Late Fall Theme: What ethical obligations do our beliefs impose on us as Naturalistic Pagans?

This year, we divided the year at HP into 8 semi-seasonal themes, following the Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year.  The themes for 2014 were inspired in part by the Earth Story Calendar created by Peter Adair.

Martha, the last passenger pigeon, died in 1914 — 100 years ago.

In early winter, we celebrated the birth of the universe asking questions about how we began on this path and how our religious (or non-religious) pasts continue to influence our future as Naturalistic Pagans.  In late winter we celebrated the emergence of galaxies with the theme of “Structure” and discussed how we make a cosmos out of chaos with our beliefs and the stories we tell.  In early spring, starting with the equinox, we celebrated supernovas and the seeding of space with the theme of “Fire/Inspiration” and discussed what role inspiration plays in our Naturalistic Paganism.  In late spring, we celebrated the formation of the earth by discussing how we practice with our Naturalistic Paganism with our senses and our bodies.  In early summer we celebrated the formation of the atmosphere of the earth with the them of “Air/Intellect” and discussed what role intellectual inquiry plays in our Naturalistic Paganism.  In late summer we celebrated the formation of oceans on the earth with the theme of “Water/Emotion” and discussed what role the emotions play in our religious lives.  In early autumn, we celebrated the emergence of life — and hence death — and discussed the role an awareness of death plays in our spirituality.

Now we come to our eighth and final theme of the year, Responsibility.  For late autumn we will be recognizing the place we have come to now, the Sixth Great Extinction.  The World Wildlife Federation recently reported that the earth has lost 50% of its wildlife in the last 40 years due to human activity — primarily due to exploitation and degradation/loss of habitat.  (You can see a species/rainforest loss clock here.)  According to the Living Planet Report, today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it, but four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, and 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.  For this November and December, we will be asking what ethical obligations our beliefs impose on us as Naturalistic Pagans.  Send your submissions to humanisticpaganism [at] gmail [dot] com.

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