Atheopaganism is a new religious path. The essay in which I laid out its principles is only five years old, and it has been visible on the web for only a year.
This inevitably means that practitioners seeking to find people to circle with are going to be a little challenged. It’s fine to practice as a solitary, but many of us prefer to have a community with which we can share our rituals, our observances, and our exploration of our Atheopagan path.
It can be difficult to get started. Here are some suggestions which may help.
- If you’re already a part of the Pagan community, invite your Pagan friends to sample an Atheopagan ritual. You may be surprised to learn how many Pagans don’t really “believe” in deities (I was certainly surprised at the large number of Pagans at Pantheacon who confided this to me).
- If you’re more active in the Skeptic/atheist community, invite your atheist and agnostic friends to celebrate a seasonal holiday.
- Convene an introductory group to present Atheopaganism’s main precepts and practices, and invite attendees to a subsequent ritual gathering.
- Post on a bulletin board at your local Unitarian Universalist Congregation, looking for non-believers who would like to celebrate the turning of the seasons.
- Start simply–even a very simple circle ritual can be both intriguing and a little daunting for people who aren’t accustomed to having religious ritual in their lives.
- Avoid religious jargon. Even using terms like “Seasonal celebration for non-believers (atheists and agnostics)” instead of “ritual” may help non-believers to feel more comfortable with showing up. Once they see that what you’re doing doesn’t ask them to “believe”, if Atheopaganism works for them they’ll be easier to invite.
- Most of all, remember to have fun. Atheopaganism isn’t a rule-bound, guilt-trippy kind of religion, and people should be able to tell the difference. Remember Principle #5!