Mark Green's Atheopaganism Blog

Living an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science

The Magic of a World Without Magic

Atheopagans are what is called in philosophical circles naturalists. That means that we believe that everything is a part of nature, is composed of natural material, and is subject to the laws of physics.


Accordingly, barring the arrival of a substantial and compelling body of evidence in support of the idea that rituals and mental effort can and do affect physical events at a distance in time or space—i.e., “magic”—we don’t believe in that, either.

There are some in other Pagan paths who express pity for this position (not to mention resentment, but that’s another matter). As if living in a world without gods, without ghosts or demons or fairies or hocus-pocus is somehow a disappointment.

But here’s the thing: for those of us not looking for such things, there is so much in this world—this tangible, unarguably, physical material world—to knock us out with wonder and joy that we don’t need more.

Sunsets. Moonrises. Rain and snow and lightning. The morning mist rises and the dew bejewels everything. Clouds. Mountains and forests and deserts and rivers and lakes and oceans. And on, and on, into the infinitude and eternity of that starry sky.

As the great naturalist poet Robinson Jeffers has it:

The beauty of things was born before eyes and sufficient to itself; the heartbreaking beauty

Will remain when there is no heart to break for it.

There is so much more here on plain, mundane Planet Earth, on our precious bejeweled home than we can ever experience. There is so much more to love than our hearts can ever stretch to encompass.

And it unrolls before us daily. The sky is an endless wonder. Contemplation of a single tree blowing in the wind can bring a surge of recognition and joy to those who know how to look. The mountains rise on the horizon; the trees breathe oxygen and lift their broad arms in celebration. The mist kisses our faces.

And then there are the animals. Not the least of which is the confounding and magnificent hairless ape, homo sapiens.

Ours is a world so rich with wonders, so rife with gifts that no amount of travel and adventure can scratch the surface of its abundance. None of us, in the space of a lifetime, can truly know what a gift it is to have arrived in existence on the multiply blessed third planet from this Sun,  one of quadrillions in this, the only Universe we know to exist.

We need not gild the lily with imaginings. We need not kid ourselves that we have powers we do not have.

While we are reeling with the sheer WOW of being alive, others chase ghosts and gods.

They are welcome to them.

For us, this life is enough.

This Sacred Earth is so, so much more than enough.



  1. Definitely agree regarding the beauty of the world. For me, that is always first and foremost. Gods neither distract me nor detract from it though.

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