Godless Paganism declared “The Pagan Book of the Year!”

I was so proud to be a part of the creation of John Halstead’s Godless Paganism, and wanted to let all you Atheopagans know that Megan Manson of the Pagan Tama blog on Patheos has rated it the top Pagan book of the year!

If you still don’t have a copy, you can pick it up at http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-halstead/godless-paganism-voices-of-non-theistic-pagans/paperback/product-22646041.htmlOr save money and paper and buy the e-book at http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-halstead/godless-paganism-voices-of-non-theistic-pagans/ebook/product-22635653.html

Lulu has a 20% off sale going through the end of the year, so get yours now!

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Atheopaganism at Pantheacon 2017

John Halstead and I have two events on this year’s Pantheacon schedule—plus a social gathering! This conference/convention, held in February each year, is the largest gathering of Pagans in North America and an important driver of cultural development in the Pagan community: four days of workshops, panel discussions, rituals and performances. It is held at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, California; in 2017 the dates will be from Feb. 17 through 20.

It’s also lots of fun! Much socializing and many parties. It’s an opportunity for people who don’t get to see one another often to catch up and work together, as I am looking forward to doing with John.

I hope that as many Atheopagans as possible are able to join us for these events. They are:

  1. Dancing Without Deity: A discussion of non-theist Paganism. Held at 3:30 on Friday in the Silicon Valley Room. We welcome you to join us for a conversation about non-theistic Pagan beliefs and practices. Both curious theists and non-theists are welcome. Moderators John Halstead and Mark Green will discuss the different paths to and within non-theistic Paganism, and will invite others to ask questions and share a little about their paths. This will be an opportunity to foster greater understanding about this increasingly visible part of the Pagan community in an open and mutually respectful environment.Following this event will be a Non-Theist Pagan Mixer, in the Fire Family Suite (room number 241).  Come say hello!
  2. Living Earth Devotional: A Non-Theist Ritual of Commitment and Connection. Held at 11 pm on Saturday in the San Jose/Santa Clara rooms. Devotional rituals can be some of the most powerful forms of rituals. But ritual devotion is not limited to theists. Join us in a rite of devotion to the Earth itself, to the life-giving miracle of the soil, water, air, and sun which sustains us all. The ritual will culminate in an opportunity to take a vow — simple or life-transforming — in service of the Earth and the living beings to which it is home. Both theists and non-theists are welcome. This will be an opportunity for those curious about non-theistic Paganism to experience non-theistic ritual in a non-confrontational environment.

I’m so excited and grateful that the Programming staff at Pantheacon saw these events as worthy additions to the con! There’s a lot to do between now and then, but it’s joyful work and I look forward to it.

Your input is welcomed! If you have ideas for the devotional ritual, use the Contact page form to drop me a line. No guarantees that we will use all ideas, of course, but we will consider all of them.

I hope to see you there!

Some Language I’m Not Going to Use Any More: An Apology

This post is an apology.

It has now been more than two years since I waded into the broader online Pagan conversation on behalf first of myself, and then of what has turned out to be the many Pagans who do not believe in literal gods. In those early days, the posts of myself and others like John Halstead and John Cleland Host were received in some quarters with bitter hostility.

As a result, I became defensive. And when I’m defensive, I’m often acerbic.

“Hard theists” and I aren’t going to agree cosmologically. We have fundamental disputes over the nature of the Universe itself, and those cannot be reconciled. However, we can treat one another with respect, and I have sometimes fallen down in this regard.

It isn’t helpful to describe someone’s “god experiences” as “delusions”. While I do, firmly, believe that such experiences are products of the brain, that’s not connotatively the same as the d-word.

So I’m not going to use that word in relation to the beliefs of theists any longer.

I’m going to forego “superstition”, too, although my understanding of that word is that it means “supernatural beliefs in which I do not share”, so it may technically be correct. Again, connotative meaning matters, so it’s off the list.

Things have changed in those two years. There aren’t very many voices any longer who are insisting that we don’t belong in the Pagan community, or that we are “blind” or “deaf to the gods”. We have a book out now, we’ve been recognized as a part of the community in the program of Pantheacon, and our conversation is now a part of the broader Pagan conversation.

I don’t feel as defensive these days. And as a result, I’m able to step back a bit and, therefore, to feel badly about times when I was sharper and more pointed than really was necessary.

To any I have offended, I am sorry. I ask your pardon.