Pagan Humanism (A working title.)

The other evening at my local meet up event, we had a book share out. When it was my turn, I stammered and stuttered about the general idea of the book I had chosen, practically reading the subtitle verbatim as an endorsement. Ever had one of those moments?

Drawing Down the Moon Book CoverThe book I had chosen to share was Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler. I had just received it in the mail earlier that week. I had never owned a copy, but as a starry eyed teenager, it was the first book on Paganism that I had read that made me think, “Aha! There’s a name for what I believe.” So I guess when I got it in my hands, it triggered that sixteen year old girl inside of me that sat cross legged on the floor of the local public library having her first spiritual epiphany. It has been many, many years since I read this book, but I remember it as a really thorough sampling of the diversity of Paganism in America.

After group, I went home and thought about it. Why did this book, even though I remembered very few details about it, have such a great emotional impact on me? Then it came to me. This was a very real look, from a very human perspective, at the diversity of the Pagan religion. As a teenager and young adult, I looked at Wicca and a number of other belief systems, none of them felt quite right for me. I eventually understood that “Pagan” was a much broader umbrella under which I could comfortably stand. Eventually, over time I began to break down and explore the ideas in which I believed. This led to many discussions with William about what ideas we had and how to embrace them. We began to give it a name. Pagan Humanism. (I like to think of this as a working title.)

Later that night, something struck me. My first introduction to the idea of Paganism was broad, varied and presented in real life scenarios. I truly think it opened me up to a bigger idea. The idea that there are so many truths, that through living, you have to find out which ones are right for you. I would have loved to have shared this with the group, but at that moment, I was so emotionally engaged, I could not express my thoughts. This is a wonderful forum to work within. I can now take my time and say what I mean. And now I plan to go and reread my copy of Drawing Down the Moon. And if you’d like to read it too, we have provided a link.

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4 Responses to Pagan Humanism (A working title.)

  1. Likewise. Also, please consider contributing something to Humanistic Paganism. We’ve opened the blog up to submissions, so if you have something relevant to share, please don’t hesitate. If not that, an interview would also be interesting considering your experience with Cherry Hill and the Pagan community. I would jump at the opportunity to pose you a few questions!

  2. Hello! I was shocked to find other people putting “paganism” and “humanism” together self-consciously. I thought I did several pretty thorough google searches on the terms before starting my Humanistic Paganism blog – somehow this blog didn’t show up. Then, William found my blog and commented, but the link next to his name goes to what must have been your original wordpress address before you changed to paganhumanist.com: http://apaganhumanist.wordpress.com/
    That page looks like a brand new start-up blog. So I was pretty shocked to come across this site tonight, and to see that you guys have been posting since January! Well, anyway, it’s just great to meet some like-minded folks. I’ve added you to my blogroll. And I shared on Facebook one of the posts about piety. Very intrigued to read more about this idea…

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