An Atheopagan Life: Practices and musings of an Earth-honoring atheist by Mark Green
An Atheopagan Life is a monthly column about living an atheist, nature-honoring life.
Mark Green is a writer, thinker, poet, musician and costuming geek who works in the public interest sector, primarily in environmental policy and ecological conservation. He lives in Sonoma County on California’s North Coast with his wife Nemea and Miri, the Cat of Foulness. For more information on Atheopaganism, visit Atheopaganism.wordpress.com, or the Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/godlessheathens.21.
The Dionysian Naturalist by Wayne Martin Mellinger, Ph.D.
This column explores Nature Religions in contemporary North America, including shamanistic practices, reclaimed Paganism, but most specifically Religious Naturalism — a recent religious approach at the cutting edge of science and religion. Drawing upon the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, I continue developing a Dionysian Naturalism with a central role for ecstasy and the sacramental use of entheogens. Creating rituals and ceremonies to re-sacralize our natural world are particularly important in this time of ecological crisis. I find particular religious significance in the scientific story of evolution and develop liturgy around these themes.
Wayne Martin Mellinger, Ph.D. is a Santa Barbara-based social justice activist, writer, and educator who uses spiritual practices to create a better world. Specifically, Wayne is very active in helping our neighbors of the streets transition into permanent housing and environmental issues. He has taught at the Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley campus of the University of California, Ventura College, the Fielding Graduate University and Antioch University Santa Barbara.
Musings of a Pagan Mythicist by Maggie Jay Lee
In addition to writing the Musings of a Pagan Mythicist column here at HumanisticPaganism, Maggie Jay Lee is interested in growing a new religious culture grounded in the everyday shared world and the public revelations of science, that celebrates our relationship with Cosmos, Earth and each other, and strives to bring us into right relationship with the Nature inside and outside of us. She draws inspiration from modern cosmology, evolutionary psychology, and the myths and wisdom traditions of ancient Hellas. M. Jay is a member of the Universal Pantheists Society and the Spiritual Naturalist Society, and she has studied with Glenys Livingston author of PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. She celebrates the creative unfolding of Gaia in west Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, two dogs and cat.
Pagan in Place by Anna Walther
Pagan in Place is a column devoted to place-bound paganism. My goals are active engagement with my environment via meditation, walking outside, ritual, journaling, storytelling, and acts of social and environmental justice. Being pagan in place is about getting out of the house, putting foot to ground, and doing my holy work directly, at the closest creek, at my neighborhood park, at the community garden, and in my own backyard.
Anna Walther practices place-based paganism in Austin, Texas. Her practice is inspired by the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft and the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Anna’s interests include sacred spaces, ritual art, ecopsychology, biophilia, and environmental ethics. She attends First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin with her husband and children.
A Pedagogy of Gaia by Bart Everson
What can we learn, and how can we teach, from the cycles of the Earth — both the cycles within us, and the cycles in which we find ourselves?
In addition to writing the A Pedagogy of Gaia column here at HumanisticPaganism, Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband and a father. An award-winning videographer, he is co-creator of ROX, the first TV show on the internet. As a media artist and an advocate for faculty development in higher education, he is interested in current and emerging trends in social media, blogging, podcasting, et cetera, as well as contemplative pedagogy and integrative learning. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Corridor, sometime contributor to Rising Tide, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle.
Postpagan Ceremony & Ecology by Glen Gordon
Glen Gordon was introduced to Paganism by friends while living overseas in Europe during the late 90’s. He underwent both Wiccan and Neodruidic training during his formative years, but had not self-identified as a Pagan when his path diverged into land-centered spiritual naturalism ten years ago. His focus has been on cultivating beneficial relationships with the natural living world surrounding him wherever he lives. During this time, he discovered Unitarian Universalism and has been active in his local congregations for many years. Since 2007, he has worked on varied projects regarding BioRegional Animism, including this 5 minute video, the words of which came from a short UU sermon he gave. He has spoken on the topic of ecology and the land on a few occasions for his local congregation and facilitated a now-disbanded group of UU Pagans and spiritual naturalists. In the past, he maintained the blog, Postpagan, and is excited to share some of that material at HumanisticPaganism. Currently, you can find Glen writing occasionally for No Unsacred Places and helping achieve Green sanctuary status for his beloved UU community, where he helps create and lead ecological aware earth- and land- focused ceremonies for the solstices and equinoxes.
Rotting Silver by B. T. Newberg
If there is one thing that has always drawn me to Paganism, it is the embrace of nature as both beauty and bitch. Rotting Silver is a column devoted to this Earth in all its tarnished radiance: poetry, prose, and parables of ugliness alloyed with joy.
B. T. Newberg founded HumanisticPaganism.com in 2011, and served as managing editor till 2013. His writings on naturalistic spirituality can be found at Patheos, Pagan Square, the Spiritual Naturalist Society, as well as right here on HP. Since the year 2000, he has been practicing meditation and ritual from a naturalistic perspective. After leaving the Lutheranism of his raising, he experimented with Agnosticism, Buddhism, Contemporary Paganism, and Spiritual Humanism. Currently he combines the latter two into a dynamic path embracing both science and myth. He headed the Google Group Polytheist Charity, and organized the international interfaith event The Genocide Prevention Ritual.
In 2009, he completed a 365-day challenge recorded at One Good Deed Per Day. As a Pagan, he has published frequently at The Witch’s Voice as well as Oak Leaves and the podcast Tribeways, and has written a book on the ritual order of Druid organization Ar nDriocht Fein called Ancient Symbols, Modern Rites. Several of his ebooks sell at GoodReads.com, including a volume of creative nonfiction set in Malaysia called Love and the Ghosts of Mount Kinabalu.
Professionally, he teaches English as a Second Language. He also researches the relation between religion, psychology, and evolution at www.BTNewberg.com. After living in Minnesota, England, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea, B. T. Newberg currently resides in St Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and cat.
B. T. currently serves as the treasurer and advising editor for HP.
Starstuff, Contemplating by Jon Cleland Host
We are assemblages of ancient atoms forged in stars – atoms organized by history to the point of consciousness, now able to contemplate this sacred Universe of which we are a tiny, but wondrous, part.
Dr. Jon Cleland Host is a scientist who earned his PhD in materials science at Northwestern University & has conducted research at Hemlock Semiconductor and Dow Corning since 1997. He holds eight patents and has authored over three dozen internal scientific papers and eleven papers for peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the journal Nature. He has taught classes on biology, math, chemistry, physics and general science at Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University. Jon grew up near Pontiac, and has been building a reality-based spirituality for over 30 years, first as a Catholic and now as a Unitarian Universalist, including collaborating with Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow to spread the awe and wonder of the Great Story of our Universe (see www.thegreatstory.org, and the blog at evolutionarytimes.org). Jon and his wife have four sons, whom they embrace within a Universe-centered, Pagan, family spirituality. He currently moderates the yahoo group Naturalistic Paganism.
Heather is a parent and a scientist raising her four children to explore the world through scientific understanding and with spiritual appreciation of the Universe. She has a Master of Science degree in Physics from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English Literature, also from the University of Michigan. She teaches physics as an adjunct instructor at Delta College, runs the Math Mania program at a local elementary school, has worked at Dow Corning as an engineer and at NASA as an intern, and she has led science outreach workshops for K-12 students through joint programs between NASA and the University of Michigan. She is a naturalistic non-theist, whose faith has been shaped by her childhood within the Episcopal Church, her adult membership in the Unitarian Universalist church, and through Buddhist meditation. She has a passion for bringing science and spirituality to everyone in a fun way, both for her own family and for the wider community of the Earth. She is a co-author with Jon Cleland-Host of Elemental Birthdays: How to Bring Science into Every Party.
The Naturalistic Pagan Toolbox by John Halstead
The Naturalistic Pagan Toolbox is a place for sharing ideas for religious technologies which we might use or adapt to deepen our Naturalistic Pagan practices. It includes the ideas and experiences of others, as well as some of my own, and I welcome you to send me your ideas for sharing in future posts. If you have discovered a ritual technique which works for you that you would like to add to the Naturalistic Pagan Toolbox, click here to send me an email.
John Halstead is Editor-At-Large and a contributor at HumanisticPaganism.com. He blogs about Paganism generally at AllergicPagan.com (which is hosted by Patheos) and about Jungian Neo-Paganism at “Dreaming the Myth Onward” (which is hosted by Witches & Pagans). He is also an occasional contributor to GodsandRadicals.org and The Huffington Post and the administrator of the site Neo-Paganism.com. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment,” which can be found at ecopagan.com. He is a Shaper of the fledgling Earthseed community, which is described at GodisChange.org. John is also the editor of the anthology, Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans.
The Wheel of Evolution by Eric Steinhart
Eric Steinhart is a professor of philosophy at William Paterson University. He is the author of four books, including Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death. He is currently working on naturalistic foundations for Paganism, linking Paganism to traditional Western philosophy. He grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. He loves New England and the American West, and enjoys all types of hiking and biking, chess, microscopy, and photography.
De Natura Deorum by various authors
The 1st century BCE Roman philosopher, Cicero, wrote:
“There is in fact no subject upon which so much difference of opinion exists, not only among the unlearned but also among educated men; and the views entertained are so various and so discrepant, that, while it is no doubt a possible alternative that none of them is true, it is certainly impossible that more than one should be so.”
One might think that Naturalistic Pagans would have little use for gods, and that is certainly true in many cases. However, we receive a surprising number of submissions on the nature of the gods here at HP, with some truly radical conceptions of “gods”. This semi-seasonal column, De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), is named after Cicero’s essay by the same name, and is written by a different contributor each time. Send your submissions to humanisticpaganism [at] gmail.com.
HP Pride featuring various
HP Pride is a monthly column where we interview members of the Humanistic Paganism community and other like-minded friends. If you are not a “Big Name Pagan”, or if you have never written online before, all the better! We want to hear from everyone! If you’d like to be interviewed, just click this link and follow the instructions.
Mid-Month Meditations by various
We encourage our readers to use these Mid-Month Meditations as an opportunity to take a short break from everything else. Rather than treating these posts the way you would any other post, set aside 10 minutes someplace quiet and semi-private to have an experience. Take a minute to relax first.