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Last night, I was listening to an ex-Evangelical friend talk about her upbringing. She explained how she used to believe that earth was such a horrible and unpleasant place. She wanted so badly for the world to end. She couldn’t wait to die, because what was there for her here?

Now, as an adult, she doesn’t think her younger self was precisely wrong — at least not in the factual sense. After all, she can still see famines, wars, diseases, and poverty. She still recognizes that the amount of suffering in the world is immense, and that plenty of that…


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What are you physically made of?

Every time you breathe in, your lungs transfer the air’s oxygen into your bloodstream. Your red blood cells trade it out for carbon dioxide. When you breathe out, that carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere. It finds its way to the leaves of plants. They take it in and exhale oxygen, which completes the cycle by returning to your lungs. The molecules they produce become part of your body. The molecules you produce become part of theirs.

When you drink water, it enters your cells, replenishing the moisture lost through sweat and saliva. When you…


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Source: AP News

Does Donald Trump literally believe that he won re-election?

When he claimed victory on Election Night, he knew not enough votes had been counted to determine a winner. He’d watched months of polling consistently show Biden ahead, and history demonstrates that the incumbent party almost never wins in the middle of a recession. He also knew that the still-uncounted mail ballots would lean heavily Democratic. (For that matter, he himself was mostly responsible for that fact. What did he expect to happen after he spent weeks discouraging his supporters from voting by mail?) Further, he knows that there’s no actual…


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Climate change is frying the planet. One lying, war-loving, rapist president is about to get replaced with another one. The pandemic has killed more than a million people worldwide. It will likely kill many thousands more before a vaccine makes it into production. The economic crisis it’s sparked will burn the poor and the precarious for years to come.

The world feels like it’s falling to pieces. It’s little wonder that the last decade has seen the predominant Millennial/Gen Z mood shift from bright-eyed enthusiasm to gloom. Anxiety and depression are spiking in tandem with mass indebtedness and unemployment. Why…


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You can’t get away from nature.

The ancient pagan philosophy of Stoicism teaches that a good life comes from acting in harmony with nature. If you understand how the world works and apply that insight to your conduct, you won’t take setbacks to heart. Neither will success distort your thinking and throw you off-kilter. Living according to nature creates a state of flourishing, where other people and chance events don’t govern your well-being. You begin to exercise your inherent human capabilities to the fullest — you bloom into the person of excellence that you’re meant to be.

What the Stoics…


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I know several adults who aren’t sure whether they were raised Pagan.

Their parents weren’t Wiccan initiates or members of any Pagan organizations. They didn’t explicitly self-identify as Pagan, but they didn’t describe themselves as non-Pagan, either. And every year, they celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes at home, taught their children that nature was sacred and that divinity need not be only masculine, and made use of Pagan parenting materials (especially Starhawk’s Circle Round).

Paganism is a broad, loose movement. The edges aren’t cleanly defined. Where, exactly, does Paganism end? Where do the New Age movement, feminist and environmentalist culture…


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A Pagan’s world moves in circles.

Today, the light half of the year gives way to the dark. Daylight will shrink and nighttime will lengthen. But after the wave-form reaches its trough at Midwinter, the sun will return. Summer will come back. The Wheel of the Year’s eight holidays mark this astronomical time — the rythmic dilation and contraction of day and night.

Meanwhile, most city people are psychologically and socially distant from the agricultural cycle. But physically, they’re just as close to it as any farmer. After all, they eat what farmers grow; they may not think about the…


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Imagine an exercise program that prioritizes comfort above all.

You don’t have to go running, do sit-ups, or get your heart rate up. You don’t have to lift weights or push the limits of your endurance. If you feel like sitting on the couch, the program says you should do that. If you’d rather get up and walk around, that’s fine, too — just make sure you don’t do anything you don’t want.

Would you sign up for a gym based on that program? Would it deserve any effort or commitment on your part? …


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Most religions are aging.

Young people aren’t particularly atheist, but they increasingly tend to be “nones:” whatever their spiritual interests, they don’t care to join organized groups. So, congregations get older and fret about retaining their members’ grandchildren.

As the prototypical “disorganized religion,” Paganism is dodging that demographic crisis. Solitary or household practice, punctuated by the occasional open circle or festival, has been the norm for most Pagans since at least the 90s. Paganism has no centralized organization. It’s a loose, heterogeneous current of spiritual resources. Both organized traditions and solitaries draw from and contribute to it at their discretion…


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You can be an ethical person while being extremely logged on. You can also subsist on junk food and still be in decent cardiovascular condition. All you have to do is go to heroic lengths to look after your health in every other respect. Of course, even then you’re still facing unfriendly odds. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just eat healthier to begin with?

Morality is a skill, like playing basketball. To get good at it, you have to practice. You learn the basic movements, reflexes, and reactions. You can’t specifically train for every possible scenario on the court. …

Sophia Burns

Pagan theology & virtue ethics. Patreon: https://bit.ly/2CG4RnC Old writing: https://bit.ly/338MSyi

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