Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: The Gaia Theory: Reuniting our bodies and nature

The Gaia Theory calls into question many deeply ingrained scientific and cultural assumptions and challenges us to perceive our world in a new way. The Gaia Theory also illustrates how we are radically interconnected with all other livings beings on the planet, human and other, as well as with the non-living elements of the Earth. We humans carry on our lives seemingly independently of Gaia, but yet we exist within a larger living entity on which we depend for our lives. Read more

Help HumanisticPaganism.com advertise at The Wild Hunt

Help HumanisticPaganism.com place an add at The Wild Hunt, the primary online destination for news relating to and of interest to contemporary Pagans. Read more

The Deep Ecology Tree: What is Deep Ecology?

In 1972, Arne Naess coined the term “deep ecology” to contrast with “shallow” environmentalism. At the core of deep ecology is the idea that nature is sacred, meaning it has intrinsic value apart from its usefulness to human beings. The destruction of the environment is thus perceived as a desecration (literally a de-sacred-ing). In contrast, “shallow” environmentalism is concerned only with the effects of environmental devastation on human beings. Shallow environmentalism seeks to remedy the symptoms of ecological collapse without the transformation, or even the consciousness, of the “deep-seeded” cultural assumptions that gave rise to the collapse. Read more

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Neo-Pagans, “The Dirt Worshippers”

The history of Neo-Paganism is part of a larger history of nature religion in the West, beginning with the American Transcendentalists, conservationists like John Muir, and early environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, all of whom appreciated a religious dimension to our relationship with the environment. Read more

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Rachel Carson, “A cry in the wilderness that changed the world”

Rachel Carson: “We still haven’t become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a very tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. Now I truly believe that we in this generation must come to terms with nature, and I think we’re challenged, as mankind has never been challenged before, to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature but of ourselves.” Read more

What I don’t miss about Christianity (and why this post is not about Star Foster)

The thing that I don’t miss about Christianity is ME, the Christian me, the person who I was when I was Christian. Read more

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Aldo Leopold, “Thinking Like a Mountain”

“The land is one organism. … The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio,” wrote Aldo Leopold, “but rather the complexity of the land organism.” Read more

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: John Muir, “Prophet of the Wilderness”

John Muir’s language sometimes came close to pantheism, or even animism. His language would be familiar to Neo-Pagans today: “I will touch naked God,” he wrote in anticipation of a trip into Yosemite. Elsewhere he wrote, “The whole wilderness seems to be alive and familiar, full of humanity. The very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly. No wonder when we think that we all have the same Father and Mother.” Read more

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: The Transcendentalists, “An Original Relation to the Universe”

The Transcendentalists believed that studying nature was a way to comprehend the divine, another idea which found its way into contemporary Neo-Paganism. In response to the religious traditionalism of their day, the Transcendentalists argued that the human mind and the natural world were all that was needed for genuine spiritual experience. Nature was seen as a source of revelation available to all. Read more

What is Humanistic/Naturalistic Paganism?

Humanistic Paganism and Naturalistic Paganism are both terms used to describe a unique Pagan path for those who are uncomfortable with or skeptical of the supernatural or metaphysical elements of contemporary Paganism. It is Paganism that is firmly rooted in the physical world. Read more