Humanistic Paganism

What does your practice look like? by Eli Effinger-Weintraub

The Aggie Milky Way, by Doug Klembara

When I wake up, I say, “Good morning, Cosmos; good morning, Milky Way.”

photo by Doug Klembara

After posting the question “What does your spiritual practice look like?” to the Naturalistic Pagans email list, I was drawn to Eli’s response.  I knew immediately we had to publish it.  – B. T. Newberg

I have both practice and practice. I practice the small, daily and seasonal rituals that form the face of pretty much all religions, and I also have more long-term habits that reflect the spine of my personal spiritual beliefs.

Practice

Every morning when I wake up, I say good morning to place. I say:

“Good morning, Cosmos; good morning, Milky Way; good morning, solar system,” and so on down to “good morning, Eli.”

When I get in bed each night, I say my goodnights in reverse.

I say this grace before meals:

“Thank you to the plants and animals whose lives were taken to feed my body; someday, my body will feed your descendants. Thank you to the people who made this food and brought it to me; may we continue to nourish each other in ways that sustain this beautiful and sacred living planet.”

I have other small practices throughout the day, mostly tied to mindfulness and intentionality, the bedrocks of my beliefs.

And practice

Because we started out Wiccan, my wife and I honor the Wiccan Sabbats and Esbats as logical reflections of natural cycles. Our celebrations range from full-out ecstatic ritual, complete with circle-casting, divination, and power raising to simply going for a walk to appreciate what’s in bloom, what the weather’s like, or what the crazed neighborhood squirrels are up to.

I also try, inasmuch as a black-thumbed urbanite can, to live in balance with the living world around me. I choose local, seasonal, organic foods whenever possible. I compost and recycle. I grow a few food plants. In clement weather, I challenge myself to have as many car-free days as possible – and to expand my definition of “clement weather” to include as many days as possible. I donate my time, money, and energy to organizations whose work aligns with my values.

The place where these two types of practice most overlap for me is in cycling. I recently wrote a whole blog post about the spiritual aspects of cycling. It is a reflection of my deepest beliefs about the nature of the sacred and my part in it, and a ritual in itself.

I get all swoony just thinking about it!

Eli Effinger-Weintraub also talks about her practice of naturalistic spellcraft in a recent interview at The Secular Buddhist.

So there you have it.  Now, readers, how about your response?

What does your practice look like?

The author

Eli Effinger-Weintraub

Eli Effinger-Weintraub

Eli Effinger-Weintraub is a naturalistic Pagan rooted in the Twin Cities Watershed. She practices a mongrel brand of Reclaiming-tradition hearthwitchery influenced by Gaia theory, naturalistic pantheism, bioregional animism, Zen Buddhism, and the writings of Carl Sagan. But she tries not to think too deeply about any of that and mostly just rides her bicycle, instead. Eli writes plays, creative nonfiction, and short speculative fiction, often inspired by the visual art of her wife, Leora Effinger-Weintraub. She is also a mercenary copyeditor. Find her online at Back Booth.

Upcoming work

This Sunday

Eli Effinger-Weintraub
This Sunday we ask the question “What does your spiritual practice look like?”  We’ll get Eli Effinger-Weintraub’s answer, and we hope to hear your answer in the comments!  Check it out in “What does your practice look like?”

Appearing August 28th on Humanistic Paganism.

Next Sunday

Rua Lupa

Then, in two weeks: Rua Lupa is back!  This time she reveals her visionary naturalistic path called Ehoah.  Don’t miss it: “Balance within nature: An interview with Rua Lupa.”

Appearing September 4th on Humanistic Paganism.

Recent Work

Encounters in nature: An open-air dialogue in the North Woods, with Celtic polytheist Drew Jacob, Vodou priest Urban Haas, and Humanistic Pagan B. T. Newberg

The indifference of nature, by Rua Lupa

Upcoming work

This Sunday

This article has been removed.

Recent Work

Encounters in nature: An open-air dialogue in the North Woods, with Celtic polytheist Drew Jacob, Vodou priest Urban Haas, and Humanistic Pagan B. T. Newberg

The indifference of nature, by Rua Lupa

How Persephone killed the gods for me, by B. T. Newberg

Encounters in nature: Complete ebook

Encounters in Nature– by B. T. Newberg

From the review:

“…when I saw the finished product, I was blown away”

“…will anger readers with a strict sense of faith, and provoke those with an interest in exploring outside their own own beliefs”

“…a candid dialogue between three devotees of three very different paths, exploring one of the greatest forces to shape the history of religion: nature itself”

– Drew Jacob

NEW: Get Encounters in Nature on your e-reader!

Now available in pdf and epub!

The pdf is also free to view online at Scribd – embedded for your convenience below!

Pages: 70, Color photos: 39, Audio: 1 hr 12 min

© 2011.  All rights reserved.

Listen here

Recorded with a Blue Yeti microphone on a Macbook

Should you experience troubles with the audio Flash player, you can also get the show free on iTunes Store.

Info

Much more than a transcript, this is an audio-visual experience.  Illustrated with lush full-color photography throughout, and accompanied by audio podcast links, the conversation comes alive.  Here’s a screen shot:

Encounters screen shot

On top of that, the conversation is complemented with a selection of Bonus Materials.  Check out the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

Introduction
Section I.  An Open-air Dialogue in the North Woods
1.  Sharing of Paths
2.  Three Eyes on Nature
3.  Story Time
4.  Going Wild
5.  Bringing It Home
Section II.  Bonus Materials
What is Humanistic Paganism? by B. T. Newberg
The Heroic Life, by Drew Jacob
Oungan François, by Urban Haas
A Review of Drew Jacob’s Walk Like a God, by B. T. Newberg

This was a labor of love, done in the spirit of dialogue, so download it and share it widely with your friends.  Tweet it, share it on Facebook, Stumble it, and email it around.

Here are some more screenshots to entice you…

Encounters screen shot

Encounters screen shot

Download it now, and share it widely!

Last but not least, share in the conversation yourself!  Speak up in the comments section.

What’s your story of an encounter in nature?

Encounters in Nature: An Open-air Dialogue in the North Woods

With Celtic Polytheist Drew Jacob, Vodou Priest Urban Haas, and Humanistic Pagan B. T. Newberg

Author: B. T. Newberg

Pages: 70

Color photos: 39

Audio: 1 hr 12 min

Formats: pdf, epub

Price: Suggested $8

© 2011

Free will donation

PDF:
1. Donate. Use the gold “Donate” button located on the right-hand sidebar of this website to make a free will donation (suggested $8)
2. Download. Download pdf.
PDF Download link
EPUB:
Buy epub from author at GoodReads ($8 fixed price)

Check out our other ebooks

Year One: A Year of Humanistic Paganism

Encounters in nature, part 5: Bringing it home

Shoreline at sunset

The shoreline at sunset

photo by B. T. Newberg

Encounters in Nature: An Open-air Dialogue in the North Woods

with Celtic polytheist Drew Jacob, Vodou priest Urban Haas, and Humanistic Pagan B. T. Newberg

Part 5: Bringing It Home

Recorded with a Blue Yeti microphone on a Macbook

In today’s segment, the last in a 5-part series, we talk about what sticks with you after return from nature to your daily life.

B. T. promotes valuing nature no matter what others think or say, Urban observes how nature transforms and lifts up the soul, and Drew finds the fruit of living in nature to be none other than confidence and freedom.

All this and a crackling fire today on Encounters in Nature.

And now a question for you:

What do you “bring back” from an experience in nature that sticks with you for the rest of your life?

Note: Should you experience troubles with the Flash player, you can also get the show free on iTunes Store.

Urban meditates

photo by B. T. Newberg
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