Humanistic Paganism

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“Humanistic Heathens defend their support of marriage equality” by John Halstead

The high priest of the Icelandic Heathen group, Ásatrúarfélagið, has reported receiving hate mail from abroad from other Heathens who disapprove of the liberal beliefs and attitudes of the Icelandic group, particularly the group’s respect for gay rights and its fight to be allowed to marry same-sex couples.

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“Are Humanistic Pagans building a temple in Iceland?” by John Halstead

We Humanistic Pagans may have kin in Iceland.

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“‘As the gods pour, so do mortals’: An alternative conception of divine reciprocity” by John Halstead (Part 2)

PART 2: AN ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTION OF DIVINE RECIPROCITY In Part 1 of this essay (published last month), I critiqued a popular understanding of divine reciprocity. But there is another conception of divine reciprocity. It is rooted in the notion of…

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“‘As mortals pour, so do the gods’: A critique of divine reciprocity” by John Halstead (Part 1)

As I pour out the water or wine or honey on the earth, I create, in the form of the stream of liquid, a living connection between myself and the earth. It is a visual and visceral representation of my connection to the earth. And in so doing, I experience both an “emptying” and also simultaneously a “filling”, as if I am both emptying the vessel of myself and filling myself at the same time, as if I am both the cup that pours and the earth which receives. In this act, I restore in a small measure that sense of sensual connection I have to the world. This for me is the true meaning of divine reciprocity.

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Yes, Virginia, I’m a Pagan Atheist, by Jeffrey Flagg

All of this is to say that I find the question of the gods being “real,” and indeed discussions of their ontological nature in general, somewhat silly. It doesn’t matter if they’re “real” if they’re meaningful. So, yes, I am an atheist because I don’t believe in the existence of a deity. I’m also, however, a Pagan, because I have a personal relationship to the same things that Pagans have relationships to. Once you get past the word games of ontology, being an atheist Pagan isn’t so silly after all.

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