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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Coca Cola Man, by Julia Janssen

I have a perennial (and quite possibly crazy) vision for an Order of Trashmonks.

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Brilliant! There is actually a group of people here in New Orleans who started getting together once a week to pick up trash. They

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
"Pagan" is a constellation, not a star

A constellation is not an object, it's a pattern of objects visible from a certain perspective.  Look from a different perspective, and the pattern disappears.

That's what's going on right now with the raging controversies over the meaning of the word "Pagan."  From some perspectives it makes sense, from others it does not.  And since no single perspective has authority, neither does any single definition.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Playa De Chipiona, by Ponce 2007

Nature is self-caused, both source and manifestation of all matter, all experience, all thought, all emotion, all life, and all death.  We were not created by nature; we have emerged within it, as integral parts of it.  In short:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

If the "Pagan" question - i.e. who's Pagan and who isn't - were a political issue, it would decide elections. It's grown that large. It's come to a point where posts don't just reference others, they form catalogs of references to others. It's even spurred sub-issues: the "Christo-Pagan" question and the "Atheist Pagan" question (I have an obvious vested interest in the latter).

But in all this endless talk, few seem to have the balls to say in no uncertain terms what's really going on:

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  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    "There's a painful cognitive dissonance coming from holding two mutually contradictory beliefs about ourselves: (1) We don't poli
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Regarding common goals, how about recognition of our holidays, for example, or chaplains in prison, or freedom from persecution?
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    >So what common goals do you think naturalists and polytheists and other Pagans might embrace? I think you hit the nail on the he
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Well said. Personally, "solidarity, not unity" makes perfect sense to me. But I was active in Green politics long before I came to

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Last year, there was a tumultuous discussion over Brendan Myers' article on the Wild Hunt.  A comment by Sannion hit me like a load of bricks:

My rituals are done to please the gods. Therefore, if you do not acknowledge the existence of those gods then there is absolutely no reason to be in attendance at the rites because — and I know this will come as a shock to some — true worship isn’t about us and what we get out of the experience however much one may, indeed, get out of it.  (emphasis Sannion's)

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Very thought-provoking. I hope this article garners some comments because I would be interested in hearing reactions. All I can sa
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Thanks, B. Yes, ritual is all over secular life as well. It may often get called "ceremony" but it's there in spades.
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    This is a really good. I think the idea that worshiping the gods serves the culture as well as the individual practitioners is ve
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Several good points, John. > the idea that worshiping the gods serves the culture as well... a flip side to that also: worship m
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    "But then, from a naturalistic perspective, there's also surrender to *reality*: the recognition that reality is as it is whether

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Three Transcendents, by B. T. Newberg

In the last post, I suggested naturalists can connect to something greater than themselves.  Without literal belief in deity or afterlife, they can achieve transcendence.  How?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Why do ritual as a Naturalistic Pagan?

One of the most common sources of confuzzlement about naturalism is ritual.  If you don't believe deities are literally real, then what's the point of ritual?  Isn't it just empty play-acting?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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  • Laurel
    Laurel says #
    Thank you, that's exactly what I was looking for!
  • Laurel
    Laurel says #
    I myself would like to do rituals as a new Naturalistic Pagan, however I'm having trouble adapting typical Pagan rituals to suit m
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Nice to meet you, Laurel. Yes, there are many naturalistic rituals available online. The most comprehensive compilation I'm aware

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