An Atheopagan Path: Journeys in the Sacred World

Musings, values and practices in non-theistic Paganism

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Mark Green

Mark Green

Mark Green is an activist, writer and nonprofit professional with a background in environmental public policy and electoral campaigns. He is the author of "Atheopaganism: an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science", published in 2019. 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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400 years ago today, the Mayflower dropped anchor in Cape Cod Bay, near what is now Provincetown. My 11th-great grandfather John Howland, a servant, was aboard, along with Elizabeth Tilley, whom he would eventually marry.

This is a source of academic curiosity to me, but certainly not a point of pride.

The establishment of Plymouth Colony was the beginning of an ongoing nightmare for indigenous people of the Northeast and beyond: a nightmare which has yet to end. I needn’t go into the details, but suffice to say that the vehement and intolerant flavor of Christianity the “Pilgrims” brought with them did not allow for the humanity of non-Christians: a position that persists today among many Americans.

400 years.

A year later, having been saved from starvation by the compassion and generosity of people whose land they were in the process of stealing, the surviving passengers of the Mayflower celebrated the first Thanksgiving. It was September, but we now celebrate our rosy-lensed version of this event in November.

400 years of murderous hell.

It’s hard to know how to end this.

Happy Thanksgiving?
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Death, the Creator

 

Classic depictions of Death personified include skeletons carrying an hourglass or a scythe, mummified persons extending leathery hands, armies of skeletal warriors mowing down the living, or Pale Horsemen laying waste to kings, priests and children, as in the Coleman-Waite "Rider" Tarot deck.

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At this time of year, I pay a lot of attention to one part of my Focus*.

As altar-y spaces go, it is unquestionably the "witchiest" part of mine: bones, skulls, fossils of extinct species, a mummified bat, images of prehistoric cave paintings, megalithic spiral carvings and departed loved ones, a dried pomegranate. It is where I keep the black jar of rose water with which I have anointed several dead people, and the tiny jar of cedar oil, veteran of so many Hallows rituals, whose scent reminds me of the inside of a coffin.

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Presenting The Atheopagan Society

We are pleased to announce the formation of a tax-exempt nonprofit religious organization, The Atheopagan Society, the mission of which is to foster and inform the growth and practice of Atheopaganism throughout the world. The Society conducts educational programs, publishes training materials, ordains clerics, and engages in other activities to support Atheopagans in their religious paths.

Since being conceptualized originally as just Some Dude's individual path, Atheopaganism has enjoyed a remarkable flowering as a path embraced by thousands of people all over the world. With its science-based cosmology, progressive values and meaningful rituals and observances, Atheopaganism provides a deep, rich spirituality while remaining cognizant of the difference between objective fact and metaphorical meaning.

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The Atheopagan Foundation (or something)

We have a discussion thread right now on the Atheopaganism Facebook group about “institutional religion”, and in it, I have made very clear that I don’t ever want to see Atheopaganism incorporated as a “church” or a legal religious institution. Atheopaganism is for everyone who wants it, and it is fundamentally free. It is a set of IDEAS, and religious ideas cannot be owned.

 

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A Walpurgisnacht/May Day Vigil Ritual Menu

As we collectively shelter in place to slow the advance of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the world and the Wheel continue to turn. Spring is rolling around into summer (at least, in many places in the Northern Hemisphere), and we have come to that major pillar of the annual celebrations of many Pagans, May Day or Beltane, and the night before, which is known by many as Walpurgisnacht.

While we may not be able to conduct the usual festivities, we can still observe this Sabbath in all its richness while sheltering in place.

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Is This the Time to Work on Your Spirituality?

The world has the novel coronavirus. The pandemic is serious, spreading, and causing major disruption.

Many of us have been sent home from work, hopefully to work remotely but, for the less fortunate, simply to tough it out. And in our non-work time, we have hours and hours of empty space we might otherwise fill with gatherings, events, outings and activities.

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  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    Brother speaks my mind. Seeking opportunities in crisis is the essence of progress. There will always be setbacks. Letting them p

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