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]

Midsummer 2020

In the Northern Hemisphere, the long days are upon us*! These are the days of Midsummer. Click here for all the previous posts about this Sabbath.

To me, Midsummer is the celebration of the prime of life–of robust, confident adulthood (rather than the urgent young adulthood of May Day), and, in the agricultural cycle, of relaxation and ease between the earlier plowing, sowing and planting and the later harvest Sabbaths.

Many Midsummers I have celebrated have been times to deliberately, conscientiously goof off: to relax, eat and socialize with friends. Perhaps to go to the beach, which is a fine Midsummer tradition.

But this is the (first?) year of COVID-19. I will not be gathering with loved ones this Midsummer, nor flocking to the coast with many others. It’s time to do something new.

Accordingly, on June 20, I will:

  • Arise with the dawn to greet the Sun with my Dawn Prayer.
  • Refresh my Sun Broom.
  • Drink golden wine and eat delicious, perfectly ripe peaches.
  • Kindle a fire in my back yard fire pit and enjoy the temperate evening (carefully, as wildfire season is nearly upon us).

I invite you to join me in these! And lastly and for this year only…

This last is so exciting! We’ve been ready with the documents for about a week now, but wanted to hold off on filing so the “birthday” of the organization will be the solstice.

When I light the candles on my Focus that evening, I will light an extra one for The Society, marking its birth into the world and my wishes for its successful future.

Please feel free to join me if you like! I wish you a joyous Midsummer and the deep pleasure of the long evenings.

*In the South, of course, we are approaching Yule. the shortest day of the year. If you’re there, merry Yule! Here are prior posts about celebrating the birth of the new Sun.

Ritual and Self Care for Protesters

Had enough?

World just about all you can take?

Well, first of all, if you aren’t one, welcome to the world of black and brown people. Maybe reflect on that for awhile.

But beyond that, let’s talk about tools to help us manage. To help us feel better despite the Plague, despite the horror, despite the injustice and the violence and the betrayal by those who were supposed to help.

It’s Wednesday evening as I speak. It has been two weeks and two days since the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman and his accomplices. Protests continue to thunder around the United States and elsewhere in the world, and the nation itself has been shaken to its core with the power of the outrage and anger.

I have written about this. And I still want to rage and pound and scream right now.

But I am also a student of history. I know that the Freedom Rides in 1961 lasted seven months. The lunch counter protests that succeeded in forcing the desegregation of Woolworth’s lunch counters took six.

If we want to rein in police abuses and brutality–indeed, to reenvision policing–we’re going to need some staying power. Power will not cede one inch unless it knows we are not going away.

And that brings me to self-care, and how to stay together and functioning when it seems the world is falling apart.

First and foremost, keep disease risks minimal. Wear a mask. Shower after you protest (if you weren’t arrested–if you were, you don’t have a lot of choices, but you should consider quarantining for 14 days after release). Sanitize your signs and anything else being handled by others.

Next: when you can, make protest joyous. Protest doesn’t have to deplete you. It can feed you. When you feel the solidarity of your comrades, when you dance in the streets you know the freedom that is the end goal of this work: the freedom for every human being to be equal and liberated.

Use your ritual skills. Not just for yourself before you go out, but in moving groups of people in ritual activities like singing, chanting, drumming, and spoken-word motivation. In jail, sing, gather in a circle with your fellow protesters and speak your vision of the future. At home, light a candle after you take that shower, saying, a better and more just world.

Don’t forget your body. Drink water. Eat meals. Get sleep. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Be prepared.

Have strategic objectives. It’s great to protest and march, but what can make the most impact on public opinion? What’s the most dramatic photo op (without deliberately provoking police, because they’re going to get violent pretty much regardless)?

Work an inside-outside strategy. When you have their attention, they’re going to want to sit down and parley, in many cases. That’s all right: do it. See what concessions they’re offering to end the protests. If it’s not enough, tell them so, and keep it up.

Be expendable. Successful protest movements don’t have “essential personnel”. If one spokesperson or organizer is sidelined or arrested, make sure there are people who will step right up to take their place.

Finally, don’t quit. History belongs to the victors, and the victors are always those who didn’t give up.

This is a pivotal moment in history. Essential transformation in the US will ripple around the world, just as the rise of neo-fascism has.

Be a part of it.

Go make some history.