The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 3: The Eternal Return

In contrast to the monotheistic religions with their linear view of sacred time and the progressive nature of history leading to a final eschcatological event, many Neo-Pagans view sacred time as cyclical, rotating between life and death in an eternal cycle of periodic renewal, which Mircea Eliade called “the eternal return”. In contrast to the Dharmic religions, which seek escape from this cycle, many Neo-Pagans embrace it. Far from being a source of pessimism or despair, for these Neo-Pagans, the ineluctability of death gives deeper meaning to existence. Read more

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 2: The Meaning of Death

Neo-Paganism sanctifies our ultimate annihilation and holds that death is no less sacred than life. Indeed, death possesses a holiness which transcends the individual ego’s will toward life. Read more

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 1: Introduction

Neo-Paganism may be understood as an initiatory or mystery religion. While Wiccan initiation is an example of both group and personal initiation, Neo-Pagans can experience a personal initiation without joining any group. Read more

Non-Violent Writing: Selma and the “Pagan” question

How are we to respond when other claim the exclusive right to use certain words? I think, at the very least, we must avoid making the same mistake. We must avoid returning rhetorical violence for rhetorical violence. We must at least try to practice non-violence writing and speaking. Read more

“In With the New, Out With the Old”: Generational Conflict Within Paganism

The next time some Pagan elder is demanding I defer to their judgment about my Paganism, I think I will just turn away, turn to someone younger than me, and ask myself what I have done to help the next generation of Pagans thrive. Read more

An atheist Pagan, an animist, and a devotional polytheist walk into a ritual …

We have to accept that we can define words for ourselves, but not for others. And we have to be willing to hold hands and circle with someone who may have a very different interpretation of what is going on. Read more

Nothing new under the Winter Solstice sun: Christmas as a major sabbat

Christmas (like Hallow’een) is a sublime mix of Christian, pagan, and commercial traditions. And I love it that way. Whether you are Christian, Pagan, or atheist, I say, ‘Embrace it. And make it your own!’ Read more

HumanisticPaganism.com has a new look!

HumanisticPaganism.com has gotten a facelift.  Among the changes are an informative front page, a handsome look with a fun interface, and new articles about Humanistic Paganism. What is Humanistic Paganism? Humanistic Paganism, also called Naturalistic Paganism, is a unique Pagan orientation for those who are uncomfortable with or skeptical of the supernatural or metaphysical elements of contemporary Paganism. Individuals may use other self-descriptors, such as “Atheist Pagan”, “Atheist Witch”, “Pagan Humanist”, “Druid Naturalist”, etc. Humanistic Paganism has been described as… Read more

The First Commandment of Paganism: “Thou Shalt Not Judge” (and why this is a problem)

Paganism doesn’t have any commandments, like the Abrahamic religions, but if we did, I think the First Commandment of Paganism would be “Thou shalt not judge another’s experience”. And I think this is a problem. Read more

The Pagan Slur: Do we hurt the environmental movement by association?

It is probable that the people who are slurring environmentalism by association with “paganism” are already convinced that environmentalism is a bad thing, and the association with “paganism” is a post hoc rationalization. But what about more liberal Christians, who might be sympathetic to earth stewardship, but would be put off by associations with contemporary Paganism? Do we scare away more people from the environmental movement than we bring to it? Is the net effect of our association with the environmental movement negative? Do we care? Read more


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