A Census is taking place in the UK this month and a campaign is on for pagans of all paths to be counted.
In the 2001 Census people were able to write their religious affiliation on the Census form and there was a campaign to write "Pagan" in the "religion other" section.
Many pagans did this, but it did not record what path of paganism they followed and, because of the way the Office of National Statistics counts religious affiliation responses, the actual number of pagans was diluted across several categories, such as Wiccan, heathen, druid etc. Also, the campaign didn’t reach all Pagans.
The ONS wants to count pagans and has a mandate of inclusion to do this.
So that pagans of all paths are included in the total figure, but can also record their path of paganism on the 20112 Census form, the campaign PaganDASH is asking all pagans to put down their religion under the "other" heading as:
Pagan - [Your spiritual path]
•Pagan — Druid
•Pagan — Wiccan
•Pagan — Witch
•Pagan — Heathen
•Pagan — Neo-Shaman
And, of course, if you are a pagan who does not follow any specific path please just write "Pagan" on the 2011 Census form.
If all pagans in the UK do this, the Census will record an accurate figure. This could give many benefits for pagans in future, such as gaining more recognition and tax exemptions for pagan charities.
To find out more, visit the PaganDash website at: http://www.pagandash.org/
Photo: Belly dancer Maisie performing during a pagan ritual at Hilly Fields Stone Circle, by Mel Dymond Harper