Naturalistic Traditions: All Things July

Girl on the poppy field by RadVila. Image via Shutterstock.

What can a naturalist celebrate in July?

This post is part of Naturalistic Traditions, a column exploring naturalism in Pagan ways.  This column will cover seasonal celebrations, historical and contemporary movements, and ritual practices.

Natural cycles

As the moon completes its monthly cycle, July 3rd will see a full moon, with the new moon on the 19th.

Neopagan traditions

There are no Solstices, Equinoxes, or Cross-quarters (High Days or Sabbats) that fall within this month, but attunement to the cycle of nature continues.  One may take this month as a time for action and reflection between sacred festivals, as the sun is high but now, after the Solstice, waning in slow anticipation of autumn.

Civic and humanitarian traditions

World Population DayJuly 11th is World Population Day.  This event initiated by the United Nations Development Programme was inspired by Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, when world population hit five billion people.  By 2007, it had risen to 6.7 billion (Wikipedia).

The theme this year is “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services.”

The UNFPA website describes the event:

…many activities and campaigns will call attention to the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world. Help us generate greater commitment to the idea that everyone has a right to reproductive health.

The day seems like a perfect opportunity to contemplate the sustainable limits of our planet, and take action in favor of equal access to reproductive health care.

July 12th is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau, famed nature lover and author of Walden.  His impact on modern society is explored by the Center for American Progress:

Thoreau laid the foundation for modern-day environmentalism. He articulated a philosophy based on environmental and social responsibility, resource efficiency, and living simply that is as inspiring now as it was then. He believed that to live a good life we must keep the wild intact.

You can find also a blog dedicated to daily Thoreau quotes here.

About the author

B. T. Newberg portrait

B. T. Newberg has been practicing meditation and ritual from a naturalistic perspective since 2000.  After experimenting with Agnosticism, Buddhism, Contemporary Paganism, and Spiritual Humanism, he currently combines the latter two into a dynamic path embracing both science and myth.  He is the editor of a community blog for naturalistic spirituality called Humanistic Paganism, which just published an anthology called Year One with over a dozen contributing authors.  After growing up in Minnesota, and living in England, Malaysia, and Japan, B. T. Newberg currently resides in South Korea with his wife and cat.

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