Mark Green's Atheopaganism Blog

Living an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science

Towards a Daily Spiritual Practice

One of the things which characterizes our Atheopagan path–and which we share with many other Pagan denominations–is observation of the eight holidays of the Wheel of the Year: the solar solstices, equinoxes and the midpoints between them. So every 7 weeks or so, we have a seasonal festival to celebrate, if we so choose. How we define those holidays can vary widely, as we are aware of our local climates and ecological processes and seek to match our celebrations to them. And we don’t have to celebrate all of them if we choose not to.

In addition, we may hold occasional rites of passage for our friends and loved ones, as people have children, marry, grow older, etc.

And, as people with ritual designing and implementing skills, we can always do a ritual if we feel we need one for some reason, or for someone else.

But in my experience, there is nothing that grounds me more in the happiness and awe of my life than my daily practice: the things I do every day for religious reasons.

Every morning, I stand before my Focus and draw a Tarot card. Contemplating the meaning of that card becomes a lens through which I view the rest of my day.

But more than this, doing this daily reminds me that I am living a spiritual life. That I seek experiences of beauty and learning and growth. And so I look for them, every day.

Every evening, I light candles on my Focus, saying “The Sacred Earth” for the candle in the Life section of the Focus, and saying “The Honored Dead” as I light the candle in the Underworld section. Even when I am not in the room*, knowing that my Focus is “alive” or “activated” in this way helps me to remember, all the time, that I am living a magical life.

And before I go to bed, I go out and look at the darkened sky: the stars, the planets, the Moon. The incomprehensible vastness of space. Remembering: I am a part of all this.

These activities don’t take much time. They aren’t elaborate and they don’t demand so much energy that I would be likely to skip them a lot. But they add color and flavor and meaning to my life, and I find that I am taking time to smell flowers, to watch sunsets, to admire the conifers along the ridgeline.

My practice helps me to be more attentive to what deeply feeds me. And so much of being an Earth-honoring Pagan is simply learning to pay close attention to what the world is doing around us.

So I highly recommend developing a daily practice of your own.

It doesn’t have to look anything like mine. My podcast partner Yucca’s daily practice with her family, for example, consists of ten minutes each of “Sun Time” (getting out into the sunlight in the morning) and “Star Time” in the evening.

Can you imagine being raised with such a practice? How much better connected to reality you would be if this was a part of your daily routine?

I know others who recite a short poem each day: sometimes to greet the sunrise. There is a great collection of Earth-honoring poems, Earth Prayers: 365 Poems, Prayers and Invocations from Around the World, which has some splendid choices.

It really doesn’t matter what the daily practice is: just that it is meaningful to you. It can be just one simple thing, daily.

You can always add more later if you wish.

*Be sure your candles are well-protected from starting a fire if you leave them unattended, and check them very frequently.

Shown: My Underworld Focus.


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