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THE WONDER explores perspectives, rituals, and observances of modern, naturalistic, Earth-revering Neopagan religious paths. Naturalistic Pagans embrace the world as understood by science (that is, without gods, magic, or the supernatural), and enhance our lives with myth, ritual and activism. Hosted by Mark Green (author of ATHEOPAGANISM: An Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science) and Yucca (formerly of The Pagan Perspective YouTube channel, now of the Magic and Mundane channel).

Named #4 in the top15 Pagan podcasts for 2022! https://blog.feedspot.com/pagan_podcasts/

The First Four Principles

May 17, 2021

Remember, we welcome comments, questions and suggested topics at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com

S2E18 TRANSCRIPT:

Mark: Welcome back to the Wonder Science-based Paganism. I'm your host, Mark.

Yucca: And I'm Yucca.

Mark: And today we are going to talk about the first four of the 13 atheopagan principles, which are embraced by those who follow the non theist pagan path of atheopaganism, which you can find much more. About@atheopaganism.org.

These are ethical principles which are designed to help us guide our decision-making and how we live in our lives. They're not commandments they're virtues and there are things that we aspire to. So that's what we'll be talking about today.

Yucca: And as always sharing this is not a saying. Like Mark, you were saying, this is not a commandment. This is not a saying you need to see the world in the exact same way that we do, right. This is us talking about it's this is a useful framework for us. Let's dive into what these concepts are, what these principles are and how they enrich our lives and experience as pagans in the modern world.

Mark: Yes. For a couple of reasons, one of them kind of additive and one sort of subtractive in the additive sense just as we did. Episode on the four pillars, a couple of episodes ago, the four pillars of atheopagan ism, which are the four sacred things. These principles are sort of derived from the four sacred things that is, if you believe that those four things are sacred, then you will conduct yourself according to these principles.

There's a logic there.

Yucca: They really feed into each other.

Mark: exactly. And so. What this does for us is it gives us an ethical framework that helps us, especially when dealing with thorny situational questions that are complex. We can ask ourselves, how does this square with these principles? I've embraced? How, you know, how do I best make a decision?

That is in accordance with these guidelines. So that's sort of the additive sense. The other is the subtractive sense is that paganism has often been accused of being very weak in the world way of ethical development. There's a lot of, I have rights and I'm free and I'm going to do whatever I want because I'm free.

And there's very little, well, there, you have to respect other beings and you have to be considerate about causing damage in the world and you have to be, you know, all those sorts of things

Yucca: The responsibilities that come hand in hand with those rights.

Mark: Precisely. And so, so when I was developing atheopaganism as a pagan path, one of the things that I really wanted to address was that paucity of ethical guidance and the atheopagan principles and the four sacred pillars are the results of that work.

So today we're going to dive into the first four of the 13 atheopagan principles and we'll come back to the rest in subsequent episodes. Not all at once. We'll put some interruptions in between the principles episodes so that we have some variety. But I think this'll be a really great conversation about what we see as important in terms of perspective and behave.

If you're in the world.

Yucca: Just on a structural level. I really appreciate it being 13. That's really fun. There's the 13 moons and the one solar year. And I think it was somebody on the Facebook group who suggested applying the principles to the full moons.

Mark: yes. Which was just a wonderful idea. I was so excited about it. We've just had the laughter moon and which is the perspective moon. And we'll be coming up soon on the Praxis moon, which is the regular well, we'll talk about that. When we talk about principle five But having 13, this is kind of a magic number for pagans because of the 13 moon cycles.

And it's a prime and it's just got all those

Yucca: just a fun number.

Mark: it is,

Yucca: That's great.

Mark: kind of number And so as I worked up these principles and then kind of arrived at the end of the list and realized that I think I've covered everything that I wanted to, it turned out that there were 13. And so that was kind of a happy coincide.

Yucca: Yeah, well, let's.

Mark: dive right in.

CRITICAL THINKING

Yucca: Yeah, the first one, this is  really appropriate one to be right at the forefront is critical thinking.

Mark: Yes. Yes. Skepticism and critical thinking, recognizing that the metaphorical is not the literal and that both have value. It's not that we're saying that the mytho poetic storytelling symbolic realm, isn't a value because of course it is. We wouldn't be pagans if we didn't understand that we wouldn't be humans, honestly, if we didn't understand that.

But fact. Yes, but facts are facts. And there is an objective universe outside of our skins, which is behaving according to physical laws. And it would be doing that whether we were observing it or not. And. Our capacity to identify the factual from the unfactual is really important. And especially at this time in American society, particularly, but it's happening all over the world with the rise of conspiracy theories and sort of crazy radical nationalism and various kinds of bigotry rooted in, in,

baseless ideas about the superiority of one group of people over another. It's really important for us to learn the tools of critical thinking and be able to look at a claim made by someone and say, is this consistent with the evidence? How good is the evidence? Is this just the say so of some dude on YouTube or is this the consensus of scholars who have studied this for decades, there's a difference there. And we need to understand what the gradations of that difference are.

Yucca: Exactly. And then also not just on that level, but within our personal lives. Looking at our own beliefs and going, Oh, wait, let's step back. And look at this. Where is this coming from?  This just confirmation bias? Is this just me really wanting it to be true? let's let's look at the logic behind this.

Mark: very much. So there are principles in In cognition theory called Apophenia and pareidolia. Apophenia is the recognition of patterns that aren't there. Seeing patterns in actually unrelated events or phenomena and a sub-case of that is pareidolia, which is the visual recognition of patterns where. They aren't really there. So seeing the Virgin Mary in your taco shell, for example, or seeing faces or clouds or bunnies or whatever,

Yucca: Yeah, clouds is a great example for that.

Mark: We're always looking for shapes, right? We're looking for faces particularly because that's what we can relate to. And that's what we are, we're most attuned to interacting with as human organisms.

So we've got this pattern recognition built into us and it works very well in many ways. It helps us to identify what's going on in the world, around us, and then to make strategic decisions about the right thing to do in relation to the world. The problem is it works too well. We see patterns all the time that don't really exist.

I was talking before we started recording. I've had some things happen recently that have been real blows. I got a notice that I'm going to have to move. And my, my wonderful beloved pet kitty died. And now today I've discovered that my electric car is not charging, which for an electric car is kind of a problem.

Yucca: That's

Mark: And I was saying, well, the myth is that these things come in threes, right. So, you know, maybe that's all that it will be for me for awhile. Identifying that pattern is completely fictitious. It's entirely an imagined the Tori in imagination function in my mind. There is no reason why more bad things shouldn't happen in the next 10 minutes or none for the next 10 years.

Yucca: What we focus on is we then see the pattern because we're expecting to see that pattern.

Mark: Precisely. And then once having seen a pattern like that confirmation bias kicks in, which is our desire to continue gathering evidence, to convince ourselves that what we think is true. So these are all kind of working against us as rational beings. They're useful for us in many ways, but they're also working against us as rational beings.

And so having a core value of skepticism and critical thinking is. Is so important if we're truly going to be science-based pagans, if we're truly going to be the followers of the spirituality of the verifiably real, which is another way that I've described atheopagan ism many times, then we have to be willing to winnow the wheel from the real, from the unreal, through the process of critical thinking and skepticism.

Yucca: Right. And building on that, one of the things that we've talked about before on this podcast, but it's really important to come back to is. That this is enriching, this isn't Oh, let's be boring. And do all this critical thinking and take all the magic out of everything. No reality is wondrous and incredible and amazing and critical thinking is a tool for us to discover even more that would have been unimaginable, say, 20 years, a hundred years ago.

Mark: Yes

Yucca: So it's really enriching. it's it's feeding and nourishing, not depriving us of fun.

Mark: Right. Right. One thing that is true for many in our culture now, and I venture to say many, if not most in the broader pagan community is a desire to seek exaltation and joy in fantasy. And there is a lot of joy that can be found in fantasy, but there's so much joy to be found. In reality. Reality is obscenely. Cool.

Yucca: Yes.

Mark: was just kidding for three days last week, up on the North coast of the County that I live in at a state park called salt point state park and the wild flowers were out and there were carpets of wild flowers all over the place. Stunning, just stunning. And then. You know, my partner Nemea is a photographer.

So she's getting down to these little macro, you know, photographs of individual blossoms and identifying different plants. And we found the California native orchid. There's only one, but we found one in bloom. There's, it's just so cool. Nature by itself holds so much to be. To be joyous about and excited and curious and stimulated about that.

We don't have to limit ourselves to storytelling and poetry and paintings and imagery and music, and those kinds of artificially created human things

Yucca: Which are wonderful.

Mark: Oh, they're all.

Yucca: But they're not the end. They're part of the picture. They have their role, which is amazing and incredible. But also there's this other half, which is the reality component.

Mark: absolutely.

Yucca: The objective. Yeah.

Mark: And you know, one of, one of the questions that religion seeks to answer at its broadest definition is what's real. What is it? What am I what's here? What is this life? And those questions are best answered through the use of science and critical thinking.

Really? That's not what does it mean? What does it mean is something that gets decided in a mythic poetic context,

Yucca: that's not science. That's not scientific.

Mark: That's absolutely right. It is not scientific to ask, you know, what do stars mean? There's there, there is many answers to that as there are possible observers.

Yucca: But how did they form what happens when they run out of hydrogen? Those are questions that end up having some really amazing answers

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: to that. Then open just a floodgate of other questions and discoveries.

Mark: right. Right. So the question of what is a star and understanding that as a process that starts long before there's any kind of a point of light and continues long after there is a point of light becomes this adventure that you can go on. And which astrophysicists go on every day of their lives, trying to figure out the answers to those very questions.

And it's exciting and it's beautiful.

Yucca: Yeah.

REVERENCE FOR THE SACRED EARTH

Mark: And I think that's actually a great place at which to transfer, to talking about the second atheopagan principle, which is reverence for the sacred earth and cosmos. We are assembled biological machines that have been erected by life on earth, which is a tiny sub-sector of the physical unfolding of the universe that are able to think and are self-aware and are able to look at this incredible magnificence around us and learn stuff.

We are uniquely gifted with the ability to just revel in the wow of all this. And it is to my mind our obligation to live in that reverence. It's not just, yeah, nature is cool. It's a deep seated, spiritual reality. In me and in the non-ferrous pagans that I know that nature is magnificent and that we are deeply indebted to nature because we are in nature.

We're not separate. And that all of those engagements that we make with the surrounding natural world, like eating are sacred activities. They're not just random, they're sacred activities, eating sex, excretion. All of those. They are

Yucca: breathing.

Mark: breathing.

Yucca: Think about breath for a while. Think about what you are breathing in that oxygen. And when you breathe out the CO2, which comes from the cells of your body, come through the blood, back to your lungs and out, and what's going to happen to that. It's going over to the grass, to the trees, to the potted plant in your window. And they are then taking that in photosynthesizing and breathing out the oxygen for you and on this back and forth, and those same molecules going from your body to another body. And they came from stars to start with.

Mark: Yeah. Yes. All of these reciprocal relationships and having reverence for something is part of understanding that you're in a reciprocal relationship with it. It's not something that you're just mining for resources. And it's not something that you are worshiping in the sense of, you know, basing yourself and saying, Oh yes I'm not worthy kind of story.

That's not what it's about. Of course you're worthy. You're an organism here on earth. Of course you're worthy. You are worthy of the oxygen. You're worthy of the food. You're worthy of the warmth and the shelter and the many gifts that the Earth and sun provide us.

Yucca: You are part of earth. We're not just on earth. We are part of earth.

Mark: Yes, we are earth

Yucca: Our, yeah our bodies are. This planet, when we talk about the formation of the planet, we're talking about the formation of

us. 

Mark: yes. And it can be hard sometimes because of the nature of the way academic disciplines have been divided up to understand that kind of big picture thinking because we have a little box called geology and we will have a little box called biology. And. Those kinds of, I won another wearily and and the physicist just sort of step back and chuckle about the whole thing.

But that's the world isn't in those little boxes. That's those are just categories that humans have used to try to narrow down the enormity of what we're trying to understand into digestible bites.

Yucca: a new box. That's a little bit bigger, still a box, but it's a great box, a new field, which is geobiology  is trying to look at those merge, those two fields that we've considered to be so separate and look at them together and go, okay. What's how does. How do things flow from the biotic to the Abiotic.

And is that even a valid distinction when we're talking about a living planet like Earth and it's really a new field, Robert Hazen, I think has this, his name has a lot of incredible books and some lectures on like the great courses

Mark: Hm.

Yucca: interested in getting into that, seeing the evolution of mineralogy and biology as not being separate as being completely woven together.

Mark: It's really cool and really timely. I mean, we do know from the history of the Earth that, that you know, gigantic algal blooms, for example, that have created huge amounts of oxygen have totally tipped the scales of the biotic activity in the world and change the climate, which has resulted in greenhouse conditions or in snowball earth.

So the timeliness of this is very important because we are coming to understand that the primary driver of change in our atmosphere is humanity. It's it is biology. It's not it's not volcanoes it's us.

Yucca: Yeah, they have a part, but not in the scale that we're seeing,

Mark: Right?

Yucca: right. That this is, and that doesn't make humans bad.

Mark: No.

Yucca: There's a jump that people often go to of, Oh, well, humans are causing this change and therefore humans are bad and everything would be better if we weren't around. That's pretty, in my opinion, pretty far to go. And I think it's lazy, right? To just choose to say, Oh, well, humans are bad. Humans are totally destructive. Instead of going, humans are powerful. We can do these changes. How do we be responsible with the power that we do have? How do we make sure that we aren't harming any even more? How do we make sure that we're restoring what has been harmed and improving the situation for more life and more of quote, unquote nature.

Mark: Right. I don't know that I would use the word lazy, but I think we have a propensity to want to divide things in a dualistic sense, into good and bad. And the truth is that in almost all cases, things are complex. They're not good or bad. They're kind of good for some by some measurements and kind of bad by other measurements.

And. Humanity is a remarkable species just by any measure, the simple fact that you and I are speaking across thousands of miles to have this conversation, so it can be recorded and downloaded by all these people all over the world is it's just an extraordinary achievement. And to. To denigrate that or to dismiss it, I think is simply to miss out on one of the many wonders of living.

Because humans are just remarkable. The art, the music, the dance, the science, all of it is just remarkable, but that said, we are powerful drivers at this point of change. And the question is, which way do we want to drive?

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And given how adaptive we are, even if we've made a big mess, even if the Anthropocene continues, the biodiversity crash continues.

The climate change continues. Humans are so adaptable that we are likely to persist even under very extreme conditions. So. My mind has always been to what kinds of values and models can we seek to get out there in the world as much as possible today so that those people then can maybe live a more sustainable life?

Yucca: A lot of this is about that we're talking about, right? These principles, what are the things that are going to help us to do that? And the first two that we've talked about, the critical thinking, right? This can be as simple as, huh. If I pollute the water that I'm drinking, what's going to happen. Right. And then also the reference for the Earth and view of it as sacred that it's worth taking care of and protecting. And of course, when We say earth, but earth and cosmos. We're talking about reality.

Mark: What is?

Yucca: yeah, you don't have to. We're not specific to, although humans we're here on earth.

We're part of earth, but we're not excluding everything else by saying earth.

Mark: Well, because even at our scale, even at the relativistic scale, everything really is blurred into everything else. The. the Earth is bombarded by solar, radiation and solar wind and meteoroids and all kinds of

Yucca: Of space debris.

Mark: of space stuff all the time that is coming to add to our world. And to pretend that we are in this little capsule going around a star is.

It's not reality. It doesn't hold up to that first principle of skepticism and critical thinking. So if you understand that it's all blurry, then revering, this earth is really not quite enough because there's that star up there, that's driving everything. And that star is a part of the system.

And that system is a part of. A galaxy and the galaxy is part of a supercluster and the superclusters, it just goes on 

Yucca: Laniakea to the cosmic web, to the observable universe and who knows what more

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: and how little of it we can see.

Mark: So we Revere the Earth and the cosmos because man, they're cool.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: They're just so incredibly cool.

Yucca: And by day it's also us,

GRADITUDE

Mark: Yes. And the next principle actually relates closely to this because if you're really aware of just how wow. the Earth and cosmos are the next principle, which is gratitude becomes a lot easier and gratitude is Its gratitude. Actually, it sounds like a noun, but it's not, it's a verb. Gratitude is something that you do.

And it's those moments that we take when we go, wow. That was really beautiful. Or look at that flower or God that smells good. Or that's the best tasting chocolate I think I've ever had. Those acknowledging those moments and kind of gathering them to you in a way that informs that your life is joyous because atheopagan ism is a path that's about being as joyous as possible.

It's about being happy as well as being effective and being an exponent for a better world. It's about just being happy because pleasure and happiness are good. It's good for you to be happy. So gratitude is something that, I mean, I know I could do a better job at it. I know I could I feel like there's no ceiling to how grateful one could possibly be.

Maybe the Dalai Lama has hit the ceiling. I don't know. But I know that I certainly have farther to go. 

Yucca: You too. Yeah. That's something that ritual and we've done a whole episode on this as well, but ritual can really help facilitate

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: and grow that sense of gratitude, which grows our own happiness, as you're saying and health as well

Mark: Yes. For sure. Happier people are healthier people. They just are. I mean,

Yucca: more effective.

Mark: yes

Yucca: Happier person is better able to take care of other people and to focus more. And all of those things.

Mark: Yeah, I absolutely agree. So, yes, gratitude. And there are lots of different kinds of gratitude practices. There are people who just before they go to bed, they recount, you know, three things that I was grateful for today. There are people who have a gratitude jar and they put some, they write something down and stick it in the jar every day.

And then at some point in the year, they take them all out and read them and then burn them and start over wonderful ritual practice. Um,

Yucca: Is a great place for that too, because it sets the tone for your day. Okay.

HUMILITY

Mark: It announces I'm already coming into a world that gives me gifts that I feel great about now. Let's see. What's up. Yeah. So, that leads me to the fourth principle that we're going to talk about today, which is humility. And I find that gratitude and humility and reverence for the Earth and cosmos all kind of tied together.

Because if I really comprehend the scope and scale of the Earth itself, not. Not to mention the cosmos, just the Earth itself in terms of its age and its size. Then I will understand that I am small and temporary and that whatever my concerns are, whatever my attitudes are or my initiatives that. They need to be understood in the context of a being that is small and temporary.

And so I feel humility is a really important quality for us to have as non theists pagans because you know, we're not lording over people and telling them what to do. That's not what we're here about. What we're here about is being the best people we possibly can be and doing that in a way. With with a grasp reality, as much as possible and a solid set of things that we find sacred and of value and and a real sense of joy of gratitude as we go forward.

So, and you know, I'll say I, I struggled with this when I was younger, I was taught to be really arrogant. My father was just a narcissistic asshole. And I just sort of followed along, trying to be like dad you know, very much a know it all kind of person. And what I found is that the less of that I exhibit in my life, the better my life gets and the truer, it feels so.

Which I'm sure is one of the reasons why humility came up early in the list as I was developing the list. These are not in priority order, by the way, the atheopagan principles are the, are basically just in the order that I thought of them and wrote them down.

Yucca: Yeah,

Mark: so,

Yucca: Touching on humility. This is one of those terms that can have very different emotional connotations for people. And when we say humility, we're not talking about belittling oneself, right. We're small, but that doesn't mean that we suck or that we're not important or that we're not worthy of love and attention and all of those things and respect, but that. It's really tying back into that gratitude where it's with the humility. Part of it is a recognition that the world doesn't owe us something. We are part of the world. And if anything, we owe the world, not that people should just be giving to us and no matter what all of that, um, That arrogance there's it really ties into that, that self-awareness and gratitude that just leads to a contentment and a humble outlook.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah, because I mean, it's a little tail chasing in a way, because once again, You know, it's complex. All these things are true at once. Yes, I am small and temporary and trivial. Yes, I am amazing. It is amazing that I am here. I can do amazing things that is really fucking cool. And I'm small and temporary.

And. My, whatever things I do in the grand course of the universe's history will inevitably be trivial, but it doesn't matter because I have that core understanding that I'm amazing at the same time. And we can hold all of those. We can be filled with gratitude for the gifts, the various genetic gifts and educational gifts and cultural gifts that we've been given.

As well as to understand ourselves as being small and temporary and deserving of humility holding all of that together without flopping over into shame or Poor self-esteem on the one hand or narcissism and arrogance on the other hand is a part of the balance holding that's so necessary for us as non theist pagans.

Yucca: With that those two understandings at once I think are epitomized by the sense of looking out at the dark starry sky and getting that incredible sense of, ah, I'm tiny and the universe is so fast and I'm part of it

Mark: Yes, I am. Part of all this, all that extending out farther even than light has ever reached this planet. I'm part of all of it. Every molecule that makes me up arose shortly after the big bang and

Yucca: and it's both true

Mark: wow. Yes. It's all true. It's true. Yup. And you know, it's kind of an amazing thing to be able to get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say, hello, big bang.

Good morning. Good morning, Starburst. How are you today? And you know, we've talked a lot in this podcast about how being a science-based pagan, being a. An earth revering pagan. A lot of it is about just learning to pay attention, looking for, you know, the little details of beauty and what nature is doing and how things are changing over the course of the seasons and all that.

And I think that this is one of those places where this is true also that Noticing when we're given an opportunity to be kind of arrogant and we choose to be humble instead, noticing when we're provided with something unexpected and joyous. And we can be grateful about that, you know, keeping track of these meaningful events in our lives, because it's so easy for life to just turn into this sort of rush of.

Not necessarily meaning associated moments, just kind of running through the routine and we're here to celebrate, you know, that's what our, that's what our religious path is for. We're here to celebrate and to be good people and to help other people celebrate and to make the world as good for other beings as we can.

And that requires some cataloging. No you have to keep score at some level. You have to keep track of the good stuff. In order to remind yourself to be grateful

Yucca: And learn to focus on that because it's a choice.

Mark: Very much as a, as someone who has struggled with depression, when that filter drops down over my eyes, I can't see the good stuff.

I just can't. And it's not that it isn't there, even though that voice in my head lies and says, it's not there. And I've been through enough cycles of this now that I know that's not true. But it sure seems true because that voice speaks with a lot of authority.

So that's the first four of the 13 atheopagan principles. Love to have your feedback. We take. Email at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com, which is the wonder podcast, all one word Q s@gmail.com. Love to hear from you about this. And as I said, we'll be going over the rest of the principles in subsequent episodes.

But not next week, we'll do something else next week. Just to kind of keep things mixed up in lively.

UPDATE ON THE ATHEOPAGAN SOCIETY

Yucca: Before we finish up for today, we did want to remind folks about the Atheopagan Society. 

Mark: It's a nonprofit religious organization that we founded to to keep the ideas that the principles and values of atheopaganism moving forward into beyond the life of any one person and to help support atheopaganism around the world. Yucca is the chair of the council of the Atheopagan Society.

And I serve on the council. We had a meeting last night and so we can report out some of the stuff that's going on with that. You want to start in on that Yucca

Yucca: Sure. We'll, we've been, you know, we have our quarterly meetings and we're still getting our feet underneath ourselves, but we've been working with different committees, especially the educational committee, putting together material that can be used by anyone. So again, this is not a membership organization.

You don't have to pay any dues. This is just the service that we're putting out to be available for anyone. But  working with that.  The clerical committee has worked on putting together material for anyone who wants to be a cleric and material like weddings. What other things are on that Mark?

Mark: The introductory guide book for clerics includes a section on pastoral counseling. On conducting weddings on conducting funerals and working with the dying and on conducting other rites of passage, like naming ceremonies and passages into adulthood and all that kind of stuff. And it's downloadable from the Atheopagan Society website, which is theAPsociety.org.

You can also see the bios of the members of the council there and download the bylaws if you're curious see what events are coming up all those kinds of things. So it gives you an overview about what the society is up to. We also talked quite a bit about diversity, equity and inclusion, which is something that's very important to us as a value.

We're still trying to figure out how best to pursue DEI initiatives within the atheopagan community, but it is important to us and we're still looking for the right ways to. To conduct ourselves that way. Possibly by developing a statement and then an implementation plan for that statement.

But it's early days yet. And we need help in order to do that because we don't have a whole lot of diversity on the Atheopagan Society council right now. And we really need more voices to be involved in that.

Yucca: Exactly. Yeah. And so that's something that is, that really is taking a lot of our focus.

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: So,

Mark: In the edge. Oh, go ahead.

Yucca: Oh, I was going to say, and we were also talking about different media outreach and what ways that the society can really best serve the community and what platforms do we use to reach people and all of that.

So that's another thing that we, of course, always really welcome input from folks on.

Mark: Yes. And the last thing that I'd want people to be aware of is that we have begun discussions about an in-person atheopagan con. Or something like that. An in-person gathering in 2022. The, this is still a very nebulous concept, but we're looking at doing something somewhere in the middle of North America, probably the Denver area, because there are beautiful national parks nearby and it's air traffic hubs.

So it's cheaper to fly into for people. We. We don't know exactly what it would be yet, but we know that there's a lot of interest in doing this and I've interacted with so many people online, especially over the last year that I want to hug. If they want to be hugged,

Yucca: It'd be great to give you a hug.

Mark: I would. Wouldn't that be great?

Yucca: You know, all of this zoom it's would be wonderful to see people in person and know.

Mark: it would be really great. So that has begun. And we're starting to gather a committee together that can help to produce that event. And that'll be a production of the Atheopagan Society. And we'll use our corporate nonprofit umbrella as the producer. So exciting things happening. And we just wanted to make sure that you knew about them now, not everybody who is a non theist pagan is an atheopagan.

And we want to be clear about that. But if you want to come play with us, you're welcome to.

Yucca: Yeah 

Mark: and I don't know. I think that's about it.

Yucca: I think so, but I'm glad we got to touch on that as well. A little bit in this episode. So yeah, as always, this has been wonderful. Thank you, Mark.

Mark: I've really enjoyed it. Thank you so much. Yucca. See you next week.