I sure hope so since this is how I identify myself. At the risk of getting kicked out of the Atheist club, let me elaborate.

While my attempts as a child to believe in God like a good little citizen failed, my exposure to living science, quantum physics, seeing the universe and all that is in it as a whole lot of life-in-action, stuck with me. As I grew up and began to explore my world from the angle of all things being made up of the same 'stuff,' the known and even greater unknown interconnectedness and energy within this 'stuff' and thusly the interconnectedness and common DNA between you, me, my cat, my snake, a tree, a rock, the wind, an asteroid, a star, carried with it a lot more reason and beauty than “God did it.”

At the same time, I have learned indirectly on my own and directly from other sources a fair amount of meditation and self-control-through-the-mind techniques. Dealing with chronic pain, dealing with a weird but needed-to-be-dealt-with phobia, finding my own greater strength in martial arts. All of this involves a degree of grasping control in our own selves over things we and even the scientific community have yet to fully understand or define. An athlete mentally prepares and gets in the zone before the big game; visualizes the goal line, visualizes him/herself in top physical form. Is that supernatural hoodoo?

Likewise, while quantum physics, atomic energy and Unified Field Theory make perfect sense to me, they make for boring visuals when I'm trying to 'get in the zone.' I don't know what atomic particles look like. But, the image of Halle Berry in the first X-Men, vanquishing my inner demons much like she vanquished Toad, makes for a cool visual that my brain can definitely latch onto.

This is where practices of Paganism and even methods of Witchcraft come in handy for me. E.g.; I really need to be able to go to Dad's funeral without my sister driving me to insanity. So I find some quiet time, burn some sage or incense, create my sacred space, and envision a psychic shield around myself which my sister can not penetrate with her well-meaning but insanity-provoking behavior.

Do I literally think the sage/incense have mystical powers in and of themselves? Not really. They are pleasant aromas and ones both my conscious and subconscious mind have come to associate with relaxation and getting rid of the worries of the day. Plus, they carry a historical, traditional role in getting rid of the worries of the day, a fact which stimulates other parts of the psyche. Do I literally think I have created a magical, sacred space around me that looks like a light show out of a Disney cartoon? Not really. But what I have done is found a quiet place and filled it with pleasant light and smells; an act psychologically proven to enhance focus and concentration. Do I literally think I have created a physical, psychic force field? Not so much in the literal sense but what I am doing psychologically is tapping in to parts of the brain that I and modern science have yet to fully understand in order to try and make myself less-driven-insane by my sister when the time comes.

In other words, yes – there are bona-fide crystal crunching new agers out there who have replaced 'Jesus' with 'Goddess,' but otherwise little has changed. They literally believe in fairies and tree spirits and angels and that they are Princess-whomever reincarnated into the saps they are now.

But then there are some of the practices themselves: Respect for nature. Envisioning the tree as a living organism. Picturing the planet in terms of a collective, living organism. Wrapping one's mind around the concept that both I and the rock I'm sitting on are ultimately made up of the same 'stuff' (protons, neutrons, electrons). Envisioning the Unified Field and interconnectedness of the cosmos, attempting to tap into the coolness of that interconnectedness to somehow improve my own state of mind, awareness of the space around me, or athletic performance so I can win the game today. I've met many a Pagan/Wiccan who holds this point of view; that they don't believe in most of it literally, but rather as a psychological exercise that works well for them scientifically.

So, does that get me kicked out of the Atheist club? Or can one dance naked under the Full Moon or welcome the Summer Solstice from a purely beauty-in-science point of view?

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it is such a relief to hear someone else say all this! i too am a child of the scientific method who was drawn to and loves the pagan lifestyle. it is as beautiful as it is fulfilling to the spirit. i also believe that the spirit is something exists though not necessarily outside the laws of mathematics or physics. the numbers of the spirit we have individually as well as collectively as all life can be crunched within the subconcious and translate to the effect of how ritual creates energetic balance. a feeling of inner harmony. deliberate actions to tickle particular receptors in your emotions. its all really real reality. i have recently found more and more conviction to disable the magical thinking in my life but not even a little of the awe or wonder has gone with it. like the great richard dawkins talks about how everything in existence is compiled on top of everything that came before it, having a conciousness sitting on top of our biology that can comprehend all this is the greatest gift in the universe! the feelings of inspiration and mystery and unity and empowerment and profundity remain within pagan rites even when you do them with reality in mind. how well do you understand quantum physics? seems like magic to me!

Yes! A thousand times yes! This is me completely. i am a complete atheist when it comes to deities or creators of any sort, and I don't believe there are any "supernatural" or "paranormal" powers in the universe, but for me that doesn't mean that the universe is MUNDANE by any standards.

I guess I'm a pantheist, but for me that's still atheist because I define atheism as not believing in a creator/god, not as someone who is aspiritual (?).


I tried to start using witchcraft as a framework for "rites" like the one you mention, in which I try to change my world not by changing the external world through mystical energies, but by changing my own perception of it, my own mind. But I sort of lost my way in that respect after a little while, this post has totally renewed my vigour and creativity when it comes to spellworking! :D


And one of the great things about having this spiritual-atheist standpoint is that you can draw on any mythology, framework and philosophies that you identify with. For example I'm thoroughly invested in some aspects of Buddhism (the idea of karma not as a mystical reward system, but the idea that putting more good into the world simply means There Is More Good In The World and that can only be a good thing for you too) and I identify with a lot of native north american lore. And I can use those elements in my rites as well.

I agree and identify with a lot of what you posted ^_^ I became interested in the 'pagan' stuff at some point a year or so ago because of the cool symbols and stuff. I couldn't really believe any of it, of course, except for that meditation makes me feel good, but I still like crystals and stuff just because of the things they represent. I think crystals are like a placebo, really. For me they're less mystical and more of a reminder, I guess. Example, tiger's eye is supposed to give you confidence, and I'm quite timid, so at school I would carry my tiger's eye rock with me if I needed to do a presentation or something as a reminder to be confident and that it would go fine.
Besides that, crystals look cool! :P

Yes, I know some -- here are some links on pagan humanists:





Atheist Pagan best describes me.

Notice that the older the religion, the less superstitious and authoritarian it becomes?

Logically, Goddess is All or nothing.  Hence, I think of the Goddess as the infinite time/space continuum with a dash of consciousness.  I use rituals to feel connected to nature.  Yet I am a skeptic.  In sum, I overly-romanticize my relationship with nature (though I know in the end the maggots won't give a damn).


Ruined by American Christians, living in exile,

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