REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Moon Meet 2018—A Gathering of Atheopagans and Friends

The second annual Moon Meet is a congregation of Atheopagans, non-theist Pagans and others interested in our paths, held from Friday, August 24 through Sunday, August 26, on private land on a redwood-covered mountain near Healdsburg, in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma County, California.

Registration is now open! Click here to register!

Moon Meet—named because we will hold it during the weekend of the full moon—is a group camping gathering; a few indoor sleeping locations are available by prior arrangement for those disabled or coming from distance and unable to bring their gear along.

We will share meals and workshops, hold a community discussion about how our Atheopagan community is developing and how best to move forward, and design and celebrate rituals together. We will share songs, poems and our creativity around the fire. And there will be time for hiking in a beautiful setting, or excursions to nearby wineries and historic sites.

Event pricing is $90– the minimum necessary to defray expenses. This includes five meals. Children under 16 are $30. A small fee will also be charged to pay for the registration service, Brown Paper Tickets. 

Prices will go up at the end of June, so please register early!

This second annual Moon Meet grows out of a frequent request in the Atheopagan Facebook group, that we find ways of physically convening as well as virtually gathering online.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PRESENT A WORKSHOP

Please contact us now! Use the form on the Atheopaganism blog’s “Contact” page. Workshop slots are 90 minutes in length.

I hope to see you there!

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Announcing the Atheopaganism Patreon Campaign!

Atheopaganism has really taken off in the past couple of years! Our web traffic is up, our Facebook group is soon to break 1,000 members, and we’re engaged in the broader online conversation of the Pagan community to a significant degree.

This is exciting!

It’s also quite a bit of work. I am unemployed at the moment, so I have the time, but soon I will (presumably) be going back to work and Atheopagan activities will need to fit in around that.

For this reason and after a lot of soul-searching about it, I have decided to create a Patreon fundraising campaign to ensure that Atheopaganism gets the attention and time it needs, and new events and resources are regularly organized and provided for Atheopagans.

Patreon, if you don’t know, is a way you can subscribe to a creative person’s efforts by making a monthly financial pledge. Even small amounts add up; if everyone on the Facebook group sponsored at $10/month, I could work full-time on developing Atheopagan events, materials, atheology and rituals, and look at possibly even producing rituals at events elsewhere in the country and/or internationally!

Let me be clear: the materials and writing at the blog will always be free. This IS a labor of love and I am committed to supporting ALL Atheopagans and non-theist Pagans of every stripe in their paths.

That said, sponsor support will really, really help me. And it will enable me to add new dimensions to what I can provide: like a podcast and/or YouTube series, and the creation of the Atheopaganism book, The Atheopagan Reader.

Atheopaganism as a movement is real now. Naturalistic Paganism as a legitimate spiritual path is growing, as shown by the success of websites like Humanistic Paganism and the collective of writers at NaturalPagans.com, and the fact that our rituals and presentations are welcomed at Pagan conferences like Pantheacon.

Your investment will ensure that I can continue to promote our interests and ideas, develop materials and thought and events for us, and expand into new media with our vision and philosophy.

You can access the Atheopaganism Patreon page here, complete with the reward levels and goals.

And thank you for considering becoming a Patron of Atheopaganism. I really appreciate anything you can pledge to help our movement keep growing and going.

—Mark Green

We Are All Connected: On Atheopagan Counseling

We are all connected: to each other, biologically,
to the Earth, chemically,
to the rest of the Universe atomically.
—Neil deGrasse Tyson

So, I’ve written about our responsibility to the Earth. About how being who we are—Atheopagans—implies a necessary requirement that we stand up, in whatever great and small ways we can, for a better world.

And I’ve written about Atheopaganism as a path to greater happiness: an individual path of growth and wisdom. A way to open into the joy of the magnificent Universe, into celebrating the extraordinary beauty of noble, flawed, gorgeous humanity.

And those are true things.

But there is a point between the global and the individual: the social. The role of a person in a culture, in a society, in a community.

In a circle of friends.

You see, the Neil deGrasse Tyson quote above is a wonderful, inspiring statement, but it’s also insufficient. We are connected with the Earth ecologically, not just chemically. And we are connected with one another socially: as communal animals who need to belong and to feel loved and supported.

Which brings me to Terence Ward’s excellent post up at the Wild Hunt,”The Limits of Ministry”, about the question of Pagan counseling.

Is that a thing? Is it something our communities should expect from us? Or is that just an Abrahamic-religion hangover, leaving our only real responsibilities as our own ritual and activist work?

Waaaaaall…this is going to shock y’all, but: I have an opinion.

I believe that being an Atheopagan is about being the fullest, wisest, kindest, most complete, most empowered, most considered, most alive person you can be.

That includes fulfilling responsibilities, such as to the broader world…and to your friends and associates. Especially when—as will happen, inevitably—they are in extremis. When they are suffering.

Do we have an obligation to develop the basic skills to be a counselor, a confidante, an advisor?

I say yes: we do. Not because—as Ward’s article suggests—this is a part of the skill set of a “minister”—as we have no clergy—but because we are human. And this is something we should be able to offer to our loved ones and fellows, just because.

When, exactly, did we surrender the right and power to be counsel and support to our fellow humans to a professional and “ministerial” class?

I’m not saying there isn’t a place for professionals. There is. But psychological/ psychiatric professionals aren’t required for many of the challenging situations that just need a friend to have another friend’s back.

Often, all that is required is a willingness to listen. And kindness. And discernment; if someone has a serious psychological issue, it’s important to know when it’s time to encourage them to seek professional help.

Yes, Atheopagans. It’s a serious undertaking, being a complete human, here in the real world, under the cold, uncaring yet so-beautiful stars. It asks a lot of us, but the rewards are so rich.

So let us be kind with one another. Let us learn to support one another.

Beside the individual striving and the efforts at social change, we can make a better world, one interaction at a time.

It is a part of the Joyous Work to cultivate the skills of the listener, the compassion of the wise counsel. Let’s do it for our friends and loved ones, and again—always—to make the world a better place.