Themes for Atheopagan “Welcoming” Gatherings

This past weekend, a handful of us threw a successful Atheopagan gathering for the Harvest Sabbath.

Not everyone there was an Atheopagan. Not everyone there had even heard of Atheopaganism. But we ate and drank and socialized and circled together, and a good time was had by all.

And isn’t that the point?

Where I’m going with this is that wherever you live, there may not be self-identified Atheopagans to gather with. Not right away, at least. But there are people: folks who might very well enjoy a seasonal gathering with a theme, socializing and food, and a short acknowledgement of the meanings of the season in ritual form. Those folks may find, in time, that doing these Atheopagan rituals—perhaps even helping to design or officiate them— is something that interests them, and they may want to learn more.

So think about it: who might you invite to something like that? The gathering doesn’t have to be huge; even 6-8 people can have a great time together. You can start to pull together a working Atheopagan community simply by being hospitable and offering experiences that are connecting, meaningful and memorable.

Here are some suggested themes and activities for Atheopagan gatherings at various Sabbaths around the year*:

Yule (winter solstice): family and community, the return of the light, the longest night

Slogg (3rd Saturday in January): “second Christmas” party, community, getting through winter

Imbolc/Brighid/Riverain (~Feb. 1) : early spring, making Rain Babies,

High Spring(vernal equinox): dyeing eggs, playing childhood games, candy and desserts

May Day (~May 1) : playfulness, arrival of summer, Maypole, May wine.

Midsummer (summer solstice): the peak of the light, the longest day, evening gathering, outdoor games

Summer’s End (~Aug. 1): picnic or beach/river day, go berry-gathering, bake bread

Harvest (autumnal equinox): harvest feast, celebrate the year’s “harvest”, gratitude for abundance

Hallows (~Oct. 31/Nov. 1): Halloween, spooky fun, costumes, ancestors and remembering those who have died in the past year.

One reason we practice Atheopaganism is to connect with our fellow humans. Wherever you are, I hope you will reach out and extend invitations to friends to join you in simple celebration of seasons, rites of passage and the fact that we are alive.

May your gatherings be well-attended, fun, and rich with meaning!


*These are for the Northern Hemisphere; reverse the dates for Southern.

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5 thoughts on “Themes for Atheopagan “Welcoming” Gatherings

  1. All the Sabbats and Esbats have come and gone for many. I will explain, when I first began to learn about both Paganism and Wicca. I was still working and I picked up a couple of books on the subject. At that time there were a few who were interested and a place to go (bookstore in the next town). When I say a few it was maybe like 50 of us and then we had a place (someone’s home) where we could do the ritual Sabbats etc. That has all come to an end and I am by myself . It was sort of fun for them, for me it was serious and it still is. So I celebrate by myself as those who talk bout it were and still are just that. As much as it would be great; to find even one with whom I could either celebrate or discuss . It would help to open my mind to more new thought processes. Aging and living alone makes one more into their selves; especially when there is no one to experience together. It’s a nice thought for those who can (all the sabbats etc.)

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  2. It is not that I cannot find someone(s) who would help to celebrate the season. It is rather finding someone who even reasonably connects to paganism/wicca. For those who live within an area where doing anything related to paganism etc.; I commend them . Someone near me, those who are NEAR me are miles away. I mean more than 20 and have the same problem I have. Getting together for any extended amount of time. Will be honest and tell you that once I tried and found someone or thought I did. It was like being ordered around by some grand pubba. That is as polite as I can make it. I was polite with them and made my way out the door and have never returned. Learning who each of us is and how we each connect was what I was hoping for. Not being told I didn’t dress for the occasion and where was the gift I was to give and it had be in such and such amount etc. The 40 questions was way overboard. Will leave it at that andlots f luck.

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  3. Every celebration that I do is mainly alone. It is unfortunate though as wishing their was someone to share it with. Perhaps it is fear that those who want to claim they are something; usually turn out to be anything but. So I respond such as to your site because now I no longer have to meet with a bunch of wannabees. The sad part is I will probably go to my grave before I actually meet someone in the flesh. Holding onto hopes that seem to slip between my fingers; makes me wish sometimes my life was different. Yet once the feeling is gone I know where I belong and wouldn’t change it for anything.

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