FINAL ROUND: Atheopagan Symbol Contest

Okay, here we go! We’re almost there.

This is the final grouping of symbols from which to choose. Three are the top three vote-getters from the previous round; four are late submissions that I wanted to make sure had a chance.

Please vote here or on the Facebook group for ONE ONLY. 

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted designs and for your participation in this community process!

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In Memorium: Morwen Two Feathers

“To know who I REALLY am, you have to look into my eyes and dance when I drum.”

I learned today that my friend Morwen Two Feathers has died, following five years of living with brain cancer.

Morwen and her husband were among the early pioneers of what would come to be known as the Fire Circle tradition, a ritual tradition that is now practiced in many events throughout the country and the world, by a community of which I have been a happy member since the early 2000s. She was a woman of kindness, wisdom, humor and integrity, and a terrific ritual drummer.

For more than 25 years, Morwen was the Co-Founder and Director of Earth Drum Council, creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to come together to drum, dance, and build community. She was a teacher, facilitator, and principal influence of the community drumming movement, and helped countless people across the globe to start drum circles in their own communities.

She lived in New England and I hadn’t seen her for about a decade, but I still considered her my friend and was truly saddened to hear this news. She is survived by husband Jimi Two Feathers, a son, and hundreds of people who knew her as a bright presence in ritual and a powerful rhythmic driver during the long nights of all-night fire circles.

She will be missed.

Thanks for everything, Morwen. We will speak your name into the fire at the Fire Circle festival IGNITE at the end of this month. Hail the goer.

Photocollage by Morganne Baum

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Seize the (Unusual) Day!

Recently, I posted about customizing your own Atheopagan Wheel of the Year— creating a cycle of observances of the equinoxes, solstices and points between as an 8-holiday cycle of rituals and traditions.

However, I believe there are more holidays (“holy days”) than just these. Those on the Wheel are the ones we can predict will come every year, but there are also unusual and amazing phenomena that come along once in a very great while which we should also take time out to celebrate.

Here where I live in Northern California, for example, thunder and lightning are almost unheard of. They require a combination of precipitation and heat that we just don’t see here very often*: typically, heat is during the dry season, and precipitation during the cold season.

So when we get a forecast with a strong likelihood of lightning, if at all possible I free up some time and drive for high ground where I can watch it come down. Likewise with snowfall (very rare): up early to see it come down (it is almost always at night or in the early hours of the morning).

These kinds of phenomena are rare and wonderful. We should definitely declare a “holy day” when we can, and take the time to celebrate them.

In some desert areas, there are spectacular wildflower blooms after particularly wet winters. In the mountains, temporary waterfalls are created by spring snowmelt. Lunar and (especially) solar eclipses; meteor showers; comets, auroras, bird migrations, autumn foliage…there are marvels that come around us, and not too infrequently. We must not be “too busy” with quotidian affairs to experience them.

Oh, and Fridays the 13th. Just because.

We are people who celebrate the Earth and Cosmos: let’s go see those things!

*Although with climate change, this is changing. In recent years, we have had one or two instances of lightning storms every summer. Nothing like what is seen in the Southwestern or eastern US, but remarkable for here.

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