Author Topic: Atheopaganism  (Read 492 times)

BooksCatsEtc

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Atheopaganism
« on: October 29, 2016, 10:15:53 PM »
A slight change of my usual pace.  I found this article about being godlessly Pagan alluring because, of the many religions I checked out after dumping Xtianity, I liked the Earth religions best, with their respect and reverence for nature.  I didn't settle on any particular one, and admittedly I like some sects better than others, but I've always had a great fondness for modern Paganism in general.  If not for the twin stumbling blocks of an often literal belief in gods, and the use of ritual which I've never been able to warm up to, I'd probably have settled there.

So it caught my eye when I found that there were such things as Pagan Atheists who were semi-organized and had gotten rid of the belief in gods side of Nature worship, altho they've retained ritual.  Still can't get into that, or even read about it without wanting to laugh, which I'm sure is exactly the least useful reaction.  I have the feeling that if I were to become a practicing Pagan Atheist, my "rituals" would be minimalist and astringent in the extreme.

Anyway, for those curious, here is an informative blog post:  Atheopaganism: an Earth-centered religion without supernatural credulity

As the post's author explains himself:
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I was a Pagan for more than 20 years. At least, I think I was.

I had been raised as a rational materialist in a scientific household, but was introduced to Pagan rituals and community at age 25, and in short order felt at home there. Unlike the mainstream religions, it got a lot of things right.  It didn’t have a demonstrably error-laden “holy book”, and it wasn’t as sour and mean-spirited as the various mainstream religions.  Paganism’s values celebrate the natural world, revere beauty and pleasure and creativity, suspect authority, and encourage gratitude, celebration, humor and enjoyment.

I could enthusiastically embrace all of that. It enriched my life tremendously to join with my friends to ritually celebrate the turning of the Earth’s seasons, to remind myself of what each time and season means in the natural world and the agricultural cycle, and what it meant to people long ago.

That said, I believe in critical thinking, in the scientific method, and in the intellectual process. Over time, it became clear to me that in the Pagan community, most of the people around me were not viewing “gods” and “magic” as metaphors and psychological techniques, but as literal, supernatural phenomena taking place in an Invisible Dimension lurking behind the material world and driving its events.  This superstitious credulity became more than my intellectual self could tolerate.

However, once I had left its practice, I missed what was right about Paganism: the ways in which religion meets the needs of humans which are not centered in cognitive thought, but rather which seek community, a sense of meaning in life, and the richness of experience that comes with presence, celebration, gratitude and awe.

And a website:  Humantistic Paganism

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Harmonie

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2016, 03:42:08 AM »
When I looked into the Pagan origins of a lot of "Christmas" traditions I did find it interesting. Not from a standpoint where I'd actually believe in what these cultures did, but just thought it was interesting what they must have thought with their lack of scientific knowledge. Like the tradition of decorating evergreen trees was a result of them being a sign of life and fertility when all other plant life had gone dormant. IIRC they even worshiped evergreens, thinking they had to have some special purpose.

I'm not Pagan in any way, but I find it neat that such traditions have lasted since ancient times, even if sadly they've completely lost that meaning. In one way I'm honoring the tradition by celebrating it as the Winter Solstice, but not religiously.

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 10:23:14 PM »
I tend to go with pagan nonsense on holidays, not because I find it more simpatico than other religious themes, but as a "fuck you" to Christianity. The thing is, modern paganism is mostly New Age goo of rather recent vintage.

On the other hand, there was a time when I did make sacrifices to Hermes, and I still say an incantation in his general direction on occasion.  ;)
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Dragonia

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 01:58:36 AM »
I found the article on Atheopaganism fascinating. I'm glad someone is organizing something like this.  I have similar leanings myself, although my sensibilities rebel against the rituals and observances.
My guess is that, before someone officially finds out that he or she is an Atheopagan, that person calls him/herself "spiritual, not religious". But I don't think I've ever put myself in that category because I can not believe in any spiritual entity.
However, I have such a deep..... is "connection" the right word?....with nature. Maybe that's not right, "appreciation and gratefulness" may be better. But whatever the word is, nature feeds me, the stars, the moon, the trees, dirt, sunshine, rain, birds, animals, mushrooms, seasons,  it all feeds my soul and makes me feel whole and satisfied and peaceful. So I understand this belief system, i just couldn't participate in the whole thing. Because I would hate to offend someone by giggling and feeling stupid hailing the moon or whatever.  ;D
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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2016, 02:18:29 AM »
...Because I would hate to offend someone by giggling and feeling stupid hailing the moon or whatever.  ;D

:lol:

Paganism conjures images of Wiccans holding hands and dancing around a camp fire for me, which is probably not what they do but still...

I had a soft spot for pantheism precisely because they hold nature in high regard, but don't see myself ever identifying as a pantheist because of their views on natural divinity which, quite frankly, are weird.
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Dragonia

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 03:02:09 AM »
Paganism conjures images of Wiccans holding hands and dancing around a camp fire for me, which is probably not what they do but still...
They probably don't exactly do that, but this...
Quote
DEEP PLAY. Ritual enactment meant to symbolize and concretize the desired Intentions for participants. Activities which stimulate the metabolism and the expressive self at this time will contribute to the feeling of presence and connectedness. Can include singing, chanting, drumming or other music making; dancing or other movement; symbolic enactment of drama; creation of some kind of art or crafted object in an intentional and allegorical manner, or recitation or spontaneous creation of poetry.

OH!!!  :lol: I just could NOT do it with a straight face!
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BooksCatsEtc

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 06:14:22 AM »
...Because I would hate to offend someone by giggling and feeling stupid hailing the moon or whatever.  ;D

:lol:

Paganism conjures images of Wiccans holding hands and dancing around a camp fire for me, which is probably not what they do but still...

If they don't, they should.  That actually sounds fun -- altho I suppose a lot would depend on the music playing.

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I had a soft spot for pantheism precisely because they hold nature in high regard, but don't see myself ever identifying as a pantheist because of their views on natural divinity which, quite frankly, are weird.

There's also a Scientific Pantheism, which attempts to be woo-less pantheism.

Quote
DEEP PLAY. Ritual enactment meant to symbolize and concretize the desired Intentions for participants. Activities which stimulate the metabolism and the expressive self at this time will contribute to the feeling of presence and connectedness. Can include singing, chanting, drumming or other music making; dancing or other movement; symbolic enactment of drama; creation of some kind of art or crafted object in an intentional and allegorical manner, or recitation or spontaneous creation of poetry.

OH!!!  :lol: I just could NOT do it with a straight face!

This is exactly the reaction I'd be having which, as I wrote, would be decidedly unhelpful.
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"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 08:46:21 AM »
I put some pagen belief of practices about Halloween in my video today. Just need to get it edited!
But, uh...well there it is.
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hermes2015

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Re: Atheopaganism
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 11:41:38 AM »
I tend to go with pagan nonsense on holidays, not because I find it more simpatico than other religious themes, but as a "fuck you" to Christianity. The thing is, modern paganism is mostly New Age goo of rather recent vintage.

On the other hand, there was a time when I did make sacrifices to Hermes, and I still say an incantation in his general direction on occasion.  ;)

Thank you, I appreciate that.