Atheopaganism is a naturalistic Pagan religious path initially conceptualized by me, Mark Green*. I am a lifelong atheist, and have never had reason to doubt that point of view, but I find that most outspoken atheists err seriously in their understanding of the function and value of religious and ritual practice in building community, inculcating values and gratitude, and otherwise enriching a human life.

For many years, I was active in celebrating the turning of the seasons with members of the Pagan community, the values of which resonated with my own. However, there came a point where I could no longer remain silent in the face of the credulity with which many in those circles approached their religion, believing their gods to exist in a literal sense rather than as meaningful metaphors. Even to the point of using “the will of the gods” to excuse dysfunctional and unethical behavior, in some cases.

So I left. But within a very short time, I found that my life was impoverished. Without the rituals, seasonal celebrations and observances, I felt disconnected from Nature, uninspired and dejected.

As a result, after a gap of some years in which I explored further how religious behavior serves the imperatives of various parts of the human brain, I began to develop what I and many friends in a growing community are now calling “Atheopaganism”: a supernatural-free, godless tradition of celebrations, observances, meditations and other meaningful practices, the goals of which are to increase happiness both individually and in society, and to foster the development of a more sustainable, just and kind world.

Details on this journey, the science behind it and the principles of Atheopaganism are available here (somewhat outdated) or in the book Atheopaganism: an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science. Those interested in learning more can also request to join the Atheopagan Facebook group, where thousands of us discuss and develop Atheopagan ideas, rituals, liturgy and culture, as well as announce events.

Posts to this blog are about not only the development, but the practice of this new religious path, which I am finding deeply satisfying. If it’s not your thing, it’s a big Internet–go find something that works for you.

However, if you think you’re going to get into a debate here about how real your gods are, I’m sorry to disappoint you. All such comments will be deleted immediately.

Mark Green

*Though I am by no means the first to wed naturalistic atheism with Neopagan ideas and practices. See, for example, the Humanistic Paganism blog in the links.

All of the writing on this website except where otherwise noted is copyright Mark Green, and unauthorized publication of it constitutes theft of intellectual property. Note that I do not claim ownership of most of the images shown on this website. If you do, notify me and I will take the picture down immediately or credit the copyright holder, whichever the holder prefers. This is a non-commercial website for religious purposes.

26 thoughts on “About

  1. Great site, Mark! Appealing, easy to navigate, excellent content. I’m going to share some of your writing with the men in the “Wiccan circle” at San Quentin. Wiccan is the term the DOCR uses and understands, but in reality it’s pan-Pagan, and mostly comprised of minorities.
    Blessings, Macha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, not really. This is a PAGAN practice, working in ritual circles instead of audience-and-performer congregations, celebrating holidays of the Wheel of the Year, and conducting personal rituals and rites of passage. UU is much more modeled on the Christian model of meeting in buildings, having sermons, singing hymns, etc.


      1. New guy here.. you could definitely be an atheopagan unitatrian universalist, so says my partner who was raised UU. I will leave it to Mr. Green to decide if one can be a unitarian universalist atheopagan.


  2. Manlio

    I read the first part of your blog and i think i found the best or the righter definition of my religiosity out of traditional ideas of gods and trusting. I shall continue reading you. Greetingd from Italy, and good luck for all


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  4. Elizabeth JC

    Hi Mark. I am so happy to have found your website.

    Can you tell me if Atheo-Paganism is the same or similar to Humanistic Paganism? If not, how do they differ?

    Thank you for sharing.


    1. Hi, Elizabeth! Atheopaganism is a sort of subset of Humanistic Paganism: a particular path with a set of value Principles and conventions about rituals, the Wheel of the Year, etc. Many of my pieces have been published at Humanisticpaganism.com, and I am friends with John Halstead and Jon Cleland Host, the editors over there.

      Hope this helps!


      1. Chloe Wright

        I’m still researching these paths and have a question for this. How would you compare an atheist pagan to Atheopaganism? Is there much of a difference? Because I lean towards both, I’m just unsure of specifics in them.

        I’ve been enjoying reading your blog!

        Thanks in advance!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Chloe!

        Atheist paganism is a general category of religious paths. Atheopaganism is a specific atheistic Pagan path that i created, with the Four Pillars, 13 Principles, locally-defined wheel of the year, etc.


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  6. lewblink2

    Feedback from a curious soul.
    Sticking feathers on your butt doesn’t make you a chicken and using the term Pagan with a atheist slant doesn’t make one a pagan.
    The Church of the All World’s, one of the first to use the term Pagan in the early 70s had a very scientific take on superstition, and a keen sense of keeping the community ritual more universal.
    Denying the “realness” of another person’s view of deities is a very un-pagan thing.
    Early Pagan groups had diverse and unique takes on spirituality from Egyptian to English High Magic options.
    Your terminology seems pigeonhole something that was built from diversely unique intellectual beginnings rather than old fashioned ignorance.
    I am mostly questioning the use of the term Pagan at all…which has a distinct purpose that already includes your perspective and the idea that community Ritual and Solstice celebration isn’t already a universal religious theme practiced across the world outside and within the pagan communities..
    Find the Others and Join in together is a common theme for our age and I honor your attempts, but this whole Non-profit effort is clearly putting the Cart before the Horse.
    Direct experience with community and then a building is a better route….unless of course this a philosophical debate..and you are the Philosopher in charge.
    I suppose then I have questions.


    1. I simply disagree with you. We have a large community already–more than 2000 participants.

      I do not consider the Church of All Worlds–with which I have a great deal of experience–to be an admirable model in any way.

      As for the term “Pagan”, there is only one thing that characterizes all members of that set: they call themselves Pagans. So do we, so we are. And as reverers of the Sacred Earth, we have as much claim to it as anyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Iden Hill

        Amen, Brother Green!

        As a fellow nature based traveler, I would also point out that the very definition , in the Vulgate bible anyway, of pagans as heathens or ‘ones not enrolled in the Army of Christ’. Feels like a walk on the sunny side to me. Hail and Well Met!

        Iden Hill.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Guilaine

    J’ai découvert votre site et j’ai été surprise de découvrir quelque chose qui m’aide à mettre des mots sur mon ressenti. Bien souvent voulant expliquer mon ressenti , je le décrivait comme athée et païenne sans pouvoir faire clairement de lien sur cette apparente contradiction. Merci pour votre approche, c’est très intéressant. Par contre j’utilise le traducteur de page Google pour avoir accès a l’information mais c’est pas trop mal. Guilaine France

    Liked by 1 person

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