Themes for Atheopagan “Welcoming” Gatherings

This past weekend, a handful of us threw a successful Atheopagan gathering for the Harvest Sabbath.

Not everyone there was an Atheopagan. Not everyone there had even heard of Atheopaganism. But we ate and drank and socialized and circled together, and a good time was had by all.

And isn’t that the point?

Where I’m going with this is that wherever you live, there may not be self-identified Atheopagans to gather with. Not right away, at least. But there are people: folks who might very well enjoy a seasonal gathering with a theme, socializing and food, and a short acknowledgement of the meanings of the season in ritual form. Those folks may find, in time, that doing these Atheopagan rituals—perhaps even helping to design or officiate them— is something that interests them, and they may want to learn more.

So think about it: who might you invite to something like that? The gathering doesn’t have to be huge; even 6-8 people can have a great time together. You can start to pull together a working Atheopagan community simply by being hospitable and offering experiences that are connecting, meaningful and memorable.

Here are some suggested themes and activities for Atheopagan gatherings at various Sabbaths around the year*:

Yule (winter solstice): family and community, the return of the light, the longest night

Slogg (3rd Saturday in January): “second Christmas” party, community, getting through winter

Imbolc/Brighid/Riverain (~Feb. 1) : early spring, making Rain Babies,

High Spring(vernal equinox): dyeing eggs, playing childhood games, candy and desserts

May Day (~May 1) : playfulness, arrival of summer, Maypole, May wine.

Midsummer (summer solstice): the peak of the light, the longest day, evening gathering, outdoor games

Summer’s End (~Aug. 1): picnic or beach/river day, go berry-gathering,

Harvest (autumnal equinox): harvest feast, celebrate the year’s “harvest”, gratitude for abundance

Hallows (~Oct. 31/Nov. 1): Halloween, spooky fun, costumes, ancestors and remembering those who have died in the past year.

One reason we practice Atheopaganism is to connect with our fellow humans. Wherever you are, I hope you will reach out and extend invitations to friends to join you in simple celebration of seasons, rites of passage and the fact that we are alive.

May your gatherings be well-attended, fun, and rich with meaning!

*These are for the Northern Hemisphere; reverse the dates for Southern.

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