Encountering Your Personal Atheopaganism

Through my essay and on this site, I have laid out Atheopagan Principles and values that work for me. They may work for you, too—I think of them as relatively universal ideals of a life well lived. But your mileage may vary; maybe you disagree with one or more of the Principles I articulated, or maybe there are others which are deeply important to you.

So as you craft your personal “flavor” of Atheopaganism, I encourage you to ask yourself, “What really matters to me? What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of world do I want to live in? What do I need to do to help that world come about?” The answers to these questions will be your own Atheopagan Principles, your own moral touchstones for your religious practice.

As I have discussed before, I have a functional definition of religion based on its role in both personal and societal life. In that model, a religion contains four elements:

  • Cosmology: Beliefs about the nature of the world. In Atheopaganism, this is an ever-evolving definition as science discovers more about our Universe.
  • Values: What the religion holds as Sacred. In Atheopaganism I have described these as the “Four Pillars”: The World, Truth, Beauty and Love.
  • Principles: The moral precepts that derive from what is held as Sacred. Rules to live by, e.g. These will vary from person to person but are always rooted in what is held by the religion to be Sacred.
  • Practices: Observances, holidays, contemplation, prayers, etc.; the activities that define being of a particular religion. In the case of Atheopaganism, these activities include Pagan-style rituals and holidays, adapted to a non-theist cosmology.

Even if you are predisposed just to adopt the Atheopagan Principles as I described them (they sound good to me, but then, they would, wouldn’t they?), I strongly encourage you to mull over the questions above and craft your own Principles. It’s great to draw on mine if you like, but only when you truly feel they are consistent with your own values and morals.

Atheopaganism doesn’t have a “doctrine”. What I’m doing here is writing my own experience and thinking as I develop it for myself, responding to the requests of the community as best I can, and being as honest as I can about the challenges I encounter as I live an Atheopagan life. If there is something in my writing that really rubs you the wrong way, I hope you will ignore it and draw on what is useful to you.

This path is about practical utility in being happy, functional, and contributing to a better world. You know better than anyone else exactly how that works best for you.

 

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