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Stand up and be counted!

This post was written by Elysia
on September 9, 2009 | Comments (5)

More than 20 years since the survey that informed Voices from the Pagan Census was circulated, researcher Helen Berger, now working with James R. Lewis and Henrik Bogdan, is conducting a new and updated census of Pagans around the world. Besides demographic information, the survey touches on what “type” of Pagan you are and what you believe in – and don’t worry, the answers are mostly write-in, you don’t have to tick yourself into a box when it comes to the tricky stuff. I estimate the survey takes around 20-30 minutes, depending of course on how detailed you get in your responses. If you have the time, please take the survey and pass it on to Pagan friends. (Note: this does include Ceremonial Magicians.) Here is the link to the survey.

The survey should be up for at least a month, and will stay up as long as they are still getting responses daily. Also, it’s currently being translated into Spanish, so I will post that link as well once it’s available.

Since all the survey data is being collected by computer this time around (rather than photocopied and spread by hand throughout Pagandom as was done last time), the researchers believe the analysis should be available much sooner. It should be very interesting to see how much has changed since the last survey, indeed!

Reader Comments

Written By Mariah
on September 14th, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

So, an hour later, it’s done. I guess the time needed to fill the survey out depends on how much you have to say. I guess I babalon entirely too much.

Take Care and Bright Blessings!

Written By Elysia
on September 15th, 2009 @ 11:04 am

Mariah – you’re so right. The length of the survey depends on how much you have to say – or want to say. When I filled it out, I gave very brief responses to some of the longer questions – for example, “describe a very effective ritual you’ve done lately” or questions along those lines. I’m a private person, and while I’m happy to help in the census process, I am more reluctant to share my inner and outer workings with complete strangers. So for many questions I just wrote something like, “that would take far too long to describe, and it’s private information” or something along those lines. So I guess that’s why it didn’t take me a full hour… : )

But good for you! I’m sure they will have a wealth of information from people like you who are more open and enthusiastic about sharing!

Written By Alfred Willowhawk
on September 16th, 2009 @ 10:17 am

This survey is very important. According to my own analysis of the US census in 2000 there has been an increase from 79,000 to over 378,000 individuals who openly declared themselves in a non mainstream religious or spiritual path. This shows that we as pagans have the ability to be a voice in our country. This survey, is an excellent tool to further illuminate our similarities to mainstream practices, as well as our differences.

Education is the key to awareness and has the potential to protect us from a return of the useless persecution of our difference.

Written By Helen Gilmour
on September 28th, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

Hi All

I was wondering if any of those who filled out the survey actually realised the implications of guilt by association of the rather offensive question on human sacrifice.
I wonder what the response of the Jewish community would be if a question on animal sacrifice was included on a contempory survey of Judaism?

There is no primary data integrity with this survey so the abilty to manipulate data by less than scrupulous opponents of Paganism is easy and almost inevitable. I found it offensive that the question was even present on a survey from supposed academics in the 21st century. Just perpetuates the derogatory myth!!!

Please pick up your keyboard and let the authors of the survey know that it is not appropriate for contempory Pagans to even be asked that questions…it is just a continuation of slander, fear mongering and total misunderstanding, nicely packaged in a coating of ignorance in academic guise.
Shame on a major publishing house who profit from our dollars when we buy Llewellyn produts for letting that slip through their screening processes. Cant wait to see if the same happens with other paths/spiritualities…I think all hell would break loose.

Written By Elysia
on September 28th, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

Hi Helen,
You’re right – other people have noticed that question about human sacrifice, as it sticks out like a sore thumb. Over at The Wild Hunt’s post about the survey (link given below), one commenter going by “happydog” brought it up wondering what the survey creators were thinking. Another commenter, Baruch, answered saying, “This one may intend to take head-on the rumor that *anyone* in North America does human sacrifice. A showing that Pagans uniformly, strongly disapprove may be beneficial.”

I tend to agree with that stance – I do think they are asking the question just to firmly show everyone, once and for all, that of the thousands of Pagans surveyed, NONE of them practice human sacrifice – and let people be done with this nasty rumor mill that says otherwise!

As for Llewellyn screening this, I thought that I had made clear that this survey was being done by an outside group, not Llewellyn. Sorry if this was not clear enough. I posted the link to raise awareness, just as many other blogs and groups have done, not to endorse every single question or to give the illusion that Llewellyn was somehow involved/making money from this survey. I hope that’s been cleared up with this response.

Here is the link to The Wild Hunt so you can take a look at that discussion yourself as well:

And by all means, feel free to contact the survey creators and tell them how you feel!

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