Church is no substitute for religion, Part 3: Why we need Pagan shrines not “temples”

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It’s somewhat surprising, given the degree of theological and ritual innovation in the Pagan community, that we don’t think very far outside the box when it comes to places of worship. We Pagans might benefit from shifting from church/community center model to a shrine model of public religiosity. Here are 3 ways Pagans can offer the experience of “churchless religion” to people. [Read more...]

Church is no substitute for religion, Part 2: The Spirituality Gap

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“Religion” is about symbol, myth, and ritual, while “church” is about community, morality/ethics, and ideology/politics. Here in the West, it seems we’ve gotten the church cart before the “horse” of religion. Potlucks and creeds are the outgrowth of religion, not the cause of it. [Read more...]

Church is no substitute for religion, Part 1: The Sunday Assembly and Religionless Church

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The Sunday Assembly wants to be “all the best parts of church but without the religion”, but I think they’ve got it backwards. What I am longing for is not “church without religion”, but “religion without church”. And I don’t think it’s just me. In fact, I wonder if maybe the growing numbers of “Nones” aren’t looking for the same thing. [Read more...]

Bowing before the personified impersonal: Prayer for an atheist Pagan

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Ever since leaving my Christian religion of origin, I have refused to kneel when I pray. This sign of submission still had power for me, even 15 years after I stopped believing in a God who demands submission. But last week, I was literally driven to my knees. [Read more...]

Wish upon Ostara: Why I wish Ostara was called something else

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The year should turn the Wheel, not the other way around. The problem with many of the Neo-Pagan Sabbaths is that we start with a name, then work out what the day should mean from its etymology and history, and then try to associate it with the season — which is completely backwards. [Read more...]

Witch is Worse?: Why we need an American Council of Witches … or something

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If you don’t like something about how the American Council of Witches operates, then by all means, raise your voice, petition for change. Even better, try to get involved in the organization and change it from within. But don’t tell me it “doesn’t speak for you”. Because, like it or not, it can and it will. [Read more...]


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