An Atheopagan Path: Journeys in the Sacred World

Musings, values and practices in non-theistic Paganism

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Atheopaganism, and What It Isn't

It’s not dressing as if you’re at a Renaissance Faire.

Nor goth/BDSM aesthetic, all black and “witchy”.

Both are fine, if you want to indulge in them. But they’re not relevant to the path.

It’s not a commercial platform for selling crystals, oils, tinctures, potions, tools, incenses, candles, Tarot cards, workshops or books. It’s not having elaborate “occult” tools.

Though some who practice it may avail themselves of such things.

Atheopaganism is actually something serious, though lighthearted. It’s not a dress-up game and it’s not about collecting stuff.

It isn’t even necessarily about doing rituals…though it is about creating and having experiences.

It’s about loving and delighting in and wondering at the magnificence of the natural world. About living values that are life-affirming and generous. About understanding that reason and science are valuable for telling us about the nature of the world, but the symbolic, the poetic, the metaphorical are also meaningful human endeavors, and valid, rich parts of our lives.

It’s about living as much depth, wisdom, and color as we possibly can. About inhabiting our bodies, embracing our communities, adoring the Sacred Earth and magnificent Cosmos. Through the Four Sacred Pillars, the thirteen Atheopagan Principles, it is about being the best and kindest people we can be.

It is about living with passion and self-awareness. About moments of sheer emotional magic, be it hiking in canyons, forests, deserts and mountains, or shooting the rapids, or dancing about a fire, creating art and music, expressing the core truth of our unique selves as extensions of the Sacred Universe. It is about opening ourselves to that Universe, experiencing ecstasy and transformation, and bending our choices and efforts to serve and defend the Sacred Earth.

Being an Atheopagan is about looking at the reality of the Universe and affirming it: uncaring though it is. It is about accepting ourselves, myriad as we are, complex and contradictory as we remain.

So…dress as you like. I tend to jeans and button-up shirts, myself. I’ll go a bit more flowy and velvety in big group rituals. But I don’t find demonstrative dress or jewelry to be essential to my path.

Observe as you like: define the Sabbaths of the Wheel of the Year as they make sense for your climate, for your landscape. Build a Focus that speaks to you. Structure your observances as you choose to do–use the recommendations in the Atheopagan Ritual Primer, or create your own frameworks and practices.

How is not so much the issue. The point is to do it: to embrace the world, celebrate living, think critically, live with integrity and kindness. To be fully alive and of good intention.

That is the Atheopagan way.


Originally published at Atheopaganism

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Mark Green is an activist, writer and nonprofit professional with a background in environmental public policy and electoral campaigns. A Pagan since 1987, he presents at Pantheacon and has been published in Green Egg and the anthology "Godless Paganism" (for which he wrote the foreword). His Pagan writing appears here, at the Humanistic Paganism website (humanisticpaganism.com), at the Naturalist Pagan site (naturalpagans.com) and at the Atheopaganism blog.  

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