Humanistic Paganism

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“Humanistic Heathens defend their support of marriage equality” by John Halstead

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The high priest of the Icelandic Heathen group, Ásatrúarfélagið, has reported receiving hate mail from abroad from other Heathens who disapprove of the liberal beliefs and attitudes of the Icelandic group, particularly the group’s respect for gay rights and its fight to be allowed to marry same-sex couples.

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“‘As the gods pour, so do mortals’: An alternative conception of divine reciprocity” by John Halstead (Part 2)

PART 2: AN ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTION OF DIVINE RECIPROCITY In Part 1 of this essay (published last month), I critiqued a popular understanding of divine reciprocity. But there is another conception of divine reciprocity. It is rooted in the notion of…

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“‘As mortals pour, so do the gods’: A critique of divine reciprocity” by John Halstead (Part 1)

As I pour out the water or wine or honey on the earth, I create, in the form of the stream of liquid, a living connection between myself and the earth. It is a visual and visceral representation of my connection to the earth. And in so doing, I experience both an “emptying” and also simultaneously a “filling”, as if I am both emptying the vessel of myself and filling myself at the same time, as if I am both the cup that pours and the earth which receives. In this act, I restore in a small measure that sense of sensual connection I have to the world. This for me is the true meaning of divine reciprocity.

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Summer Solstice

Today is this summer solstice. Bart Everson of A Celebration of Gaia observes how those in the United States have forgotten the meaning of the summer solstice: “Sadly, most Americans are ignorant of this seasonal moment. We seem marginally more…

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Musings of a Pagan Mythicist, by Maggie Jay Lee: “Circle Around: Individuality, Community and Creating Religion”

To me, collective religious ceremony and shared devotional practice is not something peripheral, but is the very center of religion. It is the core that holds everything together. I believe without such shared practices, religious community will fall apart, but there are still enormous challenges to developing religion centered on communal ceremony.

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