What American Gods Tells Us About the Need for Religious Ecstasy

American Gods possibly reflected and probably magnified a dissatisfaction among many Pagans with popular forms of Paganism. And it offered one possible alternative: literal belief in the gods and devotional forms of worship. Popular Paganism was failing to produce the kind deep religious experiences that many of Pagans craved, and devotional polytheism promised to answer that craving. There is a lesson here for Godless Pagans and other Religious Naturalists. If we want our religions to thrive, and if we want to experience the depths that spirituality has to offer, we must find ways to tap into the experience of transcendence and ecstasy.

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Building a Strong and Free Pagan Community

I hope that moving forward, we are able to disagree respectfully, as friends, to recognize our common goals and community, and sometimes, to join in powerful and moving rituals, regardless of the fact that some of us see the underlying basis of those rituals differently. With that, we might be able to bring a life-centered Paganism to millions, who might fit better into this or that part of our wider Pagan community, with many of us working together to build a better future for the whole web of life.

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The Problem and the Promise of Paganism, and Why One Looks a Lot Like the Other

In spite of the tendency of many Pagans to confuse the pre-rational with the trans-rational, in spite of the uncritical attitudes and superstitious ideas that haunt a lot of Paganism, I still call myself a Pagan. I am still a Pagan because I believe that Paganism is a door to the trans-rational. I believe that Paganism has the potential to bring together the wisdom of our animistic forebearers and the discoveries of contemporary science in a way that has the power to reenchant the world.

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Ego-Paganism and the Tyranny of Structurelessness

Opposition to all organization on principle serves nothing but the egos of certain individuals. And it reduces our community to the lowest common denominator — the heckler and the troll. They should not be allowed to define our agendas, because their only agenda is the destruction of all agendas. We need to recognize ego-Paganism for what it is: dead weight for our community. While we need to create space for ego-centered Pagans, we cannot allow them to keep us from coming together to help make the world a better place.

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Announcing The New go-to Site for Naturalistic Pagan Blogging: NaturalPagans.com!

Today marks the official launch of NaturalPagans.com – a blog aggregator collecting new blog posts from the popular blogs “A Sense of Natural Wonder”, “Atheopaganism”, Humanistic Paganism”, “Canadian Mutt”, and “The Allergic Pagan”! You no longer have to remember to check all these different blogs – here they all are on one site, which you can subscribe to as well.

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Spring Tonic for the Spirit by Renee Lehnen

A trail following the creek leads to an Aboriginal sweat lodge. In addition, I found a “living” shelter woven from willow, hidden in a copse. Inside was a log pew for the weary spiritual seeker. Posted throughout the property are small signs bearing quotations from ecologists, First Nations leaders, and theologians such as Thomas Berry. There is much for a Pagan to explore.

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