GUEST POST: An Atheopagan Example (starring: Hekate!)

by Kaigi-Ron

Why did I choose Hekate?  Because she controls liminal space – including the thin line between Life and Death.  I was so deeply depressed, I felt doomed to die – so I wanted to cut a deal with her: If I die, please do what you can to prevent me from suffering too much on the way out.

The one Atheopagan Principle I’ve generally been weak on is #6 (“PRAXIS: I enact regular ritual as a part of my practice”).  But this ritual actually helped save my life.  So, for those on the fence as to whether or not it’s worth it to do ritual, I say:  At least do it when it really counts.  You will definitely feel the difference, and it will make you stronger.

Atheopaganism is not a spectator sport: You have to participate, engage, interact – and Do Shit.

Let’s remember principle 6: I enact regular ritual.

So today I went out – to a local 3-way intersection in a place under a tree, at sunset and I buried a dog.

Now, before you start getting all het up, hear me out:  It was a ritual offering, made of black Fimo. Painted on its side was a message to Hekate

A little stylized jackal & old Greek font in gold ink (classy; this is a Goddess, after all)

I whispered to the Dog to carry my message to his mistress when he got to the Other Sideand after I’d buried it, I poured a little red wine on the grave and made a brief prayer to Hekate

And I felt So Much Better than I had even a week earlier!…and it doesn’t matter what these acts cause in this physical realm (I’m guessing that effect = zero), what matters is what changes inside your own head…

This feeling of Control and Certainty in these crazy-assed AnXiEtY TiMeS!

It makes you feel like You can handle it – and you truly are experiencing a measurable change in your brain, which gives you a very real competitive advantage!

Also:  These acts invoke the Commitment Principle (Robert Cialdini – Influence), which actually does – in a scientifically confirmed manner – make you more likely to follow through on your intentions, and therefore makes you more likely to be successful.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Use of the myths and symbols of deities is practiced by some Atheopagans, understanding them as psychological archetypes, rather than literal beings]

That Shameful Secret

For some, it’s the atheism.

For others, the Paganism.

And for others still, of course, both.

There is a lot of prejudice and delusion out there, and people jealously guard their beliefs. When confronted with someone who believes differently, many of them…well, not to put too fine a point on it, freak out.

I wish I could advise you all just to tough it out, to let your rational, Earth-loving flag fly. Because it is definitely something to be proud of. You embody Principles and Values that are honorable and meaningful, and stand for a better world.

But unfortunately, some of those prejudiced and closed-minded people are prone to violence. At least in some parts of the U.S., people can be made to pay dearly for being what we are.

So some of us have to be careful. It’s not right, or just. It’s just true.

Myself, I live in a liberal area, work in the nonprofit sector which is generally left-leaning, and am surrounded by a community of Pagans and tolerant folk who are more curious than critical if and when we get to talking spirituality. I am “out” as an Atheopagan, and it costs me little, socially. At worst, for some it is “that weird thing Mark is into”.

All of that is privilege—or at the very least, good fortune—relative to others not so lucky.

So I’m not going to lecture anyone who lives in a community or family dominated by religious conservatives about how they should be “braver” or “stand by their conscience”. When it comes to personal danger or potential loss of treasured relationships, you have to make your own decisions.

What I hope, though, is that over time there are moments for those of us who must be solitary or quietly sequestered in a small circle of confidants: moments where we can not only show who we are through our acts, but also to state explicitly what we believe in and care about.

I wish you the company of fellows on the journey, Atheopagans, not only online but in physical presence in your lives. I wish you deep and fascinating discussions about beliefs and practices and how we know what is real and what is unlikely to be; about values and what we hold as Sacred.

But if this is not to be, I commit to providing as much support and fellowship as we can muster in online forums.

You are not alone.

GUEST POST: By Helping Your Community, You’re Helping the World

By Meredith Jones

The world is a truly unforgiving place, which is why we all need to band together, look out for each other, and help one another. Of course, there are those who need more help than others, and it’s for their benefit that we’ve created this list. The fact is that we all have the responsibility to hold up those who may be finding themselves at the bottom — a courtesy that we’d want extended our way if roles were reversed. It’s not even anything heroic, but rather, just basic human decency. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at who we can help and how.

The Hungry

Regardless of what you believe in, one thing remains certain: nobody should go hungry. It is our shared responsibility to ensure that everyone is not only sufficiently fed but healthy, too.

The Oppressed

Unfortunately, the world in which we live keeps some populations in a holding pattern. This can cause generational poverty and discrimination. If you’re looking for a way to have an impact on the oppressed, you are part of the solution.

The Defenseless

In the same way that we look after each other in the community, so must we look after those who are unable to defend themselves. There’s simply no shortage of threats to wildlife and even domestic animals, and it’s our mutual obligation to do our part to ensure their safety.

The Vulnerable

In an ideal world, everyone would be on equal footing. Sadly, we already know that this world is far from ideal, so it’s our collective job to look out for those who are most at risk.

  • Understanding the problem of homelessness is a step closer to assisting the homeless, which can be done in so many different ways.
  • There are just so many people made vulnerable by their circumstances, gender, skin color, immigration status, sexuality, and more, so donate to the best charities to do your part in alleviating the hardships of many.
  • Above all, do not be silent in the face of injustice.

Indeed, the world would undoubtedly be a better place if more people would step up to help those that need it in any way you can. The fact that you’re reading this already shows that your heart is in the right place, so thanks for doing your part.

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