This is the 6th in a series exploring the 13 Atheopagan Principles I proposed in my essay, “How I Became an Atheopagan.” To read the series, click on “Atheopagan Principles” in the tag cloud to the right.
Principle 6 states, “I enact regular ritual in observance of my religion.”
While cosmology and values embraced are certainly important, the 6th Principle reminds us that religion is something one DOES. To be religious is to carry out religious activities: to contemplate lessons, to celebrate the beauty of the Cosmos, to ceremonially observe holy days and life passages, to create art and other works reflective of an Atheopagan worldview.
Principle 6 reminds us that Atheopaganism isn’t just something done online, or in thinking about its theory and meanings. We must physically, with our bodies and our time, do those things that feel meaningful in a ceremonial sense: to gather in community (if we can and so choose) to enact the rituals of gratitude and seasons’ turnings, of birth and naming and passage to adulthood, of wedding and healing and death.
Some are more formally ritual-oriented than others. I’m sure there are Atheopagans for whom a mindful walk in the woods is all the ceremony they need to celebrate a given season. All Principle 6 is saying is, take that walk. Take time for mindfulness, to quiet your mind, perhaps using the Atheopagan Rosary. Light candles on your Focus, and rearrange it to suit your mood and the time of year. Gather with friends to celebrate the Sabbaths, or to hike under a full moon. Build a fire and dance about it with friends, or tell stories, or sing, or drum. Craft something that has Atheopagan meaning for you. Devise clever ways to celebrate that embody the wonders of this marvelous Universe
Principle 6 tells us, live the Atheopagan life. It’s not just about ideas or beliefs. It’s about doing what we can to make our lives full and warm and meaningful and connected.
Go do it!