Humanistic Paganism

Category: Emile Wayne

Naturalistic Paganism’s Spectral Challenge – Part One: A Haunted Landscape, by Emile Wayne

If we wish to be re-bodied, made subjects, and called-into-being through our relationship to place, we must do so with the knowledge that the land holds the memory of suffering bodies, of exploitation, dispossession, abuse, lynching, poverty, and a whole host of other specters, all of which arose out of the wounds that are our collective history. We must be ready to listen to the voices of the specters haunting the land and our histories, even if those voices call out to some of us in rebuke.

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Visions, Part 1: Integrating Critical Lenses into Spirituality as a Naturalistic Pagan Goal, by Emile Wayne

Our spirituality integrates not only ways of seeing the world – critical and spiritual – but also integrates us into the world. It is a spirituality that builds deep connections between and among all the Beings with whom we share our breathing, dancing, changing planet, whirling through space. If there is a set of tools that offers us insight into those lives with whom we share a deep kinship, from our fellow primates and mammals all the way into the depths of the sea, then it is useful and essential to our spiritual path(s). We must heed what these tools teach us, whether the lesson is a humbling confirmation of the kinship of all life, or a startling reminder about the fragility of our ecosystems. By doing so, we also (re)claim religion as a fundamentally human endeavor, one that helps us speak to the depths and heights of our experiences.

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The Value of Thinking With the Land, by Emile Wayne

The ravens soared around me and over me, buoyed on the wind that threatened to blow me down from my precarious seat. Suddenly, a new cry – not the low, croaking squawk of a raven, but the high-pitched, piercing call…….

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Longing and Contradiction in (Re?)Creating Modern Paganism by Emile Wayne

I feel this situation speaks to a deep and important longing among modern Pagans. We admire the non-creedal, integrated, world-affirming lifeways of ancient paleo-pagans and hope to (re)create that form of religion for ourselves, working past centuries of religious alienation produced by religions which insist that any experience of “depth” must be “Not of this World.” But the societies in which ancient paleo-pagan religions were practiced no longer exist; if we celebrate paleo-paganisms because of their seamless integration with daily life, natural systems, and cultural milieu, then the fact that we live in entirely different circumstances means that, even if we could recover these systems in their entirety, we could not successfully integrate them into our own lives, which is the goal in the first place.

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