess cults of the Israelites.[1]

The most notable contemporary Levantine Neopagan group is known as Am Ha Aretz (עם הארץ, lit. "People of the Land", a rabbinical term for uneducated and religiously unobservant Jews), "AmHA" for short, based in Israel. This group grew out of Ohavei Falcha, "Lovers of the Soil", a movement founded in the late 19th century.[2]

Elie Sheva, according to her own testimony an "elected leader of AmHA" reportedly founded an American branch of the group, known as "Primitive Hebrew Assembly".[3][4]

Beit Asherah ("House of the Goddess Asherah"), was one of the first Jewish Neopagan groups, founded in the early 1990s by Stephanie Fox, Steven Posch, and Magenta Griffiths. Magenta Griffiths is High Priestess of the Beit Asherah coven, and a former board member of the Covenant of the Goddess.[5][6]

One of the most recent forms of neopaganism run by Jews is the [7] Their adherents offer prayers to Anat, Asherah, Lilith, and other deities. They are even now are quoted, in an approving light, by pagan and witchcraft groups.

In the Levant

Semitic neopagan movements have also been reported in Israel[9] and in Lebanon.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Jenny Kien, Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism (2000), ISBN 978-1-58112-763-8.
  2. ^ Jennifer Hunter, Magickal Judaism: Connecting Pagan and Jewish Practice. Citadel Press Books, Kensington Publishing Corp., New York, New York, 2006, pp. 18–19.
  3. ^ Interview with Elie in Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today, by Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond (2001), p. 105.
  4. ^ Witchvox article on Jewish Pagan organizations
  5. ^ Witchcraft today: an encyclopedia of Wiccan and neopagan traditions By James R. Lewis - pg.162
  6. ^ Covenant of the Goddess (Official website)
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ Ofri Ilani. Paganism returns to the Holy Land. Haaretz, 2009.
  10. ^ Hanibaael. Paganism and Occultism in Lebanon: These are our beliefs.

Further reading

  • Engelberg, Keren (October 30, 2003). "When Witches Blend Torah and Tarot" reprinted in The Jewish Journal (July 21, 2008)
  • Hunter, Jennifer (July 1, 2006). Magickal Judaism: Connecting Pagan & Jewish Practice. Citadel. ISBN 0-8065-2576-2, ISBN 978-0-8065-2576-1.
  • Jacobs, Jill Suzanne. "Nice Jewitch Girls Leave Their Brooms in the Closet" in The Forward, Oct 31, 2003
  • Michaelson, Jay (Decembdr 0, 2005). "Jewish Paganism: Oxymoron or Innovation?" in The Jewish Daily Forward.
  • Raphael, Melissa (April 1998). "Goddess Religion, Postmodern Jewish Feminism, and the Complexity of Alternative Religious Identities". ‌Nova Religio, Vol. 1, No. 2, Pages 198–215 (abstract can be found at: Caliber: University of California Press)
  • Various authors. "Jewish Paganism" in Green Egg, Winter 1994 (Volume 27, #107).
  • Winkler, Rabbi Gershon (January 10, 2003). Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-55643-444-8, ISBN 978-1-55643-444-0.

External links

  • Aleph Temple
  • Primitive Hebrew Assembly (Am Ha Aretz USA)
  • Tel Shemesh
  • Peeling a Pomegranate
  • Qadash Kinahnu
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.