Neopagan Ideas and How We Differ

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S3E16 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Mark: Welcome back to the Wonder: Science-based Paganism. I’m your host Mark. And today we're going to talk about ways that nature-based or science-based paganism differs from a lot of the mainstream paganism practices that are happening out there in the community. are ways that what we do are fundamentally different there are reasons for that.

And so we're going to address what those are and talk about the differences.

Yucca: Right. And this isn't an episode about bashing anyone for being different or saying that they're bad or anything like that. It's just talking about how we have a different approach, right. And there's paganism is a really, really big umbrella. And so you might find a lot of these things when you look up paganism or neopagan, but it is.

Necessary that not everybody is going to follow or share these ideas. So we found a few really good kind of classic ones to talk about.

Mark: Right. Yeah, because

there are, and, and we should be clear. There are lots of pagans out there that are. Practicing using these ideas. And they, they may be practicing using other ideas that are different than what we do. Heathens, for example, folks that are following north Germanic of traditions, they may not, be using the more Wickens style formatting of rituals or principles.

But This is very, these are the things that we're going to talk about are very widespread. And so we're going to talk about the ways that what we do is different. And I think it will be illustrative for folks that have been in the pagan community

Yucca: Oh,

Mark: or have heard about the nature of the pagan community about why a science-based paganism approach is substantively different than some of the other pagan approaches that are out there.

Yucca: Right. So, which of these do you want to start with?

Mark: Why don't we dive into the three-fold law.

Yucca: Right. So the idea of this is that whatever you put out there is going to the universe is going to send back to you three times. This. Right. And some people think this is only when you're doing ritual or spell work and some people take this as just in life in general.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Right. we don't believe that. And the reason that we don't believe that is multiple one of the main reasons is that I'll, I'll speak for myself and you can chime in, if you have a different take I do not believe that the universe has a moral order.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: The university isn't conscious it, isn't trying to make us a particular way, follow a particular set of rules act in a way that is honorable or that meets some sort of ethical or moral frame.

And you have to have that in order to have the three-fold law because the. There, there has to be some sort of judgment. It's like, whatever is coming back to you, threefold. Well, is it good or is it bad or is it know, what, what would be an appropriate reflection back to you? If that were really going to happen.

And I, I just don't believe if that's the way the universe works. I know that many pagans and following other religions, such as some flavors of Buddhism really and even Christianity want to believe that we are here on earth in order to establish some sort of morality. And in my opinion, working to establish morality is fantastic, but it's for this life and this world, it's not for an afterlife.

It's not in some great cosmic scheme. It's just that I want to act as a good and moral person so that my impact in the world is a positive one. As much as I can.

Yucca: Right. Yeah. That's also really well said. I agree with you on. And I think also the math doesn't really work out on it. That just doesn't really make sense for that. I do think that there is, there definitely is something where the way that we behave does influence our experience in the world, but. In this law of this one to three kind of thing.

Definitely where if I am in a better mood and I smile to the cashier or, you know, I'm in a better place when I'm driving, like all of these things are going to influence how I experience the world and how people are going to respond to me. But. But I don't think that it's, as you were saying that, the universe or this or anything like that, doing it right.

That this is just the natural response. Right. I do something there's a response to it and it's not there's nothing, mystical or accounting. That's, there's no accounting happening.

Mark: Right, right. That's the simple cause and effect of social relationships, right? When. we relate to people in an affirming way, in a way that says, I like you, then they tend to

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: back with, I like you too. If we treat people in a manner that says, I don't like you, then likewise, they tend to respond with.

I don't like you.

Yucca: Hey.

Mark: It's a very, you know, simple, fundamental, but also very human thing. It's not, it's not sewn into the laws of physics. It's sewn into the nature of the social dynamics that we have as people.

Yucca: Yeah. That's social primates, right?

Yeah. That's, that's just, millions of, years of evolution there.

Mark: Right. And I mean, I always use This example when we talk about the three-fold law Yosef Stalin, who arguably the most murderous human ever to walk, the planet died peacefully in his sleep. He probably killed 25 million people possibly more through starvation and extermination programs and just a whole lot of really horrible, horrible

Yucca: Okay. Right. This is not this knowing perfectly well what he was doing. Yeah.

Mark: He, he killed millions of people in Ukraine, through starvation by exporting all of their food Russia and leaving them with nothing. Which is a huge piece of the subtext between and Ukraine. That's going on now.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: That's, that's a history that is not forgotten.

It's very recent. So anyway, stolen. Died peacefully in his bed. Didn't get any kind of, you know, negative feedback from this terrible stuff that he did. And when you think about it, even if he had, what could that have been? he have been killed 25 million times?

Yucca: 75.

Mark: Oh, 75.

million times. You're right.

Cause it's threefold. So it's just, it's very hard to fathom how that rule would really work in any sort of a literal sense. It all or, or like many sort of truisms or aphorisms about human experience. There's a kernel of truth there about, you know, the way you behave. Often gets reflected back to you by other people

Yucca: yeah.

Mark: as we were talking about.

And that is a kernel of truth,

Yucca: Right.

Mark: that it's this mathematical thing and that it always happens is really not not the case as far as we can tell.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: The other piece about about the, the three-fold law is that what's often used as kind of an excuse for why the three-fold law doesn't seem to work out.

In some cases like Stalin is that, oh, it'll happen in a future life, Right.

That there's reincarnation. And as science based pagans, we do not believe in reincarnation

Yucca: Yeah, I don't see any evidence for it personally.


Mark: I don't believe in it. And the, the primary reason that I don't believe in reincarnation is because of dualism, which we talked about before, on a previous episode, the idea of the self, the personality being different sort of an energetic thing, being different than the body, whereas.

My perspective is that it's all integrated.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: comes from the body. The mind can't exist without the body. And when the body dies, the mind is gone.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And that means that there is no reincarnation.

Yucca: And then it's changed throughout its life. That it is not the same. Mind or body that it was when you were born to when you die,

but they're different. Just very, very different. Yeah.

Mark: There are even sort of logical challenges with aspects of the three-fold law. Like if I did something really shitty when I was 25, does it make sense for me to, you know, reap the damages of that when I'm 60. Because I've changed. One of the things that I've

Yucca: Um,

Mark: about is learning what a crappy thing it was that I did. And not doing that again. And so, mean, I have things that I've done in my life that I'm ashamed of and that I would never do again. And I, I did them for reasons that I understand now most of The most of them involving cowardice

Yucca: The trauma.

Mark: just, fear, you know, rooted in trauma.

but There, there are things that I would never do again.

And I do not feel that at this juncture, I deserve some sort of punishment for having done those things way back then.

Yucca: Right? Well, and then if that did happen, And then wouldn't you be more likely to do more shitty things and then just, it becomes this, really strong, positive feedback loop of more bad things happen, you do something bad and then that bad things happen to you. So you respond in kind and do more bad things and then more like it just spirals completely out of control there.

Mark: Right there. Are there a lot of different ways that you can look at this and just say, you know, when you really unpack it from a logic standpoint, it doesn't make, just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And once again, that is not to say that, you know, people that are practicing with that belief are not doing so with a motivation and, you know, the desire that, be a guideline.

For being a positive force in the world, because it's clear that that's what people mean by it. It's just. I, I find that it's a lot more useful for me

Yucca: Oh,

Mark: the atheopagan principles to have things really spelled out for me in, in a, in a very specific sort of way. So, you know, we're going to review the earth, we're going to practice rituals to embody our religion.

We're going to have integrity. We're going to be inclusive. We're going to, you know, seek justice, all of those kinds of things. Because it's, it's very, very clear exactly what those things mean.

Yucca: Right. So you had touched a little bit on afterlife. So I think that's another good. Just to come back to, we sort of spoke to it a little bit, but, but that's something that neither of us believe in and it's because right that it, it needs there to be a soul. It needs there to be something separate from the body and there's no, real evidence to support that it would be there.

So, so.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: This kind of cosmic karma. It wouldn't make sense for that to be carried through either

that okay. We're.

Mark: no. And, and honestly, there is a moral reason why I think. Ideas are not only incorrect from a scientific standpoint, because what they do is they turn the earth into a proving ground for moral just in the same way that Christianity and Islam and Judaism do. And the idea is that there's some kind of reward some kind of a reckoning.

That happens after death.

Yucca: Great.

Mark: what that does is it relegates the earth to a disposable status.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: You know, this is, this is just this temporary situation where we have to perform, but it's not, it's not worthy of our primary focus And reverence and service. And that is the opposite of how I view my relationship with the earth.

The earth is it life is it. And if I am going to have positive impacts in the world, if I am going to enjoy this, this one-way journey that I get through the miracle of having been born against. Astronomical odds with my particular genetics in my particular upbringing to become this particular person.

Then I'm really missing the point

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: I'm, I'm kind of spinning my wheels in my view.

Yucca: And also it, it can justify letting really terrible things happen to people, right. Because, oh, it's there. The a kid being in the neighborhood that gets bombed and it works zone, right.

It could be, oh, well, that's, you know, it's karma. Yeah. But that's, you know, oh, they were stolen last life. Okay. It's fine.

Right. Like,

no, they're just a kid. They're just a kid in the neighborhood that it's not okay to be, bombing them or whatever the particular thing is. Oh, it's okay.

Mark: Yeah. the approach that, that I have and that I believe you have as well, Yucca is. Because it's all about this life and this world, the burden of responsibility on us is much higher. You know,

you would, you would think that, you know, if trying, if you're gunning for a particular kind of afterlife, you know, that would put more pressure on you to behave well and so forth.

And maybe That's true from a fear-based standpoint, but I don't want to live my life. From fear.

Yucca: That's right.

Mark: to live my life from joy and from generosity. And from from a real sense of reverence for the surrounding that that I am interpenetrated with. right.

We've talked about this before, you know, in.

Yucca: We're an open system.

Mark: That's right. We've got air going in. We've got water going in. We've got waste going out. We've got sweat. We've got all of that, all that stuff. We are blurred into the fabric of life, all around us. And so in our. Our inability to see water vapor or oxygen or any of those things kind of gives us this illusion that we're these discrete little billiard balls bouncing around in the world, we're not, we're, we're deeply interpenetrated with the rest of the world.

And. So my sense of responsibility to this life, to myself, for my experience and to my society advocating for values that that serve people and serve my sense of what is just an equitable It is much higher, I think, than it would be if I believed in an afterlife, especially in afterlife where I get to try again because reincarnation or karma, as opposed to like the sort of heaven or hell differentiation, where it's just sort of a one-shot

Yucca: before you die, you're cool. Right? That's fine. It doesn't matter.

Mark: Right. Which I mean, that's a formula for sociopathy, right? Because you can do all these terrible things, then all you have to do is repent and accept Jesus on your deathbed. And you're cool. I think that's a disaster myself and I certainly see in very conservative Christians, kind of idea that they can be awful people, but Jesus loves them.

So it's okay. That is not a framework that I am the least bit living interested in living within. And I don't believe it jibes with what we know about the universe at all.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So what else were we going to talk about in terms of these

Yucca: Oh,

Mark: pagan ideas

Yucca: well, here's, here's the big one. Now this is specifically a Wiccan, but, and if he harm none, do, is he well,

Mark: Oh yeah.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Which I believe originates with Alistair Croley who was

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: deeply problematic person. I think it's fair to say. I think where he was going with that was, was a, a radical. Differentiation from the, the mentality of Christianity, which is here, are these commandments here, these rules in a sacred book, have to

Yucca: conform. Conform. Conform. Yeah.

Mark: And he was saying, no, don't conform. If you're not, if you're not causing any harm, then do what. And my problem with that is not that idea in and of itself. It's that first of all harm, none is impossible.

Yucca: Yeah. It's as simply not possible. I mean, what's happening in your body right now? Who do you consider? None,

you know? Yeah.

Mark: are the bacteria and the cells that are dying and being killed as you digest and as, as you, as your body metabolizes, that harming somebody?

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: I mean, it's certainly harming those cells. They're being torn apart into component materials And being used to feed your body.

Yucca: And we're heterotrophs no matter what particular diet you got, somebody dying for you to be alive, is that, is that harm, right?

What about the house that you're living in, you know, on and on?

Mark: right. Yes. And so, The question is what kind of harm and how much. And we have to make choices, understanding that there is no such thing as a fully pure angelic kind of existence

Yucca: We're not,

Mark: cause any harm to anything.

Yucca: yeah, we're not Sims we're, we're real things. Right. So, and I think that that going back in. If you haven't listened to our episodes that we do about Beth and decomposition, when we get around to hollows time, that could speak to a lot of this. But that, yeah, the world is we look around at this beautiful, incredible world that we're part of and soil it's soil.

Death right. It's life, but it's just, all soil is made from the bodies of trillions upon trillions of others who died. And I would argue the bed dying is harming that wasn't great for them, right. For them as the individual. Yeah.

Mark: Right. But there is a, there is a greater good or a, a larger systemic good that comes out of the process of death, which is the, the, the sustaining of future life. Future

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: of life. mean, I'd be good for us

Yucca: No.

Mark: die of. But it's, but our decomposition feeds more life and continues for, for the thriving of life here on earth.

Yucca: Great.

Mark: So it isn't so much that, that if it harms none, do what you will is wrong so much as that it's vague.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: It doesn't really acknowledge. The nuance of how we, we exist here and what kinds of organisms we really are. And it doesn't acknowledge all of the situations where either you have to harm

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: And then you have to decide what it is you're going to harm. Which is the decision that we make in the course of food choices all the time. Right. Am I going to eat this vegetable was grown in crop agriculture that kills tons of wildlife? Or am I going to eat this cow with. Was a living animal big brown eyes and,

Yucca: Family and.

Mark: and.

In a, in a personality because cattle do have individual personalities, they're not super bright, but like all mammals, they do, you know, they there's, there are characteristics that are notable.

You know, that one cow will differ from another.

Yucca: Yep. I've had some that have purposely, knocked me over that's they liked and others that don't right. They're like, yeah, I'm going to step right up next to you and bump you.

Yeah, that was on purpose.

Mark: cows that like human tipping. I like it.

Yucca: Yeah. That's it's you got to watch out. But yeah, so that, that's a really wonderful example of it's, it's something that we're going to do. I think that being conscious of it is, is an important. Right. And on sort of a, on a surface level, like yeah, I'm into that idea. Don't, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else.

Yeah. Go ahead and do whatever you want. Right. And I think on a sort of a social level. Yes. But as we're talking about the closer you look to it, I don't think that it's like this hard rule that you can follow. I don't think it is. You can't, I don't think it's possible to follow the rule because that's not the way.

Organic life works.

Mark: Yeah.

think that what this can do though, is it can urge us to think about the impacts of our behavior.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And that's an important consideration. You know, because as we act in the world, especially as humans with all the tools that we have and the infrastructure that we've created, that can cause us to have a tremendous amount of impact.

If we If we so choose being aware of what those impacts are and choosing to have impacts that are positive and as lit as harmful as possible is, is something that I think is of value. And that goes back to the thing that we just harp on in this podcast, which is attention.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Paying attention to you are in the world. What's going on with the biosphere in the world, what your places in the world, what your impact is in the world. of those things are just so very important to really be living a nature-based paganism your feet on the ground, and really aware and integrated and celebrating and respecting the natural processes going on in and around.

Yucca: Right. And that's actually a really good lead into another of these topics that we wanted to talk about, which was the elements and directions. And so both of us have this take that our specific location. Is really important, right. That we try to match our practices with where we are. What is it like here?

Cause I can tell you where I live is very different than where you live or very different from Britain, bam, same hemisphere, but, but similarities, stop there.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah. And know, when, Gerald Gardner first published his books on witchcraft, you know, what became WCA and then. Kind of propagated into other forms of paganism, modern Neo paganism as well. Obviously he described the seasonal holidays as reflecting the weather cycle that he was familiar with.

That makes total sense. it seems to have gotten lost in the translation that we should be celebrating the nature where we are rather than the nature in England. So for many practitioners, there's this sort of idea of, you know, the, the snowbound in bulk holiday, for example, Or the or the, the bright cheery.

Belton when it could be, you know, pelting sheets of rain, or even continuing to snow, depending on where you are in the world.

Yucca: Or in areas that, if you're, if you're in Miami, the difference between your belting and the February, not going to be a huge difference there, you're not. Going to have that same kind of the subtropics is not the temperate zones,


Mark: Yeah.

The difference there is mostly measured in humidity rather than in degrees.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So same is true with the directions and the elements. Steven poach, who is a wonderful pig and writer out Of the Midwest. And I highly recommend his writing. He, he writes short, pithy, wonderful little blog, which is also a place where I publish stuff.

Once in a while. Stephen post P O S C H M. He tells this wonderful story about how he once a ritual by the banks of the Mississippi river. They were to the west of the Mississippi river and when they invoked the directions, they drove invoked water the west across more than 2000 miles of mostly extremely dry land.

Yucca: Of complete brittle ecosystems.


Mark: to get to the Pacific ocean to call their west right when they were standing right next to the Mississippi river, which of course this, this gigantic watershed and, you know, very powerful river system. So if it had been me and I was going to invoke water into that ritual, I would have pointed at the Mississippi and.

You know, invoked it the east, from the east, right. Because I want to be reflective of the place where I am. And so these kinds of arbitrary assignments of earth to the north air, to the east. Fire to the south and water to the west, don't really work for me because what, if you're in the Southern hemisphere and the, the really cold part is to the south,

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: you, that should be flexible.

Yucca: Or if you live right next to some mountains, what is that going to be for you or? Yeah.

Mark: Exactly or you live in a place where the predominant winds always come from one direction. You probably want to point that direction in order to invoke air, but I go a little bit further with that. I don't use the classical Greek elements at all.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And the reason that I don't use them is that even though they are useful in some metaphorical kinds of ways, I see them as a discredited pseudoscience.

now know that there are more than a hundred elements that compose all of the things of the universe and. The idea that everything contains with it, air earth, water and fire is outdated. It's old, it's like astrology and alchemy and, you know, palmistry and all those kinds of things, which can be fun to engage in.

But don't actually tell you anything about the nature of the world.

Yucca: Right with those ones in particular, I'll talk to my students about them as they were stepping stones. Right. They helped us to get to that, the idea of an element. Okay. Yeah. We still have that idea, but now. We understand it on a very different level. Yeah. We don't think of it as being four elements. We think of our hundred and 18.

Right. And then, we figured out that, oh, actually, there are things smaller than elements. Let's talk about what that was. And same thing with astrology, which the name always bugs me because it's not a science, but the ologies makes it sound like it should be a science, but astronomy came very much out of astrology.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Right. They've they used to be together and merged and they've gone in different directions. And so it was, it was useful at some point, but it's not. But now we have a much better and deeper understanding of our world and how it works. And probably at some point we'll look at things, humans we'll look at the stuff we're doing now and go, that's not how it works.

Right. We're wrong about that. But that's something that. That in science-based paganism do is that we look at our beliefs and are willing to challenge them. And when we get new data, we're the ideas that we should be willing to let those ones go and, and have new beliefs based on the new available evidence and understanding.

Mark: Right right I know that some people use these elements to sort of stand in for the different phases of matter. So, you know, gaseous, liquid, solid and plasma, although a fire isn't really plasma.

Yucca: It is. Yeah, they can't, some fires can have plasma, but not very rarely the temperatures that we're going to be experiencing fires that that will actually get to a

plasma. And then there are way more phases than just the four observable phases. Those are just the ones that we're going to interact with on our scale and be able to see.

Mark: yes. Yeah. So, I mean, I can understand using that as a metaphorical stand in. If that had pertinent to the point of the ritual I mean the invocation of the different phases of matter. I'm not sure how useful that is in, you know, thematically because I suppose you could do those four and then you could call the center as energy, But

Yucca: But all of them, that is, the phase basically is how much energy, how much kinetic energy the particles have, which changes some of their properties. Right. So what are the proper then you could keep going with, okay. So what are the properties right? That are embodied in each of these. I think that, there's definitely some really interesting intellectual stuff that you can do with it.

I don't particularly mind to people do, I've kind of gotten away from using those elements,

right. It just doesn't really, you know?

Mark: I'm I'm with you. I don't mind it.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: It doesn't, bother me. I just see it as another of these kinds of ye olden days, artifacts that got sewn into modern paganism because somehow the idea that older cult systems were valuable or Colt systems or valuable ritual systems.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Got the, you know?

from the beginning Gardner was claiming that he was learning a tradition that had been handed down from the middle ages.

Yucca: Yeah. The old


Mark: Right. So the idea of the antiquity of these ideas was provided as an argument for their validity. And we don't subscribe to that. You know, sometimes a new idea is the best one. And certainly in the scientific community, very often a new idea turns out to be the one that fits the data the best.

Yucca: Right. And often we have to throw out some of those old ones, right.

Mark: right.

Yucca: Yeah. How long did we take Aristotle's? Some of Aristotle's like stuff as the absolute truth. Don't you dare question that or you'll be under house arrest

Mark: Right.

Yucca: or worse.


Mark: worse. Yeah.

Exactly. And that was because the Roman Catholic church subscribed to Aristotle as an absolute authority for some unknowable reason.

Yucca: Even though he's a, Peggy was a pagan

Mark: Well, yeah, he was not only, not only that, but

Yucca: and their broad sense of pagan.

Mark: Yes. I think that what it probably boils down to is that he was the only real authority they had to point to for a cosmology.

And he had believed in systematizing stuff. You know, when he, when he wrote about rhetoric, for example, and the art of persuasion and all that, he defined each of the human emotions that he was aware of. And he. You know, talked about the, the logic of of ethos logos and pathos, for example.

But I that's a,

Yucca: Yeah, that's another, that's a whole nother podcast.

Mark: is. Yeah. And that, that actually gets into what I did my undergraduate degree in. So it's a rabbit hole I could happily jumped down. So from our standpoint that the use of those elements isn't really necessary. But it's not necessarily objectionable either. just, I prefer at that phase of a ritual simply to invoke the qualities and characteristics that I want to be with me, as I invoke as.

Evoke ritual as I enact ritual. And that will sort of be a takeaway for me after having done the ritual.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: so where, where are we now? What else?

Yucca: I think that this brings us to our last one. There's so many more that we could do, but looking at the theory versus the reality as really is in our, in our places, in our world. Right.

Mark: right.

Yucca: Cause there's definitely. And I think this goes back to, to some of the stuff we were talking about with Gardner and this romanticization of the English countryside and this idea of nature.

And this is very, kind of over fantasized romantic way. The moon is always full and shining through the leaves and the wind is just a soft thing. And you know, all the animals are little foxes that are running around and where, that's, that's great. I think the mode is not always full, but the rest of that.

Okay. Maybe like, yeah, that's, that might be the life that you've got there, but that's not most of the world and that's not where most of them. Awesome. Great for you. If you do right there, we know that some of you are listening to this podcast from there, but, but for me, I've got coyotes outside my window and, black bears, very different worlds and cactuses,

Mark: And as, as we have always said from the beginning of this podcast and, and I have to say as sort of a little bit of a tangent, one of the things that's been great about this podcast for me and our conversations Yucca, is that having an opportunity to really kick around these ideas evolved my. About some of them where I had kind of a half formed idea before. And I feel like I have a much clearer, more easy to articulate, understanding about some of these ideas now. So I really appreciate that.

Yucca: Thank you. Likewise.

Mark: What we go back to over and over again is the idea of immersion into place of being. Living animals conscious self-aware animals, you know, with that special gift, having evolved that, special capacity that humans have and other animals seem to have much less of you know, in a place, in an environment and understanding what that environment is doing and celebrating that. Even if it's. You know, what the, what the place is doing right now is being 115 degrees Fahrenheit. And what it's trying to do is kill me. You know,

Yucca: Or on fire like mine.

Mark: Yes. I'm, which I'm really sorry to hear about. the fire season start already is

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So really encourage you in your science-based pagan practice to. You know, study the natural flora and fauna where you are, what are the, what are the cool, special things that happen in nature, where you are. And, and I promise you, there are cool, special things happening in nature, wherever you are, you know, whether it's Caterpillar's dissolving into goo in a Chrysalis and reforming themselves into a moth or

Yucca: Lichen on your. Um, wall, just look into what lichen is. That's a rabbit hole to go down.

Mark: it is or bats coming out at Twilight to eat to eat insects or fruit. There are just so many things that are happening around us all the time that are just delightful. If you're aware of them and becoming more aware of the mix, it all the easier to sell. This earth and this life that we're granted and what we hope for you is a celebratory life, a life where you enjoy the pleasures of this world, and really feel a deep gratitude for your existence and pass that on to others.

You know, communicate to others that, that sense of gratitude and a sense of and inclusion and appreciation for for the ways that they're similar than you and the ways that they're different from you. Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So, this has been a great conversation and I imagine we'll probably get some comments or responses on this, which is great. Our email address is the wonder podcast Q S at That's for the wonder podcast questions. So the wonder podcasts, Q S all one And you know, we're happy to kick these ideas around.

We understand that what we're doing is a very modern form of pagan practice. You know, we're, we're, we're deliberately dispelling or, not to spit to spelling where we're. We're leaving behind lot of the old occult or old witchcraft kind of, traditions and preserving ones that hold up in the light of modern science, like the idea of a wheel of the year, for example, solstices and equinoxes, which are very real astronomical events the mid points between them that mark important seasonal transitions in, in many places. So, thank you for listening as always. We love our listeners and you have a wonderful week and we'll see you again on the wonder next Monday.

Yucca: Thanks everyone.

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