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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Naturalistic Pagans

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Coca Cola Man, by Julia Janssen

I have a perennial (and quite possibly crazy) vision for an Order of Trashmonks.

Let me explain what I mean...

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Brilliant! There is actually a group of people here in New Orleans who started getting together once a week to pick up trash. They

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
"Pagan" is a constellation, not a star

A constellation is not an object, it's a pattern of objects visible from a certain perspective.  Look from a different perspective, and the pattern disappears.

That's what's going on right now with the raging controversies over the meaning of the word "Pagan."  From some perspectives it makes sense, from others it does not.  And since no single perspective has authority, neither does any single definition.

The constellation dilemma

Here's a small sampling of the questions skewed by the constellation dilemma:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Playa De Chipiona, by Ponce 2007

Nature is self-caused, both source and manifestation of all matter, all experience, all thought, all emotion, all life, and all death.  We were not created by nature; we have emerged within it, as integral parts of it.  In short:

We are nature.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

If the "Pagan" question - i.e. who's Pagan and who isn't - were a political issue, it would decide elections. It's grown that large. It's come to a point where posts don't just reference others, they form catalogs of references to others. It's even spurred sub-issues: the "Christo-Pagan" question and the "Atheist Pagan" question (I have an obvious vested interest in the latter).

But in all this endless talk, few seem to have the balls to say in no uncertain terms what's really going on:

It's about kicking people out.

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  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    "There's a painful cognitive dissonance coming from holding two mutually contradictory beliefs about ourselves: (1) We don't poli
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Regarding common goals, how about recognition of our holidays, for example, or chaplains in prison, or freedom from persecution?
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    >So what common goals do you think naturalists and polytheists and other Pagans might embrace? I think you hit the nail on the he

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Last year, there was a tumultuous discussion over Brendan Myers' article on the Wild Hunt.  A comment by Sannion hit me like a load of bricks:

My rituals are done to please the gods. Therefore, if you do not acknowledge the existence of those gods then there is absolutely no reason to be in attendance at the rites because — and I know this will come as a shock to some — true worship isn’t about us and what we get out of the experience however much one may, indeed, get out of it.  (emphasis Sannion's)

You can feel the power of that statement.  I completely disagree with it, but I respect it.  Why?  Because it displays integrity.  Sannion lays out his beliefs in a way that is totally unambiguous: the gods are real, and ritual is for them.

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Very thought-provoking. I hope this article garners some comments because I would be interested in hearing reactions. All I can sa
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Thanks, B. Yes, ritual is all over secular life as well. It may often get called "ceremony" but it's there in spades.
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    This is a really good. I think the idea that worshiping the gods serves the culture as well as the individual practitioners is ve

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Three Transcendents, by B. T. Newberg

In the last post, I suggested naturalists can connect to something greater than themselves.  Without literal belief in deity or afterlife, they can achieve transcendence.  How?

There are myriad ways of naturalistic transcendence, but I'm going to concentrate on three major ones: through nature, community, and mind.  I'll illustrate each with a story or example, then tie them together at the end.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Why do ritual as a Naturalistic Pagan?

One of the most common sources of confuzzlement about naturalism is ritual.  If you don't believe deities are literally real, then what's the point of ritual?  Isn't it just empty play-acting?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

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  • Laurel
    Laurel says #
    Thank you, that's exactly what I was looking for!
  • Laurel
    Laurel says #
    I myself would like to do rituals as a new Naturalistic Pagan, however I'm having trouble adapting typical Pagan rituals to suit m
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Nice to meet you, Laurel. Yes, there are many naturalistic rituals available online. The most comprehensive compilation I'm aware

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Last time, we met some of today’s most publicly visible naturalists. Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. Exactly what does it mean to be a naturalist, and what do naturalists have in common with other Pagans?

Down to terms

a1sx2_Original1_B-T-Newberg_blog2_01-00.jpgYou’ll hear a variety of different terms describing roughly the same circles of people: Naturalistic Pagans, Humanistic Pagans, Atheist Pagans, Agnostic Pagans, Existential Pagans, Secular Pagans, etc.

The current most popular term seems to be “Naturalistic

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  • Sardonyx
    Sardonyx says #
    I totally agree. As humanism is to christianity (it shares values, culture), so you can have a humanist version of paganism, shari
  • Bill
    Bill says #
    "Only natural causes affect the universe; there are no supernatural causes." With the exception of the above statement, you have
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Good to meet you, Elani. Disagreement is more than welcome, of course.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Do you find naturalistic, humanistic, or atheistic forms of Paganism, um… confusing? If so, you’re not alone.

Welcome to Pagan, Naturally. This blog is here to introduce the basics of naturalism, to reduce the… well… confusion.

Hi, I’m a naturalist

Before we even get into definitions and debates, I want to put a human face on this, so that we’re not just talking about “people” in the abstract.

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Great list — I've learned a lot from all these teachers.
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Thanks, Rebecca. Nice to meet you.
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Welcome to PaganSquare, B.T. I look forward to your future posts.

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