Manage episode 352020988 series 2634748
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----more----Welcome back to The Wonder and welcome to 2023. This is Science-Based Paganism, and I'm your host, mark, and I'm Yucca. And today we're going to give kind of. An overview of where we've been and where we're going. Sort of a New Year's episode to, to talk about all the stuff that's going on in our community and our hopes for the coming year stuff like that.
So, that's right. That's, that's what we're doing. Yeah. And we were just saying right before hitting record that this is season four episode. So That's right. Yeah. That's right. We've been doing this for a long time and it, it really underscores how long the pandemic's been going on because we started just a few weeks before, months before the pandemic hit right as it was starting to happen when we were going, maybe we should talk about this thing that's, that's happening in the world.
And then all of a sudden you're thinking may be kinda serious. , and then boom. Right. , the whole world changed. So yeah. But I think it was for, you know, we can't change that that was happening with the world, but I think that was really good timing for the podcast because, you know, yeah, as you say that I really agree too, because people were shut in and kind of desperate for content.
Of all kinds. And so I think both the podcast and starting the Saturday Zoom mixers for the atheopagan community, both of those things really took off. And they started right around the time of, of the pandemic hitting. Yeah, I think the, the atheopagan community has grown so much in the last few years, and part of that I think is the, Is not the pandemic, is just the work that's been done for years and, and people searching for it.
But I think that the pandemic also helped connect people because of that search for content that we had. Right. That search for online community. Right, right. And I think that the word is getting out and it's not just German to Ethiopia, paganism, which of course is a specific path. Mm-hmm. . For naturalistic paganism in witchcraft, generally the word has kind of been getting out.
You know, you don't have to pretend to believe in these gods if you don't believe in them. Yeah, you can still do the witchy stuff. You can still celebrate the holidays. You can still have a meaningful practice. Without incorporating those elements if they don't work for you. Right. And as the word gets out on that, a certain percentage of those people that are interested in that come into our community, find that it's warm and supportive.
Take advantage of all the resources available and get plugged in. Right. Yeah. And so speaking of looking into the future, I'm really curious to see. in addition to atheopagan, what other groups start to emerge? Right, right. Because as you're saying this is, this is one specific. Group within naturalistic paganism, right?
And so there's bound to be other approaches in other communities that pop up. And so it's just gonna be really interesting to see what the landscape is in five, 10 years from now. Very much so. Yeah. One of the things within the sort of naturalistic paganism umbrella that characterizes atheopagan is that we've put a lot of effort into community building.
Yeah. There are other organizations like the Religious Naturalist Association or the Spiritual Naturalist Society. And the naturalistic paganism website, for example. Mm-hmm. , where, where content creation is the focus. So there's articles to read and maybe podcasts to listen to and all that kind of stuff, but, Doing a lot of the sort of fostering of, you know, gathering people together has not been as much of an effort or they maybe haven't known how to do it.
Mm-hmm. , I, I come from the background of being a political organizer and so. You know, getting people together around something is kind of my thing. Right. . And as soon as it became clear that this was something that people had interest in, I was able to bring those skills to bear. Mm-hmm. and, and it, you know, it wasn't hard.
People were kind of banging on the doors, so that's, That's, that's part of, of what differentiates atheopagan, I think right now, doesn't mean that it'll always be that way that other organizations won't also build large communities. But for the moment with about 4,500 members on Facebook a large contingency on Discord.
Mm-hmm. . You know, hundreds of subscribers to the content on the blog and you know, and of course the listeners podcast all of those different you know, followers on YouTube. Mm-hmm. , we'll come back to that cohort of people. Yes, we will. So it's a pretty large cohort of people and. And last year we started the, the we had our first in-person.
National Gathering, right? There've been a couple of little local ones, but that's starting to become a thing. So yeah, the, the Sun retreat was just a really lovely experience. Obviously we talked about that a lot before, and we had a live episode from the Sun Retreat last May while we were in Colorado.
And we'll do that again in 2024, but we don't have the bandwidth to do it every year. But that said we have just announced the dates for the atheopagan web weaving 2023. So web weaving for awe, awe 23. And Those dates are June 3rd and fourth, and that'll be an online conference. It'll be very affordable, accessible from all over the world.
It'll be probably done on Zoom as a platform because you know, now Zoom has breakout rooms and all that kind of stuff. Mm-hmm. , but we'll look into some other conference platforms to see if they might be better. But everybody knows how to use Zoom, so it's kind of easier. To go that way. And so that's the first weekend of June, right?
That's correct. Okay. First weekend of June. It's the full moon. Nice, nice. Just like the Century retreat was back in May. Mm-hmm. . And we've just announced the We've just put out the call for proposals for presentations, and those can be workshops, they can be lectures, they can be panel discussions, they can be rituals, they can be crafting workshops, they can be experiential things.
So don't, don't think in terms of a dry academic conference really, you know, think outside the box about what you might offer to the community. Mm-hmm. . We need you to fill out a form though to submit your proposal so that we can keep track of them all. And you can download the form at the atheopagan Society website and we'll put this url.
We'll put all this in the show notes. In the show notes. The URL is the atheopagan society.org/a WW 2023.
And okay, so, yes, we'll put that in the notes, but there's a, a link there where you can download a Word document and fill that out. I've already received one and we just announced this last night. Please get those in by January 31st. So that tells us what we have to work with and if there are similar proposals, we may ask people to collaborate, stuff like that.
But I am excited for this conference. I think it's a new kind of activity for us. But I think it could really be a, a joyful one. And we're gonna have lots of time for socializing in breakout rooms. So it's not just all, you know, bombardment with content. There'll be a lot of time to interact with other atheopagan as well.
Hmm. Wonderful. Yeah, this is exciting. So, and this is, yeah, this is a good opportunity just to point out that this is all. Every this, right. When we talk about the community building and workshops and weekly events and us doing the podcast and all of that, this is just, you know, people really caring about the issue and spending their time on it, right?
Yeah, right. And and to me I mean, there may come a time when we're big enough and we have robust enough fundraising that we're able to like pay a part-time person to help administer or whatever. Mm-hmm. , you know, cuz organizations do grow. Yeah. I'm not ideologically locked into the idea of being all volunteer, but for the time being, you know, this is, this is.
You know, people who, out of the goodness of their hearts are contributing to our community so that we all can have a great experience together. And that's just really heartwarming to me. And it's what keeps me going in all, you know, I've got my thumb in a bunch of these different activities and it's exciting.
It's. It's exciting to see something happening. That Century retreat was glorious. What a good time. I get asked weekly by my six year old when we're going back next. and 2024 is so far away. Oh, for a six year old it's forever. It's unimaginable. Yes, but she can, she can come to the online conference though.
Oh, she'll be so excited. Yep. See a lot of faces that she saw at the Suntry retreat and mm-hmm. get to participate, it'll be good. Yep. So maybe we'll have something kid oriented. Oh yeah, definitely. We should there, one of the concepts that I had when I was sort of, you know, kicking around just a concept paper for what this thing could be mm-hmm.
is if we have enough workshops that, that fall out thematically, we could have like tracks the way some conference do. Yeah. So there could be a family track there could be a clerical track. , you know, there, there could be a ritual track that's just about ritual skills and design and all that kind of stuff.
So it depends on what we get in the way of proposals. But you know, it'd be kind of cool to have kind of a roadmap of, well, I'm gonna take this workshop and this one, and this one and this one, because they're all on the family track. Yeah. Hmm. Well, we'll have to think more about that. And again, all of you listening, if you've got ideas check out the link.
So we're gonna put that in the show notes. We really welcome your participation. And newcomers are absolutely welcome. The. You know, this community, we, we have new people show up at the Saturday mixer every week. We're really very open to having new folks show up and do stuff. Yeah. So, yeah.
Yeah, check it out and see what you think. Yeah. And another new thing this year is we are revamping the YouTube channel. Right. Yeah. So we will also post the podcast episodes onto the YouTube channel. But we're also going to be doing weekly videos. So the first one mark, you are actually the host for that, and this week I will be a host.
And then we have some other fantastic people on the team. So you're gonna get to hear. And c So this is visual, so if you wanna see us, you get to see us more voices than just ours. And so we're building that team right now as well. So people who are really, if you're really interested in that go ahead and reach out to us because we would love to have more team members to help with the media.
But we'll be talking about all kinds of different topics. Your topic this week, mark was on the skeptics moon. Yeah, the, the Full Moon will will be doing a video every month for the full moon. And talking about the idea of mapping those moon cycles onto the calendar of. The princip, the, the 13 atheopagan principles.
Mm-hmm. . So this month's moon video was about the first atheopagan principle, which is critical thinking and skepticism. Judging by the comments that we've been getting, people are really excited about the new content showing up. And at least one person commented and said, you know, the only reason I'm in this community is.
You, you guys lead with critical thinking. Yeah. . I, I, I really, you know, I'm a, I'm a science minded person and I really needed that to be front and center in the cosmology for the rest of this stuff to be, to work for me. Yeah. So that was really gratifying to read. So we still, by the way, need someone on the media team to serve as a comments monitor.
We do. Yeah. You know, it's, it's all very well when we have one video up. But keeping track of all the comments on all the various videos as they go up you know, just. Just to make sure it's not spamming or, or trolling. Yeah. Because to be clear, we are very interested in when people have different opinions, right?
Yes. We love that discussion, but what we don't want is abusive behavior, name calling, right. You know, kind of nasty stuff. So, Just to keep an eye on that, cuz that doesn't, that doesn't always get caught by YouTube's filters. Right? YouTube will pick up certain words, but it doesn't pick up the meaning of something being said.
So Yeah, it's gonna filter up. His curse words doesn't understand star sarcasm. . It does not so cow. It does not. I mean, I've gotten warnings from YouTube when I was saying exactly the opposite of what they thought I was saying. . Yeah, because it's so having a real person. Just looking at that. That's, and as we grow, I hope that we'll have a lot more content and a lot more just a lot more happening on the channel.
Mm-hmm. , so mm-hmm. . And the another thing that we'll be doing is the round table discussions. So for the holidays, and we're just in the, the process right now of, of figuring out the time to get everybody on. A group of folks will be talking about our holiday coming up in February that has many names, so, yes.
Yeah. And that might be one of the things we talk about as well. What, what? Oh, I think it broke this holiday. Yes. Yeah. I, I think it probably will, and that's a good thing. You know, as I said in my book, I kind of envision a time when when atheopagan meet one another, they might say, so, how do you celebrate the wheel of the year?
What? What does, you know, what does your cycle of holidays look like? Because rather than prescribing, you know, this is how you celebrate the one at the beginning of February, and this is how you celebrate the March Equinox. Instead, it's more like, well, what's going on in your natural world? What. , what's the phenomenology of, of where you live?
Mm-hmm. in relation to this time of year. Yeah. So that's, that's cool.
So that's a, that's big. We're really excited about that. And if you we'll put the link to that in the show notes as well. And we always appreciate any interaction that people give on the videos. Subscribing to the channel, I know it, it sounds old and cliche to say it, but really the subscribing.
Liking commenting actually does really make a big difference. Cuz the number of subscribers that you have dictates what things you can and cannot do on YouTube. Right? Right. So the more subscribers you have, you can turn on the community tab and you get to do announcements through the community tab and you know, that kind of thing.
Mm-hmm. So, so we always appreciate. Yeah. And I, I think the threshold for that is a thousand. Subscribers, I think. I think last time I checked, but it's been a while since I've looked into Yeah. What the requirements are. We're, we're at over 600 now, so wouldn't take too long now that we've got the new content coming in, I hope Yeah.
For us to be able to, to use that cuz it would be really useful Yeah. To be able to do that Well, we'll have consistently, at least. Video's coming out a week, and hopefully as we grow, we'll have more regular ones as well. So we'll have the, the podcast, one of which will be the podcast. Yeah, yeah. The podcast coming out on Mondays and then, Regular videos coming out on Wednesdays, so.
Well, that's very exciting and I know that, you know, initially this whole revamped media project was your baby Yucca, so I really appreciate that you conceptualized this and it's taken us quite a while to find the team and. , you know, get it organized. And shout out to Susan Patterson. Yes. Who's our glue on
Yes. Who who wrangles the cats and pulls us all together so that we can get things done for schedule. Yeah. Figuring out everybody's schedules. Yeah. Across multiple time zones and work schedules and all of that. It's, yeah. Thank you, Susan. Yeah, absolutely. So. Well, yeah, mark, why don't we talk real quick about some of the things that we have been doing this on the community level over the past year and are gonna continue to do things that people can be involved in, like mixers and oh, that kind of thing.
Okay. There is the regular Saturday morning, well, it's morning for me in Pacific Time Zone in California. Mm-hmm. , Saturday mixer that lasts for an hour and a half. It starts at 10:15 AM Pacific time. Mm-hmm. , so that's 1115 Mountain 1215 Central one 15. Eastern PM Eastern time. And then of course we have people from Europe and we.
A participant that comes pretty regularly from Hawaii, so it's even It's early. It's early for them. Yeah. Be right. Eve, late evening for Europe. Right. So that wouldn't work if you're in right. In Australia or New Zealand? That's gonna be I think it's early in the morning. I, I think, I think it's early the following morning in Australia.
Oh, so maybe if you're an early riser. Yeah. Okay. Not entirely sure about that, but we have had some people participate that have been from Australia, so I know, I know it's possible. Okay. So Saturday morning mixer. Mm-hmm. , there's a Saturday morning mixer. There's another mixer on Thursday evenings that is organized by Glenn Gordon, who is a fantastic community volunteer who does lots of stuff.
Really did the heavy lifting on migrating the atheopagan blog. Mm-hmm. to a standalone server so that we could do more things with it and use plugins in WordPress. Right. And, and it just looks a lot better now and it's easier to search. Much more functional. Yeah. So, he hosts a kind of an after hours mixer in the later time.
Of Thursday. I don't remember exactly when it starts. I think it's, I think it's six 30 Pacific. He's also in the Pacific. Time zone. So there's that. Once a month we have the adult slash sex salon. Mm-hmm. , which is a 18 and over, fully confidential, frank, open conversation about adult topics. Mm-hmm.
this is a, so we zoom meeting these, these aren't live meetings. Yeah. This is Zoom, right? This is a Zoom meeting. They're not recorded. There's no. , you know, there's no record of any of this. It's just a, a private safe space for people to talk about issues like sexuality, like, use of recreational or spiritual drugs.
Mm-hmm. like, you know, other sorts of Maybe trans inducing or altered state inducing kinds of activities those kinds of things. And we always have fantastic conversations. So that's the first Saturday. Of every month. Mm-hmm. , and it starts at 3:30 PM Pacific time and goes for two hours. So that's another thing you can do if you're interested in participating in that.
We have really supportive great people who. Who have a lot to say and really interesting resources. We've talked about relationship formats, like open relationships and polyamory. We've talked about kink and and that whole community. We, we just, we've talked about lots of stuff. So there's that.
This month coming up on the 15th. Is an open mic that's being organized by our community member, Cena, which is an opportunity for people to present music or poetry or writing or, you know, an artwork or whatever that is. It's, it's just comedy. Mm-hmm. , It's just, it's just an open mic for members of the community to come out and it's, it's another Zoom event.
And we'll put the, the information about these into the show notes. Right? So we can, so we, so you, you can figure out how to get to these things. . That's all I can think of right now. Obviously we have the conference coming up in June. Is there an active book club at the moment? No, but the book club was supposed to get active again after the beginning of the year.
Mm-hmm. , so they took a break. So it might be op it might be starting up again soon that Yes. It might be starting up right around now. Mm-hmm. , The book club is called the AP Book, book Club. It's a group on Facebook. Mm-hmm. . If you don't do Facebook I think there's another way to contact the administrator that you can find on the list of affinity groups on the Ethiopian Society website.
All this sounds kind of complicated, but we've got a lot going on . We do well, and one of the things we talked about that we should hopefully be starting with our next newsletter is that we're going to compile what we know about. For each coming month. Now things sometimes pop up and, and get created kind of on the spot, but we're gonna start putting a calendar together that goes out with the newsletter as well, so people can, can have a little bit of warning for that and kind of plan around it if they're interested in it.
Right. There's another event coming up on the 22nd, which will be a bipo mix. . So black indigenous people of color. Mm-hmm. mixer that's being organized by a community member named Lauren. Mm-hmm. . And I think the idea there is that if there's turnout an interest, that will probably turn into an affinity group.
Hmm. But you know, she wanted to start out just by having a gathering and, you know, having people say, Hey, Yeah. How do we feel about this? What do we want to do? Mm-hmm. . So that's another one. That should go into the calendar and the, the notes. Right. And there was a recovering from religion Affinity Group too, right?
Yes. That changed its name. It's now the peer support. Okay. And it's a separate Facebook group and they have separate events. They're meeting on the first and third Sundays of every month, and it's basically for people that need any kind of support, whether they're in recovery or deconstructing from, you know, religious trauma, whatever it is.
Mm-hmm. Okay. You know, you're, it's there for, for community support. Thank you for reminding me of that. The keeping track of everything is, is getting difficult. There's a lot going on. Yeah, there is. But I was saying in the mixer this morning, you know, it's not that big of a surprise. When you put this many people together, things will happen.
Mm-hmm. , right? People will say, Hey, I'm interested in a thing and someone over there will go, well, I'm interested in that thing, . And the next thing you know, there's a, a gathering happen. Yeah, now, now there's an even bigger thing, so, right. Yeah. . Yeah, there's, this is just a really exciting time, really excited for everything that has been happening in the community and the year to come and just seeing what unfolds and just feeling a lot of gratitude right now.
So, yeah. Yeah. I should also mention that the atheopagan Society Council, which is the board of directors of the nonprofit religious organization is in the process of doing a strategic plan for the next two to three years. So we are, we're in the process of, of identifying some prioritized goals mm-hmm.
and figuring out how we're going to get to those. . And in our first couple of years we didn't do that because we were just getting our legs underneath us and doing the procedural things to get legal and all that kind of stuff. Stuff. Tax documents and Right. All of that stuff. Yeah. Yep. And, and we did all that.
And we are official and legal and so now we're gonna plan what we're gonna do. Yep. To support this community and provide resources and experiences. That will be useful to people. Mm-hmm. . So, you know, lots of, lots of parallel tracks going on in the community at this time. Very exciting. Very exciting.
Well, so, oh, go ahead. I was just gonna do kind of a wrap up, but go ahead. We had talked about putting some of the old podcasts up on YouTube. Yes. And we're gonna do that, but probably not all of them. Yeah. We're, we're gonna pick some that we think are really kind of the greatest hits. Right. And put those up on YouTube over time.
We don't want to, you know, do this huge. Influx of content all at once where people will get overwhelmed. Yeah. We don't just dump everything. Right. But we have had some really great episodes and wanna make those available to our YouTube listeners as well. Right. So, and it'll, it, you know, it's gonna take a little bit of time for me to go back through and Sure.
You know, put it. Take the audio and put it in with the image and a video and all of that. But moving forward, all the new episodes will just be publishing them at the same time. Mm-hmm. that we upload for the podcast, we'll upload a video version of it as well. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. That's so great and I really appreciate all the technical stuff that you do for us on that Yucca.
I mean, I know how to upload a YouTube video and I know how to edit a little bit, but it's very painful, . It's not an, it's not an easy and slick process with me. It's sort of, oh, I forgot how to do this. Oh, that's how you do this? That's right. Okay. And then on to the next thing. Well, and then they change it constantly.
They're always changing it, and then you have to relearn it. Yeah. So, yep. Well, okay, everyone hope your 2023 is starting out really well. Mm-hmm. , and that if you're in the Northern hemisphere, you're staying dry and warm and cozy. In a couple of weeks is the Demi Sabbath slog, on the third Saturday of the month, which I believe is the 21st.
Let's make sure to talk about Slog before the, before it comes up. We will, we'll talk about, we've talked about it before in the past, but it's, it's just too fun not to bring up. Yes. So, be sure to pull your festive hats out of out of storage, and and we'll talk more about Slog next week, but, Just wanna make sure everybody remembers to have some festivity and joy, even when it's gray and, and cold water is coming out of the sky.
Yep. Alright, so thank you everybody. Thanks. See you next week.