Atheopaganism

An Earth-honoring religious path rooted in science

REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Moon Meet 2018—A Gathering of Atheopagans and Friends

The second annual Moon Meet is a congregation of Atheopagans, non-theist Pagans and others interested in our paths, held from Friday, August 24 through Sunday, August 26, on private land on a redwood-covered mountain near Healdsburg, in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma County, California.

Registration is now open! Click here to register!

Moon Meet—named because we will hold it during the weekend of the full moon—is a group camping gathering; a few indoor sleeping locations are available by prior arrangement for those disabled or coming from distance and unable to bring their gear along.

We will share meals and workshops, hold a community discussion about how our Atheopagan community is developing and how best to move forward, and design and celebrate rituals together. We will share songs, poems and our creativity around the fire. And there will be time for hiking in a beautiful setting, or excursions to nearby wineries and historic sites.

Event pricing is $90– the minimum necessary to defray expenses. This includes five meals. Children under 16 are $30. A small fee will also be charged to pay for the registration service, Brown Paper Tickets. 

Prices will go up to $100 on June 15, so please register early!

This second annual Moon Meet grows out of a frequent request in the Atheopagan Facebook group, that we find ways of physically convening as well as virtually gathering online.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PRESENT A WORKSHOP

Please contact us now! Use the form on the Atheopaganism blog’s “Contact” page. Workshop slots are 90 minutes in length.

I hope to see you there!

SAVE THE DATE and CALL FOR WORKSHOP PROPOSALS: MOON MEET 2018!

SAVE THE DATE!

The second annual Moon Meet is a congregation of Atheopagans, non-theist Pagans and others interested in our paths, held from Friday, August 24 through Sunday, August 26, on private land on a redwood-covered mountain near Healdsburg, in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma County, California.

Moon Meet—named because we will hold it during the weekend of the full moon—is a group camping gathering; a few indoor sleeping locations will be available for those disabled or coming from distance and unable to bring their gear along.

We will share meals and workshops, hold a community discussion about how our Atheopagan community is developing and how best to move forward, and design and celebrate rituals together. We will share songs, poems and our creativity around the fire. And there will be time for hiking in a beautiful setting, or excursions to nearby wineries and historic sites.

Event pricing is $90- the minimum necessary to defray expenses. This includes five meals. Children under 16 are $30. Registration will open soon!

This second annual Moon Meet grows out of a frequent request in the Atheopagan Facebook group, that we find ways of physically convening as well as virtually gathering online.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PRESENT A WORKSHOP

Please contact us now! Use the form on the Atheopaganism blog’s “Contact” page. Workshop slots are 90 minutes in length.

We hope to see you there!

Producing Your Own Atheopagan Event

Having online community is great, but real, in-person gatherings where we can build relationships, celebrate our rites and learn from one another are much, much better. I encourage you to organize your own events and start building your own non-theist Pagan community.

To that end, I’m happy to announce the release of the Atheopagan Event Planning Guide. I hope you’ll download the Guide and its associated spreadsheets (the Timeline Template and the Budget Template), and use them to create your own gatherings.

When planning your Atheopagan event, be sure to contact The Atheopagan Society (our registered nonprofit) to see if there are ways we can help (with affordable event insurance, for example).

Please use the community conduct standards to ensure the safety of your attendees and yourself.

Even small gatherings of 20 or fewer people can be wonderful experiences. I hope to hear about your event soon!

qoya-fire-ceremony-1

Fire Makes All the Difference

A guest post by Kaigi-Ron.

Fire makes all the difference.  I know this from two personal experiences – both of which didn’t have a fire the first night, but did on the second…and that one change transformed everyone and everything.

The first event occurred years ago, in another state.  We were going to share songs and stories around the campfire, as hominids have done for millennia…but that year, we were denied a permit for a fire in our campsite.  

Ever the innovators, we wove together a basket of branches, decorated it with strips of red cloth, and finished it off with a helpful sign that said “Fire”.  We all did our Pagan best to pretend it was a fire, really we did.  Some people tried to get into it, “warming” their hands in it.  But we all knew it wasn’t a real fire.  The bardic circle closed early, and we left to crawl into bed, feeling vaguely unfulfilled.

But the next night, we got an invitation from the American Indian tribe across the river – did we want to join them?   Oh My Goodness YES we said!  And it turned out They had a Fire Pit and They had a Permit and OMG we were going to actually have a FIRE!!

It was glorious: Shared food and drink, stories, drums, whistles, songs, masked dancers – everything we like…and it went on for hours.  This was what we came here for!

The scene roughly repeated itself at a more recent event.  The first night, we didn’t have all the equipment we needed to safely have a fire, so we didn’t.  While a small contingent of us ambled down to the fire pit late at night to have an Experience, it wasn’t quite the full experience.

It felt awkward and vaguely apologetic, like it was mostly just an acknowledgment that an experience was supposed to happen here.  As if we were acting out the words “Insert Genuine Pagan Feeling Here”.  Knowing that it wasn’t ever going to feel completely right…not that night, anyway.

But the next night, the rest of our fire equipment arrived!  We prepared eagerly for its coming, gathering tinder and clearing the debris around the fire pit.  We lit it with flint and steel, carefully placing the tiny glowing ember into the bird’s nest, then blowing on it to coax it into full life – Whoompsh!  It burst into a fireball and we placed it under the kindling…and in minutes, we had a roaring, vibrant FIRE!!

Again, it was glorious:  We shared our rituals, songs, stories, and dances all night long.  Just as our forebears have done since the day we first figured out how to control this beast.  A real, burning Fire of heat and light and smoke and ash – and real social connection.

Accept no substitutes!

A Reflection on Moon Meet

A guest blog entry by Kaigi-Ron.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the celebrants at the very first Moon Meet, and I am deeply grateful.

Events like this don’t happen nearly enough…sometimes it seems like we have more total eclipses than we do truly bonding, inspirational experiences such as this.

Note to Self: Do Everything Possible to Help Create More of These. I truly believe that this one thing will help make our poor, wounded world just a little bit better.

I learned things – about myself, about our emergent IRL Atheopagan community, and about obscure topics like soil drainage in California’s redwood hillsides. For example, did you know that those maddening, meandering, 4WD-only roads are actually planned that way So that when there is a storm or flooding of a waterway that courses through the area, erosion is minimized? Our host explained it to me in impressive detail as he took me back down to our temporary MM parking lot. (I think stuff like that is cool. But then, I’m a nerd.)

Anyway, I expected to meet cool people and participate in workshops and rituals. I expected to deal with the usual camping-in-deep woods issues, which for me (being, apparently, a delicacy for the local mosquitoes) meant remaining soaked in DEET 24/7.I expected the weirdness that is meeting a bunch of new people (whew! – they turned out to be immensely cool!).

But I didn’t expect to have a transformative experience.

I’d brought along a book that stood for everything awful that had happened to my family when my dad got sick, lost his mind, and joined a cult. I ritually slaughtered it. I destroyed it. And everyone else joined in and somehow spontaneously made up a song and we all danced and it felt even better!

And I thought after: But wait — aren’t you supposed to need Gods or Fairies or Forces or Energies or Woo[TM] in order for this kind of experience to happen?And there wasn’t a particle of any of that.

My Science Nerd Mind Declared This Was GOOD. Very Good INDEED. It was Real, it was something I could trust.

I think we Atheopagans may be onto something.

We may have finally whipped up the perfect blend of Ritual and Reason. We may have actually solved the conflict of Science vs. Religion! And I (an Atheist from childhood) can finally say “I have a Religion, too! One that isn’t based on BS, greed, patriarchy, Ponzi schemes, mind control or any other awful thing. YAY!!!”

And another thing I didn’t expect:

The Potbellied Pig who loved belly rubs and would lie there happily grunting probably for hours if you wanted.

Yeah, the Pig was cool, too.

Thanks to Kaigi-Ron for being a part of Moon Meet and for this report on her experience!

%d bloggers like this: