photo by Lanier67
Today’s the day that the big news is revealed. And there’s not one, not two, but three pieces of big news.
But first, a little about this special day…
Today is the Autumnal Equinox, one of only two times in the year when the length of day and night are exactly equal. It marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, or spring in the Southern.
Both Neopagans and Humanists recognize the specialness of this day. Here are two of its lesser-known natural properties:
- the sun rises due east and sets due west, making it an ideal time to mark exact directions on your property
- sunrise and sunset occur fastest on the equinoxes, as opposed to the solstices when they are slowest
In Neopaganism, the equinox is often observed as Mabon or Harvest Home, a holiday of thanksgiving for the fruits of the harvest. The ancient Mysteries of Eleusis were held around this time. Chinese tradition associates it with West, the direction of dreams and visions. And the Intihuatana stone of Machu Picchu was designed to predict the equinox as well as other solar phenomena.
The International Day of Peace is also celebrated worldwide around this time.
So go out and enjoy this wonder of nature today!
Big news #1: We’re moving up in the world
Within six months of its conception in April of this year, Humanistic Paganism went from a platform for its editor’s own explorations to a burgeoning spiritual community. At present, so many authors are scrambling to be published here that posts are scheduled more than six weeks out.
With that in mind, Humanistic Paganism is moving up in the world.
You’ll notice a number of improvements around the site:
First, we’ve gotten our own domain name: http://www.humanisticpaganism.com. Your bookmarks and links should be fine, but if not, try updating to the new URL.
Second, the tagline of the site has dropped the language of nontheism in favor of naturalism. It is now: “A naturalistic way of nature, myth, and wonder.” Nontheism was the right technical term, but it proved confusing. Naturalism gets the point across better.
Third, we now have a tab for Community. If you’re looking for a group or organization with naturalistic views on spirituality, you’ll find it here. And check back frequently – we’re always adding new links as we discover how truly abundant our community is.
Finally, we’ve added a Store. Here you’ll find our free ebook Encounters in Nature, along with other great buys. If you buy through us, we’ll get a share of the proceeds (at no extra cost to you). All proceeds go toward improving the site. We try to keep an extremely low overhead – as close to zero dollars as possible. But there are still some unavoidable fees. A modest inflow of cash helps offset the enormous effort put forth by our all-volunteer team.
In addition to these immediate changes, we’ve also got ambitions for the future. We’re courting a number of big-name authors for contributions. It’s too early to announce specifics, but look for some eye-popping names in the year to come!
Big News #2: Seeking submissions for our next ebook!
Announcing an all new ebook, tentatively titled:
Our Ancient Future: Visions of Humanistic Paganism
DUE OUT: Winter Solstice, December 22nd, 2011
Where did naturalistic spirituality come from? Where are we headed? Our Ancient Future will answer all this and more.
Part I will explore our roots. Humanistic Paganism is not a new phenomenon. In fact, we’ve been around since our earliest ancestors. Naturalism in religion has a long history, from the Stoics of Rome to the Taoists of ancient China, and possibly even further into the prehistory of our species. In every age of history, naturalism developed alongside its more theistic cousins. This ebook will show that our path is as much in the tradition of our ancestors as any other.
Part II will explore our future. What kind of spirituality do we hope to collectively discover? What role should Humanistic Paganism play in the larger community? What will be our contribution to the history of the human spirit?
This is where you come in. We need voices with visions. There are several ways for you to contribute:
First, each Thursday until the solstice will see a new feature called Thing on Thursday. “Thing” represents both the generic word for, you know, a thingie, as well as the Old Norse term for a council of elders: a Thing. And that’s what Thing on Thursday will be: a roundtable discussion on matters vital to the future. Admission price: FREE.
Each Thing on Thursday will court a controversy. For example, should we produce a mission statement, and if so what should it be? Should the innumerable varieties of religious naturalism try to band together under an umbrella term, or would that be too limiting? What should be considered the core elements of a Humanistic Pagan path?
Based on your responses, we’ll decide our next steps together. Your opinions will determine where Humanistic Paganism is headed.
So please make your voice heard in the comments section of these posts!
Second, you can go even further by submitting your own personal vision for the future of Humanistic Paganism. Just answer this question:
- In the next ten years, what would you like to see evolve within naturalistic spirituality?
Accepted submissions will be published in the new ebook Our Ancient Future.
See our Submissions tab for submission guidelines.
As always, follow that simple phrase which has become a motto here at HP:
Speak your truth.
Finally, the first 10 people who volunteer to write a review of Our Ancient Future will receive their copy FREE!
Big news #3
photo by B. T. Newberg
Drum roll, please…
I’m getting married tomorrow!
That’s right, in a day your devoted editor will be devoted to one spectacular woman. Rachel is a graphic designer, a Humanist, and a wonderful supporter of Humanistic Paganism.
We’re getting married on the weekend of the equinox, which is a special time for me. It’s a time to look back and reflect. The question I ask each year is always the same:
“A year ago, would I ever have thought I’d be here doing this?”
If I can say no, it’s been a good year.
My soon-to-be wife and I have big plans for the future. We are applying to teach English in South Korea. If all goes well, we’ll be shipping off at the end of February.
Will this affect Humanistic Paganism? Not a bit. Internet work is location independent, so our quality publications will keep coming at you from anywhere in the world. If anything, the new cultural perspective should make this site all the better.
A year ago, would I have thought we’d be headed to Korea?
A year ago, would I have thought I’d be getting married, much less to a woman as wonderful as this?
A year ago, would I ever have thought I’d be the editor of a rising-star community blog about naturalistic spirituality?
Again, certainly not.
Damn. It’s been a good year.
– by your editor, B. T. Newberg