Looking Forward

So, Gavin Frost died.

And several writers I respect have weighed in on his shameful legacy.

I can’t say any better what they have, and my rule-of-blog is not to repeat what’s already out there.

What I can say, though, is that the death of this awful human is an opportunity to speak about what it is that makes Atheopaganism different. Or potentially so.

Atheopaganism is a forward-looking religion. We don’t claim to derive from a lineage or tradition, and as such, we are neither beholden to nor reverent towards so-called elders.

Did those who helped to create Paganism help to pave the way for where we are here? Yes.

Did those who helped to shape modern Atheism help to pave the way for where we are here? Yes.

Are prominent figures in both camps kinda…screwed up?


So to those of us who are Atheists becoming Atheopagans, yes: some of the people who started the modern Pagan movement were loony, and a few were delusional to the point of evil.

We learned from that. We’re getting better.

And to those who are Pagans embracing their Atheism, yes: the dogmatism of the New Atheists moved them from speakers of truth to evangelistic zealotry. They over-generalize about religion and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Still, their assertion of naturalism as the most reasonable cosmology for a thinking human is absolutely compelling.

We are fortunate in that we have no “high priest/esses”, no hierarchs, no cult leaders. We’re just a group of people working together to create something that works for us.

My hope for Atheopaganism is that we can draw forward elements of value from what has been in the past, while firmly leaving behind the dysfunction through a firm commitment to our values and Principles. And then, from there, to build our own culture, our own shared traditions sprung from our own creativity.

Let us enshrine history and legacy in the form of actions of integrity, rather than the lionizing of problematic people. If that is the practice, the likes of Gavin Frost will be forgotten soon enough.



3 thoughts on “Looking Forward

  1. The trouble, journalisticly, with not repeating what’s out there is that it leaves some of us puzzled- at least, I am. Don’t recall ever hearing of Gavin Frost, or his deeds. In future, you might want to provide a link, at least, for those of us who’s ears are not quite so close to the ground. Then again, there are so many people and institutions to “deplore” these days, that my deplorer is suffering from deploration fatigue. I don’t really mind missing another one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi,

    The links in the first paragraph go to articles that describe in detail the situation with Gavin Frost. Basically, he and his wife founded a “School of Wicca” in the 1960s (which they claim was the first in the US) which included in its “Witches Bible” a ritual for the sexual initiation of post-pubescent teenagers by adults in a coven. It’s yucky stuff, and they never either disavowed it nor dropped it from subsequent editions of the book.


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